8/28/12

Andy note: Best of WSO - this post originally went up December 2009 and we thought it deserved to go back on the homepage for those who may have never seen it.

So I just was in an interview for a student run Venture Capital fund. He asked what I would invest in, stocks or gold. If stocks what aspect. I went blank and just start bumbling. I ended up saying I am bullish and I would go with energy (because I just finished an internship in that sector and it was the one I knew the best.)

Anyone got any good screw up stories? Just want to make sure I am not alone.

Comments (96)

12/17/09

I was fool enough to ask an MD if he would rather be doing anything else than IB. He said "Are fucking serious?! If it weren't for the money I'd rather be strung out and drunk on an island in SE Asia"

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12/17/09

I once had an interviewer fart. LOUDLY. And it was rank.

As a closet 10-year-old, I had a hard time not laughing.

I didn't get the job.

12/17/09
brotherbear:

I once had an interviewer fart. LOUDLY. And it was rank.

As a closet 10-year-old, I had a hard time not laughing.

I didn't get the job.

That's just not fair at all. Dang.

12/17/09

Epic stories so far.

12/17/09

I had an interview for an ER internship in Europe.

I was not prepared at all as I was actually called there in the last minute because somebody else was not able to make his appointment.

I was asked to recommend a stock. I had no idea what to do. I was panicking and just said the name of the first company that came to my mind. This company however was not listed (one of the biggest private companies in that country) and went into insolvency one week before (which was major news in this particular country and on every newspaper due to the massive layoffs).

I have never felt so stupid. I realized my mistake when I arrived home and wanted to check the performance of the stock i recommended. He didnt say a word and kept just looking all serious at me asking questions like: where do you see growth potential? What markets? etc.
horrible.

12/18/09
awp:

I had an interview for an ER internship in Europe.

I was not prepared at all as I was actually called there in the last minute because somebody else was not able to make his appointment.

I was asked to recommend a stock. I had no idea what to do. I was panicking and just said the name of the first company that came to my mind. This company however was not listed (one of the biggest private companies in that country) and went into insolvency one week before (which was major news in this particular country and on every newspaper due to the massive layoffs).

I have never felt so stupid. I realized my mistake when I arrived home and wanted to check the performance of the stock i recommended. He didnt say a word and kept just looking all serious at me asking questions like: where do you see growth potential? What markets? etc.
horrible.

The sad thing is that the guy probably didn't know either, unless the company was in his sector.

12/17/09

^^ hilarious.

Freeze those knees, my chickadees!

12/17/09

not as funny as some of the stories above but this reminds me of my first interview for a consulting internship as a junior in college (decided it would be good practice for IBD, get my story down and might be a good backup if i was actually able to pull it off). So while every other student was studying all of the frameworks and cases, I was just ready to bull shit my way through...this is back when I was 21 and had no real clue was IBD or consulting actually was.

So you can imagine when they started asking me these case questions like, "how many ping pong balls would it take to fill up a 747?" i was like wtf and thought it was hilarious. At first I kept asking questions like there must be more info. here because how could anybody guess that number...but they wouldnt budge and eventually I caught on (after 5-10 painful minutes) that they wanted me to pull it all out of my ass.

I proceeded to pull as much geometry bullshit and the most asinine assumptions from nowhere. the real funny part is I thought I would get credit for looking "genuine" / not overly rehearsed.

nope. ding.

12/17/09

I was interviewing with a big asset management company. It said "entry level, trading" on the post on our OCR website.
The company posted separately for this interview and its ER associate interview. so I figured it must be for its buy-side trading arm. I went on and on the whole interview about how trading on the buy side is so much more fulfilling and just basically why it's great(er than sell side s&t). Interviewer nodded.

Then at the very end she told me that this was actually for the sell-side division (huh? it exists?), and recommended that I check their website (which was a different link from the one listed for the ER interview..) after the interview.

Oops.

(Strangely I did get past that round though...)

12/17/09

I was interviewing last year in Philadelphia for an investment management summer analyst gig. There were two other students from my school and two others from Stanford in the waiting room. One of the Stanford candidates was called in and she stood up and walked over to the interviewer to shake his hand. She said, "excuse me one moment" and walks over to the corner and throws up. She was just really nervous and they eventually had to call an ambulance (office policy?).

