Financial organizations, digital marketing agencies, and many other sectors recruit merger and acquisition managers to handle the economic structure of these organizations. The role is pretty crucial and the candidates must get through a fair amount of grilling before landing the job. However, here we listed down top 20 mergers and acquisitions interview questions and answers to help you structure your answers. Read on.
1. Why Are You Interested in This Role?
With this common question, the interviewing panel wants to understand what makes you interested in this particular job role. Therefore, answer this question stating your passion for this job and base your answer on past experiences.
“I started off my professional career as a junior merger and acquisition analyst at a non-government digital marketing agency. I worked there for two years and gathered most of my practical knowledge during that time. Besides that, I have a keen interest in finance and accounts since my school days. The interest turned into sheer passion when I joined college and started to understand the critical aspects of financial ups and downs.”
2. What Are the Roles of A Merger and Acquisition Analyst?
Through this query, the authority wants to check how knowledgeable you are regarding the post that you have applied for. You have to state in detail the roles of a merger and acquisition analyst. However, the trick here is to be critically and professionally sound.
“The primary role of a merger and acquisition analyst is to undertake merger and acquisition projects. An M&A analyst has to study and research about the peer organizations and the leading organizations in the industry right now. Based on data and analysis about the industry trends and competitions, he/she would plan financial collaborations.”
3. What Are the Qualities That A Merger and Acquisition Analyst Need to Be Successful?
This is one quintessential query that interviewers throw at the candidates. The question indicates your thorough understanding of the job role. Hence, state all the crucial qualities and traits that you think are necessary for a merger and acquisition job role.
“The fundamental role of an M&A analyst is to plan and strategize successful financial collaborations with other fellow companies to make profit in future. Therefore, one of the crucial qualities he/she must have is an updated knowledge about the current market trend. A passion for studying and researching financial structures and great communication skills are added qualities that would help to thrive in this field.”
4. What Major Challenges Did You Face During Your Last Role? How Did You Manage Them?`
With this query, the recruiting authority wants to tap into your problem-solving capability and managing skills. Frame your answer based on your past experiences and choose a problem that you solved successfully.
“In my last job as a senior mergers and acquisitions manager my company was running on a huge loss because of three consecutive failed collaborative deals with fellow companies. Being the manager, it was my responsibility to find out the underlying cause of such drastic downfall. So, I called my team and started to go through all the investment models, and revised the strategies, negotiation plans. After thorough market research, I restructured the whole presentation and this time we succeeded in making the deal with one of the big sharks in the industry.”
5. Describe Your Daily Routine As A Merger and Acquisition Analyst.
With this question, the recruiter wants to know about the daily jobs you need to perform as a merger and acquisition analyst. So, use your professional experience and mention a daily routine of a merger and acquisition analyst.
“As a merger and acquisition analyst, my daily routine would involve thorough market research to update myself about the forthcoming changes. I would also plan effective financial models to stay afloat. Besides that, I would structure successful collaborations and merger and acquisition projects keeping an eye on the peer companies.”
6. Describe Briefly About Your Experience.
This is a generic question that appears in most interview sessions. Here, the hiring authority seeks to understand the professional experience you have gathered for this role. So, mention your overall work experience and the companies that you have previously worked with.
“After completing my education, I started working as a junior merger and acquisition analyst in a digital market agency called Z1 Media. I worked there for two years. During these couple of years, I learned all my practical and beyond-academic knowledge about the field of marketing and finance. After that, I shifted to one of the leading finance organizations, Deloitte. I worked there as a senior merger and acquisition manager and applied successfully whatever I had learned in my first job.”
7. What Kind of Strategies and Mindset Is Required for This Role?
Through this question, the interviewing panel wants to know about your strategies and mindset for this role and also checks whether it matches their requirement. So, provide them with all the mindset and strategies that you have acquired through the years.
“For an M&A analyst, the most important strategy is to have a sharp analytical mind. Since the role demands you to structure financial strategies, a sound knowledge in accounting and finance is very important. Apart from that, the role of an M&A analyst calls for thorough research and analysis. So, a special interest in studying and researching is yet another essential mindset that would help the role.”
8. What Is the Biggest Challenge That You Foresee in This Job?
This is an important question. Here, the recruiter tactfully checks how well-informed you are about this company. So, do your research about the company and mention your points accordingly. However, we suggest you avoid being critical about the company.
“I am an eternal optimist. I believe in the power of honest try. I also think that a challenge is how you perceive it. Besides that, I have done a thorough research about your esteemed organization before walking in for the interview. Fortunately, I am yet to find a challenge that seems unattainable. However, I can assure that if I land the job, I shall take up every challenge with equal confidence and conviction and put my best effort to solve that.”
9. How Do You Stay Motivated in Your Work?
With this question, the hiring authority wants to know about the techniques that you use to keep yourself motivated in your work. So, simply mention the practices that help you to stay motivated in your professional life.
“I believe passion is the ultimate motivation. If you are passionate about your job then that hardly seems like a job. The work itself motivates you. As I mentioned already, I am absolutely passionate about finance and accounting and I always wanted to make my career on this subject. So, I hardly need external factors to motivate myself. However, there are days of doubt and negativity, when I am not at my best state. During those days, I pick my favorite books about great personalities who make it big despite hurdles.”
10. Describe A Time When You Failed in This Role and the Lesson You Learned.
This is perhaps one of the most critical questions that may occur during your interview session. Here, interviewers want to know how you perceive failure in your life. So, provide them with any one incident where you failed to perform and also mention the lesson you learnt.
