Finance Intern at Sky
Applying for finance internships, dos don'ts
Liam recommends you listen to this podcast which we provide an overview of how to secure a finance internship at both Big 4 companies and large corporations like Sky.
The initial stage consisted of filling out some basic forms, personal details, grades etc. This was accompanied by a few basic timed competency tests (some basic maths and some situational). There were a few stages to these tests and the questions gradually got harder and more finance focused. There were also some questions that needed recorded answers, giving you limited time to analyse the case or information presented to you and then you need to give a timed response.
“You’re in a team that has made a presentation to bring forward to your managers, the team leader has to go home due to an emergency the morning of the presentation and asks you to take the lead. How do you respond?”
A question like this would have a ranking system of around 5 choices, meaning you needed to rank your answers 1-5 how you would most likely respond. A lot of these questions were based around ensuring you were a good fit for Sky’s ethos, so make sure to do research around that.
How to respond for success
My advice is to try and link everything you do to Sky’s brand / company ethos (which you can piece together with a couple hours of solid research). Make sure that you come across as open to helping others, and be prepared to think quickly on your feet. Mental maths wasn’t very important but your ability to calculate quickly will certainly help here, I definitely tried to extract all I could from the case/task info before attempting to respond.
Expect a 1 to 4-week wait before progressing to the next stage.
This was a full day of work, so make sure to get a good sleep the night before, so you can be at the top of your game. (This was entirely online but future formats may be different as COVID interfered). The day began with a brief from the early careers team and then the applicants were split into 2 groups. One group was sent to individual Financial analysts for one to one interviews, and the other group was sent to complete a set of tasks. Then the 2 groups rotated.
1 to 1 Interview
The one to one interview was around half an hour long. I was given scenario questions around work attitude to see how I’d react in a tough position, or if someone else had let the team down etc. I was also given some very general finance questions and asked what I’d base my decisions on, so which bits of data would be most useful etc. What the interviewer is really looking for is for you to talk through your whole thought process, almost as if you are thinking out loud!
I then had a series of finance questions I had to complete, much like the questions answered in the first stage of the application. The difference was that this time an analyst would watch you do it. Overall pretty simple, but the time constraints made it tricky. The hardest question I tackled involved receiving a lot of data on a topic, and then getting 10 minutes to write an email to my boss with a recommendation on it. I thought I was out of a place on this one because I spent too long analysing and then had nowhere near enough time to put everything in the email. So be very careful to prioritise based on the time you’ve got!
The third task I had was a 20 minute SWOT analysis (don’t worry SWOT is explained to you). I had to list 3 things about Sky that would fit into each of the following categories: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This was somewhat challenging, but if I hadn’t researched beforehand it would have been impossible. I talked about things like their recent partnership with Disney.
The next task actually went back to the email task. A different analyst now joined me for a follow up task about continuing the project the email was about, saying that I had to get information from 2 business contacts that were high up so my time was limited with them. The task was to discuss with the analyst what I would ask each senior contact and how to approach each discussion. This is to see if you can correctly fit the right formality for each discussion.
The final task was great fun! It was 10 questions in 10 minutes, and they were randomly generated. They were not at all finance related, they tested how you think on the spot. An analyst sat in while you did this, so make sure to talk through everything you do. Unfortunately you can’t really prepare for this sort of task, just be ready to act quickly, and try to enjoy it!
Expect a 3 to 4-day wait before progressing to the next stage.