10/12/12

Moderator Note (Andy): Best of WSO - this post originally went up 3/31/2009 and we thought it deserved to go back on the homepage for those who may have never seen it.

How about a thread where we post some of the worst mistakes we've made in interviews, or perhaps an interview that just went REALLY badly for you.

For a Goldman internship back in college, the interviewers asked me to tell them about myself. This was one of my first interviews so I was very inexperienced, and I was pretty nervous. I didn't know where to begin, so I panicked and ended up giving them my life story, from where I was born all the way to college. The rest of the interview was very harsh and they really grilled me on every single thing on my resume. It was more like an interrogation than an interview. It was a typical stress interview, and I ended up finishing it with a headache, and clothes drenched with sweat. I didn't get called back.

Interview Coming Up? Be Prepared.

Comments (161)

Best Response
11/10/10

Phone interview with citi: interviewer asked me what my biggest regret was in college.. i had never been asked this before and was caught a little off guard.. i didn't know what to say so I said "i wish i worked a little bit harder (i have a 3.2gpa)" she said "why?" i said "so i could've potentially been in a better position in terms of recruiting" she said "what's wrong with citi?" there was a bit of awkward silence and i said.. you're right.. i have no regrets

LOL

i did not advance.....

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3/30/09

Citi S&T. Didn't care for the interview, already got offer, hated Citi, got interviewed by some scrawny 22 year old analyst or temp hire who had no idea what he was doing. He asked me a bunch of quant questions which I did well on but then I bombed the next few. He then asked me about myself and I made up this entire story about how I love Habitat for Humanity and worked for hundreds of hours planting trees and handing out resumes to the homeless in order to register them for jobs. I didn't get a call back but it was probably due to bombing the problem sets, not because of the b.s.

3/30/09

UBS Summer Analyst interview in San Fran. I had one of my alums gunning for me and managed to screw up one of the interviews really badly. It was an associate and analyst interviewing me and they asked me a question about something on my resume. I can't remember what it was but I had worked with an actuarial science professor, and had basically put some of that stuff on my resume without fully understanding what it was. I rambled on for like 5 mins bumbling through some haphazard explanation. The look on their face was priceless.
Needless to say, I didn't get a callback. I did have fun in SF though so the trip wasn't a total waste.

3/30/09

I had a FT first round interview with GS Merchant Banking. I always welcomed the technical questions because I knew all of the answers...except to these.

The guy asked me "So what is a current ratio and what does it tell us?"

I was like, "CA/CL and it tells us if the firm can convert its short-term assets to cash and cover its liabilities for the next period.."

He said "Good. Ok, I have a company that is a great company and it has had a current ratio under 1 for a long-time, how are they doing this?

Then I fucked up the answer and the correct response was because they kept no inventory (service firm, and they had minimal A/R's)

So my ass was a little sore, but then he gave me pen and paper and asked me to unlever beta (which I fucked up on) then he asked me "So which beta would be larger unlevered or levered? I said unlevered.

Needless to say I do not work for Goldman Sachs, but we own them on this year's league tables!

3/30/09

I posted on my resume "intermediate french" which at some point might have been true but i stopped speaking it at work (worked in high school and first year of college for Air France) and stopped taking classes. I had the "luck" of walking into this VP's office who after a few pleasantries in English saw the French language skill on my resume and started conducting the rest of the interview in french. I think I probably had the language skill of a six year old trying to explain why I'd give mez financing to whatever company. Didn't get the offer.

3/31/09

My freshman year summer, interviewed with Soros Fund Management...

Interviewer: "Tell me about yourself"

Me: "My name is..."

got dinged

3/31/09

JP Morgan - full time

interviewer asked me about where did I see the dow heading.

I said frankly I think its going to get a lot worse before it gets a lot better and bush is killing us with this war.

I have no clue why I said the last part but I had two more questions and interview ended. By the time I got home I had a voicemail that I was not moving on.

3/31/09

I just bombed my interview for summer internship at headwaters investment bank. I had 3 interviews but the guy guy who took my technical i was certainly not ready, he asked me what is asset= libalities+? i knw that it is onwer's equity but couldn't think of that at that time
then my downfall started, he asked how would you value a private company, i said through PE ratio, he said i told u that it is private lolzz
Then he asked me to rate your MS skills i said excel to be first becoz i knw to break into IB u have to be good in that but certainly that was BS and he asked me few Q's on that i F up
Haven't heard yet but certainly will get NO

In reply to monty09
3/31/09
monty09:

JP Morgan - full time

interviewer asked me about where did I see the dow heading.

I said frankly I think its going to get a lot worse before it gets a lot better and bush is killing us with this war.

I have no clue why I said the last part but I had two more questions and interview ended. By the time I got home I had a voicemail that I was not moving on.

Haha, never bring politics into the interview, and even if you did, did you really have to use diction that includes the word "kill"?

3/31/09

harry, can't believe people like you get interviews. It's one thing to say something stupid or mess up on a difficult technical, but to go into an IB interview and not know the simplest equation in finance/accounting is ridiculous. And valuation methods?

In reply to harry12
3/31/09
harry12:

I just bombed my interview for summer internship at headwaters investment bank. I had 3 interviews but the guy guy who took my technical i was certainly not ready, he asked me what is asset= libalities+? i knw that it is onwer's equity but couldn't think of that at that time
then my downfall started, he asked how would you value a private company, i said through PE ratio, he said i told u that it is private lolzz
Then he asked me to rate your MS skills i said excel to be first becoz i knw to break into IB u have to be good in that but certainly that was BS and he asked me few Q's on that i F up
Haven't heard yet but certainly will get NO

lol wow......

In reply to harry12
3/31/09
harry12:

I just bombed my interview for summer internship at headwaters investment bank. I had 3 interviews but the guy guy who took my technical i was certainly not ready, he asked me what is asset= libalities+? i knw that it is onwer's equity but couldn't think of that at that time
then my downfall started, he asked how would you value a private company, i said through PE ratio, he said i told u that it is private lolzz
Then he asked me to rate your MS skills i said excel to be first becoz i knw to break into IB u have to be good in that but certainly that was BS and he asked me few Q's on that i F up
Haven't heard yet but certainly will get NO

How did you land an interview in the first place?

3/31/09

This was for a SA Research position at a Hedge Fund, last year.

After a discussion on increasing globalization, capital flows and Asian countries.
Director: Have you heard of outsourcing?
Me: I am from Asia, you bet I have heard of outsourcing.

Then he proceeds to ask me three questions on outsourcing and related effects, none of which I am able to answer.

Feedback: Over-confidence.

My defense- Well i had 'heard' of outsourcing, I hadn't done a PhD in it.. jeez

In reply to harry12
3/31/09
harry12:

I just bombed my interview for summer internship at headwaters investment bank. I had 3 interviews but the guy guy who took my technical i was certainly not ready, he asked me what is asset= libalities+? i knw that it is onwer's equity but couldn't think of that at that time
then my downfall started, he asked how would you value a private company, i said through PE ratio, he said i told u that it is private lolzz
Then he asked me to rate your MS skills i said excel to be first becoz i knw to break into IB u have to be good in that but certainly that was BS and he asked me few Q's on that i F up
Haven't heard yet but certainly will get NO

Headwaters is a sinking ship anyway.

3/31/09

I interviewed for GS Strategies during my sophomore year. Didn't know how did I get it, since I am not a math/coding genius, and didn't really know how to prepare since it was their first time coming on campus.

I think I coasted through their quant questions just fine -- brainteasers I happen to think the correct way. But I spaced out during the behavioral: "What is your biggest weakness?". Me: "Um.. I think I am a perfectionist". Obviously bullcrap, which I cannot elaborate upon and only fueled the interviewer's appetite for more stupid answers. Him: "How would your friends describe you?". Fuck, I definitely never thought about this. Somewhere along my feeble attempt to squirm through this question I think I mentioned "friendly", and "balanced" -- two traits that surely sealed my fate.

When I left the building, the interviewer escorted me through the door, gave his business card, shook my hand and said: "We'll see you during next year's interview rounds." And then he closed the door.

In reply to harry12
4/1/09
harry12:

I just bombed my interview for summer internship at headwaters investment bank. I had 3 interviews but the guy guy who took my technical i was certainly not ready, he asked me what is asset= libalities+? i knw that it is onwer's equity but couldn't think of that at that time
then my downfall started, he asked how would you value a private company, i said through PE ratio, he said i told u that it is private lolzz
Then he asked me to rate your MS skills i said excel to be first becoz i knw to break into IB u have to be good in that but certainly that was BS and he asked me few Q's on that i F up
Haven't heard yet but certainly will get NO

Lmao...wtf man?

4/1/09

My sophomore year I had a phone interview with UBS for a sophomore program. This was one of my first phone interviews with an investment bank. My school is not in the eastern time zone. I expected UBS to call meat 10am my time, but got a call at 10am eastern. The interview was not that difficult, but the timing threw me off, and I stumbled through the interview.

www.sharpeinvesting.com

4/1/09

I had my first superday ever with Merrill S+T. The first 3 interviews, all behavioral, went really well. The fourth was with an MD, and it was all technical. After I got a few easy ones, he gave me a very difficult options question involving rolling hedges, which I had never heard of at the time. Needless to say, I stumbled through the answer, and we ended up spending 20 minutes going over it on a dry erase board in his office.

The interview ended and I was thoroughly embarrassed. I meekly apologized for my performance, saying "Sorry Ken, I'm just not familiar with some of the terms you used."

He responded, "Well, my name is Carl, and that's with a C, not a K. Maybe next time you'll at least remember my name."

End of interview. Didn't get the offer.

In reply to Jay Buhner was sweet
4/1/09
Jay Buhner was sweet:

I had my first superday ever with Merrill S+T. The first 3 interviews, all behavioral, went really well. The fourth was with an MD, and it was all technical. After I got a few easy ones, he gave me a very difficult options question involving rolling hedges, which I had never heard of at the time. Needless to say, I stumbled through the answer, and we ended up spending 20 minutes going over it on a dry erase board in his office.

The interview ended and I was thoroughly embarrassed. I meekly apologized for my performance, saying "Sorry Ken, I'm just not familiar with some of the terms you used."

He responded, "Well, my name is Carl, and that's with a C, not a K. Maybe next time you'll at least remember my name."

