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Mod note (Andy): Throwback Thursday, this post originally went up on 6/4/12.

Andy note: some of the quotes below were published on CNBC / Yahoo awhile back: Want This Job? 'Let Me Sleep With Your Girlfriend', also check out WSO's response to their article

---------------------------------

This thread got me thinking... Interviewees: what is the hardest / most nerve-wracking question you ever got asked in an interview, how did you handle it, and what was the end result?

Interviewers: what is the hardest / most nerve-wracking question you ever asked in an interview, how did the interviewer handle it, and what was the end result?

Did you ask it just to see how they would respond (ie all that mattered was that he/she gave a good effort / didn't get flustered)? OR did you ask it to actually see his/her knowledge and/or intelligence?

mod (Andy) note: hope I never have an interview with Blackhat...

BlackHat:
In a 2 on 1 where I was the silent #2 interviewing some nervous banker, my only line was "are you trying to f*ck us over?" The kid had NO CLUE what to say. Got visibly uncomfortable and said he wasn't sure what I meant. My co-worker goes "why didn't you say no?" Kid just froze like a f*ckin' deer in the headlights.

Interview Coming Up? Be Prepared.

3

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Comments (297)

  • hot1590's picture

    Where are you from? I didn't realize I was actually supposed to give them an elevator pitch.

  • Dank Nugs's picture

    Q: Do you view this as your dream career?
    A: Yes.
    Q: If in two years, you receive an offer for more money on the buyside, will you turn it down because this is your dream career?
    A: Silence.

  • In reply to Dank Nugs
    David Aames's picture

    Dank Nugs:
    Q: Do you view this as your dream career?
    A: Yes.
    Q: If in two years, you receive an offer for more money on the buyside, will you turn it down because this is your dream career?
    A: Silence.

    lol... eventually you said something, what was it?

    What is the answer to 99 out of 100 questions?

  • David Aames's picture

    Hmm..from a job interview for a GS analyst position: “If you were shrunk to the size of a pencil and put in a blender, how would you get out?”
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/30/job-inter...

    What is the answer to 99 out of 100 questions?

  • animalz's picture

    If a genie granted you one wish, what would it be?

  • seabird's picture

    “...all truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”

    - Schopenhauer

  • chicandtoughness's picture

    How did being a bullying victim during high school shape the way you viewed the world? (among other similar questions)
    - Bridgewater

    "Accept no one's definition of your life; define yourself."
    Currently: saying goodbye to the financial industry... going into healthcare sector
    Previously: M&A consulting (Big 4), M&A banking (MM), academic research (HBS)

  • youngblood90's picture

    What is your number? (as in what amount of money I would need for retirement)

  • ItsJustNumbers's picture

    How about...

    Q. Where do you want to be in 5 years

    A. Your bosses, bosses, bosses job

  • mhurricane's picture

    In.

    The difference between successful people and others is largely a habit - a controlled habit of doing every task better, faster and more efficiently.

  • Nabooru's picture

    What makes a good company? What makes a bad one? Why is X a bad company?

  • Will Hunting's picture

    From GS:

    Interviewer: If I told you that the only way you were going to get this job is if you let me sleep with your girlfriend, would you accept?

    Me: I'd rather you sleep with me

    "Look, you're my best friend, so don't take this the wrong way. In twenty years, if you're still livin' here, comin' over to my house to watch the Patriots games, still workin' construction, I'll fuckin' kill you. That's not a threat, that's a fact.

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  • SmokeyG's picture

    "From GS:

    Interviewer: If I told you that the only way you were going to get this job is if you let me sleep with your girlfriend, would you accept?"

    I honestly don't know how I would answer this. The true answer is probably yes, but I'd be afraid to be so forward in case thats not what theyd want to hear.

  • BlackHat's picture

    In a 2 on 1 where I was the silent #2 interviewing some nervous banker, my only line was "are you trying to fuck us over?" The kid had NO CLUE what to say. Got visibly uncomfortable and said he wasn't sure what I meant. My co-worker goes "why didn't you say no?" Kid just froze like a fuckin' deer in the headlights.

    I hate victims who respect their executioners

  • In reply to Will Hunting
    kidflash's picture

    Will Hunting:
    From GS:

    Interviewer: If I told you that the only way you were going to get this job is if you let me sleep with your girlfriend, would you accept?

    Me: I'd rather you sleep with me


    I don't know the background behind this question, but from just this excerpt...

    If someone had the balls to ask you this, he must have thought pretty lowly of you.

  • ginNtonic's picture

    What's your greatest weakness?

