20 Oaktree Capital Management Interview Questions and Answers

Prepare for the types of questions you are likely to be asked when interviewing for a position at Oaktree Capital Management.

Oaktree Capital Management is one of the world’s largest alternative investment firms. With over $120 billion in assets under management, Oaktree specializes in distressed debt, corporate finance, and real estate.

The interview process at Oaktree is notoriously competitive, so you’ll need to be prepared to answer a variety of questions. In this guide, we’ve provided a list of sample Oaktree interview questions and answers to help you prepare for your interview.

Oaktree Capital Management Interview Process

The interview process at Oaktree Capital Management can vary depending on the position you are applying for. However, most positions will require at least one phone interview and one in-person interview. For some positions, like the Associate role, there may be up to seven rounds of interviews. The difficulty of the questions asked also varies depending on the position. Questions for entry-level positions may focus more on your motivation for wanting to work at Oaktree Capital Management, while questions for senior positions may focus more on your technical skills and experience. Overall, the interview process is average in terms of difficulty and length.

Common Oaktree Capital Management Interview Questions

1. What do you think are the most important qualities for a successful investment professional?

This question is an opportunity to show the interviewer that you have the skills and abilities needed for success in this role. Use your answer to highlight a few of your strongest qualities, such as communication skills, problem-solving ability or attention to detail.

Example: “I think one of the most important qualities for a successful investment professional is patience. I know it can take time for investments to pay off, but if you’re too impatient, you may make decisions based on emotion rather than logic. Another quality I think is essential is integrity. If you don’t have integrity, you could be tempted to make risky investments just to get a quick return. Finally, I think good communication skills are vital because they help me collaborate with my team members.”

2. How would your past experience be relevant to this position?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your background and how it relates to the job you’re applying for. When answering, be sure to highlight skills that are relevant to the position and explain how they would help you succeed in the role.

Example: “My past experience as a financial analyst at XYZ Company has given me valuable insight into the world of finance. I’ve learned how to analyze data and use it to make informed decisions. This skill is especially important when working with clients who have complex financial situations. My ability to understand their needs and provide solutions could help me excel in this role.”

3. Why do you want to work at Oaktree Capital Management?

This question is a great way for the interviewer to learn more about your interest in their company. They want to know what attracted you to this role and whether or not it aligns with their goals. In your answer, be sure to highlight any specific aspects of the job that appeal to you.

Example: “I’ve always been interested in finance, so when I learned about Oaktree Capital Management’s reputation as one of the best investment firms in the world, I knew I had to apply. I’m excited to work here because I think my skills and experience can contribute to the success of the company. I also really like the idea of working on a team where everyone has different strengths.”

4. What is your approach to analyzing an industry and identifying potential investments?

This question can help the interviewer understand your investment philosophy and how you apply it to a specific industry. Use examples from past experiences to highlight your analytical skills, ability to collaborate with others and decision-making process.

Example: “I start by researching an industry’s current trends and growth rates. I then compare these numbers to historical data to determine if they are sustainable or if there is a chance for them to increase or decrease in the future. After that, I look at each company within the industry to see which ones have strong leadership teams, competitive advantages and potential for growth. From here, I decide whether I want to invest in individual companies or entire sectors.”

5. Tell me about a time when you had to make a difficult decision in the workplace.

This question can help interviewers learn more about your decision-making skills and how you handle conflict. When answering this question, it can be helpful to describe a specific situation in which you had to make a tough call and the steps you took to reach that decision.

Example: “When I was working as an investment manager for my previous employer, we were tasked with finding new clients for our company. We decided to attend a networking event where many of the attendees were wealthy individuals who could potentially invest in our company. While there, I met a man who seemed very interested in investing with us. However, when I looked into his background, I found out he had been convicted of fraud in the past. I knew that if we accepted him as a client, it would reflect poorly on our company. So, I told him we couldn’t work together.”