End of interview. Didn't get the offer.

The sick thing about this whole story, is that had you remembered his name and explained to him that you would study harder, you would have prob got the offer. He did take the time to go over it on the board, so right there I think you should have been able to closed. BTW good stuff with the name, made me laugh. It reminded me of one of my interviews with Citi.

4/1/09

Wow it sounds as though majority of BB interviewers are rather harsh.

KICKIN ASS AND TAKING NAMES

4/1/09

I interviewed with a financial data supplier / data base as a business analyst. My interviewer knew absolutely nothing about finance but plenty about databases, so proceeded to ask me databasing questions the entire interview that had nothing to do with the position that I applied for.

Best example, he asked me to create a relationship logic diagram, which I had no idea what the hell he meant by it. I proceeded to draw an elaborate diagram for about 15 minutes while he watched and smiled as I suffered my way through it. After I was finished, he picked up the pen, drew 3 boxes and 5 lines connecting all the boxes together and told me that was the correct solution.

4/1/09

I was interviewing with a big four firm (didn't really care for the job) and got an interview for the city I wanted. A few days before the interview they told me that weren't any openings for that city, so I had to choose another city which really ticked me off, so I didn't go to the pre-interview dinner party the night before the interview.

During the interview the partner asked me why she didn't see me at the dinner party, and I told her that I was busy working on a group project for school. Needless to say I didn't get an offer.

In reply to mwgr5
4/1/09
mwgr5:

My sophomore year I had a phone interview with UBS for a sophomore program. This was one of my first phone interviews with an investment bank. My school is not in the eastern time zone. I expected UBS to call meat 10am my time, but got a call at 10am eastern. The interview was not that difficult, but the timing threw me off, and I stumbled through the interview.

www.sharpeinvesting.com

Well, guess that just goes to the whole making an ASS out of U and ME deal...

I had an interview with Bain Capital that went very poorly. It was my third interview of the day (in a long week of interviews) and rather than the standard first round behavioral chit chat interview, it was a very technical case interview (with no preparation time - just a "here's the scenario, what do you think about x" followed by follow-up after follow-up after follow-up). I wasn't interviewing for consulting firms and hadn't prepared for case interviews, so it was an utter disaster. I knew I wasn't getting called back and just wanted to get the hell out of there, so when he finally took me out of my misery and asked if I had any questions, I just blurted out "nope," stood up and left. In retrospect, I should have kept myself more under control, asked a question or two, shook his hand, asked for a card and thanked him, but I think he got a kick out of my honest reaction too because he was chuckling as I left.

www.gottamentor.com

4/1/09

I don't know what I had for breakfast but I couldn't stop busting ass and it really stunk. Like something straight out of monkey business.

4/1/09

I was really eager to impress my interviewer for Citi IBD SA when he asked me where else I was applying. I told him only Citi (which was true at the time, since official OCR was still a month or two away).

Needless to say, the appearance of all eggs / one basket dinged me, I believe.

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4/1/09

I recall having another unfortunate interview over the phone with UBS. I didn't care too much for the position, but it was the only other option I had at the time. I tried to make sure I wouldn't have disturbances during the interview, so I picked up the phone and we got started. 5 minutes into the interview my incredibly loud and obnoxious door buzzer starts ringing and completely throws me off. Moments later, there is knocking on my door and it turns out to be UPS. This entire time I was trying to talk to the interviewer, and apologized profusely for the noise. He didn't seem to mind, but I couldn't focus for the rest of the interview. Needless to say, I didn't get the job.

4/1/09

Interview for MS Public Finance... I was asked how I would teach the concept of present value of money to a 3 year old...

NEVER lose your BlackBerry
www.conveniencesoftware.com

4/1/09

When I was interviewing for Citi Sophomore Rotational last year, I forgot that the time was eastern not central for my call. So I get called out of the blue on my cell phone an hour early, unprepared. I wasn't expecting to use my cell phone, because I had reserved a room at my school to use a land line phone in a quiet room. So when she would have called I would have called her back with that phone. Unfortunately that didn't happen.

So when she gave me the unexpected ring, I noticed that I didn't have many bars on my phone. So I tell her I'll call her back in five minutes as I get to a better location. When I get there, I call her again and start the interview. Things were going fine, until...yeah you guessed it...my batteries died. fml. So I run back to my dorm room like a mad man and nearly tear my backpack open looking for my charger. I plug it in and call her again for the third time. I apologize profusely, and she still seems fine. We continue the interview.

I thought nothing would go wrong from there on out, but nope-my dorm is of course in a shitty area, and I didn't get many bars. So once again the call ends abruptly. At this point I was fuming and threw my phone against the wall causing the battery to fall out and creating a dent on one side of the phone so I couldn't put the battery cover back on. So I get some duct tape and tape the battery back, hoping it wouldn't fall out on its on. A few seconds later, the recruiter calls back and asks what happened. I again say I'm sorry, while at the same time trying to control myself from shouting. I do manage to get through the rest of the interview fine. The actual interview itself was probably one of the best phone interviews I'd ever had in terms of getting good questions and expressing myself articulately. But of course, I knew I was dinged and got a rejection a couple weeks later.

I really wish I was telling an April Fools joke, but it's not. I did learn some valuable lessons from that experience, however.

4/1/09

^ Good story, but I think you won in the long run looking at where Citi is now.

4/1/09

Well this year, I did manage to get into Citi's close cousin bank which is in a similar situation, so I won't put the medal on just yet.

In reply to stk123
4/2/09
stk123:

I was interviewing with a big four firm (didn't really care for the job) and got an interview for the city I wanted. A few days before the interview they told me that weren't any openings for that city, so I had to choose another city which really ticked me off, so I didn't go to the pre-interview dinner party the night before the interview.

During the interview the partner asked me why she didn't see me at the dinner party, and I told her that I was busy working on a group project for school. Needless to say I didn't get an offer.

Lol that reminds me of a Capital One internship I applied for. So Cap One has an early quant test which I aced. Then comes the case study interview which I signed up for. However, on the afternon before my case interview I received an offer from a firm I would definitely pick over Cap One.

Unfortunately, it was too late to cancel the interview for the case. Therefore, in order to cancel the interview since it was through OCR, I had to write an apology letter and probably get my advisor pissed at me. I decided to dress up anyway instead of going through the hassle of apologizing. Plus, I figured the case was going to be good experience for me.

I go to the case, it is stupid easy and its mostly simple math and logic. Marketing for a cell phone company with simple logistics and operations (finances, break-even analysis, SWOT, etc.) However, since I didn't want the job, I was very laid back. Perhaps too laid back as 5 minutes into the case I started giving him joke answers before giving my real answer. The most inappropriate example is when he asked me about different ways of raising capital and I said "ponzi scheme".

Finally he asks me stuff like if I ever have problems working in teams and I said "no, unless I don't get along with someone." He didn't laugh after a second so I gave him a real answer. I didn't want to be rude, afterall, and I didn't want to be blacklisted even if I didn't care for the firm.

Funny thing is, at the end, I got the offer which I respectfully declined.

4/2/09

This is not my story, but one of my friends. He had a very close relative working at one of famous BB. He was worried about tech questions, but over 5 different employees including VP told him not to worry about tech, there will be no questions.

Guess what? First 20 minutes of interview the guy got grilled on tech only... then some fit. Didn't even get to 2nd round.

4/2/09

It was during an interview that the guy started asking me about valuation, and naturally the conversation went along the DCF route. I was quite chilled as I've already accepted another bank and was merely doing the interview because the bank's tower had some awesome views (I had my camara with me). So we were chatting about DCF and come P/E ratios as well, not hard, I relaxed, and then out of the blue the guy asks me about WACC. The first thing that came into my mind was the "Baby got WACC" song (youtube it), and I started giggling. The look on the guy' face was so epic that I started full on laughing and by the time I've finished I knew that we would not be working together.

But the best part is, my rejection feedback said "too dogmatic".
__________
Just my 2c.

__________
Just my 2c.

4/2/09

Junior year, interviewing for GS Quant internship. I'm in way over my head - had only taken a couple quant classes in college.

Two interviewers, I'd met them the night before during the shmoozing, I think one was a Physics PhD and the other had a crazy CS background. They already knew I wasn't legit from the night before when I told them I was a bio major (and not a quantitative one at that).

First question, they write an integral on a pad of legal paper and slide it over to me. I immediately shit myself, not having done an integral by hand for at least two years. No problem though, I think, I can pull this off - but, shit I definitely don't remember how to do an integral by parts.

In desperation, I say "Hmm, well, this doesn't look like an integral by parts." They chuckle at me. I have some gallows humor, stare at the problem for a couple minutes, then just admit to not knowing how to do an integral by parts. The interview couldn't have lasted longer than 10 or 15 minutes, but it felt like an eternity.

4/2/09

Last fall I really began to heavily network so that I could hopefully land an internship this summer. I had emailed and called every alumni I found on our alumni network. I ended up talking with two alumni at the same time about what I wanted to do with my life and other bullshit. After a couple of these questions, they immediately started drilling me on technical questions which I wasn't prepared for yet because it was still early Fall. I fumbled through those questions and realized they were both big douches for turning what was supposed to be a casual conversation into a technical interview.

4/2/09

My friend was interviewing with GS, I don't know what division. He arrives early and waits in a room with someone who looked she was a secretary. She starts asking him questions about himself, and he responds casually, thinking it's just small talk before the interview. 20 minutes later, the secretary tells him that he could leave now. He asks what about the interview, and she said that that was the interview.

In reply to powertime
4/2/09

That wasn't very cool of them. At the same time, they knew why you really wanted to contact them, so they figured it's better to cut to the chase than waste around with that other "casual conversation" bullshit.

But they could've shown a bit more class than that.

powertime:

Last fall I really began to heavily network so that I could hopefully land an internship this summer. I had emailed and called every alumni I found on our alumni network. I ended up talking with two alumni at the same time about what I wanted to do with my life and other bullshit. After a couple of these questions, they immediately started drilling me on technical questions which I wasn't prepared for yet because it was still early Fall. I fumbled through those questions and realized they were both big douches for turning what was supposed to be a casual conversation into a technical interview.

