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I flew into London the morning of my interview, only to find that my luggage was on the next flight. Normally not too much of a problem, except that a) I had to start a final round of interviews for a banking position in two hours and b) as it was a 12 hour trip, I was wearing sandals and shorts.

The original plan had been to hit a shower at the ariport, shave, put on a clean shirt and spend the train ride in, plus an hour, polishing answers for the coming barrage of questions over the next 4-6 interviews.

Instead, I spend half an hour waiting in line to be told that the airline will pay for ancilliaries, and to fill out a form to have my bag shipped to me.

Forms completed, I hustle to the Heathrow express and cram two hours of polish into a 20 minute ride. Hit a Boots in the Tube and get to the station near my final target, I see a mall two blocks in the other direction. Avoiding the 'clubby' shops, I find a TM Lewin, walk up to the guy on the floor and say "are you on commission?, cause I'm going to make your morning".

I pick a suit, shirt, belt, and the cheap silk cufflinks, always thinking back to the idea that you really shouldn't wear cufflinks until you earn more per hour than a McDonalds shift manager. Then I find out they don't sell shoes. Ok, I get them to steam the shirt and put a temporary hem in the pants so I can get moving. Downstairs, first shoe store I walk into, decent shoes, fine, get the girl's attention, can I see these please. Oh, you don't have socks, shit. Next store, do you sell socks? shit. Next store, do you sell stocks? shit, who sells socks. Try the Banana Republic upstairs.

Now we're down to 30- 45 minutes and I still haven't shaved. Run to Banana republic, people looking at the funny guy in sandals and shorts running. Boom, got socks, back down stairs, boom, shoes, back to the main floor to get my suit.

"That'll just be another ten minutes", great, I've got 15-20. Outside, looking for a bathroom, fuck it, shave on the street by a fire exit. More people looking at me funny. Not worried everyone I'm interviewing with should be working anyway.

Go in to grab my suit, in the change room I look in the mirror and see I've made a bloody massacre of my face. Bleeding heavily from at least eight spots. Oh Fuck. Use the shirt I'm wearing to wipe up the blood. Pants, socks, shoes on. Wipe the blood again. Get all my other stuff put away nicely so it'll fit in in my carry on bag in the interview room. Wipe the blood again.

Now I have two minutes to be at least four blocks away, wipe the blood. Fuck it, shirt on, tie on, jacket on, wipe the blood. Fuck, it's all over the collar. Out the door, running down the street, phone buzzing, its the recruiter checking to see that I'm coming, fuck, I'm late. Did I mention its raining.

Ok, inside, find the visitor centre, only five minutes late, walk in, bleeding, soaked, bags in hand, MD is standing there looking very un ammused. Commence getting grilled by three different VPs/MDs for the next two hours. Cue 15 minute break. Run to bathroom, going to use Tide to Go to fix my shirt, blood soaked through the collar, Tide to Go tip is broken, god damn it. Accept that there's nothing I can do, go back to the conference room and get grilled for the next two hours.

Hit the hotel, sit in my bloody shirt for the next few hours waiting for my bags to show up, realize I've been going for the last 30 hours.

After all is said and done, two days later, got the offer.

Moral of the story, regardless of how comfortable you want to be when you fly, fly in something you'd be willing to go to meetings in.

TLDR: Flew to final interviews in shorts, bought a suit/shit/tie/shoes the morning of, shaved in an alley and bled on my shirt, still nailed the interview, got the offer.

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Comments (57)

  • Asatar's picture

    Good story! Congratulations on the offer.

  • Champs46's picture

    Moral of the story # 2: It doesn't matter if you are bleeding, you can still kill it. I know a story of a guy who drove to an interview and got to the parking lot only to realize he forgot to shave. Went to a CVS, picked up a razor, and tried dry-shaving using the rear-view mirror. Showed up with cuts all over his face still bleeding. Got the offer.

  • APAE's picture

    Liked this one the best out of all I've read in years here. Good on you.

    Most people do things to add days to their life. I do things to add life to my days.

    Browse my blog as a WSO contributing author

  • Human_Piranha's picture

    Great story, being on an adrenaline rush like that is probably good for an interview.

  • Jamess1's picture

    Epic.

    Blue horseshoe loves Anacott Steel

  • Bateman Begins's picture

    I enjoyed the breathless tone of your post, haha. Made an interesting read. Congrats to you!
    This actually reminds me of the interview scene from The Pursuit of Happyness:

    Interviewer: What would you say if a guy walks in for an interview without a shirt, and I hired him?
    Will Smith: He must have had on some really nice pants.