12/17/09

I was interviewing for this crappy boutique and in classic crappy boutique style they sent two of the frattiest guys ever to interview me. We started talking sports and stuff like that. Somehow we got on the subject of Vegas and they were telling me about how I have to go before I start a FT job. I mentioned that I hadn't gotten a chance to go because I had never had enough money to "make it interesting" - I believe was the phrase I used. What I meant was that if I were to go to Vegas and have a bad run at the craps table, my entire trip would be over. I want to have money to do whatever I want in Vegas without worrying about the repercussions. One of the interviewers replied "Well, if you want to have sex with some nasty girl, all you have to do is go prowling around circus circus after midnight." I didn't understand how that was related to the conversation, but didn't want to make it awkward. I just laughed and shrugged it off. A few hours later I realized that he thought I was saying that I hadn't gone to Vegas yet because I hadn't been able to save up enough money for a hooker.

ding. knowing these guys, this probably wasn't the reason though

"Ride your bike. Drink good beer."
- Fat Tire Amber Ale

4/23/13

[x]

12/18/09

Was finishing an interview, waiting for an elevator in the bay. A guy looks at me and says, "Who are you?" I tell him my name. He says, "No, who are you and what are you doing here." Told him I was interviewing. Silence. I ask, "And what do you do for the firm?" He says, "I'm the CFO. Its ok. Relax."

12/18/09

My first interview with MS soph year was horrible since I didn't know what investment banking really was, and of course right after walking through the resume he asked me "what is investment banking" and I babbled for 5 minutes about how there are certain investments that might be made and how it requires money obviously, etc. The bad thing is, the guy just nodded sternly so it made me continue my obnoxiously ignorant rant.

After that I did a lot of research and landed at a BB, but I will never forget being so clueless in an interview.

12/18/09

These are hysterica. Keep 'em coming.

Best Response
12/18/09

Went to interview with an elite boutique which was held in a hotel room. I didn't realize until I actually walked in that it was just a room (was expecting a conference room or something). I was 15 minutes early and asked to use the bathroom. I took a shit while the VP just waited in the hotel room for me to come out and start the interview. Good times.

12/19/09
banker88:

Went to interview with an elite boutique which was held in a hotel room. I didn't realize until I actually walked in that it was just a room (was expecting a conference room or something). I was 15 minutes early and asked to use the bathroom. I took a shit while the VP just waited in the hotel room for me to come out and start the interview. Good times.

yeah i read that book too...

12/19/09
monty09:
banker88:

Went to interview with an elite boutique which was held in a hotel room. I didn't realize until I actually walked in that it was just a room (was expecting a conference room or something). I was 15 minutes early and asked to use the bathroom. I took a shit while the VP just waited in the hotel room for me to come out and start the interview. Good times.

yeah i read that book too...

which book is this from?

12/19/09
Accidental Banker:
monty09:
banker88:

Went to interview with an elite boutique which was held in a hotel room. I didn't realize until I actually walked in that it was just a room (was expecting a conference room or something). I was 15 minutes early and asked to use the bathroom. I took a shit while the VP just waited in the hotel room for me to come out and start the interview. Good times.

yeah i read that book too...

which book is this from?

Liar's Poker

12/19/09

This actually happened to me. A similar story occurred in Monkey Business not Liar's Poker.

12/19/09
banker88:

Went to interview with an elite boutique which was held in a hotel room. I didn't realize until I actually walked in that it was just a room (was expecting a conference room or something). I was 15 minutes early and asked to use the bathroom. I took a shit while the VP just waited in the hotel room for me to come out and start the interview. Good times.

Did you get the job!!!!

8/28/12
Banker88:

Went to interview with an elite boutique which was held in a hotel room. I didn't realize until I actually walked in that it was just a room (was expecting a conference room or something). I was 15 minutes early and asked to use the bathroom. I took a shit while the VP just waited in the hotel room for me to come out and start the interview. Good times.

You should have rolled out of the bathroom and said, "That's what I do to the competition."

12/19/09

Depends on how long the shit lasted.

#

#

#

The time is now, seize the day ...

12/22/09

--

12/19/09

No you didn't

12/19/09

No I didn't get the job. The interview lasted all of 15 minutes.

Also, pokersliar is definitely full of shit. You can't badmouth a firm and get through to the next round.

12/20/09

This is true, why would you badmouth firms to begin with? Even if its their main nemesis, it's common sense you stay positive and never talk negatively about another firm, especially not the firm ur interviewing with.

12/20/09

Long time ago... first ever SA interview. I had no idea what IB was, never read a guide, not a clue. Phone interview with Merrill. First off, I was emailed by an alum who asked if I was available for an informal first round phone interview. I was psyched and ready to go. He calls me up, and there ends up being five people on the phone, all firing questions at me. I was completely flustered and bombed basically every question. I think the best one was probably when they asked me something like "how would you estimate the number of ipods sold to college students in the US last year" where they were obviously looking for me to break it down saying there are X number of colleges, Y students per college, 1/3 have ipods, blah blah blah...

I responded "I would call up Steve Jobs"

Needless to say, I didn't move one.

12/22/09
Billy Ray Valentine:

I responded "I would call up Steve Jobs"

Needless to say, I didn't move one.

gold.