4/2/09

i had a phone interview with a BB. I was talking about the credit crisis and I mentioned the TED spread. The interviewer asked me what the TED spread was. In a moment of stupidity, I said that the TED spread was the difference between 90 day LIBOR and Fed Funds. We talked some more, but the interview was done as far as getting 2nd rounds was concerned.

not knowing A = L + E..... that can't be beat.

In reply to BlackDog
4/2/09
BlackDog:

My friend was interviewing with GS, I don't know what division. He arrives early and waits in a room with someone who looked she was a secretary. She starts asking him questions about himself, and he responds casually, thinking it's just small talk before the interview. 20 minutes later, the secretary tells him that he could leave now. He asks what about the interview, and she said that that was the interview.

Wtf? That sucks, are they allowed to do that? How did your friend not realize it was an interview from questions like "Tell me about a time when you worked in a team setting" or "How do you price xxx" etc. As a future SA there, I'm quite shocked.

4/3/09

I was interviewing with Morgan Stanley for a Tech associate position. I was asked to write some program that involved hashtables in Java. Strangely i've never heard of hashtables being used in java, but I've used hashmaps. So I just said I had no idea and pretty much left.

When I went home I looked it up and realized that hashtables and hashmaps are the same thing, they just call it hashmap in Java. The problem would've been so easy to solve. Felt like a total idiot. Luckily I got a better offer the following week.

4/3/09

well she just asked him questions about his resume. maybe his experiences weren't impressive enough.

4/3/09

"So, how was your last interview?"
It was ok. These guys took me out to a really fancy lunch to try and impress me or something. So what's the agenda for today?
"Well, we were actually planning on taking you out to lunch with a few of our guys..."

Didn't get an offer. One of my first interviews, give me a break. lol.

In reply to drunktrader
4/3/09

Somewhat unrelated experience of failing.

I was taking programming class required for my math major, and one of final's problems involved hashmaps (it's basically a train with information, each cell contains an info and link to next cell, but you cannot go from 1st cell to 5th). We were allowed to bring any books/notes/printed material on midterms & finals (and averages were still 30-40%, the teacher is the worst teacher in department).

I was extremely stressed about my final (I did average on midterms). I got the results back, course grade B+, I am the happiest person alive. I get my final back (way ahead of very sensitive curve), on the problem that involved hashmaps, I copied part of source code from notes w/o changing names of variables!!! Counted as mistake and (8%). If I were to just pay a tiny bit more attention and change the name of 3 variable in 3 different slots to appropriate ones, I would've gotten an A in class. I went to teacher's office and begged him to have a mercy (I am math person, it was a weed-out class with 95% of wanna-be computer engineers). He said, "Oh, I know it was just an incident. Your solution is correct." He didn't bother changing anything...

devanti:

I was interviewing with Morgan Stanley for a Tech associate position. I was asked to write some program that involved hashtables in Java. Strangely i've never heard of hashtables being used in java, but I've used hashmaps. So I just said I had no idea and pretty much left.

4/3/09
In reply to senior88
4/3/09
juniorr:
BlackDog:

My friend was interviewing with GS, I don't know what division. He arrives early and waits in a room with someone who looked she was a secretary. She starts asking him questions about himself, and he responds casually, thinking it's just small talk before the interview. 20 minutes later, the secretary tells him that he could leave now. He asks what about the interview, and she said that that was the interview.

Wtf? That sucks, are they allowed to do that? How did your friend not realize it was an interview from questions like "Tell me about a time when you worked in a team setting" or "How do you price xxx" etc. As a future SA there, I'm quite shocked.

Why wouldn't they be allowed to do that? I've never done such a thing, but I have heard of similar being done. We want people who are genuine, not someone who puts on an act for a 30 minute interview but is an asshole to those who he doesn't think is there to judge him. Honestly, it's one of the best interviews you can land (no technicals, no standard fit q's... just BS'ing and trying to have a good conversation..). Your interview starts as soon as you step foot off of the subway.

As a future ops SA, I'm not sure how you really expect to know much about the firm..

4/3/09

I interviewed for a Bank of America IBD SA position (stupid me, I know) two years ago...

Two interviewers show up 30+ minutes late (I'm in the first interview slot), so I'm already pissed / don't care since I have a Lazard interview in ~20 minutes.

The interviewer asks me about my perception of BofA's IBD reputation and I tried to sound sympathetic by saying something like "I think it's impressive how BofA's gone from nothing to one of the better investment banks".

Said interviewer was quite pissed off by this remark and begin listing BofA's "impressive" league table rankings of various irrelvant subsectors and deal sizes. He then said some bullshit like "We're even beating JPM in M&A" to which I openly, and quite loudly, laughed by reflex. Of course I didn't mean to laugh out loud, but what can you do?

The interview ended without the usual shaking of hands or me receiving their business cards. Some HR rep called later that night to deliver the bad news.

In reply to you-down-with-SEC
4/3/09
you-down-with-SEC:
juniorr:
BlackDog:

My friend was interviewing with GS, I don't know what division. He arrives early and waits in a room with someone who looked she was a secretary. She starts asking him questions about himself, and he responds casually, thinking it's just small talk before the interview. 20 minutes later, the secretary tells him that he could leave now. He asks what about the interview, and she said that that was the interview.

Wtf? That sucks, are they allowed to do that? How did your friend not realize it was an interview from questions like "Tell me about a time when you worked in a team setting" or "How do you price xxx" etc. As a future SA there, I'm quite shocked.

Why wouldn't they be allowed to do that? I've never done such a thing, but I have heard of similar being done. We want people who are genuine, not someone who puts on an act for a 30 minute interview but is an asshole to those who he doesn't think is there to judge him. Honestly, it's one of the best interviews you can land (no technicals, no standard fit q's... just BS'ing and trying to have a good conversation..). Your interview starts as soon as you step foot off of the subway.

As a future ops SA, I'm not sure how you really expect to know much about the firm..

Well I'm more surprised that the person didn't know it was an interview (I'd think it'd be obvious from the kind of questions). Furthermore, yea people shouldn't be fake during the interview but catching people offguard (such as simply not being formal enough) doesn't really reveal much about the candidate IMO. Now if he was rude and/or incompetent it'd be a different story but from the way he told it it seemed like he was dismissed simply because he was not formal enough (too relaxed).

Furthermore, I'm doing a rotational, not pure Ops, but even so (I'm not sure what firm you're with) but GS Ops definitely looks better now and will look better in the future when compared to how things were done before this crisis. Things are changing on Wall St. and especially with Goldman (I picked the program over UBS IBD as I did it soph year). If you want to talk about this further I can PM/give you the contact of 2 VP's who have quite a bit of inside information on this.

Cheers.

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4/3/09

you picked GS Ops over UBS IBD?

you, my friend, just bought a load of crap. i can't believe you let 2 VPs sell you on their bullshit. and you just ate it hook, line, and sinker?

wow.

4/3/09

Did it last year, didn't like it much. Could go back (have a person in there) so we'll see what happens next year. Don't think I'm missing much looking at their bonus cuts and also the UBS-LA location. My goal is to work in Asia and take over my family's business after getting a MBA anyways so I'm trying to find an enjoyable 2-3 year stint.

4/3/09

I had an interview with pimco did not go so well.

Start of the interview the lady asked me to name 3 adjectives that my friends would say to describe my personality . Answered those pretty easily. She then asked me to name three adjectives that my mother would describe me with. I stumbled through this part. She then had the nerve to ask me to name another three adjectives that my father would use to describe my personality. By this time I was talking out of my ass and sweating bullets.....we repeated this with weaknesses.........did not get the internship.

4/3/09

my first interview from OCR as a soph. my response to "Why do you want to work here?" was a bunch of B.S. I did well on the quant questions though but near the end he asked me where else I applied and I blurted out "a lot of places". he asked me what I would do to deal with a troublesome coworker and I told him more B.S. about how I would try to make friends and try to be understanding, it was prob. the most obvious B.S. i've ever said.

Long story short, basically he knew I didn't know crap about the company and I had my eggs elsewhere. I didn't get 2nd round.

In reply to senior88
4/3/09
juniorr:

Did it last year, didn't like it much. Could go back (have a person in there) so we'll see what happens next year. Don't think I'm missing much looking at their bonus cuts and also the UBS-LA location..

Sounds like you are trying to justify the wrong choice. Either way SA at UBS IBD, especially in LA would open a lot of doors (think Lazard, Greenhill, MS, all elite/BB). When your future employer looks at your resume, what's more impressive and more competitive? UBS LA IBD or GS Ops?
"looking at their bonus cuts," so you are in for $$$?

In reply to The Phantom
4/4/09
PussInBoots:
juniorr:

Did it last year, didn't like it much. Could go back (have a person in there) so we'll see what happens next year. Don't think I'm missing much looking at their bonus cuts and also the UBS-LA location..

Sounds like you are trying to justify the wrong choice. Either way SA at UBS IBD, especially in LA would open a lot of doors (think Lazard, Greenhill, MS, all elite/BB). When your future employer looks at your resume, what's more impressive and more competitive? UBS LA IBD or GS Ops?
"looking at their bonus cuts," so you are in for $$$?

Everyone is in it for the money. Even if it's not the main purpose, it certainly is a factor that influences one's decision. If everyone made the exact same amount of money, whether you were in IB, accounting, education, etc., how many people do you think would give themselves to the 100 hour work weeks and absolute torture that is the IB analyst stint? Not too many.

That being said, he definitely should have taken the IB job at UBS.

4/4/09

My first (+last) interview for Summer Internships in London was with a fixed income manager. I'd given up hope of getting an internship anywhere so when I got the call I was quite surprised and had only 1 day's notice.

So we talked about Quantitative Easing, whether I think it will work, corporate debt, equity vs debt, yields and rates, some of the stuff on my CV and everything is going pretty good.

Then I bomb on "Why BlackRock as opposed to Fidelity, Schroders etc.?" - My answer is terrible it's like "because Blackrock is global and a big company. I want to be a part of something big. + I have a close friend who has interned here and he recommended it".

I also said "they didn't hedge" instead of "diversify" by accident in reply to a question about a failing investor and he corrected me before I could correct myself :(

Feedback - They said he was impressed with my market knowledge but I didn't sell myself well enough on my ECs and didn't show enough determination to work for blackrock and interning in PM.