    If I had one I wouldn't want to tell my interviewer. It's such a BS question that only HR asks the question. For me at least, it's always tough answering it with a straight face.

  • In reply to Dank Nugs
    ChrisHansen's picture

    Dank Nugs:
    Q: Do you view this as your dream career?
    A: Yes.
    Q: If in two years, you receive an offer for more money on the buyside, will you turn it down because this is your dream career?
    A: Silence.

    Oh Jesus

  • SFTechUES's picture

    Q: "What's your outlook for US cucumber prices over the course of 2012?"
    A: ..................

  • DiarrheaAnneFrank's picture

    What changes would you make if you were the CEO of [firm I'm interviewing at]?

  • In reply to David Aames
    frgna's picture

    David Aames:
    Hmm..from a job interview for a GS analyst position: “If you were shrunk to the size of a pencil and put in a blender, how would you get out?”
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/30/job-inter...

    Really brilliant question, given that you happen to be in the market for lateral thinking kinesiologists. Bravo, Goldman.

    Actual questions I've received:
    What is your beta?
    Tell me the one line on your resume that demonstrates best why you would be great for this job.
    Tell us something interesting about you that would surprise us.
    One bond has an 8% coupon and a 10% current yield, the other has a 10% coupon and an 8% current yield. Which bond is cheaper?
    Tell me a joke that is not racist or sexist.

    I heard of one BB interview (perhaps an urban legend) conducted in a hotel room where the windows didn't open. The interviewers (two) said "Jeez, it's hot in here, you mind opening that window?" and the interviewee went wild and through his chair through the window. I hope it's true. Even if it's not I'll pretend it is.

    if you like it then you shoulda put a banana on it

  • In reply to Will Hunting
    Boreed's picture

    Will Hunting:
    From GS:

    Interviewer: If I told you that the only way you were going to get this job is if you let me sleep with your girlfriend, would you accept?

    Me: I'd rather you sleep with me

    Me: I'd offer you my sister.

  • In reply to SFTechUES
    goodL1fe's picture

    SFTechUES:
    Q: "What's your outlook for US cucumber prices over the course of 2012?"
    A: ..................

    A: Well, it seems I am in a pickle.

    Robert Clayton Dean: What is happening?
    Brill: I blew up the building.
    Robert Clayton Dean: Why?
    Brill: Because you made a phone call.

  • In reply to kidflash
    SFTechUES's picture

    kidflash:
    Will Hunting:
    From GS:

    Interviewer: If I told you that the only way you were going to get this job is if you let me sleep with your girlfriend, would you accept?

    Me: I'd rather you sleep with me


    I don't know the background behind this question, but from just this excerpt...

    If someone had the balls to ask you this, he must have thought pretty lowly of you.

    Someone has never been on a desk before... You don't need to know the context-- any candidate can LBO on a fucking napkin... It's more about who is chill and will be able to kick it on the desk.

  • Nefarious-'s picture

    What would your entrance theme be if you were a pro wrestler.

    You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake, son.

  • Azimut's picture

    Interview with MS in Singapore:

    Q: You're going to be working 110 hour weeks here, can you even handle that?

  • In reply to SFTechUES
    luccabananas's picture

    SFTechUES:
    kidflash:
    Will Hunting:
    From GS:

    Interviewer: If I told you that the only way you were going to get this job is if you let me sleep with your girlfriend, would you accept?

    Me: I'd rather you sleep with me


    I don't know the background behind this question, but from just this excerpt...

    If someone had the balls to ask you this, he must have thought pretty lowly of you.

    Someone has never been on a desk before... You don't need to know the context-- any candidate can LBO on a fucking napkin... It's more about who is chill and will be able to kick it on the desk.


    So basically what you're saying is you'd let other dudes fuck your girl just so you can "kick" it with them.

  • In reply to Will Hunting
    Walkio's picture

    Will Hunting:
    From GS:

    Interviewer: If I told you that the only way you were going to get this job is if you let me sleep with your girlfriend, would you accept?

    Me: I'd rather you sleep with me

    Me: "She doesn't do charity work, sorry!"

  • In reply to goodL1fe
    av8ter's picture

    goodL1fe:
    SFTechUES:
    Q: "What's your outlook for US cucumber prices over the course of 2012?"
    A: ..................

    A: Well, it seems I am in a pickle.

    IMO this answer is pretty bad ass. You could even take it further. "I don't relish the fact that your question leaves me in quite a pickle." If the person asking isn't completely smug then there is no way they couldn't laugh a little bit.

  • theparadox's picture

    "Why don't you have any offers yet? What's wrong with you?"

  • junkbondswap's picture

    Interviewer: Do you always wear jorts to an interview?