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12/22/09

--

12/22/09

That taking a dump story is awesome. Sorry you didn't get the job!!!

12/22/09

When I was applying for SA's I would send out lots of resumes and cover letters. I would cntl+F and replace the name of the previous firm with that of the new firm I was applying. While I was interviewing the MD pulled out my cover letter and started reading it. After a few times of mentioning the name of his firm he said the name of a totally different firm! He didn't get mad, just said it was unprofessional.

I did not receive a call back.

12/23/09

How come you get one different?

12/23/09

During an interview on campus, the interviewer was wearing my school's colors on his tie (i.e. not normal colors). I asked him if he went to my school (regional private school), he said 'no, i went to harvard'. It was a nice awkward moment. Later during the interview, he reached into his bag & pulled out oreos & started eating them. He also answered his phone and had a brief conversation with a colleague.....needless to say, I didnt get the job.

Another time when I was interviewing, the president of the Company gave me an office tour. We were in mid conversation and he was actually asking me questions as we approached the bathroom.....he went in and immediately asked me another question. I didn't know whether to wait outside the bathroom or go in....so being desperate for the job (not a BJ), I went in & answered his question while he was at the urinal. I ended up getting the job and worked there for a while.......I guess he appreciated the bathroom conversation.

12/23/09

^^ there was a thread discussing urinal etiquette. i think it's ok to continue a convo at the urinal. just don't start one. if i ever get to interview kids i'm definitely bringing some oreos.

"Ride your bike. Drink good beer."
- Fat Tire Amber Ale

12/23/09

I was at a SuperDay for a boutique. All of the candidates and interviewers were in a large conference room eating lunch before the day got underway. The candidate (male) that was seated to the left of me had a gigantic ring on his finger. I looked at it closely and saw that it was a championship ring from Michigan State. Quickly ruling out that he might have been a member of the 2000 basketball team, I asked him what the ring was for. "Gymnastics" he told me. I don't know why this was so funny to me at the time but I immediately spit out all of my food and began laughing uncontrollably. Everyone in the room looked over and stared at me.

Didn't get the offer. Oh well....

12/23/09

At a superday for a BB I asked an interviewer how long he had been an associate. He responded that he was an MD.

12/29/09
villagebanker:

At a superday for a BB I asked an interviewer how long he had been an associate. He responded that he was an MD.

Haha classic -

Somewhat unrelated but while attending a cousin's wedding in NYC (who used to be a banker in her previous life) - I came across someone from my firm (He was a MD in NY) while I am in London but we were in same sector team. I remembered being cc'd in on a number of emails during some cross-border projects so I started talking to him, telling him stuff about the London office.

10 mins later I asked him how long he had been a VP - only for him to reply he had been an MD for 4 years :)

12/23/09

Reminds me of something similar I did at a superday. I had researched the people I would be meeting with beforehand but during an interview I mistook the guy for being in an industry group rather than a product group so when he asked me what group I liked I started talking about how much I wanted to be in an industry group, which was true, but I wouldn't have buttered it up so much if I remembered that he was in a product group.

Halfway through my spiel he started selling me on his product group and then I remembered that he was actually M&A when I was promoting industry the whole time. I quickly switched gears and started spouting B.S. about how I was open minded and all that. I got the offer but it was very nerve-wracking to mixup the groups and diss product groups in front of this guy.

12/24/09

Had an IB interview and during our casual conversation, out of a sudden the recruiter asked me what was 96 X 96?
(I guess she wanted to test how I handle pressure and stuffs?).. I'm guessing she wanted me to use my mental skills but I took out my hp and used the calculator instead and said 9216.

I remembered seeing her face and what she said next was.. no calculators allowed.. but hey, why bother using ur brain when they created calculator.. and I asked her that too, "if you were in my position, I am sure you would have used the calculator"

12/30/09

Had a similar question asked to me during an interview but it's actually pretty easy to figure out. Just take 96100 = 9600 and then just subtract 964 = 384. So 9600 - 384 = 9216. Hopefully that's right but ultimately that's what you do when you're asked a question such as that. Explain your thought process as well when you give the answer.

12/30/09
ShawnDU2009:

Had a similar question asked to me during an interview but it's actually pretty easy to figure out. Just take 96100 = 9600 and then just subtract 964 = 384. So 9600 - 384 = 9216. Hopefully that's right but ultimately that's what you do when you're asked a question such as that. Explain your thought process as well when you give the answer.