I think I was a bit of an idiot for not preparing for the obvious questions properly. I did my research into Blackrock and news about them but I didn't interject and show off my knowledge which is something I think you have to do with certain interviewers.

I was very impressed with them though, they were very professional and I'd love to intern there.

In reply to models_and_bottles
4/4/09
models_and_bottles:

I interviewed for a Bank of America IBD SA position (stupid me, I know) two years ago...

Two interviewers show up 30+ minutes late (I'm in the first interview slot), so I'm already pissed / don't care since I have a Lazard interview in ~20 minutes.

The interviewer asks me about my perception of BofA's IBD reputation and I tried to sound sympathetic by saying something like "I think it's impressive how BofA's gone from nothing to one of the better investment banks".

Said interviewer was quite pissed off by this remark and begin listing BofA's "impressive" league table rankings of various irrelvant subsectors and deal sizes. He then said some bullshit like "We're even beating JPM in M&A" to which I openly, and quite loudly, laughed by reflex. Of course I didn't mean to laugh out loud, but what can you do?

The interview ended without the usual shaking of hands or me receiving their business cards. Some HR rep called later that night to deliver the bad news.

Great story

4/6/09

I had a fulltime Putnam first round last year during OCR. They had a schmoozer the night before but I did not attend. Truthfully, it was late in the OCR season and I had already gotten an attractive offer and I was frankly tired of schmoozing at pre-interview nights.

First question I get when I sit down was... "so, I didn't see you last night..."

Caught off guard, I tried to come up with some bullshit excuse about project work or a test I was studying for, when in reality I was playing computer games. Before I even finish he cuts me off and says, "There's no need for excuses."

Needless to say the rest of the interview went South and I didn't advance to the next round.

4/6/09

Same OCR season as above. A little earlier in OCR, I had no offers. So I wouldn't have minded this job... or any job for that matter. I think it was actually my 2nd interview.

I wasn't prepared for my shit and for some dumbass reason I was running late. I literally ran the 3-4 blocks from my dorm to the interview suites and it was warm out.

So before the interview started I looked like the guy in picture of the OP. Disgusting.

He starts off pretty technical and, like I said, I didn't know my shit. I was failing miserably, sweating like a monkey (like, to the point of needing to wipe my brow), and it was fairly clear after the first 3 minutes this interview wasn't going anywhere.

Mercifully, it only lasted like 12 minutes and I don't think I even asked any questions.

In reply to chron3k
4/6/09
chron3k:

I was frankly tired of schmoozing at pre-interview nights.

Yeah, to hell with the schmoozing. It's pretty sickening to see the amount of ass kissing that goes on at these events. At one Goldman pre-interview (for Ops, IT and Compliance, mind you), the GS employees seemed so smug while being surrounded by small crowds of brown-nosing college kids. I remember for the ops lady, some nerdy guy walked right through the crowd to shake her hand, and proceeded to interrupt her story and tell ALL of us about his own background. I couldn't believe he was showing off about how he was double majoring in physics and quantitative finance, and was hoping to start on his PHD. For Operations! At the every least, I got to eat some nice food for free.

4/7/09

You're lucky for getting a good free meal.

PNC IBD gave us the crappiest salmon and meat. It was blasted in lemon to hide the blandness. Mind you this was at their headquarters and they could obviously afford better stuff. Also everyone tried hard to avoid the immoral act of using gov't money to buy out National City (happened a few days ago), so finance/market questions specific to PNC was mostly avoided. Thus we mostly stared at each other and smiled uncomfortably (subsequently forcing us to eat the crappy food since eating gave an excuse for not talking).

4/7/09

In the past, many of these firms have taken people out for some good food, at nice restaurants. Now, you're probably lucky if they take you out to McDonalds for a quick lunch.

5/15/09

I interviewed with a boutique investment bank a few weeks ago for an intern position. Since I already am working at a Private Equity firm, I went just for some interview practice/network.
The guy who was interviewing me sounded EXACTLY like Xerxes from the movie 300. After a few minutes, I couldn't help him picture as the bald Xerxes with piercings and I start laughing hysterically. I swear the look on his face was fucking priceless. He asked me if anything is wrong or if I am okay; I apologize and the interview is finished without even handshakes/"we'll call you within 2weeks"/business card.
Btw, he was middle eastern so it added more credibility to the Xerxes thing.

In reply to slik vik
5/15/09
slik vik:

I interviewed with a boutique investment bank a few weeks ago for an intern position. Since I already am working at a Private Equity firm, I went just for some interview practice/network.
The guy who was interviewing me sounded EXACTLY like Xerxes from the movie 300. After a few minutes, I couldn't help him picture as the bald Xerxes with piercings and I start laughing hysterically. I swear the look on his face was fucking priceless. He asked me if anything is wrong or if I am okay; I apologize and the interview is finished without even handshakes/"we'll call you within 2weeks"/business card.
Btw, he was middle eastern so it added more credibility to the Xerxes thing.

LOL. Brilliant

5/16/09

% of the stories in this thread that are even close to reality: < 20%.

5/17/09

^^pretty sad considering maybe <5% are even funny

5/17/09

I was at an interview in IBD intern position. I had just come back 4 days earlier from a trip to southeast asia, and had mega ass blow! Basically if i farted, it wasnt all just air!

Anyway was in the interview and i had one coming, i was nervous and couldnt keep it in, let it out (it was silent), and it wasnt just fart, it was a shart!! anyway, i had worn especially tight underwear, 2 pairs infact, and luckily it held it in so it didnt run down my leg. but there wes a putrid smell.

Noone said anything, they mustve just thought I let rip a normal fart, that really hung around! luckily they ended the interview like 5 minutes later cos they couldnt handle the smell i suspect.

They probably thought I shat myself because i was so nervous, but truth was it was because I had the Squirts!!!

Big 4 Accounting Guide to Getting Hired Contains interview questions, exactly how to answer, resume guide, how to make an impact and a guide to the firms and service lines.

5/17/09
5/22/09

Hi, my WORST interview was my very first with a BB investment bank, and was in 2006. It was a once-off final round interview that went on for 2 hours.

I interviewed with the head of debt capital markets and managing director of RBC CM, and it being my very first interview, was overly nervous.

At this time the GFC was just starting to unravel, and in the interview I was asked what the impact the GFC would have on their firm. Being completely inexperienced, I said "NONE" followed by a b.s. answer (which did not even make sense to this day). Needless to say, I did not get the job and can see clearly why!!!

I believe they made a very very good decision not to hire me, in fact, it was a pretty good damn play on their part to just ignore me thereafter (i.e. no call, rejection letter, etc).

They gave me indirect feedback by having made HUGE asset write-downs and losing heaps of money because of the GFC- couldn't have asked for better. Kudos to RBC.

Now that i'm more knowledgeable and have studied finance, I am gunning for an ib position. Fingers crossed.

Big Four Graduate Analyst- Global Transfer Pricing (Tax Services)- from July 2009

In reply to balooshi
5/24/09
slik vik:

I interviewed with a boutique investment bank a few weeks ago for an intern position. Since I already am working at a Private Equity firm, I went just for some interview practice/network.
The guy who was interviewing me sounded EXACTLY like Xerxes from the movie 300. After a few minutes, I couldn't help him picture as the bald Xerxes with piercings and I start laughing hysterically. I swear the look on his face was fucking priceless. He asked me if anything is wrong or if I am okay; I apologize and the interview is finished without even handshakes/"we'll call you within 2weeks"/business card.
Btw, he was middle eastern so it added more credibility to the Xerxes thing.

balooshi:

I was at an interview in IBD intern position. I had just come back 4 days earlier from a trip to southeast asia, and had mega ass blow! Basically if i farted, it wasnt all just air!

Anyway was in the interview and i had one coming, i was nervous and couldnt keep it in, let it out (it was silent), and it wasnt just fart, it was a shart!! anyway, i had worn especially tight underwear, 2 pairs infact, and luckily it held it in so it didnt run down my leg. but there wes a putrid smell.

Noone said anything, they mustve just thought I let rip a normal fart, that really hung around! luckily they ended the interview like 5 minutes later cos they couldnt handle the smell i suspect.

They probably thought I shat myself because i was so nervous, but truth was it was because I had the Squirts!!!

LOL! These were great.

5/27/09

I went to interview with one of the prestigious boutique ibanks, and the first round interviews were held in a midtown hotel. I showed up about 15 minutes early, and planned to use the bathroom (#2). When I got up to the right floor, and knocked on the door, I realized it was literally a hotel room not a conference room or anything. The guy said "you're a little early, why don't we get started." I asked to use the bathroom quickly, and it was quite awkward sitting on the john for 3-5 minutes while a VP was waiting in the hotel room for me. I didn't make a big deal out of it when I walked out, but unfortunately the interview didn't go well anyway.

Note to self: next time use starbucks bathroom first.

In reply to Banker88
5/28/09
banker88:

I went to interview with one of the prestigious boutique ibanks, and the first round interviews were held in a midtown hotel. I showed up about 15 minutes early, and planned to use the bathroom (#2). When I got up to the right floor, and knocked on the door, I realized it was literally a hotel room not a conference room or anything. The guy said "you're a little early, why don't we get started." I asked to use the bathroom quickly, and it was quite awkward sitting on the john for 3-5 minutes while a VP was waiting in the hotel room for me. I didn't make a big deal out of it when I walked out, but unfortunately the interview didn't go well anyway.

Note to self: next time use starbucks bathroom first.

Should have asked if you could borrow a spare WSJ. At least he will know you don't just shit your time away (pun intended)

5/28/09

In a BB interview I totally screwed up a question b/c I went into too much detail, which was my "greatest weakness" for which I had previously alluded to.

7/14/09

Even if only 1% of these posts is real, it's still pretty hilarious!

8/17/09

About 2 years ago I had an interview at BNP for fixed income sales / trading. This was one of my first interviews so I meet with the first guy who is French and he sees on my resume that I'm in a fraternity and starts asking about it. So I go through the routine of community service, sports etc. and he starts asking me if it's a big party fraternity. Being naive I told the truth and mentioned how we would throw huge parties and get incredibly wasted and we were notorious on campus for kids failing out due to poor grades -even managed to drop the F bomb a few times. Classy.

