Why Should We Hire You?

There are many questions an interviewer can ask such as:

1. List your strengths and weaknesses
2. Tell us about yourself

There are other questions as well but which question is the one that is most dreaded? Or may be considered the most crucial one?

Yup, you guessed it. It is “Why Should We Hire You?” I’m not saying other questions aren’t as important or difficult but this particular question is like Brett Favre’s interception pass last night against the Saints – A GAME CHANGER. The answer to this question can change the game in your favor just like it did for the Saints or against you just like it did for Favre and the Vikings. Now, it doesn’t mean that Favre isn’t a good player or that Vikings aren’t a better team, it just means that one mistake cost Favre the game. Similarly, the way we answer this question can make or break the deal for you. You may without a doubt be a better candidate skills wise, but the competitor might be a better self-marketer.

I have been asked the above mentioned question at almost every interview I’ve ever been to and I am certain that anyone who has ever interviewed has come across it too. So what really is the right answer? Now, I am in no way a professional or an expert at answering that question but speaking from personal experience and upon seeking advice from people with more experience, I can definitely conclude that there is no particular right answer to this question. It all comes down to HOW YOU MARKET YOURSELF.

I am sure that everyone will agree with me that to land a job in the current economic situation we need to market ourselves better than we usually would. There are more people applying for the same job and everyone has some unique skill that they can bring to the table. But, who really gets hired? The one who sells himself better than the other.

I wrote this article to learn myself on how to answer the question. I invite people from all backgrounds and experiences to give their input on the topic. share their experience and knowledge on the subject with college graduates and job seekers like myself to better market themselves. It would be great if you could mention who you are and what you do in the comments. You don’t have to completely reveal your identity but your position and number of years of work experience would be great.

Before opening this Blog post for a discussion I have a link to share. I believe it is very insightful:

http://bit.ly/6pEucwWhy Should We Hire You” by Carole Martin at JobBank USA – I think she has some good tips in here.

There are various links on YouTube. Just type “Why should I hire you?” or “Why Should We Hire You”

Thanks and can’t wait to read your inputs!

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NYC Job Fair

New York City can be synonimized as the Mecca of Finance Careers. I went to New York City this morning for a Career Fair. NYC was charming and motivating as ever, the job fair wasn’t.

After travelling for four hours on the bus and waiting in the line for two hours ( yes a line at a Job Fair, my first) I found out that half the companies listed on NYChires.com didn’t even show up and the other half were recruiting beauticians and outdoor sales people. I respect people for their passions and whatever job they’re in but the aforementioned jobs are not my forte.

I still wasn’t disappointed (primarily because I still got be in New York) because I had an intuition, all the travels and pains I’m going through now will count as my efforts toward securing my career in the field of Finance especially NYC.

As cliche as it sounds I have come to a realization that I really want to live in NYC. I’m just a big city type of personality and I’m feeling the Big Apple.

Some say it’s not the right time to get into Finance or move to NYC. Here’s how I look at it – once I score a job in NYC and in the field of Finance, I will be part of a special group of people who were there and in some way helped bring the economy back out from the recession. This could and would pay off in monetary terms. More than financial achievement this would mean a personal achievement for me as I believe I can definitely bring something different to the table with my leadership qualities and passion for finance. I look at at it as glass half full.

Right now I’m on the bus, going back from New York, typing on my iPhone and committing myself to making it big in New York and everywhere in the world, and in my own eyes for personal pride.

Wish me luck in my future endeavors!

Financeterp.wordpress.com

My 2010 Predictions

Happy New Year’s Eve to everybody!

There have been many forecasts made about the year 2010 such as Russian academic Igor Paranin predicting the end of United States or Global economy getting worse.

I thought of ending this year with a few of my own predictions:

  • I completely disagree with Igor Paranin. Yes, the United States has not been performing as it has in the past but it takes more than just a recession to disintegrate such a powerful nation
  • The US economy would not see much growth in the first quarter but come second quarter there would be slow but steady growth
  • Economic growth of about 4% (Global Economy) with China being the major contender (Given) at about 9-10%
  • Stock market seeing a constant upward movement
  • Rise in the number of small businesses
  • Credit would still be hard to come by. I believe that getting credit would not be easier anyway. Although not impossible to get but with recent sub-prime transactions (main reason why America is where it is right now) it would continue being hard to get credit
  • And last but the most important one for me is the job market. Being a recent college graduate I know how tough it is out there. I believe there would be a positive trend in the job market. More jobs would be available for more people.

Let’s see how accurate I am. Only time will tell.

Happy New Year to everyone and their families!  May the new year bring prosperity to all 🙂

Merry X-Mas – Approaching the new year with 2009 highs in the stock market

First – A Merry X-mas to you and yours.

Merry X-mas is actually MERRY X-MAS at Wall Street. It turns out that the stock market closed at a 2009 high on Christmas eve as Ben Rooney at CNN reports in his article “Stocks end at new 2009 highs.”

He reports that stocks have been rising for 5 days and that technology stocks lead the race again.

This to me looks like a very good start to the next year. Even though it will be a while before the global economy goes back to its strongest but Hey, you need a start and optimism is the beginning of it.

Are we looking at an improvement in the economy with increase in personal income and spending?