Easiest way to do square mental maths questions is by using the formula
x^2 = (x+a)(x-a) + a^2 and taking x+a or x-a to be the closest number that's a multiple of 10
so
96^2 = 100 x 92 + 16 = 9216

Could knock out any square mentally in about 3 seconds if you did that

Anyway, just remembered another one. Had an in-person informational interview with a top HF manager who let slip that he preferred to hire British analysts over Asian ones as "British analysts are more critical with investment ideas". I had a "wtf did he just say" look on my face for about 10 seconds, and realizing the implications of what he just said, he ended the interview shortly after. (I'm not Asian, but am an URM so I saw it as British analysts > all else)

12/31/09
Brown_Bateman:
ShawnDU2009:

Had a similar question asked to me during an interview but it's actually pretty easy to figure out. Just take 96100 = 9600 and then just subtract 964 = 384. So 9600 - 384 = 9216. Hopefully that's right but ultimately that's what you do when you're asked a question such as that. Explain your thought process as well when you give the answer.

Easiest way to do square mental maths questions is by using the formula
x^2 = (x+a)(x-a) + a^2 and taking x+a or x-a to be the closest number that's a multiple of 10
so
96^2 = 100 x 92 + 16 = 9216

Could knock out any square mentally in about 3 seconds if you did that

Anyway, just remembered another one. Had an in-person informational interview with a top HF manager who let slip that he preferred to hire British analysts over Asian ones as "British analysts are more critical with investment ideas". I had a "wtf did he just say" look on my face for about 10 seconds, and realizing the implications of what he just said, he ended the interview shortly after. (I'm not Asian, but am an URM so I saw it as British analysts > all else)

i didnt know about that stuff.. damn

but yeah, i hate it when the interviewers say stuffs like dat.. like I prefer for hire British or Chinese etc or from Harvard
stuffs like that, it really puts you in a bad position but you really got to sell yourself..

8/28/12
isic:

Had an IB interview and during our casual conversation, out of a sudden the recruiter asked me what was 96 X 96?
(I guess she wanted to test how I handle pressure and stuffs?).. I'm guessing she wanted me to use my mental skills but I took out my hp and used the calculator instead and said 9216.

I remembered seeing her face and what she said next was.. no calculators allowed.. but hey, why bother using ur brain when they created calculator.. and I asked her that too, "if you were in my position, I am sure you would have used the calculator"

96 x 96

96 - 100 = 4, 96 - 100 = 4

96 - 4 = 92

4 x 4 = 16

^Combine 92 and 16

96 x 96 = 9216

12/24/09

nice

!@#$%^&*()

12/29/09

I interviewed with a firm that I thought was consulting (I interviewed with them the year before), but ended up getting the name mixed up. Ten minutes before the interview started, as I was sitting outside, I pull out the company's information that they posted on our school's career center. One of the lines said a position doing sales of XYZ product. I said to myself...that's odd, I didn't know consulting firms sold physical products, so I whip out the Blackberry and google the firm. Totally not consulting.

Interview was terrible. Guy asked me why I wanted to work at the firm, and I bs'd some story about doing sales. Guy said the FT position was a financial leadership program, so there were no actual sales positions. Needless to say, I didn't get the offer... It was a little awkward during the interview when he discussed an internship I had at a F100 company and how when he graduated, it was everybody's dream to work there in finance, which made him question why I wanted to work at the firm he was at... that was a sticky one to get out of.

12/29/09

When asked about leadership abilities, I responded "helped organize counter revolution and government overthrow". Did not get job. True story.

12/30/09

lol

dweezy:

When asked about leadership abilities, I responded "helped organize counter revolution and government overthrow". Did not get job. True story.

12/30/09

When i was interviewing with a hedge fund, the PM asked me to go meet him on a basketball court on a cold winter morning. He then asked me to play 1-on-1 with him and in a casual tone said, "oh, did I mention that you have to beat me to get the offer?"

12/30/09

no fucking way? that's hilarious!

12/30/09
SWF:

When i was interviewing with a hedge fund, the PM asked me to go meet him on a basketball court on a cold winter morning. He then asked me to play 1-on-1 with him and in a casual tone said, "oh, did I mention that you have to beat me to get the offer?"

That's quite similar to my story.

I was interviewing with a blue-blooded UK bank and the MD was clearly an old boy type guy. The interview was going great, I played the Britishness game up untill he asked me "what was best feeling you've ever had?" I started telling him about fencing and how we slayed the Eton foil team hoping that he would say something like "good on you beating those scallywags". But he then took his hands from under the table and put them in a clear view. Then I saw the Eton ring on his little finger with the steely voice saying "I used to fence for Eton..." and I was like wtf what are the odds? The interview finished 30 sec later and I didn't get the offer. The feedback was that I "didn't show enough enthusiasm for the team."

Just my 2c.

4/6/14

That's fucking awesome LOL what firm?