I'm supposed to meet with the next guy, but he's tied up, so a random MD comes in and starts busting my balls. Tells me his parents were scientists and worked for NASA and that he was a genius. I mention that I traded FX on my own and asks me if i use algorithms (no). Starts asking square roots, brainteasers etc. Eventually asks me why I'm better than an algorithm. For the most part come up with pretty decent answers and held it together much better than in the first round.

No call back. Spoke to a friend of mine who worked there...apparently the french guy loved me. The MD hated me.

1/1/10

My first round interview at GS was at 8:30 in the morning. Never having interviewed at GS before and not having known what to expect beforehand, I was a nervous wreck for the full 25 minutes, for which I was verbally incoherent and might as well have been speaking jibberish. At the end of the interview, I was so embarrassed with myself and so glad to be done that I bid the interviewer farewell by accidentally shouting "Goodnight!".........at 9:00am. The strange thing is that I got to superday/final round. I've had interviews where I was confident and answered all the questions correctly, only to be rejected. It just goes to show that the interview process is a major part luck too, so don't waste time beating yourself up over silly mistakes as long as you don't repeat them!

3/29/10

I had an interview with Urdang for which I thought would be just a strictly real estate base interview and didn't realize it was part of their PE group. So, after 5 minutes of talking about myself and establishing how the associate was from my home town and knew of my friends' older brothers, he murdered me for the next 45 minutes with tech Qs. I mean heavy finance, DCF (standard), bond markets, macroeconomics, Subprime mess, I mean stuff that you need to either have a minimum years worth of experience or just be a finance geek. Needless to say, he was laughing at me by the end of the interview and nearly crushed my interviewing confidence. The next day, I found out that I had applied to an min. 3-5 year REIT analyst job....lucky me

3/29/10

i fucked up the "Which is better, debt or equity?" question with a BB in Hong Kong...
That's almost as bad as the A=L+E screwup

In reply to senior88
4/24/10

ROFL "Ponzi Scheme" Hilarious

4/24/10

my worst mistake was so embarrassing (it still is) that i don't even want to talk about it now. It was much worse than A = L + E one.

4/25/10

Had a interview with Renaissance Technologies and they asked me to write a proof for 1* (a*0) = 0.

In reply to blastoise
4/25/10
balbasur:

Had a interview with Renaissance Technologies and they asked me to write a proof for 1* (a*0) = 0.

You must be kidding.....

5/8/10

Once, at a small shop, I was being interviewed by 2 people. I am sitting comfortably in my chair. In walks a 3rd guy. I'm not really paying attention to him as he enters, and when he walks up to introduce himself to me, I panic and shake his hand while sitting down. Terribly awkward.

5/9/10

My friend's twin brother, to the Internet when he got home from his interview. I wonder if he was like this the whole plane ride.:

Hackmeister: i just got back from my second interview with Schlumberger.
it seems like an pretty sweet job. yes a lot of hours but all the people are awesome, work hard / party hard type people, like me. we visited a real oil well and everything, and it definately seems like the type of atmosphere i'd like to work in. pay would be awesome, and even during the 6-8 months of training all housing, food, etc expenses are paid for and i'd still be getting a massive training bonus as well.
oh yeah i've only slept like 8 hours since wednesday night but i'm still champing along. all 14 of us they brought along for the interviews stayed up all night drinking and playing flip cup with the recruiters. how many job interviews can you do THAT?
oh and the recruiters were BLASTED from PF Chang's when they gave us the "exit interviews" pretty much asking us if we want the job / if so where we'd want to go. so FAWWWKKK YEAHH it's in the bag. itd be really sweet too if the put me in grand junction, CO, only around an hour from moab! KICKIN RADDD MOFOOO

He didn't get the job.

In reply to magnit
5/13/10
bluecoat:
balbasur:

Had a interview with Renaissance Technologies and they asked me to write a proof for 1* (a*0) = 0.

You must be kidding.....

He probably is, but the sad thing is, you can construct a very legit proof of this from basic number theory axioms. Come to think of it, it's probably a very good question to separate the true math geeks from the rest...

5/14/10

Interview at the RBS superday this year, killed the first one, moved on to second feeling good, seemed to be answering things alright, then I mentioned that I did a lot of analysis on Coach for a school project and somehow we got to talking about why they were considering doing a large stock issue to finance some expansions. "Why would a company choose to finance with equity over debt?" I was about to say something and just froze... stumbled through something, incorrectly said that equity might be cheaper for them in this case blah blah, it ruined me and I got shook. We moved on and all of a sudden I blurted out "debt covenants! they can't take on any more debt due to agreements with lenders and they have to raise capital through other ways!". No offer. =p

Still not sure if I want to spend the next 30+ years grinding away in corporate finance and the WSO dream chase or look to have enough passive income to live simply and work minimally.

5/14/10

I've definitely been in several interviews where I start asking questions about the role and what it's like working there and I can't feign enthusiasm for working there...

then the interview hits a dead end and it becomes blatantly obvious that I don't want the role and don't want the job and they look at me like "why the hell did you come in for the interview"....

6/8/10

My only bad interview was my first one. And it was horrible. True story:
Background, I was born in Eastern Europe, but had lived in the US for some time and usually spoke with a normal, American accent.

Before I walked in to my interviewer's office, I was given a visitor's pass to put around my neck.
This was for Equity Research; One of the first questions was: "How do you stay motivated."

I was a freshman then and kind of obnoxious.
I said, "Every morning, I wake up ready to bite the ass off a bear."
Apparently he hadn't read Liar's Poker and seemed to be offended.

About 5 minutes later, after a few easy technicals, he asked me which databases I was familiar with.
I said "Ummm not sure. But I could always ask a librarian." He stared for a few seconds. After this I got nervous and began to speak with a farily heavy Eastern European accent.

Towards the end of that interview he couldn't find one of my achievements on my resume and I walked over to his side of the desk to point it out.

At the end of the interview, he accompanied me to the elevator, and at this point I was aware of how horribly I did, and I swear he must have asked me a couple of questions just to initiate small-talk but at that point I was completely oblivious to my surroundings and didn't say a word to him. I had also forgotten about my visitor's pass until I reached my car in the parking structure. I had to go back to the floor and give it to the secretary.

It was a mess.

In reply to MagicKarp
6/8/10
MagicKarp:

My only bad interview was my first one. And it was horrible. True story:
Background, I was born in Eastern Europe, but had lived in the US for some time and usually spoke with a normal, American accent.

Before I walked in to my interviewer's office, I was given a visitor's pass to put around my neck.
This was for Equity Research; One of the first questions was: "How do you stay motivated."

I was a freshman then and kind of obnoxious.
I said, "Every morning, I wake up ready to bite the ass off a bear."
Apparently he hadn't read Liar's Poker and seemed to be offended.

About 5 minutes later, after a few easy technicals, he asked me which databases I was familiar with.
I said "Ummm not sure. But I could always ask a librarian." He stared for a few seconds. After this I got nervous and began to speak with a farily heavy Eastern European accent.

Towards the end of that interview he couldn't find one of my achievements on my resume and I walked over to his side of the desk to point it out.

At the end of the interview, he accompanied me to the elevator, and at this point I was aware of how horribly I did, and I swear he must have asked me a couple of questions just to initiate small-talk but at that point I was completely oblivious to my surroundings and didn't say a word to him. I had also forgotten about my visitor's pass until I reached my car in the parking structure. I had to go back to the floor and give it to the secretary.

It was a mess.

look at the bright side you get to evolve into gyadose i evolve into a tank with a flower on it

6/8/10

lol balb

"You stop being an asshole when it sucks to be you." -IlliniProgrammer
"Your grammar made me wish I'd been aborted." -happypantsmcgee

6/23/10

generally I could feel how insulted he actually felt =)

I had similar experience with Accenture (strategy). Was only interested in MBB, went for the interview for case practice. Was asked if i was interested in IT consulting, answered no. Asked again, still same answer. She switched with a fit question, then asked me once again, for the third time, if I could think of doing some IT consulting, said no.

Didn't get the job. Feedback was the standard one, "not structural enough"

  • vanillathunder12
  •  11/9/10

For a sophomore three day leadership thing with PwC, my roommate saved a patch of hair off the night before while I was asleep. I woke up, realized what he had done, put a bandage around my head and said I had crashed my bike the day earlier. Needless to say it didn't work out.

In reply to Chris_Marlin
11/10/10
Chris_Marlin:

Phone interview with citi: interviewer asked me what my biggest regret was in college.. i had never been asked this before and was caught a little off guard.. i didn't know what to say so I said "i wish i worked a little bit harder (i have a 3.2gpa)" she said "why?" i said "so i could've potentially been in a better position in terms of recruiting" she said "what's wrong with citi?" there was a bit of awkward silence and i said.. you're right.. i have no regrets

LOL

i did not advance.....

Hahahaha

11/11/10

this was actually my first finance interview when i was a sophomore interviewing for ibd at a bulge bracket firm. it was all fit and there was good cop / bad cop so i was already pretty stressed. the guy asked "tell me about a time when you got into a confrontation"

so basically since it was my first finance interview and i was completely unprepared the only thing i could think of was a heated confrontation with my roommate the week before. basically i was eating fried chicken and since my waste basket was filled i went over to his side of the room and dumped my chicken bones into his garbage can. he went apeshit and then proceeded to dump his entire garbage can over my garbage can which basically became a pile of trash in my corner of the room since the garbage was overfilled. and then we argued about it for like a week. my resolution was basically that i shouldn't be eating fried chicken in my room in the first place =(

it was the only answer i could think of. needless to say they weren't very impressed.

In reply to myblackberryblinks
11/11/10
myblackberryblinks:

this was actually my first finance interview when i was a sophomore interviewing for ibd at a bulge bracket firm. it was all fit and there was good cop / bad cop so i was already pretty stressed. the guy asked "tell me about a time when you got into a confrontation"

so basically since it was my first finance interview and i was completely unprepared the only thing i could think of was a heated confrontation with my roommate the week before. basically i was eating fried chicken and since my waste basket was filled i went over to his side of the room and dumped my chicken bones into his garbage can. he went apeshit and then proceeded to dump his entire garbage can over my garbage can which basically became a pile of trash in my corner of the room since the garbage was overfilled. and then we argued about it for like a week. my resolution was basically that i shouldn't be eating fried chicken in my room in the first place =(

it was the only answer i could think of. needless to say they weren't very impressed.