This article on CNNmoney.com talks about how there is a rise in people’s personal income, savings and spendings. Hibah Yousuf, the author talks about the biggest bump in Personal Income in six months. This further led to an increase in personal savings and spending. Even though the figures were a little lower than the analysts’ expectations, there was a 2.2% increase in the GDP in the third quarter.

Could this really be the beginning of an improved economy? Could be. But, there is more to that than just increase in personal habits of people. We have to look at many factors, for instance what the government has in plan for the upcoming year. How much of tax payers’ dollars are going to be used to bail out companies and how much of already loaned out money is paid back. Then there is the downfall of the Dubai stock market. Could that affect the US or the global economy? It’s a question I’d like to research on and in the meanwhile would like comments and insights from people who know more than I do on the subject.

Capital Budgeting

Let’s discuss the capital budgeting process from the Corporate Finance section of the CFA exam.

The capital budgeting process is the process of identifying and evaluating projects that bring in cash flow to a firm over a long period of time such as over a year.

The four main steps include:

1. Idea Generation: This comprises of brainstorming of profit generating ideas. It can be carried out by employees, senior management and can also come from outside the organization.

2. Analyzing Project Proposals: A cash flow forecast must be made to analyze all project ideas to further determine which one is the most profitable one for the firm.

3. Create the firm-wide capital budget:Firms must prioritize projects in relation to the timeline of cash flows, resources and the strategic plan. A project idea may make complete sense individually but may not be in line with the strategic plan of the firm which would make the project not a high priority.

4. Monitoring decisions and conducting a post-audit: In this stage the actual results are compared to the forecasted results. This helps in identifying key issues and making better future judgments.

Time Value of Money and Discounted Cash Flow Concepts

Ok, so I am personally using the TI Business Analyst II plus for the exam and will be using calculation methods for that particular calculator. The other permissible calculator at the exam is the HP 12 C. I personally do not use that calculator but those that are interested in using it can find a user’s guide online.

Now, let’s take a look at some of the important concepts regarding TVM:

Here are some of the important functions on the calculator that we would be using:

  1. N= No. of compounding periods
  2. I/Y= Interest rate per compounding period
  3. PV= Present Value
  4. FV= Future Value
  5. PMT = Annuity Payments or constant periodic cash flow
  6. CPT = Compute

Effective Annual Rate or EAR: [(1+periodic rate)^m] – 1 where periodic rate = Stated rate/m, m= no. of compounding periods

Semiannual: m = 2, Quarterly: m =4, Monthly: m=12 and daily : m=365

To solve present value, future value and annuity problems – it’s mostly plugging in available data into the calculator and computing for the required variable.

(Note: for annuity due problems make sure the calculator is in begin mode or perform calculation in end mode and multiply the answer by (1+ interest rate), to get the calculator into begin mode – 2ND [Begin] 2ND [SET] 2ND [QUIT])

Present Value of  a Perpetuity = PMT/ Interest rate

Compounding the FV and PV of uneven cash flows:

Steps:

  • Calculate individual present or future value given in the problem
  • Add them all

When compounding periods are other than annual:

  • Multiple the periods by the number of compounding periods
  • Divide the Interest rate by the number of compounding periods

Compounding period reference table;

  • Annual: 1
  • Semi-annual:2
  • Quarterly:3
  • Monthly:12
  • Daily:365

Discounted Cash Flow Concepts

Computing NPV with the Business Analyst II Plus:

  • Press Cash Flow (CF)
  • Hit 2ND and Clear Work (CE/C) to clear history
  • for CFo enter initial cash outlay (usually negative since it is an outflow so press the +/- button to enter negative value)
  • Hit Enter and press the down arrow twice
  • Then enter a value for CF1 and hit the down arrow key twice unless the same amount is required to be entered and you can enter the frequency for it.
  • After entering all values, press NPV enter the discount rate, hit enter, press the down arrow key and hit CPT

Computing IRR

  • Press Cash Flow (CF)
  • Hit 2ND and Clear Work (CE/C) to clear history
  • for CFo enter initial cash outlay (usually negative since it is an outflow so press the +/- button to enter negative value)
  • Hit Enter and press the down arrow twice
  • Then enter a value for CF1 and hit the down arrow key twice unless the same amount is required to be entered and you can enter the frequency for it.
  • After entering all values, hit IRR and then CPT

Some other NPV and IRR related concepts:

  • Accept Projects with positive NPV
  • For mutually exclusive projects, accept project with higher NPV
  • Accept Projects with IRR greater than the required rate of return
  • When IRR and NPV conflict in the decision making process, choose NPV

Bank Discount Yield: (D/F)x(360/t)

  • D= Face Value – Purchase Price
  • F = Face Value
  • t = number of days till maturity
  • 360= bank convention of number of days in a year

Holding Period Yield (HPY):

(P1-P0+D1)/(P0) = [(P1+D1)/P0] – 1

  • P0 = Initial price
  • P1= Price received at maturity
  • D1= Interest payment

Effective Annual Yield: [(1+HPY)^(365/t)] – 1

Money Market Yield: (360/t) x HPY or [(360 x Bank Yield)/(360-(t x Bank Yield)]

Bond Equivalent Yield – 2 x semi annual discount rate

  • Convert the yield into effective semiannual discount rate and then double it

Hope some of the summaries above help revising concepts. Leave comments.