12/30/09

I got asked the population of China and the GDP. I said 1bn then said their GDP was 400bn ... the guy got offended when i said that

12/30/09
GordonsGecko:

I got asked the population of China and the GDP. I said 1bn then said their GDP was 400bn ... the guy got offended when i said that

That puts them down with Zimbabwe haha

1/1/10

I was in a frist round interview for MS IBD and had two tough consecutive interviews. Come the third, the guy was actually really nice so we started chatting and I finally started to relax. Except I think I went a little overboard with the 'relaxing' thing and at one point I was talking to him and I noticed him looking down at my pants, and I suddenly realized that I was scratching my nuts in plane site of the guy. Not even through my pockets, just totally out in the open! I think it must have been a good, long, 1-minute scratch or something it certainly felt like a long time. I wonder whether that was a factor in my not getting through to the second round

2/17/10

I walked into a job interview for a BB and I shook the interviewer's hand. The 1st question he asked me was 'do you have the pussy factor?' I asked him to repeat himself and he said 'you know the pussy factor' and clenched his fist.

I said that I did. He loved it. Still didn't get the job though

2/17/10
student2518:

I walked into a job interview for a BB and I shook the interviewer's hand. The 1st question he asked me was 'do you have the pussy factor?' I asked him to repeat himself and he said 'you know the pussy factor' and clenched his fist.

I said that I did. He loved it. Still didn't get the job though

this is sort of ambiguous. do you slay or are you, yourself, a pussy?

2/17/10

Sophomore year SA interview with BB. Half way through the interview, the guy started playing with his blackberry. Never encountered this before, and trying to be polite, I said: "Would you like me to stop and continue when you're done." The interviewer looked up at me with an open jaw. I realized right there I blew the interview. Oh well, learn from your mistakes.

2/17/10

Oh man, perfect timing for this post. I've been sick lately and my cough has been especially bad (even with meds). After about 20 minutes into the interview, I began to cough uncontrollably. Once I regained myself, I started to answer the question he posed, but...my voice was became extremely scratchy and barely audible! After about a minute of trying to answer his question, he simply told me to 'go get water.' I ran out and came back as fast as I could, but at that point it was extremely awkward. He asked if I had any questions, and I asked one and got the hell out. lol. Suffice to say, I bet I get dinged.

2/17/10

My senior year I bet my roommates that I could place "take one for the team" in every interview I went to. During a PE FoF interview, I dropped it when we started talking about teamwork and the girl interviewing me gave me this blank stare and said 'ooook..'

During the interview for my current job, the guy interviewing me goes: "If someone in your group isn't finishing his stuff on time, what do you do?"
-"I guess I'd help him out."
-"Even if it wasn't your responsibility?"
-"I would take one for the team."
-"Niiice."
(Thanks for the meatball buddy.)

2/17/10

BB interview, guy started asking me about a model I built over 2 years ago for a manufacturing firm. Most of my assumptions were crap and I didn't remember some of the details, so I had to make up things on the fly. He grilled me on D/E ratios, interest rates, depreciation methods, cost assumptions, then he asked me why I felt comfortable with these assumptions. I panicked and lied that they were industrial standards according to our research. At end of the interview the guy told me he worked in BB's industrial/manufacturing group for 6 years and was a VP there. No surprise - got dinged.

2/17/10

First round interview with BB, walking through my resume and talking about a divesture analysis case study I had looked at for a distressed drug retailer. Halfway though my explanation, my interviewer said "excuse me, did you just say 'distressed drug dealer'?" Apparently I did -- and accidentally said it later in the interview too. Guy probably thought I was a criminal. Didn't get a second round interview.

2/17/10

During the 1st interview of a superday, guy who was interviewing me was super serious so I was all nervous and started sounding like Ms. SC. I literally couldnt put a single thought together, and sounded like a moron the whole ~ 10 minutes, 8 of which he had to talk so it wasn't total silence. He ended it and I ran to the bathroom to splash some water in my face. Then he walked in, gave me a weird look did not say anything and started using the urinal. Felt quite defeated....

2/17/10

Question from CEO in main conference room around large table where they are serving lunch during the super day.

"You guys are all smart and could trade anything, so why energy?"

Interviewee #1
"Cause its a global market and I think political risk is very interesting....."

CEO interrupts
"Someone say cause its SEXY"

My friend and future co-worker
"Cause its SEXY DAMNIT"

2/17/10

Final round interview with BB. Arrived to bank five minutes early at which point my nose started bleeding like no other. I went to the bathroom and stopped the bleeding temporarily, but I knew that if I tilted my head down even the slightest, my nose would start to bleed again. I would have waited longer to be sure no further bleeding would occur, but I was running late. So I get in the elevator and get off at the bank's floor and meet my first interviewer of the day. The entire interview my head was lifted up and eyes tilted down so I would see my interviewer rather than the ceiling. I'm sure he thought I was trying to look confident by tilting my head up. In any case, to test my apparent confidence he nailed me with some tough technicals which I just rushed through, hoping the interview would end asap so I could run to the bathroom. Unfortunately, my interviewer felt the need to go through step by step in full detail the technicals I missed. Needless to say, I didn't get an offer.

