1/31/08

What has your interview been like? Does your interviewer give you clues that you are in or you are out?

  1. Is it bad when they only asked you a few questions but talking a lot about their own career?
  2. The interview also made suggestions such as I should look into more fields and more opportunities than just "IB" (I think this is a bad sign).

Are there times where you think you did great but ended up not getting an offer? and Are there times where you think you are totally "dinged" but ending up getting an offer?

Anyway, share your experience here..

Interview Coming Up? Be Prepared.

Comments (44)

1/31/08

well, an interviewer said "i'm gonna ask u some technical questions, but you already know them since u passed level 1 of the CFA" (good)

what is a 3.77? is that top 10%? (bad sign)

Investment Banking Interview Course

1/31/08

my gpa is a 3.9 and a bs director during an interview told me that is not good enough for banking...i told him it is good enough for UBS, peace. haaha i just walked out.

  • b
  •  1/31/08
FinanceFury:

my gpa is a 3.9 and a bs director during an interview told me that is not good enough for banking...i told him it is good enough for UBS, peace. haaha i just walked out.

Yea... this story isn't true.

1/31/08

attractive interviewer leans forward, looks at you suggestively, and asks how bad you want this job = good sign

1/31/08

I had a really good interview with an MD and on the way out he told me to say exactly the same thing to all of my other interviewers. I took that as a good sign. He also called to congratulate me after I accepted my offer.

1/31/08

1) An MD asked me about sports/teams I follow. Ends up that he's a die-hard fan of the same team as me, and the rest of the interview was spent discussing sports. (good)

2) An MD asked me what I did the night before the interview. Ends up that I'd been at his favorite restaurant in town. We spent the interview discussing food. (good)

Fandango

"It is a fine thing to be out on the hills alone. A man can hardly be a beast or a fool alone on a great mountain." - Francis Kilvert (1840-1879)

"Ce serait bien plus beau si je pouvais le dire a quelqu'un." - Samivel

"It is a fine thing to be out on the hills alone. A man can hardly be a beast or a fool alone on a great mountain." - Francis Kilvert (1840-1879)

"Ce serait bien plus beau si je pouvais le dire a quelqu'un." - Samivel

1/31/08

A UBS MD (Financial Sponsors) asked me a question: "How would you explain the recent credit crunch to a layman?" and then looked at his Blackberry even before I began answering the question, and continued to flick through emails while I talked.

  • b
  •  1/31/08

Meh, a lot of firms do the "bored/apathetic" trick to candidates. I had a JPM interviewer who would ask me a question, and, as I was answering, lean back in his chair and bang his head against the wall.

Here's another example:
http://www.wired.com/culture/lifestyle/news/2003/0...

"Doshi, who didn't get a job offer from the consulting firm, recalled another particularly stressful interview, this time at investment bank JPMorgan. 'The manager would ask me a question about my resume, and then when I started to answer, he'd cut me off and say that he was bored, or else he'd start checking his e-mail or reading the paper.'

Despite the interviewer's antics, Doshi said he kept his cool and got the job offer, although he eventually turned it down."

1/31/08

Bad signs? If the interview doesn't last the first 30 minutes.

Don't judge an interview by your own impressions though. An associate at Bear grilled me about valuation techniques and I got so confused at one point I thought he was basically holding my hand through the steps of the interview. The next week, right after I got my offer, the guy called me up and said I did fantastic in the interview and really kept my cool.

As far as good ones go, in one of my interviews I spent about 75% of it talking about places I had traveled to and water polo with my interviewer, explaining how the game is played. Also had an MD at a MM interview where it was the last of 4 straight interviews for final rounds and he basically came out and told me the whole office wants me there. I was totally shocked but it was a pretty cool feeling.

8/20/10
gomes3pc:

Bad signs? If the interview doesn't last the first 30 minutes.
.

Huh, funny that, I had that experience before getting recruited for a summer internship for a BB. My 2nd round interview lasted 17 minutes - I checked on my watch. That includes the questions I asked. Thought I bombed it, but turns out they liked me so much from my first round and interactions before that that they were already convinced they wanted to hire me.

But usually i agree - short interviews are very rarely a good sign.

1/31/08

what are you supposed to do if the interviewer acts like hes bored?

1/31/08

Don't get discouraged. They'll pull out plenty of stunts to try to throw you off. Continue to engage them and make eye contact. Make them earn your attention.

Investment Banking Interview Course

1/31/08

I think the above are perfect examples of why well rounded kids with mediocre GPAs and lots of extra-curriculars do a lot better than the Quant kids with 3.9s. In almost every interview I've had at both BBs and MMs, I've talked at length about golf, my fraternity, skiing, etc., and have done very well in terms of getting second rounds/offers. I guess it does depend a lot on who is interviewing you though; if you have some ex-fratstar reminiscing about their glory days, the advantage goes to the more social person. I have had one or two assholes though who continuously grilled me on technicals. It's also possible that in my case going to a semi-target means that it's more about networking with alums than how good you look on paper.