    Read my blog: Bateman Begins

  • xmasboy's picture

    Do you have a higher starting salary starting as someone who already have working experience?

  • overpaid_overworked's picture

    okay 24: Actaully, I'm Canadian, so close, but maybe better...

    xmasboy: The salary looked flat, from the surveys I found it seemed standard. What I did get was a great sign-on bonus which likely includes moving expenses plus assumed lost comp for bonus from my current shop.

  • oreos's picture

    Enjoyed that, I was picturing you running around Bank (only Banana Rep i know of).

    "After you work on Wall Street it's a choice, would you rather work at McDonalds or on the sell-side? I would choose McDonalds over the sell-side." - David Tepper

  • Flake's picture

    Holy shit. Congrats.

    Under my tutelage, you will grow from boys to men. From men into gladiators. And from gladiators into SWANSONS.

  • Floridarolf's picture

    yeah, holy shit

    I was already so far beyond the point of no return that I couldn't remember what it had looked like when I had passed it.

  • Anacott_CEO's picture

The WSO Advantage - Land Your Dream Job

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  • overpaid_overworked's picture

    Oreos: actually I was running around Bank. Bonus points if you can guess which shop.

  • NorthSider's picture

    Moral of the Story #3: Never, under any circumstances, check the bag that contains your interview attire.

    EDIT: Also, go back to ignoring Moral of the Story #1.

    "For all the tribulations in our lives, for all the troubles that remain in the world, the decline of violence is an accomplishment we can savor, and an impetus to cherish the forces of civilization and enlightenment that made it possible."

  • NorthSider's picture

    Great story though, congrats on the offer!

    "For all the tribulations in our lives, for all the troubles that remain in the world, the decline of violence is an accomplishment we can savor, and an impetus to cherish the forces of civilization and enlightenment that made it possible."

  • m2's picture

    Awesome story. Resilience is everything.

  • In reply to overpaid_overworked
    Maximus Decimus Meridius's picture

    overpaid_overworked:
    Oreos: actually I was running around Bank. Bonus points if you can guess which shop.

    For the shoes I'm going to go with the Crocket and Jones shop on Threadneedle Street, literally 1 minute away from bank.
    Like Oreos said I was laughing quite hard picturing you running around bank in shorts and sandals. Well done anyway.
    Oh, and the morale of the story is never EVER check in your luggage. At least in Europe. They always lose it. Buy one of those suit bags and carry it as hand luggage if you don't want to wear the suit in the cabin. I don't even check in my clothes when I'm going skiing...

  • RichardPennybags's picture

    So wait, you are telling me you are Canadian, recently came in for the interviews, going to be working in the Bank area...

    Congratulations and welcome to London, Mr Carney!

    In all seriousness, do I get bonus points for saying Rothschild?

    "Every man should lose a battle in his youth, so he does not lose a war when he is old"

  • confused23's picture

    what's your background? how many years have you been in research?

  • In reply to RichardPennybags
    overpaid_overworked's picture

    RichardPennybags:
    So wait, you are telling me you are Canadian, recently came in for the interviews, going to be working in the Bank area...

    Congratulations and welcome to London, Mr Carney!

    In all seriousness, do I get bonus points for saying Rothschild?

    No bonus for you sir, but in seriousness, we Canadians are planning on dominating the industry soon. The original plan was to infiltrate from the bottom and slowly take over, then we got impatient and stormed the BOE. Mark and I are scheduled to have drinks in a few weeks.

  • overpaid_overworked's picture

    Maximus Decimus, actually, I'm a cheap bastard, got the shoes at 'OFFICE' - 31 Lower New Change Passage. 45 pound, and I picked them because the pair I tried on was already laced.

  • In reply to confused23
    overpaid_overworked's picture

    confused23:
    what's your background? how many years have you been in research?

    I've got a CFA, MBA (expected), 5-6 years industry experience, with the last two and half in research.

    As to why I didn't leave earlier, I was in office on the Thursday, snuck out before market close, the boss would not have approved the time off, especially if he knew I was interviewing.

  • Zargo's picture

    Incredible story, congratulations

  • shorttheworld's picture

    when i moved to NYC i dated this jewish girl for a bit (and her parents were not so fond that i wasnt jewish) and i got invited to her parents surprise 30th wedding anniversary party or something with her whole family. while shaving the day before i ended up gouging my upper lip with a slightly off center hitler mustache-esque flaying of my skin. end of that weekend she said we should be friends. lawl.

    who wins in the end? me. her next boyfriend ends up marrying her and she gains 30 lbs. her large breasts now match her stomach. ;[

    tldr : i am awesome

  • m2's picture
  • FFNGO's picture
  • BTbanker's picture

    That's why I usually just take the jet when I travel.