8/21/10

golden thread.. with iviews coming around I thought I'd bump this.

11/10/10

bump

11/10/10

I was at a superday for a MM bank about 4 years ago and the day was not going well. My 4th interview was with a director and VP. About 5 minutes into the interview the director asks me "what gets you up in the morning?"...I responded "my alarm clock." They both looked at me with a blank stare, not even a smile, and moved on...i thought it was funny and would lighten the mood...not so much

I told that story in an interview about a year later and landed the job. Later, i was told that the story about an old interview gone awry was one of the reasons they hired me.

11/10/10

buddy of mine interviewing for a IB analyst role was asked "how many golf balls would it take to fill a 747?" He immediatly responded with 1,764,382. The interviewer asks, "OK how'd you get to that number". He goes, "a stupid question deserves a stupid answer". The interviewer immedatly gets up and leaves the room.

11/10/10
blake:

buddy of mine interviewing for a IB analyst role was asked "how many golf balls would it take to fill a 747?" He immediatly responded with 1,764,382. The interviewer asks, "OK how'd you get to that number". He goes, "a stupid question deserves a stupid answer". The interviewer immedatly gets up and leaves the room.

Gonna call b.s. on this one. Your friend would get a complaint from the firm and be blacklisted from all recruiting events.

11/10/10

An interviewer for an asset management job asked me who I look up to most (or who my hero was, or however that question is phrased), and my answer was Tucker Max. My reasoning was that he lives for himself and does what he really wants. He seemed to find that slightly amusing, but i'm not sure what he really thought.

I did tons of goofy stuff like this senior year. Not on purpose either. Looking back, I hope I have become less ridiculous.

11/10/10

I started a very small business freshman year in college. I was interviewing with a mid-tier MM and the interviewer asked me, "how much would you value your business at ?"

Somehow that caught me off guard and I said, "priceless".

dinged

11/10/10

My best friend's younger brother woke up the morning of his final round interview with Bain, showered, shaved and all but sliced off a small mole he has (had) on his face. An hour of panicked phone calls and band aids later it was still bleeding so he went to his interview with a giant, hotel provided bandage across half his face.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

11/10/10

Was in midst of investment banking interviews. Had an interview with a Big4 Transaction Advisory group and a Superday at a BB the day after. Figured I would use the advisory interview as a prep for my fit questions.

Now I had practiced my story a billion times and had it down cold. I go into the interview, handshake, sit down, and the first thing the guy asks me is "Tell me your story".

I start with my usual IB spiel, "I originally became interested in...pause...finance". It was total bs and I think the guy knew it as he grilled me as to why Transaction services, especially since my resume looked pretty tailored to banking.

After putting down banking for about an hour and looking like an idiot by replacing "banking" with "finance" every time, I was let go.

Surprised I got the second round though...

11/10/10

Very cool and entertaining stories! Keep it going!

One of my awkward moments came when i was interiviewed for a technical position i really didn't qualify for but somehow got into the 2nd round. It was 4 interviews with 2 ppl in each room. So my first 2 didn't go so well as i got killed on the technicals and my 3rd interviewer was from a non-technical background...she was a vp...so i said something like this "I am not really that quant but I am sure I can do it and be successful since you did it." Looking at their faces, I realized what i meant didn't come out right.

Do what you want not what you can!

11/10/10

I had a phone interview with some smaller bank. One of the questions was "What is the difference between private equity and venture capital." I froze, and in the time of need, I went to wikipedia and search for both. After I basically defined each term using wikipedia, the guy said "OK, now answer my question without using your computer." I told him that if he heard me typing, that I was just taking notes of the interview. Needless to say, I didn't get the job.

Another phone interview I scheduled during my current job at 4:15 on a Friday, figuring some people may leave early and I could find a quiet corner in the lobby. In the middle of the interview, my co-worker comes up to me, assuming I'm on the phone with a friend, and starts telling me about the camel toe of the secretary of the office next to ours. I shooed him off and mouthed interview. The interviewer ( a woman), starts laughing and asks me if now is a bad time).

11/10/10

this, by no means, is good but I had to tell it. First consulting interview ever...hot phd neuroscience chick interviewing me...studied some frameworks and cases the night before (yeah i know) and went in. After a few fits, Strategy case started and it was defining the market for a biological stress test blah blah...at the end I came to the conclusion that there was no market for this damn thing...she kept asking are you sure...I stood with my answer and kept going. She ended with actually we just worked on this and determined there was a market, very profitable, and they pursued that. Said times up, I went into the hall to the next interviewer and waited about 10 minutes (she kicked me out early)

No dice

11/11/10

I had a trading interview last year with a BB -- it was my first finance-related experience ever. The interviewer asked me, "If I gave you a million dollars and gave you two stocks to invest in -- a high return, high risk stock, or a low return, low risk stock, how much would you put in the high risk stock?"