1/31/08
1/31/08

All these ones about MDs bullshitting for 25 min. in a 30 min. interview about their favorite sports team/restaurant(????) are total crap.

2/1/08

"All these ones about MDs bullshitting for 25 min. in a 30 min. interview about their favorite sports team/restaurant(????) are total crap."

Sorry, but those two examples are 100% true. What makes you say that it's not true? In my experience, Associates and lower level VPs are much more likely to be "tough" interviewers than MDs. They're not interviewing you for their team specifically, and they'll probably not have to speak to you much anyway. So why not spend 30 minutes talking about something they enjoy?

Fandango

"It is a fine thing to be out on the hills alone. A man can hardly be a beast or a fool alone on a great mountain." - Francis Kilvert (1840-1879)

"Ce serait bien plus beau si je pouvais le dire a quelqu'un." - Samivel

"It is a fine thing to be out on the hills alone. A man can hardly be a beast or a fool alone on a great mountain." - Francis Kilvert (1840-1879)

"Ce serait bien plus beau si je pouvais le dire a quelqu'un." - Samivel

1/31/08

I went to an interview prep seminar, and the speaker suggested that if the interviewer does something like check emails on his Blackberry while you are speaking, a good response is to say something like, "I'm sorry, would you like me to step out of the room for a few minutes," or to just be silent until they put their attention back on you. What do you guys think of that?

1/31/08

Study up on non-verbal behavior, its invaluable.
it'll give you feedback on what the interviewer is thinking but not saying.
So if you sense him becoming more distant or bored, you can change the pace/topic of the subject.

and another thing i've noticed is that, its not necessarily how well you do in the interview that matters, but how well everyone else did.

as for a story, i nearly fell asleep in one of my first interviews, but i ended up getting a second round and an offer.

1/31/08

If the interview stops about 10 minutes before 30 minutes, is it really bad? I did ask at the end because I felt it was short, "Is there anything at this points that would prevent you from giving me the offer right on the spot?" The recruiter said "You should feel good about todaY". I felt like I should ask more questions but it felt like the recruiters were pushing me for the interview to be over by saying things like "ok?" at the end of the 2 questions I asked so I didn't want to bombard them with questions like I should have done I guess. I was prepared with questions though...now I feel bad! What do you guys think?

1/31/08

Normally when the interview has had a long day, they tried to end the interview really early. Mines ended pretty early too. Im not sure how I did, don't think I did that well.

The question you asked at the end was pretty brilliant, and the reply sound positive. I hate when they tried to hurried you and trying to end the interview. Its quite disrespectful.. but what can we do since they have the decision making power.

GL thou

Ling~

Ling~

  • b
  •  1/31/08

I've been told that those over-aggressive reinforcing question/non-questions are dangerous, and can easily backfire. Unless you're absolutely sure that you nailed the interview, I'd stick to real questions to be safe.

2/1/08

It does seem that people who are more senior tend to be more laid back while the analyst and associates grill you. I guess they want to prove they are better while the seniors such as MD already has the title to support it.

Ling~

Ling~

2/2/08

Hi guys! Previous comment on the ending interview early. So apparently it's not a bad sign since I just got a call and I got an offer from GS!!!!

2/2/08

The same applies to PE interviews as well. In interviews where I did the best, a significant amount of time was spent talking about my backgrounds, interests, random travel stories, etc.

It's important to remember that most of these guys have been removed from the student life for many years, so they kind of like living vicariously through the interviewee. Plus, MDs have no desire to ask you about how to tie an income statement or cash flow statement together. They would rather talk about themselves and their own careers.

Sometimes interviewers are in charge of testing technical prowess, but even here it's a good sign if the discussion moves to personal stuff.

2/2/08

Glad to hear that you got an offer.. hope I have the luck as well..

Ling~

Ling~

9/3/10

Hi,

I hope so. I agreed with you. Any way, your ideal make me thinking about some thing for my project.

Apart from that, this link below may be useful: Good interview questions
Pls try to keep posting.Tks and best regards

xabaglione:

Glad to hear that you got an offer.. hope I have the luck as well..

Ling~

2/2/08

nice. what division m8875?

9/3/10

Taking you to lunch afterwards is usually a great sign, although usually done more at some of the smaller less structured shops.

