The following is part two of an interview I did with the Head of Equity Derivatives Sales at a bank in the UK. See Part 1 Here
- What is the one tip you would give to current students (ugrad and/or grad students) to help them succeed?
You are nothing - do not be an arrogant twat.
- What are some tips for moving up and becoming “the boss” (i.e. a department head / managing director / partner)?
Extremely strong work ethic, do NOT under any circumstances slack. Get along with everyone, at least try to. Hardest thing I had to do was becoming the head of some of my co-workers, most people won't see it too kindly. Just keep working hard, and do not let anybody bring you down. Do not antagonise, and answer all mean spirited email with diplomacy. Re-read yourself all the time, put an angry email away for 5 minutes and re-read it.
- Any specific cold-emailing or cold-calling tips you can pass on?
That's for you to find out. But as an idea: every kid who has bothered to cold email me has gotten a meeting.
- Any specific
Be aggressive in talking to people. Be interested in your interlocutor, always ask questions about him. People love talking about themselves, make them feel good and important, they will love you for it. Try not to ask the same questions everybody asks. however, as this will just frustrate and bore your interlocutor.
you can pass on?
- What is a memorable experience you have of how someone got your attention? (for networking / internship / job purposes)
Apart from being extremely fit (good looking in the UK)? You feel when a kid is smart, dresses well, acts well and is a pleasure to talk to. If you are a moron, it won't help you. Dresses well does not mean a suit, just no baggies or hoodies...
- What are unique things college students and young-professionals can do to separate themselves from the crowd?
Be clever, work hard, and be confident. Not a lot of young kids with those skills.
- What is your opinion on gaining relevant experience at a lesser known firm vs. working for a brand name firm (with less relevant experience)?
Go to a brand name firm, you will have that on your CV your whole life, and it matters. If you can't, a second tier firm is a good place to start, just make sure it is big enough for you to get some experience. Awill expose you to tons of different businesses, this is the advantage of a massive company.
- What do you look for in a potential intern candidate?
Clever - will know how to work without me having to explain anything to him.
- What do you look for in a potential entry level hire?
I don't look for knowledge on the product, I look for someone who gets it, and who is fun to get along with.
- What are your favorite interview questions you like to ask potential new hires?
How do you hedge your gamma?
- What are some of the worst mistakes you’ve seen people make in interviews?
Think they know it all. Boring me. Monotonous voice. Too well dressed. Not being able to get out of a difficult question. Stalling.
- If you review resumes (or have in the past) - what are some of the most common mistakes you’ve seen?
2 page resumes, long sentences. Cut to the chase. Also "candidate for CFA level I", as a CFA candidate for level III, I know that putting this is absolute bull sh.t as you have not achieved ANYTHING yet. I had one put: candidate for level I in December and level II in June, that pushed me over the edge.
- What are your thoughts on this statement: “Wall Street is a more meritocratic place than most. If you are a young person and you have good ideas, people will often listen to them, if you are in the right role” ?
What a load of bull shit. It would take me too long to get into that one. True there is some room for meritocracy, maybe at smaller shops, but rarely at the big banks, unless you are a rock star; very few of those...
- Any other interesting stories or wisdom you would like to share with the WSO readers?
If you don't get into banking it's not the end of the world. Plenty of jobs out there, especially abroad. Also - a lot of idiots make it in banks, so rest assured there is still room for you if you are a numb nut.