“During my first job as the junior merger and acquisition analyst, I delivered my first ever client presentation. I had no experience of communicating in a professional sphere as I was a fresher. Out of sheer nervousness I messed up the whole thing and delivered one of the worst client communications ever! The failure was so grave that I almost lost my job. However, the board understood my issue and gave me another chance and I proved myself. That day, I learned the virtue of having confident communication.”
11. Why Do You Feel You Are the Most Suited for This Role?
Here, the interviewing panel simply seeks to know what special qualities you bring to the table that puts you in a desirable position. So, mention all the points that make you an ideal candidate.
“I have worked as a junior M&A analyst for two years and then for three years served as a senior M&A manager. Through these five years I gathered all the practical knowledge about the field and through several ups and downs, I learned adaptability and negotiating skills. Apart from having a fluent marketing and accounting knowledge I practiced oratory and communication to gear up for the present company scenarios. Besides that, I consider myself honest and a people’s person.”
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12. Share With Us Your Greatest Achievement.
This is one of those common questions. Here, the hiring authority seeks to know about your greatest achievement in your professional career. So, mention any one incident that you consider your greatest achievement in your career so far.
“I was a naïve 23-year-old who just stepped into this massive world of business, fresh out of college. During my first job as an M&A analyst, I had no practical knowledge about how big companies work when it comes to collaborations, and how to make a collaborative deal work in your favor. I was given the role of the speaker and I had to present my idea before the client for the very first time. I did my homework but planned the presentation in a straight-forward manner when all I had to sound was diplomatic and subtle. So, by the time I finished my presentation, I understood my mistake. I had one last chance to convince the company during the Q&A round. And I braced myself and successfully picked their queries, answered them promptly and cracked the deal.”
13. What Do You Mean By Reverse Merger?
This question is very specific to your field. Here, the hiring authority seeks to know about your knowledge and understanding regarding the reverse merger. So, handle this question tactfully, explain the term reverse merger with your knowledge.
“A reverse merger is also known as a reverse initial public offering (IPO) and reverse takeover. It is a method by which a private company gains public company status. Thus, the method creates a huge opportunity for financial investors to invest their capital. It has various advantages, like it is a simplified process and reduces risk. It also doesn’t depend on the current market condition.”
14. What Do You Understand By The Term Successful Acquisition?
This is one of those tricky questions during your interview session. Here, the recruiter wants to know about thoughts regarding the term successful acquisition. So, answer this carefully, mention all the essential factors that make an acquisition successful.
“There are multiple factors that eventually result in a successful acquisition like planning, integration, execution, and more. With a successful acquisition, your business will face organic growth. Also, you should consider the possible financial benefits with an acquisition like the money you spend and the value it created. The current market scenario also plays an important role in making an acquisition successful.”
15. How Will You Differentiate Between A Merger And An Acquisition?
With this question, the hiring authority wants to know the difference between a merger and an acquisition. So, use your knowledge and experience to answer this question and use valid points to distinguish between these two.
“Both merger and acquisition mean joining two companies, but there are some significant differences regarding which term to use. A merger takes place when two companies join together to create a new and joint business. But acquisition occurs when a company takes over another company. Merger or acquisition takes place when a company expands its branches or increases its market share. Therefore, it manages to increase the shareholder’s value.”
16. What Do You Understand By The Term Congeneric Merger?
This one tactfully questions your credibility and knowledge required for the role. Here, the interviewing panel desires to understand your understanding regarding a congeneric merger. So, explain what you know by the term congeneric merger.
“With a congeneric merger, two companies are identical to each other in terms of business type and marketplace, but they offer different products. They might also use the same distribution channels to market their products, thus creating a synergy for merging.”
17. Explain The Difference Between Asset Beta And Equity Beta.
With this question, the recruiter wants to know about your understanding regarding asset beta and equity beta. So, mention all the differences between asset beta and equity beta.
The asset beta refers to the company’s beta, which assumes that the organization only utilizes equity financing. But the equity beta dives into the various levels of the company’s debts. Any organization usually has one asset beta, and it depends on the debt-to-equity ratio. However, a company can have multiple equity betas.
18. Do You Have Any Weaknesses?
With this general query the interviewing panel taps more into your emotional grounds and seeks to know about your weaknesses. You have to be careful while answering this. Point out only those weaknesses that wouldn’t play against your possibilities of landing the job.
“No human being is beyond weaknesses. We all have our share of strengths and weaknesses. I have a tendency of doing extra research work while studying about the peer companies. This habit often plays against my health and I end up all stressed. However, the efforts of this extra research always pay off with better results. But what I go through physically and mentally is pretty stressful and I find it my weakness.”
19. How Do You Deal With Work Pressure?
This is one of the most popular questions that interviewers throw at the candidates. With this question, the interviewing authority wants to know the way you handle work pressure. Come up with a positive response and highlight the techniques to cope with work pressure.
“I have been in the professional work field for five years. I understand the importance of work pressure and over these years I have learned to deal with it. During times of immense workload, I stay calm and composed. Also, I thoroughly avoid distractions and put all my focus at work.”
20. How Do You Perceive Multitasking?
With this specific query, the recruiting panel wants to understand how you perceive multitasking. Hence, state the crucial role of multitasking that this role demands and also mention how you would perform multitasking.
“Multitasking is an added quality for any job role for sure. But when it comes to merger and acquisition analyst, it is a mandatory trait that one must have. You have to perform many roles simultaneously. Starting from analyzing the market, researching the leading companies, studying economic growth patterns, and managing several teams you have to do it all. Therefore, multitasking is downright necessary. I have been multitasking for years now, given my job. I successfully mastered this art.”
These are the top 20 mergers and acquisitions interview questions and answers that you should consider checking before hitting the interview floor.