    Me: Doesn't everybody?

  • In reply to luccabananas
    SFTechUES's picture

    luccabananas:
    SFTechUES:
    kidflash:
    Will Hunting:
    From GS:

    Interviewer: If I told you that the only way you were going to get this job is if you let me sleep with your girlfriend, would you accept?

    Me: I'd rather you sleep with me


    I don't know the background behind this question, but from just this excerpt...

    If someone had the balls to ask you this, he must have thought pretty lowly of you.

    Someone has never been on a desk before... You don't need to know the context-- any candidate can LBO on a fucking napkin... It's more about who is chill and will be able to kick it on the desk.


    So basically what you're saying is you'd let other dudes fuck your girl just so you can "kick" it with them.

    You over analyzed it and ultimately did what the interviewer set out to do-- see if you have a personality. The point is technicals are usually seamlessly answered or not expected to be answered... therefore, behavioral questions are the bread/butter where one can see if you have a sense of humor or can carry a conversation... that person's answer satisfies that fact that you can take a joke without breaking a sweat and ideally fire back with one..

  • solb22's picture

    Interesting to see these responses-seem to be mainly fit oriented and not math/technical based which seems is a reflection of the majority of this board to be focused on the IB/advisory side.

    Here's four tough ones I've gotten-all for top firms

    1. When would the price of a call option decrease as the price of the stock increases?

    2. ** This is one the coolest I believe. You have 100 boxes and 100 prisoners and 100 pieces of paper. Each prisoner has a number on their shirt (which is "his number"), each box has a number, and in each box there is a piece of paper with a number. The pieces of paper are put in random boxes-so box 5 might have a piece of paper that says number 7. Each prisoner gets to go in and open 50 boxes-and must put back the paper and close the box after each look. If he finds his number on a piece of paper-he is safe for now. If after 50 tries he does not-they all die. Devise a strategy to maximize everyones chance of survival.

    3. Suppose f(t) is a continuously once-differentiable strictly decreasing positive function for all t >= 0 . Must the derivative f'(t) = 0 as t approaches infinity? Why?

    4. Given a polynomial function Sum of (a of n)*x^n from 0 to n-if you give me a number I can give you what the polynomial equals. In how few numbers can you figure out each constant a of n ?

    The hardest interivew problems I've gotten haven't been for finance but for aero. eng.

  • In reply to solb22
    Honthro's picture

    solb22:

    2. ** This is one the coolest I believe. You have 100 boxes and 100 prisoners and 100 pieces of paper. Each prisoner has a number on their shirt (which is "his number"), each box has a number, and in each box there is a piece of paper with a number. The pieces of paper are put in random boxes-so box 5 might have a piece of paper that says number 7. Each prisoner gets to go in and open 50 boxes-and must put back the paper and close the box after each look. If he finds his number on a piece of paper-he is safe for now. If after 50 tries he does not-they all die. Devise a strategy to maximize everyones chance of survival.

    I have to know, does anyone have a strategy?

  • In reply to Honthro
    solb22's picture

    Honthro:
    solb22:

    2. ** This is one the coolest I believe. You have 100 boxes and 100 prisoners and 100 pieces of paper. Each prisoner has a number on their shirt (which is "his number"), each box has a number, and in each box there is a piece of paper with a number. The pieces of paper are put in random boxes-so box 5 might have a piece of paper that says number 7. Each prisoner gets to go in and open 50 boxes-and must put back the paper and close the box after each look. If he finds his number on a piece of paper-he is safe for now. If after 50 tries he does not-they all die. Devise a strategy to maximize everyones chance of survival.

    I have to know, does anyone have a strategy?

    Haha ill let this sit for a day before I let you know the answer. Lets see how many WSO monkeys it takes to save 100 prisoners.

    All the prisoners meet up before to discuss a strategy. Afterwards there is no passing of information at all.

  • Commuter's picture

    "What do you think of this room"

    @JustinDDuBois
    WSO Company Database | Job Board

  • In reply to solb22
    luccabananas's picture

    solb22:
    Honthro:
    solb22:

    2. ** This is one the coolest I believe. You have 100 boxes and 100 prisoners and 100 pieces of paper. Each prisoner has a number on their shirt (which is "his number"), each box has a number, and in each box there is a piece of paper with a number. The pieces of paper are put in random boxes-so box 5 might have a piece of paper that says number 7. Each prisoner gets to go in and open 50 boxes-and must put back the paper and close the box after each look. If he finds his number on a piece of paper-he is safe for now. If after 50 tries he does not-they all die. Devise a strategy to maximize everyones chance of survival.

    I have to know, does anyone have a strategy?

