Been desperately trying to leave investment banking for almost 9 months but simply cannot land an offer. I've now had ~10 final rounds with a variety of roles ranging from corporate development to direct PE, secondaries, growth equity, strategic finance - you name it. Each process ended with either ghosting or a call from HR telling me that the team is moving ahead with another candidate. Whenever I ask for feedback I get the usual HR bull shit. I've been trying to hold out from quitting (completely burned out and mental health is in the gutter) without another gig lined up given the stigma attached to being unemployed, but I'm at the end of my rope after the most recent rejection. I understand that failure is expected early on in one's career, but I'm so tired of having 0 offers to show for my hard work and no actionable feedback with which I can improve on.
Where do I go from here? Clearly something is wrong with either my interviewing style or my background. Does anyone have advice for this type of situation based on their own experience? What can I do to get out of this endless loop of rejections?
Never heard of the stigma. Keep trying, you will find something, however you should focus on a sector rather than trying to jump on anything. Best way to make the wrong choice. I have been there and this was way way worst than staying at my previous place.
May be chill a bit at work, push back on task saying you are busy etc. Work gets done anyway.
I think the first thing to do is to stop thinking about what others will think of you. It's your process so set that in stone in your mind.
There's obviously a lot of luck involved in all processes. So keep that in mind too while evaluating yourself. But then also think about what you might be doing wrong. Maybe your techs are not up there compared to other candidates (imo it's all relative) or maybe you don't come across as too personable. In interviews, you are only what you showcase so maybe try to work on that. I would ask a few friends / any good chats you had who can give actual feedback.
Last thing to keep in mind: your self worth isn't linked to your job. People get rejected from 20-30 places before getting what they want. There's a lot of mobility if you're smart so hopefully you do well. Good luck:)
This has happened to me (I interviewed with like 20 places where I advanced to the last round to then be ghosted/rejected). My advice:
1) Perhaps if your mental health allows it, try to see who they end up hiring. This, paired with talking to interviewers who I had "clicked" with led me to find out that there were candidates with much more experience than me so they were a natural choice
2) Record yourself answering basic interview questions. Interviewing is a skill and practice does help. It also will help you see if you talk too slow/fast, or mumble a lot, or whatever it could be.
3) Believe in yourself. Many times you are the right candidate in the wrong interview. Sometimes you may do everything right but there could be some other factor you can't control (the experience thing I mention, hiring freezes, or even the interviewer may not like people from your school bc they rejected him/her- who knows). The key is to keep trying. As long as you have an interview "pipeline", you are a few meetings closer to getting that job. Never stop applying, even if you feel hopeless. Set a few minutes aside each day for it.
To put it into perspective, after 2-3 months of constant interviews which went nowhere, a top BB offered me a job + promotion at their best group. For the record, I didn't even ask for the promotion, they just wanted to make sure I signed with them.
Interviewing is a numbers game, nothing else, so keep persevering. Best of luck!
Dude you'll be fine. There's nothing wrong with you as a candidate. You gotta remember that interviewing for external roles is a lot tougher because the job postings are usually up for optics but they have a candidate internally that they give the job to. You're in IB and you'll eventually get a job. think positively and be grateful that you still have a job. Many have been laid off, so put things into perspective. Your time will come my friend.
You should find someone senior, maybe a mentor, who isn't your friend and run a mock interview. Hopefully they can give you some real tangible feedback that helps you get a feel for where the disconnect is.
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