9/3/10

In some interviews, they will ask you questions until you miss one. They want to see how you handle being wrong/failure/uncertainty. A good sign is when you see them really trying to think hard about what to ask you next (assuming you've answered a number of consecutive questions correctly). They will try to find your weakness. In one of my interviews, I was asked, "Do you know the difference between operating and capital leases?" B/c I had answered a number of previous questions correctly, I simply replied, "Yes." They didn't ask for an explanation even though I could have provided one. They trusted I knew the difference because I had a string of correct responses. My interviewer was pleased, but I also had other interviewers who became a little frustrated when I answered a number of questions correctly. Of course, I eventually did get questions wrong -- but it is crucial to handle that appropriately. In my opinion, the best thing to do is say, "To be honest, I don't remember that calculation perfectly, but here is what I do know..."

A bad sign is when the questions get faster, and they ask you more questions about your previous response than another new question. For instance, if they ask you about DCFs and you mess up in your response, they will dig deeper and ask you more questions about DCFs and more questions about your response than a new question.

9/3/10

Also, whenever anyone takes additional time to talk with you about the upcoming rounds of interviews, this is usually a good sign. An analyst sat and talked with me for 15-20 additional minutes after the other interviewer (a VP) left the room. He just wanted to see if I had any questions about super day and the interviews ahead.

9/3/10

if, towards the end of the interview, the questions become more personal in nature (not just standard fit questions, like, "How well do you work in teams?"), that is most likely a good sign. it obviously means the interviewer is actually interested in you, wants to see how well you would fit in with the other team members once out of the office. if you did not fare so well during the interview they wouldn't waste their time talking for an additional 10 min to someone they don't like. during the 1st round of interviews with the firm whose offer i eventually accepted, the interviewers were asking me what i do on the weekends, what sports if any do i play, do i like poker, etc. stuff like that.

9/3/10

I disagree entirely with WACC_attack. I would only resort to asking an interviewee personal questions if I was convinced very quickly that I will not be recommending this person for the next round and I did not want to put myself through the pain of keeping a straight face when presented with another half-baked or nonsensical answer to a relatively simple question.

I would also question your (txlnghrns) underlying assumption that if an interview were to end early one has less of a chance to be recommended for the next round. The only time I would terminate an interview early would be when I have already decided to recommend the candidate and he or she has no further questions for me. I will ask explicitly if he or she has any questions about the process from that point onward, so that would be my hint to him or her.

P.S. In case any of you do get that question from an interviewer, do not immediately assume you have been successful in securing an invitation to the next round. Unless I decide to really push for you (extremely rare, more likely at later rounds however) the vagaries of HR and of the general recruitment process can still spell disappointment.

9/3/10

how much of a role does HR play in deciding who gets to come back for a 2nd round?

9/3/10

None, unless a member of HR has interviewed the candidate. This is more likely for sophomore positions of varied duration; however it is virtually unheard of for junior summer internship or full-time positions.

You may have misread my comment. I was simply intimating that the recruitment process is not without its faults.

9/3/10

If towards the end, the interviewer begins to try to "sell" you on the bank, I have found this is usually a good sign. By "sell", I mean they are talking about how they think you'd have a great experience and yada yada yada, or just say very positive things. I find this more the case with smaller banks, as their hiring process is less formal.

9/3/10

say i've been talking to several analysts at the bb i interviewed for and one of them said he'd talk to the interviewer for me, would that make a difference assuming I did OK on the interview?

9/3/10

Endgame, unless I am completely reading into your comments incorrectly, you yourself are an interviewer. If so I obviously cannot disagree with what you said, as that is the way you conduct interviews. However, given my personal experience, what I said in my comment (wrt personal questions from the interviewer) applies 100%. I've gone through two "sessions" of I-banking interviews--one for SA early last year, and one for FT early last semester. The first time around I was completely green when it comes to interviewing, and I bombed most of my interviews (due to nervousness, not knowing the universal answers to fit questions). I got to only one final round and did not end up getting an offer. None of those interviews, except for the one resulting in a call-back, ever left the technical/fit zone. The one where the interviewers did begin to create somewhat of a more personal relationsip ended in the already mentioned final round. During the FT craze about 60% of my interviews resulted in final rounds. In most of those the more formal part of the interview ended about halfway through, and the rest focused on what the group is like outside of the office, trying to sell the group (as was mentioned by someone above), etc. Again, I can't knock what you said as you seem to speak from personal experience. But from what I recall, this is the way it all came out to look like for me.

9/3/10

wut if once you send in the thank you emails after an interview, the MD within one interview emails you back and says "nice to meet you today"? Is that a good sign or am I just reading too much into it?

9/3/10

Maybe he just thought it was nice to meet you

9/3/10

=========================================
We are excited to formally extend to you an offer to join Bank of Ameria

9/3/10
9/3/10
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