    Haha ill let this sit for a day before I let you know the answer. Lets see how many WSO monkeys it takes to save 100 prisoners.

    All the prisoners meet up before to discuss a strategy. Afterwards there is no passing of information at all.


    I'll take a stab at it.

    I would have prisoner #1 open box #1. If the box contained say #28 this information would be communicated to him. Prisoner #1 would then close the box and move back in line. Prisoner #28 would open the box #1 to find his number.

    Now prisoner #1 has opened a box so he now has 49 additional tries. I would keep repeating the same method until he was down until the last try. The next available prisoner in line would continue with the process with an additional 50 tries.

    Of course this is all assuming the prisoners would be able to communicate with each other and they don't have to open 50 boxes consecutively. If that's the case then my explanation above is flawed.

  • solb22's picture

    Luca you are real close! You said that prisoner #1 should step back after seeing paper number 28 in box one and let prisoner # 28 go.

    Instead of switching a prisoner-what else can you switch? Where should prisoner #1 check next?

    A little hint: the prisoner will check boxes based off the info he has up to that point. You are on the right track

  • BanditPandit's picture

    Two situational ones, not the hardest around, but something to think about:

    1) Two MDs come to you with a deliverable each for their high-level, equally important, clients. That shit needs to be done in 10 minutes. Problem is, it takes 10 minutes to get each deliverable done. The other members of the team can't help, they're busy as hell. What do you do?

    * Btw, trying to squeeze it in 5 minutes each is impossible.

    2) You, the new guy, get tasked with bringing 3 copies of a deck to a client meeting. Being the forgetful dunce you are, you drive to the meeting place only to realize you forgot to pack that in the car. Meeting's in 5 minutes, you've got no time to jet back. What do you tell your MD?

  • couchy's picture

    what beta would you use when valuing the target company in a cross-border valuation.

  • Clever Name's picture

    Most of my interviews were fairly standard. Two questions; however, were particularly memorable:

    1) On a scale of one to ten, with one being normal and ten being weird, how weird are you? (DB Associate)

    2) What line on your resume is the most bullshit? (UBS MD)

    When one man, for whatever reason, has an opportunity to lead an extraordinary life, he has no right to keep it to himself.

  • In reply to BanditPandit
    chicandtoughness's picture

    BanditPandit:
    1) Two MDs come to you with a deliverable each for their high-level, equally important, clients. That shit needs to be done in 10 minutes. Problem is, it takes 10 minutes to get each deliverable done. The other members of the team can't help, they're busy as hell. What do you do?

    What would be an appropriate (and/or clever) answer to this?

    "Accept no one's definition of your life; define yourself."
    Currently: saying goodbye to the financial industry... going into healthcare sector
    Previously: M&A consulting (Big 4), M&A banking (MM), academic research (HBS)

  • In reply to kidflash
    humble_dude's picture

    kidflash:
    Will Hunting:
    From GS:

    Interviewer: If I told you that the only way you were going to get this job is if you let me sleep with your girlfriend, would you accept?

    Me: I'd rather you sleep with me


    I don't know the background behind this question, but from just this excerpt...

    If someone had the balls to ask you this, he must have thought pretty lowly of you.

    My answer: who the fuck you think you are?

  • In reply to BlackHat
    DrPeterVenkman's picture

    BlackHat:
    In a 2 on 1 where I was the silent #2 interviewing some nervous banker, my only line was "are you trying to fuck us over?" The kid had NO CLUE what to say. Got visibly uncomfortable and said he wasn't sure what I meant. My co-worker goes "why didn't you say no?" Kid just froze like a fuckin' deer in the headlights.

    What did he say next? Did the kid get the job?

  • In reply to Will Hunting
    olafenizer's picture

    Will Hunting:
    From GS:

    Interviewer: If I told you that the only way you were going to get this job is if you let me sleep with your girlfriend, would you accept?


    My response would be: "Is that a risk you're willing to take? I mean, how do you know I'm not into fat chicks?"

  • LockStock's picture

    One time I asked an interviewee what my name was a few minutes into the interview. Ding.

  • In reply to olafenizer
    chicandtoughness's picture

    olafenizer:
    Will Hunting:
    From GS:
    Interviewer: If I told you that the only way you were going to get this job is if you let me sleep with your girlfriend, would you accept?

    My response would be: "Is that a risk you're willing to take? I mean, how do you know I'm not into fat chicks?"

    +1

    "Accept no one's definition of your life; define yourself."
    Currently: saying goodbye to the financial industry... going into healthcare sector
    Previously: M&A consulting (Big 4), M&A banking (MM), academic research (HBS)

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