6. Do you have any experience working with private equity firms or hedge funds?

This question is a great way to show your interviewer that you have experience working in the financial industry and can apply those skills to this role. If you don’t have any direct experience, consider discussing how you would approach private equity or hedge funds if you were given the opportunity.

Example: “I’ve never worked with a private equity firm or hedge fund before, but I am familiar with their operations and understand what it takes to succeed in these roles. In my last position as an investment analyst, I was responsible for researching companies and making recommendations on whether they should be purchased by a private equity firm or hedge fund. I also helped develop strategies for our company’s investments so we could achieve maximum returns.”

7. What kind of portfolio management software have you worked with before?

This question is a great way for the interviewer to learn more about your experience with specific software. If you have previous experience using portfolio management software, describe what it was and how it helped you in your role.

Example: “In my last position as an investment analyst at XYZ Financial Group, I used Portfolio Manager Pro by ABC Software Solutions. This software allowed me to create reports on client accounts, monitor performance of investments and analyze data to make informed decisions. It also had several features that made it easy to collaborate with other analysts.”

8. Have you ever been involved in a deal that didn’t go as planned? What did you learn from it?

This question can help interviewers understand how you respond to challenges and whether you’re willing to learn from your mistakes. In your answer, try to explain what happened in the situation and what you learned from it.

Example: “In my first year as a financial advisor, I was working with a client who wanted to invest $100,000 into stocks. After looking at his portfolio, I recommended that he diversify his investments by investing more money into bonds. He followed my advice, but when the stock market crashed, he lost all of his money. When I explained this to him, he was understandably upset. We discussed why I made the recommendation and he understood. Since then, I’ve learned to always recommend clients diversify their portfolios.”

9. Give us an example of a time where you were able to successfully manage multiple projects at once.

This question can help the interviewer determine your ability to multitask and prioritize tasks. Use examples from previous work experience that highlight your organizational skills, time management abilities and attention to detail.

Example: “In my last role as a financial analyst for a large corporation, I was responsible for managing multiple projects at once while also ensuring all of my clients received the best service possible. One day, I had three different clients scheduled for meetings with me at the same time. Instead of canceling one of the meetings, I decided to hold two separate meetings back-to-back so I could meet with each client individually. This allowed me to provide excellent customer service while still meeting the needs of both clients.”

10. How do you handle criticism?

This question can help interviewers understand how you react to negative feedback and whether you’re open to improving your performance. When answering, it can be helpful to mention a specific time when you received criticism and what steps you took to improve yourself or your work.

Example: “When I first started working as an analyst at my previous company, I made some mistakes that led to the loss of several clients. My manager gave me constructive criticism about my performance, which helped me learn from my mistakes and become a better employee. Now, I’m more careful with my work and always make sure to double-check all of my calculations.”

11. Describe a time when you had to work on a team project with someone who was difficult to get along with. How did you handle the situation?

Working with others is an important part of any job, and the interviewer may want to know how you handle working with people who have different opinions or approaches than you. Use your answer to show that you can work well with others despite differences in opinion or style.

Example: “I once worked on a project with someone who was very outspoken about their ideas and opinions. I tried to be respectful of their thoughts and ideas while also sharing my own. In the end, we were able to come up with a compromise that satisfied everyone involved.”

12. What is your approach to developing long-term relationships with clients?

This question can help the interviewer understand how you interact with clients and build relationships. It can also show them your communication skills, customer service abilities and ability to work in a team setting. When answering this question, it can be helpful to highlight specific examples of how you have interacted with clients in the past.

Example: “I believe that building long-term relationships with my clients is important because it allows me to better understand their needs and goals. I always strive to make sure my clients feel comfortable communicating with me about any questions or concerns they may have. In my previous role as an investment advisor, I had a client who was interested in learning more about investing for retirement. I spent time explaining different options to her so she could choose what would work best for her.”