I looked at the floor, closed my eyes, and randomly said "72%." The interviewer started to ask why I chose that number, but I interrupted him by blurting out, "No, it's actually 73%. Yeah, 73% is my answer."

Ding.

11/11/10

My very first interview was in one day in late January, and the outside was damn freezing. I walked into the floor where a bunch of kids were waiting for their turn. When my name was called, I entered the room where two interviewers were already waiting for me.

The interview was fine. I somehow felt that my body language was kinda awkward, but I thought to myself maybe I was too nervous or something.

It was only after I walked out of that floor that I realized I was wearing my coat all throughout my interview. Yeah, I was wearing it when I was making some gestures to solve the interview questions. Yeah, it was a thick, black overcoat that was buttoned up to my neck.

8/28/12

Had my first ever final round interview for a top BB. We went through all the usual questions which went fine and then the MD says "we're going to do a few brain teasers now". He asks me what the angle between the two hands of a clock would be if it was 3:15. I had never heard these kinds of questions before so I answer "very little". He says "try again" so I respond with "less than 1%".

He then proceeds to talk me through the answer and give me a second brain teaser, which I scrape through. He then wraps up the interview and asks if I have any questions so I ask for another brain teaser to make up for the first one. He laughs, give me another question which I nail and he rings me later that day to give me the offer.

8/28/12

when i was in college i was interviewin for this banking type role where the interviewer was this tall blond girl. so naturally she asks "what is your greatest weakness" and i rattle off my rehearsed answer. then she asks for a few more weaknesses...ultimately i couldnt think of any more so i blurted out the first thing that popped into my head...I'm not tall enough! she laughed, but needless to say.....ding

8/28/12

Two stories, both from my sophomore year.

I had an interview for some SA position at MS. I was corresponding with the interviewer via email to set everything up and he sent me the address and everything. Turns out, he sent me the wrong address so instead of going to 1581 Broadway or whatever, I end up wandering around Columbus Circle looking for 1851 Broadway (doesn't exist btw). After looking for about 15 minutes, asking strangers where the hell 1851 Broadway is, I call the guy up and realized my/his mistake. I head down to the office, now 45 minutes behind schedule and we start the interview. The guy didn't seem interested in anything I had to say, almost as if they already picked someone for the job and were interviewing me as some kind of courtesy. I didn't even bother following up or sending a thank you and needless to say didn't get the job.

I had another interview for a boutique bank sophomore/junior year. The interview was with an alum so we were talking about which classes I was taking next year and stuff. I mention some accounting class and he said "Oh, is XYZ Professor teaching that this semester, he was awesome". Turns out, I had registered for the class with that professor. Also turns out that he passed away a couple weeks before. For some reason, I felt the need to break the news to my interviewer and say "Oh, yeah, well, he was, but he recently passed away.....". He was shocked because he clearly really liked the guy and had no idea. I felt terrible and the rest of the interview was pretty awkward/somber.

8/28/12

On a superday for ER at BB, I had prepared several stock pitches depending on a coverage of the person I am interviewing with. Even though I know it's very difficult to talk with ER analysts about industries they specialize in, I went with it. I used my escort in between interviews to ask him about what industry the next interviewer covers. There was one guy, of course, he did not know and I could not infer from my quick look inside his office as I was walked in. After few minutes of introduction I found myself pitching a green energy stock to a coal and oil guy. Needless to say, he was very interested in discussion but I got ownedddd like never before. The guy had a supreme contra argument to every fact I said...thought about excusing myself and leaving eh.

8/28/12

First internship of my life, the guy I worked for had a completely fucking ridiculous name.

In fact, it is so ridiculous that I can't repeat it here or all you monkeys will go and Google it and know exactly who he is. So, the name in this story has been changed to something equally ridiculous.

Day 1 of my internship. I'm mostly working with this one guy, Steve Dushkunu. He says, "Call up Bob in such and such group, tell him you work with me and that we need the comps."

So I call Bob and say, "Hi, I'm working with Steve Dush-koo-nu, please send over the comps."

Bob says, "Sure thing. Oh, and FYI, his name is pronounced Douche-canoe." I'm like, Yeah right, real funny.

An hour later, same thing. I say I'm working with Steve Dush-koo-nu, and another guy says, "Hey, I think it's pronounced Douche-canoe."

Ha ha. But I know people play all sorts of shitty practical jokes on interns on their first day, so I'm not fooled.

Couple days later, Steve Dushkunu takes me aside. "Look, didn't anybody tell you? My name is pronounced Douche-canoe."