Did you tell them how you took the trash and threw it in your roommates face before beating him retarded? Because that would have shown that you're aggressive...

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

In reply to blastoise
11/11/10
squirtlez:

Had a interview with Renaissance Technologies and they asked me to write a proof for 1* (a*0) = 0.

Gonna pull this one out my ass but here goes:

Claim: 1*(a*0) = 0.

Proof. 1 is the multiplicative identity of the real field, and thus 1*(a*0) = (a*0). Suppose for a contradiction there exists a nonzero a such that a*0 = b for some nonzero b. Since a belongs to the ring of reals, there exists a nonzero inverse element a^-1 such that a^-1*a = 1. Thus 0 = a^-1*b. But the ring of reals is closed under multiplication and so a^-1*b cannot be zero, leading to a contradiction.

11/27/10

In early January, I had a Superday with a BB for a SA spot in their Asset Mgmt division. I got in touch with a person at school who did the SA with the same BB the previous year and he told me the 1st 3 interviews were all from HR, piece of cake. Turns out, the 1st 4 interviews were with different groups each (quant, research, ops, p-wealth), and even though they were all behavioral and relatively easy, they all asked the same question at the end - "What group do you see yourself working for?"

Nervous, I decided to answer the question by tailoring it to each group i met (when i met with quant i said "The quant group! because blah blah blah", etc.) even though what I really wanted to was research.

As I sat in the room with all the other interviewees, waiting for recruiters to call and tell us whether we move on or not, my name gets called. Recruiter tells me I did not advance, why? .........because when they were discussing me, they were unsure on what exactly I wanted to do and what group was best for me, since i gave them all different answers.......

My train ride back home was not the happiest, hahaha.

11/29/10

OCR 2006 I applied for an accounting job at a nice boutique (from a family of accountants--father was a corporate CFO of a F500 company. He's also dead and obviously has no pull). Because my GPA was 2.5, I kept it off my resume. So I went to the pre-interview information session and hit it off BIG time with the partners and associates that were on-campus recruiting. I DESTROYED the interview the next day and made up some excuse why I hadn't provided my GPA ("well, I honestly don't know what it is. I'll have to get back to you guys on that"). In the mean time, the company brought me up to its headquarters and the team interviewed me there. Afterward, the partner took me in a room by ourselves and said that I was going to be a future partner--that I had the personality, drive and intelligence to be a 7-figure partner in about 10 years and that they wanted me. BUT, they needed to see my transcript--and that since they liked me so much and since he was an alumnus, if I had something moderately respectable--like a 2.8--they could take me on. So that day, I wrote a letter to the company with my transcript enclosed explaining my college performance of 2.5 (which includes several Ds, a few Fs, and virtually no As at all).

I went from future 7-figure partner to never hearing from them again. I don't know if I'll ever get over that one fully.

In reply to ivoteforthatguy
11/29/10
ivoteforthatguy:
squirtlez:

Had a interview with Renaissance Technologies and they asked me to write a proof for 1* (a*0) = 0.

Gonna pull this one out my ass but here goes:

Claim: 1*(a*0) = 0.

Proof. 1 is the multiplicative identity of the real field, and thus 1*(a*0) = (a*0). Suppose for a contradiction there exists a nonzero a such that a*0 = b for some nonzero b. Since a belongs to the ring of reals, there exists a nonzero inverse element a^-1 such that a^-1*a = 1. Thus 0 = a^-1*b. But the ring of reals is closed under multiplication and so a^-1*b cannot be zero, leading to a contradiction.

1*(a*0) = 0 ; distributive property

a * 0 = 0 ; multiplication property of zero

0 = 0 ; ta-da!

anything times zero will give you zero.......

11/29/10

Blastoise,

You can't just say that anything times zero will give you zero, that is part of the proof.

It should be (and as far as I know is) more complicated than that.

12/29/10

I had a FT corporate finance interview. The question was 'What was the hardest part about moving from office x to office y (same company). I said I put on some extra weight (it's true) and laughed it of. Dinged.

In reply to balooshi
1/9/11
balooshi:

I was at an interview in IBD intern position. I had just come back 4 days earlier from a trip to southeast asia, and had mega ass blow! Basically if i farted, it wasnt all just air!

Anyway was in the interview and i had one coming, i was nervous and couldnt keep it in, let it out (it was silent), and it wasnt just fart, it was a shart!! anyway, i had worn especially tight underwear, 2 pairs infact, and luckily it held it in so it didnt run down my leg. but there wes a putrid smell.

Noone said anything, they mustve just thought I let rip a normal fart, that really hung around! luckily they ended the interview like 5 minutes later cos they couldnt handle the smell i suspect.

They probably thought I shat myself because i was so nervous, but truth was it was because I had the Squirts!!!

I totally laughed out loud after I read this.

1/13/11
In reply to theATL
1/13/11
theATL:

Blastoise,

You can't just say that anything times zero will give you zero, that is part of the proof.

It should be (and as far as I know is) more complicated than that.

Pretty sure he was messing around, but still. to prove 1* (a*0) = 0...

1*0 = 0, this is true

If there is some a for which a*0 = 0, then it is zero for all a's because: (a+1)*0 = a*0 +1*0 = 0. Multiplied by one, that's still zero.

It's zero for a = 0 (pick any number), hence it's zero for all numbers.

In reply to Virginia Tech 4ever
1/13/11
Virginia Tech 4ever:

OCR 2006 I applied for an accounting job at a nice boutique (from a family of accountants--father was a corporate CFO of a F500 company. He's also dead and obviously has no pull). Because my GPA was 2.5, I kept it off my resume. So I went to the pre-interview information session and hit it off BIG time with the partners and associates that were on-campus recruiting. I DESTROYED the interview the next day and made up some excuse why I hadn't provided my GPA ("well, I honestly don't know what it is. I'll have to get back to you guys on that"). In the mean time, the company brought me up to its headquarters and the team interviewed me there. Afterward, the partner took me in a room by ourselves and said that I was going to be a future partner--that I had the personality, drive and intelligence to be a 7-figure partner in about 10 years and that they wanted me. BUT, they needed to see my transcript--and that since they liked me so much and since he was an alumnus, if I had something moderately respectable--like a 2.8--they could take me on. So that day, I wrote a letter to the company with my transcript enclosed explaining my college performance of 2.5 (which includes several Ds, a few Fs, and virtually no As at all).

I went from future 7-figure partner to never hearing from them again. I don't know if I'll ever get over that one fully.

VT, how did you have a 2.5 from tech when you werent even drinking?

1/13/11

Depression, ADHD (legitimately), lack of career focus, strong desire to drop out of school, focus on friendships and college football and basketball (close to obsessions at the time), and a semseter or so in a fraternity. People can do poorly in school without being dumb or dealing with a death in the family. I was just a teenager ("17 without a purpose or direction").

1/27/11

1*(a*0) = 0
Pf:
Suppose not. Then 1*(a*0) = b where b != 0. Then rearrange to get 0 = b / (1 * a). Add 1 to both sides, and we get , 1 = b / (1*a) + 1. This is the same as 1 * (1*a) = b + 1 * (1 * a). Subtract 1*(1*a) from both sides, and this implies that 0 = b. A contradiction because we stated that b wasn't equal to 0.

So by proof by contradiction, 1*(a*0) = 0.

1/27/11
3/2/11

There are too many assumptions being made in the 1*(a*0)=0 question.

If we are working with a non-commutative ring there can exist 'a' such that for non zero 'b', ab=0. If a belongs to an integral domain then we don't have to worry about non-zero divisors.

3/2/11

AC Morgan Stanley S&T graduate program. A trader asked me what company I liked. Said Apple but didn't know shit about them except they build iphone and their share price was $x. So I wanted to show off and told him I liked them because they have a very low spread on their 5Y CDS. He asked me how much is it. Said 100bps. He noted on his paper. Once at home, I found out that Apple doesn't have any debt on the market and so their CDS doesn't exist.

Never heard back after the AC...

3/2/11
2/22/12

Anyone else think that telephone interviews are the worst? I much rather do it in person. I had a guy ask me what the definition of TVM was and I completely went blank even though I knew the answer. I wasn't even articulate enough to even to explain it. He explained it to me like I was 5. There was no way to spin out of that question either. I can't stop thinking about it.. FML X20

2/23/12

First interview ever - got asked a question about ethic problems, I misheard and thought the interviewer said "ethnic problems." I then proceeded to go on some semi-racial rant..... needless to say - I didn't get a callback. Definitely one of the most embarrassing moments of my entire life.

3/1/12

I've got two.

Macquarie IBD SA, 2:1, NYC office. Cruising along, not my best performance but not my worst. Get a wicked brainteaser, reply using a strong methodology. I made one shaky assumption, but addressed the mistake before they did. Not fatal, that said I was on edge at this point.

Then I get asked by a VP: "what is 99 times 99."

Fuck. Blanked. The second year analyst ends up trying to teach me mental math - and I'm still not getting it. I did college calc in high school, but I can't figure out how to do (99*100)-99 without pen and paper. They were gracious about it though, moved on to the rest of the interview, and let me ask them all of my carefully researched questions at the end. Macquarie runs their graduate recruiting better than any other firm I've encountered, especially the BBs.

Jefferies FI S&T SA, Superday, NYC office.

I had applied to Jefferies IBD SA, but someone flagged my resume for FI, probably based on a prior DCM internship. I had no basis in S&T, but I did some homework and passed the 2:1 phone interview. The Superday was my third interview in two days and I was very sharp. First 2:1, I overstretched a little bit with a thesis on why I thought treasury yields were detaching from economic indicators (QE, I know), but the next few rounds were great. Had a 2:1 with two guys I loved - tried to get me with a couple of good cop/bad cop traps, but I was a pro and they were loving it.

Then I have the last round, a 1:1. He was finishing up with the previous interview. I showed up as the kid asked him for a business card - he didn't have any, but gave him his email address. I walk in, sit down, and the MD introduces himself as the S&T Global Head for the asset class to which I had prior exposure. He says that he wants to talk shop, but HR needs him to cover a couple of form questions first. I get a weakness question, working with teams, etc - crisp answers, and I think he was genuinely intrigued by my responses.

