Why are EB interviews so fking hard?

My friends interviewing at BB's say the questions are literally straight from the guides. Then I interviewed at CVP and PWP and got fucking brutally demolished. They asked me mental math, brain teasers, complex accounting, and even had me do a paper LBO. Holy fcking hell man lol.

Comments (33)

  • Associate 3 in IB - Gen
Jul 26, 2022 - 5:48am


The EB mantra of "more responsibility" / "lean deal teams" is a real life experiment in Stockholm Effect / Turkeys voting for Christmas.

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Jul 31, 2022 - 1:43pm

This is a crazy take. You realize it's "worth it" when you look back on your 2 years and appreciate doing more than just aligning logos like your BB counterparts. 

Learning how to model / think through M&A considerations and interfacing with seniors + mgmt. teams is actually hugely helpful for the rest of your career.

FWIW the associates at my fund who came from boutiques were much more technically competent and polished than those from BB's.

  • Associate 3 in IB - Gen
Jul 31, 2022 - 3:31pm


Plenty of aligning PPT logos at EBs, and no offshore team in India to ship it off to unlike BBs

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jul 26, 2022 - 2:00am

No but we ask multilevel question to see if you get the the concepts underlying the guides rather than just memorizing. It's more a of test of how you think through it than being 100% right but you can't say some straight up wrong shit like A+E = L yknow

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Jul 26, 2022 - 12:26am

Curious but what were the really difficult accounting questions like?

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Jul 26, 2022 - 8:46am

Are we really bitching about paper LBOs and brain teasers and mental math? Shit is table stakes. People can't even do these types of problems and then bitch about diversity taking their spot? You never deserved one to begin with if these questions prompted you to post on WSO expecting sympathy.

Complex accounting questions - fair enough, those questions often times are useless and just are a dick move. The rest seem… pretty fair… PWP is very well reputed to have their British outsourced HR minions ask mental math questions too, paper LBO is pretty basic and common, as are brain teasers. Cmon man.

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Jul 26, 2022 - 9:27am

Ran the entire PWP process, the Dartmouth partners question like you said are a joke. If you can't get those right you simply shouldn't move on. Superday questions were a bit harder but it really was just testing your overall knowledge base and to get you thinking on your feet. You don't even need to be perfect, and when you get a question wrong take a step back and walk them through your thinking to show you actually understand and not just memorized the material. All of the basic guide questions can be learned in a month or less so it really is an effort thing.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Jul 26, 2022 - 9:30am

100% agree. I'm personally very good at mental math, definitely helps in the PWP processes. Even if I wasn't, they just want to see how you attack the problem. Not hard questions to do well with.

The rest of these line items OP is complaining about are purely an effort issue. You just need to practice 🤷🏻‍♂️

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Jul 26, 2022 - 10:01am

BB interviews are a breeze and focus largely on fit. Just my 2 cents, EBs on the other hand often have a much higher bar for competency/technical knowledge/intellect since they operate on "lean deal teams" and each analyst thus will carry more responsibility than their counterpart at a BB (most of the time). Just wrapped up recruiting and going to an EB, and my hardest interviews were with Moelis, Evercore, and CVP. I thought I was well-prepared heading in, having studied literally every single question in each M&I guide and the M&I 400, but MOE/EVR were asking questions I didn't even understand lol. Never had a single difficult interview at any BB

  • Analyst 3+ in IB - Cov
Jul 26, 2022 - 11:14am

Currently at an EB. The way I understand it is they do it intentionally to put everyone on a level playing field during recruiting. Not saying school prestige isn't important, but my group specifically would rather take a smart grinder from a non-target than a lazy kid from a target school. Obviously a savage from a target school probably beats out a savage from a non-target but it helps compare people as honestly as possible.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jul 26, 2022 - 12:43pm

I'll never forget the day my Qatalyst 1st round interview made me re-evaluate my entire life 

Most Helpful
Jul 27, 2022 - 9:22am
IncomingIBDreject, what's your opinion? Comment below:

WSO: "Recruiting needs to be 100% meritocracy"

Also WSO: "EB technicals are too hard! Why can't I just talk to Chad about my fraternity (fit) and get the seat?"


  • 21
Jul 27, 2022 - 9:42am
abc_jeff, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Jul 27, 2022 - 10:43am

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