Oh, shit. I take a deep breath and resolutely do not crack even the slightest smile. "... Oh. I see. I'm sorry, I just thought people were telling me to say that as..."

He waited.

"... As a... joke."

"It's not a joke."

Long awkward pause. Then, in a desperate effort to rescue the moment, I say, way too brightly, "All righty, well, now I know." Aw god, brutal.

Things ultimately didn't work out between me and Mr. Douche-canoe, since he turned out to be something of a douche-canoe. But I will never forget him. Or his pronunciation.

8/28/12

Recently went to an interview. Very senior execs of an interesting large corp, not very related to my current line of work.

Went through the usual background, why move/company questions then some challenging technical/strategy Qs, etc.. I had the impression it went all quite smooth and made a decent impression.

Then, just to finialise the interview on a soft topic, one of the guys looks at the hobbies at my CV (among a few, it reads: listen to jazz music) and asks, "what kind of jazz musicians do you fancy". I wasn't expecting that. My mind went blank, no name what so ever! It was most ackward... I wasn't even nervous.

He was kind enough to offer a few names (mostly classic ones a la Louis Armstrong, etc.), to no avail, still blank... at the last name he gave, I just had to jump in, so I said, "yeah, exactly that kind, nothing experimental"... at that moment I just wanted to rewind the last 2 minutes.

8/28/12

not funny really, but weird

rising junior, shanghai, for internship in global transaction with the largest bank in the world

interview was held in a music room of a nearby high school at 5pm, knocked and went in on the dot, a senior and a junior banker shooting the shit, senior sitting on the piano bench while junior leaning next, both smoking. junior asked my name and waved me to chair. senior started firing question about what it was like studying in a top college in the west, cost, admission, etc. as later i knew he was picking his son up so he set the interview at his school.

he also told me some girl hanged herself in this room years ago.

not a single tech or behavior question was asked, just originally where i from and my plan after school. 10 minutes or so later his son walked in and the interview was concluded. got offer on the spot, yet i didnt take it because in god's doing i got offer later from an american ibank there, which i interviewed a week before and it wasn't funny at all

How big is yours?

8/28/12
Outsider:

not funny really, but weird

rising junior, shanghai, for internship in global transaction with the largest bank in the world

interview was held in a music room of a nearby high school at 5pm, knocked and went in on the dot, a senior and a junior banker shooting the shit, senior sitting on the piano bench while junior leaning next, both smoking. junior asked my name and waved me to chair. senior started firing question about what it was like studying in a top college in the west, cost, admission, etc. as later i knew he was picking his son up so he set the interview at his school.

he also told me some girl hanged herself in this room years ago.

not a single tech or behavior question was asked, just originally where i from and my plan after school. 10 minutes or so later his son walked in and the interview was concluded. got offer on the spot, yet i didnt take it because in god's doing i got offer later from an american ibank there, which i interviewed a week before and it wasn't funny at all

SBd that. Nice sixth sense thing going on there.

8/28/12

I was interviewing for a Commercial Banking position and let it slip that I ultimately want to do Investment Banking. The interviewer then grilled me on IBD and I quickly realized how I barely knew anything.

8/28/12

I havent had any real interviews yet but I was informational interviewing someone from a boutique IB this summer. he invited me to get coffee as they usually do and I went to the bathroom briefly and when I came back, the guy at the counter picking up the coffee looked exactly like my guy--same shirt, pants, height, etc. so without even thinking about it I followed him back to a table, not really paying attention. I set my stuff down and was about to sit down when I look up and realized i followed the wrong guy, who is looking at me like I am the biggest fucking retard ever, and then the actual person I am interviewing has to call me over to another table.

I wanted to off myself right there in the restauraunt

8/29/12

I was interviewing for an asset manager during my senior year of college. I was driving a pickup truck at the time, and it took a sizable leg swing to get out of this thing. I pulled up to the firm's office building, swung my leg out to step down, and tore my suit pants right up the crotch. I decided that I would have a better chance of getting the job by essentially interviewing in boxers than not interviewing at all. So I went in, used my leather folio as much as possible to cover up, and did eventually get the offer. It was kind of like the Tin Cup scene when he's on the range at the US Open. He only started hitting it well after Romeo made him look like an idiot.

MJS

8/30/12

Really tall guy I know interviewed with a certain BB. The two interviewers were even taller. When they asked "what can you bring to the firm?" he answered "Height"... Dinged, obviously (but he later succeeded tremendously at a better bank)

I don't accept sacrifices and I don't make them. ... If ever the pleasure of one has to be bought by the pain of the other, there better be no trade at all. A trade by which one gains and the other loses is a fraud.

9/1/12

......just trying to save at least one hour a day for myself....for sanity purposes.

9/3/12
9/3/12

The Auto Show

9/3/12
9/4/12

The Auto Show

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