I was in the zone - there was zero slack in the conversation, and it was great. We wrap up the basic fit stuff, and discuss Jefferies' practice within his asset class, Jefferies' business model, and so forth. I knew my shit, so I start asking some higher level questions about Volcker rule and Dodd-Frank, and how that would affect the business. He starts to discuss how, even though the firm doesn't have prop trading, they've had to juice up risk management and rein in market making - and I actually cut him off, to point out that Jefferies isn't a holding company and isn't subject to Volcker.

He looks at me open-mouth, tells me that he has read Dodd-Frank, and it is his job to understand what's going on to his business. He clarifies why Volcker still affects Jefferies - marketplace is demanding that all broker/dealers get in compliance, even if the law does not - and we chat for another few minutes. He was affable enough towards the end, so I thought maybe I wasn't screwed. But then time is up, I ask him if he has a business card: "no."

I've learned so many valuable lessons through these two failures. I still feel like an idiot and an asshole every time I think of them.

"There are three ways to make a living in this business: be first, be smarter, or cheat."

3/5/12

This was fall of 2007. I was interviewing at a Tech Boutique, but didn't know squat about tech. The interviewer asked me what stock I liked, I said Apple. If only I had stopped talking after that...

I proceeded to give a ~20 minute monologue on how great the i-Phone was, what sort of different features it had, how much it costs, if the price was justified, how many of my friends had it, blah, blah, blah. I did everything but reach into my pocket, and shove my i-Phone in his face.

I didn't get the offer. I still wince every time I remember that interview.

Calling Ron Paul an isolationist is like calling your neighbor a hermit because he doesn't come over to your property and break your windows.

3/5/12

But you were basically right...

3/19/12

How technical are sales/ibd interviews?

I'm gonna get that bish some binary
Bishes love binary
---------
Kind Regards,

Bin_Ban

3/20/12

Sophomore year, SA for some quant trading firm that I don't even remember the name of. They selected me on OCR so I said, "Meh, why the hell not?" and went in for the interview. Didn't know jack shit about S&T at the time, especially since this was just the beginning of my finance interest and I could barely explain what a DCF was. We sit down, one or two fit questions. The interviewer is pretty nice and welcoming, leads forward and engages me in conversation. Then he puts his pen down, sits back in his chair, and says, "What's 17 x 25?"

I take like, 5 seconds to calculate in my head. Open my mouth to answer. He cuts me off - "Too slow."
I apologize. He shrugs. "What's 99 x 99?" I repeat the same thing, he gives the same answer - "Too slow."
"What's 1/8th of 120?" This time, instead of calculating silently, I walk him through the calculation like so: "1/8th of 100 is 12.5, 1/8th of 20 is 2.5, so it's 15." He looks at me and says, "I asked for the numerical answer, not a long winded explanation."

We both stare at each other in silence for about 20 seconds. Then he says, "I think you might want to consider other career options" at the same time I said, "Yeah, maybe trading isn't really right for me."

Currently: becoming a clinical psychologist... yep, I quit finance
Previously: M&A consulting (Big 4), M&A banking (MM), business research (HBS)

4/1/12

LOLLLL a few month ago I hit a new record with interview fail.

Interviewer at a very respectable prop shop asked, "how did you hear about us?"

idk what was wrong with me, but I said "well, I saw this ranking on a forum......"

WOW. W.T.F. After I said that I immediately knew I was dinged.

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.

In reply to Virginia Tech 4ever
4/1/12

.

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.

In reply to Virginia Tech 4ever
4/1/12

.

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.

4/1/12

.

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.

4/2/12

I work in ops at a BB and I wouldn't
mind working at UBS IBD

4/2/12

Interview asks a question where do you see yourself in 10 years. I go off about how I say working at GE and then I say I wasn't sure if you were aware but GE has created x CEO and I hope to see myself in that position one day.

The company she works for happens to place interns at GE.....

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

4/2/12

I do some really stupid shit in interviews when I get nervous.

Once I said "Yeah Im gonna keep my ears peeled" in response to a question and on the way out I was so nervous that when he walked me to the elevator, I said goodbye by giving him a thumbs up and saying "Cya later man!". We just stared at each other then and it took a fucking eternity for the elevator doors to close...

4/2/12

One of my very first interviews:

interviewer: Tell me about a misconception people have about you.
Me: I am a really driven and serious person, so sometimes it seems people think i'm a jerk and I don't come off as friendly.

woops

In reply to BulgeBracket
4/2/12
BulgeBracket:

I do some really stupid shit in interviews when I get nervous.

Once I said "Yeah Im gonna keep my ears peeled" in response to a question and on the way out I was so nervous that when he walked me to the elevator, I said goodbye by giving him a thumbs up and saying "Cya later man!". We just stared at each other then and it took a fucking eternity for the elevator doors to close...

LOL! I was just picturing this scene in my head. Too funny!

In reply to blastoise
4/10/12
blastoise:
MagicKarp:

My only bad interview was my first one. And it was horrible. True story:
Background, I was born in Eastern Europe, but had lived in the US for some time and usually spoke with a normal, American accent.

Before I walked in to my interviewer's office, I was given a visitor's pass to put around my neck.
This was for Equity Research; One of the first questions was: "How do you stay motivated."

I was a freshman then and kind of obnoxious.
I said, "Every morning, I wake up ready to bite the ass off a bear."
Apparently he hadn't read Liar's Poker and seemed to be offended.

About 5 minutes later, after a few easy technicals, he asked me which databases I was familiar with.
I said "Ummm not sure. But I could always ask a librarian." He stared for a few seconds. After this I got nervous and began to speak with a farily heavy Eastern European accent.

Towards the end of that interview he couldn't find one of my achievements on my resume and I walked over to his side of the desk to point it out.

At the end of the interview, he accompanied me to the elevator, and at this point I was aware of how horribly I did, and I swear he must have asked me a couple of questions just to initiate small-talk but at that point I was completely oblivious to my surroundings and didn't say a word to him. I had also forgotten about my visitor's pass until I reached my car in the parking structure. I had to go back to the floor and give it to the secretary.

It was a mess.

look at the bright side you get to evolve into gyadose i evolve into a tank with a flower on it

haha!

4/10/12

Sad to say, I have never had an interview with any of these big firms but recently I had an interview for a financial advisor position which is pretty much all commission ...

and...

question was " What would you tell a client if he/she asked you why are you doing this job"

My answer after a weird long silent pause: To make money....................................................
As soon as I said it I thought to myself, you should just walk out right now.

Correct answer should have been, beside for putting food on the table, I am doing this because I have good interpersonal and technical skills and this position combines them (or something along those lines)...
Nerves can be a bitch!

4/11/12

F500, new team, great role.
"What are your plans for the team if this project proves to be uneconomic?"
Knew it right as it was coming out of my mouth, but couldn't stop.

More is good, all is better

4/11/12

Lol! You should be shot, Argonaut. :)

4/12/12

When I was a freshmen, some painting company called College Works tried to "recruit" me.

Me: So you mentioned that you were on the Princeton Review's List of Top 100 Internships, right?
Interviewer: Yes, this is correct! That's why this is an extraordinary opportunity for you to build a competitive resume and gain marketable skills.
Me: Unfortunately, I was not able to find this list anywhere.
Interviewer: (pause) Oh...

(followed by a prolonged awkward moment of silence)

End of interview.

"Rage, rage against the dying of the light." - DT

4/12/12

I've fucked up the 'tell me about yourself' on two different occasions, which turned out to be my first two interviews. Guess it's common.

10/12/12

A few years ago I had my first phone interview. Needless to say, three people conference-calling my cell phone did not work out so well. Recently, I had another phone interview where I had to take the calls outside because reception in my room was so terrible. I wish they gave us land lines in our rooms, at least...

In reply to blastoise
10/12/12

This should be relatively easy. I had that one as well when I got my interview with Ameren Energy for junior trader position. All you need to do is put up an assumption about product of a non zero number and zero is not zero, then use contradiction.

But when it comes to call option and put option (on commodity trading), I kept thinking about the call and put option feature on bond which confused me back those days, as I couldn't distinguish the call/put option feature effect on underwriter and bondholder. I was feeling that the interviewer was grinning his teeth trying not to blow over me for wasting his time with my bullcrap answer although it was just phone interview.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.

10/12/12

Phone interview for an internship with a boutique IB in NYC. (I'm from Europe). Was really nervous which made me talk loads. Was asked to go through my CV as well as my personal background. I took 20 minutes to do it, constantly going off-topic about my traveling experience and my reasons for doing this and that, after which the MD I was speaking to said she had traveled the same places as me. Accidentally mistook the interview for a casual conversation and started asking "Did you go there? Did you do that? That place is nice isn't it. That's cool!." etc. The MD kindly reminded me this was an interview and said "We're here to talk about you, not me".

Oddly enough they loved me and I got the offer. Most enjoyable interview of my life as well.

In reply to harry12
10/12/12

.

This to all my hatin' folks seeing me getting guac right now..

10/12/12

I have interview today I 'll let you know how it goes guys

10/12/12

One of my favorite interview stories -- heard it from the HR person at my company. Apparently an interviewee once asked his interviewer for a sip of his coffee. He did not get a call back...

10/12/12

I had one of those 3/4-hr case study epics for a position (Assoc/VP-level role) at a MM. I wasn't interested in taking the role but wanted an offer to then get my boss to bump up my bonus/salary. Anyway...

I had 5:1 interview/presentation about an underwrite I was proposing. Except the person who was to be my direct boss did not agree with my revenue projections:

Potential boss: "that is half way between a management case and an underwrite"
Me: "I am forecasting that these guys lose market share... how is below-market revenue growth aggressive"
Potential boss: "but I want an underwriting case"
Me: "this is an underwriting case. I have never worked on any underwrite where we have done to market saying a company is going to lose market share to all their rivals."

After another 5 minutes of arguing around why I am right and potential boss wrong, the head of cepartment stepped in and said "Enough, next".

Funnily enough I didn't get the job or even an offer to bump my pay!!!

But I was right.

10/12/12

Boutique IB 2010/11 season. Classmate and I scheduled a phone interview with the same firm. We went over our thoughts and answers to some of the Qs, one of which was "how far could you walk into the woods?" See at the time, we recently went over some Aristotle book. Going back to the Q, friend tried to tie in school work to career work and compared the "woods" to some body/soul shit that Aristotle touted about in his book (from what I remember on sparknotes). I bursted out laughing and asked if he realized he was in an IB interview! After rambling on for 20m, he asks if the interviewer understands - "no." Needless to say, he didn't get passed it.