  • In reply to overpaid_overworked
    Maximus Decimus Meridius's picture

    overpaid_overworked:
    Maximus Decimus, actually, I'm a cheap bastard, got the shoes at 'OFFICE' - 31 Lower New Change Passage. 45 pound, and I picked them because the pair I tried on was already laced.

    hahahahahaha. Loved the "already laced" detail.

    I didn't know Rotschild was there. There are a lot of firms in the area. Nomura, DB, UBS and RBS are all within walking distance from Bank, so it's quite hard to guess.

  • brianmc's picture

    Awesome story, congrats!

  • In reply to Maximus Decimus Meridius
    oreos's picture

    Maximus Decimus Meridius:
    overpaid_overworked:
    Maximus Decimus, actually, I'm a cheap bastard, got the shoes at 'OFFICE' - 31 Lower New Change Passage. 45 pound, and I picked them because the pair I tried on was already laced.

    hahahahahaha. Loved the "already laced" detail.

    I didn't know Rotschild was there. There are a lot of firms in the area. Nomura, DB, UBS and RBS are all within walking distance from Bank, so it's quite hard to guess.


    Rothschild IS Bank. Pretty much Roths, VTB, DC Advisory, EIB, NIBC are the only ones in Bank, maybe a few others though...Arguably Standard Chartered, Commerz and Investec on Gresham too....

    Nomura isn't really Bank, you'd tube it in a rush, similarly with all of the UBS, DB and RBS, they're all Liv. St.

    "After you work on Wall Street it's a choice, would you rather work at McDonalds or on the sell-side? I would choose McDonalds over the sell-side." - David Tepper

  • bknets1234's picture

    why would you be checking a bag for a 12hr trip?

  • Group Therapy's picture

    "Don't touch the watch." -Patrick Bateman

    U AWARE BRAH?

    bankers gonna bank

    \o/ Trance Crew \o/

  • iheartnyc's picture

    You didnt get the job because you were running almost late and guerilla shaved. Something tells me that you got the job based on 1. university 2. prep school 3. parents occupations 4. innate natural ability and presence. Am I right or am I right?

    I <3 NYC

  • In reply to bknets1234
    overpaid_overworked's picture

    bknets1234:
    why would you be checking a bag for a 12hr trip?

    I haven't checked a bag for years when flying. My personal best was a 10 day trip with only carry on. Normally I pack my suit jacket with the 'fat fold' technique, which basically means you put the bottom half of the jacket in the bottom of the suitcase, pack the rest of your shit, and then fold the top half of the jacket over top of everything, resulting in a 'fat fold' on the jacket, and no tight creases.

    The long story was that I had bought a suit especially for the interview and I was really paranoid about it looking wrinkled when I showed up. So I packed it in the garment bag of my suitcase, and effectively had a nearly empty full sized suitcase for the trip.

  • In reply to bknets1234
    iheartnyc's picture

    Exactly.

    I <3 NYC

  • In reply to iheartnyc
    overpaid_overworked's picture

    iheartnyc:
    You didnt get the job because you were running almost late and guerilla shaved. Something tells me that you got the job based on 1. university 2. prep school 3. parents occupations 4. innate natural ability and presence. Am I right or am I right?

    I'd like you to be right, but: 1. I went to a non-target, 2. didn't attend prep school, 3. love my parents, but they are neither rich nor well connected, 4. would love to claim they saw me as a future BSD, but I'm not there yet, someday maybe.

  • alphasilverback's picture

    Boss

    We can't rely on anyone these days, we just have to do things ourselves don't we?

  • Cruncharoo's picture

    Great story. Always gotta carry on that garment bag. Still, great work to keep (somewhat) cool and nail an interview on your face period.

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

  • roofstreet's picture

    congrats man!

    "...the art of good business, is being a good middle man, putting people togeather. It's all about honor and respect."

  • In reply to overpaid_overworked
    RichardPennybags's picture

    overpaid_overworked:

    Just out of interest, has any of them mentioned anything about the appearance? :)

    "Every man should lose a battle in his youth, so he does not lose a war when he is old"

  • manutd's picture

    May I know which position you were being interviewed for?

  • coleslaw's picture

    "Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly"

  • JPMortgage's picture

    "If it were easy, everyone would do it"

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