Equity research jobs are hard to come by, but blindly grabbing the first equity research offer that you get can be a big mistake. It is important to find as much information as possible on the characteristics of the particular role, both through initial research on the internet or through any contacts that you may have and through the use of cleverly targeted questions during the interview.
Here is a list of some vital questions to ask during an equity research interview.
1. How long will it take before I cover my own stocks?
2. Will I be allowed to cover peripheral stocks in the sector that I join within a year?
3. Who’s the head of the team? What’s their background?
4. What type of research is required? Is it fundamental, top down etc?
5. What length do you expect research reports to be? And how frequently are they produced?
6. What’s your sales force like? How many generalist and specialist sales people do you have? [Specialist salespeople are considered preferable.]
7. Are you P&L or ranking driven? [P&L is best for the firm (and your bonus), but ranking is best for your career and will make it easier to transfer elsewhere.]
8. Are you driven by internal rankings or client rankings? [Internal ranking is good for pay. External ranking helps the firm get corporate business and will increase your fungibility.]
9. To what extent will I be expected to attend road shows? [Ideally you probably do not want to attend many, as they will involve travelling and staying in corporate hotels. However, this may not apply if you are a recent joiner and want to ‘see the world’.]