Quick aside, I met with one of the partners. Spoke about ethics the whole time, a solid hour. Didn't pay attn in my classes, did not care, obviously bs'd. Got an offer so I guess this worked for me but I turned it down because I realized how boring it could be working with these guys.

10/12/12

Acquisitions Analyst - MM REIT. Met with several analyst, associates and a VP. I was calm, collective and seemed to B/S an awful lot. I think I still believe some of the shit I said. Needless to say, no call back.

10/12/12

Proof is easy, for those who care.

Claim: 1*0 = 0

Pf.: Assume 0 = (-a + a) for any "a". 1*(-a+a)=0. Distribute the 1: -a + a = 0.

"square box"

"An intellectual is a man who takes more words than necessary to tell more than he knows."
- Dwight D. Eisenhower

Check out my blog!

10/12/12

My first interview after college (elected not to do campus recruiting #fuckingidiot) was with a commercial bank. First behavioral question, "so what have you been up to since graduation?" "I've been playing a lot of golf."

10/12/12

Haha these are awesome.

Also guys this is how u prove a*0 = 0 for any a. Remember that the only thing we kno about 0 is that it's the additive identity. So a*0 = a*(0+0) = a*0+a*0, then subtract a*0 from both sides to get 0 = a*0

If u wanna avoid subtraction from both sides and only use axioms, then do 0 = (a*0 + -a*0) = (a*(0+0) + -a*0) =
(a*0 + a*0 + (-a*0)) = (by associativity) a*0 + (a*0 + (-a*0)) = a*0 + 0 = a*0.

In reply to nebben2k10
10/12/12
nebben2k10:

My first interview after college (elected not to do campus recruiting #fuckingidiot) was with a commercial bank. First behavioral question, "so what have you been up to since graduation?" "I've been playing a lot of golf."

Not actually a bad answer, it's just a fit question.

10/12/12

Interviewed for FT position at a firm that did fair value opinions my senior year. I had a good friend who recommended me and was told by HR that I was a "top candidate" due to the recommendation and the interview would consist of 2 interviews lasting 1 hr and another 1 hour case study.

I had heard stories about the interviewer from my friend who says that he often doesn't have a "filter" and says and does pretty much whatever he pleases since he's so good at what he does and he knows it.

The interview started off normally with basic fit and intern/school experience questions. He looks at my resume and wonders why my gpa isn't there and I tell him that it is in the low 3's, he clearly looks flustered but we continue. Then asked what books have you read? I said "when genius failed: rise and fall of ltcm". He asked me 3 people from that book. I said: "uh...john meriwwether and..." I fumble around for names, nervous as hell since I had read the books several months prior. At this point he sees that I am clearly struggling and stops me right there. He takes folds my resume in half in a deliberate manner, pauses and then goes on this tear about how lazy I am, how I wouldn't be able to keep up in a 14 hr a day finance job, how he's wasting his time and "doing me a favor" by taking time out of his day to talk to me. And said that my friend should be embarrassed that I am sitting before him. The interview is over in about 10 minutes.

After having several new assholes ripped in my butt, he escorts me out and says that I can come back in a month to impress him.

As much as I wanted to prove myself again, I had a job offer that I accepted 2 weeks later. Even after explaining that I couldn't make it I have never seen or heard any response from him. But I have this gut feeling I will see him again, somewhere.

10/13/12

Had a Big 4 interview back at university. I was running late as the train's got delayed, but I had the courtesy to call ahead and mention that. Anyway, get to the office and ask for my interviewer and was told to take a seat. I sat down waiting and eventually two women come out & headed in my direction. One of the women asks me "X, you're the interview at 11am?" I said no, at 10. And she responds, "OK, so you do know it was 10am". At that point, I knew I was fucked.

In the interview, I find out the lady I was due to interview didnt want to interview me anymore because I was 10 minutes late and sent across these two bitches to make my interview as shit as possible. That same woman continues to pester me about all sorts of trivial shit like why I didnt bring a copy of the job spec along with me because I wanted confirmation about a particular aspect to the job I had heard about but wasnt mentioned in the job spec. When I said that it wanst in the job spec thus the fucking question, she got even more pissy by then saying to then call the HR person I was in contact with to get the answer before. It was a complete disaster. The lady was completely out to get me. Heard back the next day, and the HR person wanted to know whether I needed him to elaborate as to why I didnt get the job. I just hung up on him.

In reply to FinancialNoviceII
10/14/12

Hey man, i can't side with you there, you should always show up at least 30min early. These people are getting paid good money and they take time out of their day to interview their candidate. If you get an interview, they already want to hire you. You came in late, how would you feel?

10/14/12

Midst of the crisis, real estate prices globally plummeting, everything going bankrupt. In 2008 it was brutal - nobody was hiring, GS hired only 27% of their interns and no externals (or so I was told).

Well, one type of desk was hiring: distressed.

RBS Distressed/Special Situations, London. Some crappy office near Aldgate East (sorry to any RBS readers, but you know it's true ;) ). Went through all the hoops perfectly. My four in hand was impeccably 15 degrees off centre, my suit freshly pressed, shoes' hard parts shined to a mirror polish. I had read the last 5 years' worth of annual statements, knew their position on handling the restructuring, and even matched my tie to the one the CEO was wearing in the 2006 statement (if I recall well). I took over the discussion groups, showing leadership and steering my groups into the most impressive presentations. I aced the written tests. Every stage, more people were asked to leave by HR. The handful of us left made it to the final stage: meeting a partner (or MD or whatever stands as most senior in that group).

I walked him through my valuation of the company, explaining my decisions, I answered his questions as best I could (maybe it wasn't good enough). He seemed pretty happy, although he thought I was too nice to the CEO, he wanted to hammer the guy, take over his firm and asset strip it, I thought the business had a chance. At the end he says "want a drink?", I said "sure, I'll have sparkling please", so he hands me over a 1.5l bottle of those "branded" mineral waters so popular in banks. I don't know what happened to the bottle, but as I twisted the cap to open it, it sprayed a quarter of its content all over the senior guy. In utter silence, he wipes slowly the water off his face, looks down to his shirt and suit about a third of which were now darker than the rest. I say, in a weak voice "oh my god... I'm so sorry..."

Shook his (dripping) hand. Didn't get the job. Will always remember his taking out a tissue to wipe his face slowly, keeping his cool, as I stood there helplessly with a dripping bottle that had just exploded. I think I detected a smile on the HR woman's ice cold face heading back to the lift. I never drank anything again in the presence of an interviewer.

In reply to FinancialNoviceII
10/14/12
FinancialNoviceII:

Had a Big 4 interview back at university. I was running late as the train's got delayed, but I had the courtesy to call ahead and mention that. Anyway, get to the office and ask for my interviewer and was told to take a seat. I sat down waiting and eventually two women come out & headed in my direction. One of the women asks me "X, you're the interview at 11am?" I said no, at 10. And she responds, "OK, so you do know it was 10am". At that point, I knew I was fucked.

In the interview, I find out the lady I was due to interview didnt want to interview me anymore because I was 10 minutes late and sent across these two bitches to make my interview as shit as possible. That same woman continues to pester me about all sorts of trivial shit like why I didnt bring a copy of the job spec along with me because I wanted confirmation about a particular aspect to the job I had heard about but wasnt mentioned in the job spec. When I said that it wanst in the job spec thus the fucking question, she got even more pissy by then saying to then call the HR person I was in contact with to get the answer before. It was a complete disaster. The lady was completely out to get me. Heard back the next day, and the HR person wanted to know whether I needed him to elaborate as to why I didnt get the job. I just hung up on him.

1. delayed train is no excuse. Don't know about the US but in London it was so frequent I always arranged to arrive within walking distance of the interview place an hour before the interview. Once saved my ass as my suit got drenched from 35 degree heat in the tube, I let it dry on my chair in Cafe Nero in Mayfair before meeting the head of commodities for one of the top 10 largest HFs in the world. Never lose an opportunity to something you can control, especially when the cost is so low.
2. Never piss off the gatekeepers. Yes, HR is retarded. Yes, secretaries can - in big corporate, anyway - screw up your timing, interview and be a pain (although HR will ALWAYS be the worst). At the end of the day, those positions get so many applications that for anything with a brand, they need a gatekeeper to filter to a manageable number. Doubly so since as a junior you are not that valuable, there are 20 people with your qualifications waiting to take the job, and a high chance you will bugger off within 2 years anyway. It was different at my firm - we kept a low profile, and hired few people but intended to grow them over 20 years, so at graduate season, every head trader, senior trader, senior manager got a pile of several hundred fresh grad CVs to sift through. But I can definitely empathize. HR women get so smug when they get in touch to let you know you've failed. It's their little moment of power, where they finally get to be front stage, after months of being treated like at best a dating pool for traders and at worst a cheap, disposable, "unfortunately need this function" asset.

10/15/12

This one is great.

So as a sophomore I get cold called from the local Morgan Stanley Smith Barney group, or whatever they call themselves these days. They want me to come in for an interview, which my young econ/finance major brain interprets as "Yea bro they already want to hire you".

So that is about how much preparation I did. Not enough. Interview progresses with me doing about every single thing they tell you not to do in an interview. Talk negatively about my last job, rare stints of eye contact etc. etc.

They end this interview with the standard: "So do you have any questions for me?" My response: "Yea what is the parking situation? Will the company pay for me to have a spot in the garage b/c i know it can get very expensive downtown." I look back at fucking laugh my ass off. Needless to say I did not get a call back.

"I want to fit in."- Patrick Bateman

3/7/13
9/17/13

I had a pretty bad one for Lazard back in Sophomore year of college.. made the mistake of putting 'proficient in Excel' on my resume, when in reality I had barely used it over the past year. The two guys that interviewed me brought attention to it mockingly - "We have a real Excel whiz here. Tell us, what's your favorite Excel shortcut?" I completely blanked out, and stated CTRL+V like an idiot. They laughed and repeated my answer a couple of times, and naturally proceeded to ask me to walk them through writing a basic VBA macro, which I obviously had no idea about. Suffice to say I did not get the internship.

9/17/13

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yea, yea, yea

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