13. Would you say you are more of a leader or a follower?

This question is a way for the interviewer to assess your leadership skills. As an investment manager, you will need to be able to lead and motivate others in order to achieve company goals. When answering this question, it can be helpful to provide examples of when you have been both a leader and follower.

Example: “I would say I am more of a leader than a follower. In my previous position as an analyst, I was responsible for leading teams of other analysts. I helped them understand their roles and how they could best contribute to our projects. I also led meetings with clients where I presented information about our findings and answered questions.”

14. If hired, how would you use your leadership skills to motivate others?

Oaktree Capital Management is looking for leaders who can motivate their team members to achieve company goals. When answering this question, it’s important to show that you have the ability to lead others and help them succeed.

Example: “I believe my leadership skills are what make me a successful financial analyst. I am always willing to take on extra work or mentor other analysts when they need help. In fact, I’ve been known to stay late at the office to help train new employees. My willingness to go above and beyond has helped me become an expert in my field and develop my leadership abilities.”

15. What do you know about Oaktree Capital’s culture?

Oaktree Capital is a unique company in that it has an open-door policy, which means employees can talk to their managers about any concerns they have. The interviewer may ask this question to see if you are aware of the company’s culture and values. In your answer, try to show that you understand what makes Oaktree Capital different from other companies.

Example: “I’ve heard great things about Oaktree Capital’s culture, especially its open-door policy. I think this shows that the company cares about its employees and wants them to feel comfortable talking about anything. I also know that the company encourages collaboration among its staff members. This is something I’m passionate about as well, so I would love to be part of a team where everyone works together.”

16. What do you find interesting about investing?

This question can help the interviewer get to know you better and understand what motivates you. Your answer should reflect your personality, interests and values.

Example: “I find investing interesting because it’s a way to make money while also helping others. I enjoy learning about new companies and how they operate. I’m always looking for ways to improve my investment strategies so that I can put more of my clients’ money into successful investments.”

17. Tell us about a time when you made a mistake. How did you handle it?

This question is a great way to learn more about how you respond to challenges. When answering this question, it can be helpful to think of a time when you made a mistake at work and what steps you took to fix the situation.

Example: “When I first started working as an investment analyst, I was tasked with analyzing several companies in my industry. One company that I overlooked was one of their competitors. My manager noticed this and asked me why I didn’t include them in my report. I explained that I thought they were out of business because they hadn’t updated their website in months. He told me that if I ever missed something like that again, he would fire me on the spot. From then on, I always double-checked all of my research.”

18. Are you comfortable working in a fast paced environment?

Oaktree Capital Management is a fast-paced environment, and the interviewer wants to make sure you can handle it. In your answer, explain that you are comfortable with this type of work environment and provide an example of how you thrive in one.

Example: “I am very comfortable working in a fast-paced environment because I have done so for most of my career. At my last job, I was responsible for managing multiple clients at once while also monitoring the market for investment opportunities. This required me to be constantly on top of things, which I enjoyed. I find that I am able to get more accomplished when I am under pressure.”

19. Can you tell us about a time when you had to take initiative on a project without being asked to by your manager?

This question is a great way to show your leadership skills and ability to take on responsibility. When answering this question, it can be helpful to think of an example that shows you are capable of taking initiative while also showing the interviewer how your actions benefited the company or organization.

Example: “At my previous job, I noticed our social media presence was lacking. We had no strategy for posting content and weren’t using any analytics to track engagement. So, I created a plan for creating more engaging content and started scheduling posts two weeks in advance. This helped us increase our followers by 10% within three months.”

20. Which area of the financial market are you most interested in?

This question is a way for the interviewer to learn more about your interests and how they align with their company’s goals. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention an area of finance that you are passionate about or have studied in school.

Example: “I am most interested in the stock market because I find it fascinating how one event can affect so many companies at once. In my last role as a financial analyst, I was responsible for researching stocks and finding ways to invest in them. I enjoyed learning about new companies and helping our clients make smart investments.”


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