Best interview advice I ever received

This idea was discussed within a comment thread a couple month ago but I thought it deserved its own thread just because of how awesome it is.

I wanted to share with you guys a tip that is virtually guaranteed to improve your interviews.

Here's what you do:
1. Arrive at interview location about 15 minutes early
2. Greet the receptionist, hang up coat, etc.
3. Ask to use the men's room
4. Take a shit

Sounds simple enough, right? What's the point, you ask? The fact is when you walk in for an interview you're on foreign ground, their turf. This is an away game for you. Ask any sports team: it's always tough to win on the road.

But when you stride into the company restroom and drop a huge deuce, you have essentially turned the tables. At this point, you subconsciously feel like you own the place. You relax, you let your guard down. When you get back to reception feeling right at home, you start to wonder if the lobby furniture actually might be yours. And as we all know, the more yourself you are, the more relaxed and confident you are, the better you do on your interviews.

I am absolutely serious about this, by the way. I tried to present it in kind of a funny way, but that's not to say it doesn't work like a charm every time. Just make sure you're not trailing any TP from your shoe.

Mod Note: Best of WSO, this was originally posted December 2013

 

I can see some risks attached to that:

1) What if it turns into a sloppy shit. Then you really have problems. 15 minutes just may not give you enough time to deal with that sort of thing. 2) The double-shit. You finish shitting, whipe, finally get your tie fixed and shirt tucked in, belt done, and realize, I have to continue shitting. You can't say you've never experienced it, and again, serious time crunch.

Not saying it doesn't sound like a good plan. But you better hope it goes smoothly.

 
Monkeyman2:
I can see some risks attached to that:

1) What if it turns into a sloppy shit. Then you really have problems. 15 minutes just may not give you enough time to deal with that sort of thing. 2) The double-shit. You finish shitting, whipe, finally get your tie fixed and shirt tucked in, belt done, and realize, I have to continue shitting. You can't say you've never experienced it, and again, serious time crunch.

Not saying it doesn't sound like a good plan. But you better hope it goes smoothly.

hahaha well said. You can't overlook the sloppy turds that can take an entire roll...and that double shit happens just when you don't want it to happen, like at a damn job interview. Don't risk it.

 
Monkeyman2:
I can see some risks attached to that:

1) What if it turns into a sloppy shit. Then you really have problems. 15 minutes just may not give you enough time to deal with that sort of thing. 2) The double-shit. You finish shitting, whipe, finally get your tie fixed and shirt tucked in, belt done, and realize, I have to continue shitting. You can't say you've never experienced it, and again, serious time crunch.

Not saying it doesn't sound like a good plan. But you better hope it goes smoothly.

1) whipe??? WTF is a whipe 2) to avoid a sloppy shit, you do not shit for the previous 3 days. yes, this sounds grueling, but will ensure that your deuce makes a bowl entry that will echo throughout the entire building, rattling the plumbing structure to the core and sending the message to everyone that you have arrived. it will also be a ghost poop with 99% probability requiring no whiping (sic) which will save time in case the aforementioned "double-shit" occurs 3) you are correct in the assertion that you have no defense against the double-shit. if you believe in a god, pray. otherwise, build in an extra 10-15 minutes to account for the possibility of this

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I tend to think of myself as a one-man wolfpack Buyside strongside
 
rooster:
Monkeyman2:
I can see some risks attached to that:

1) What if it turns into a sloppy shit. Then you really have problems. 15 minutes just may not give you enough time to deal with that sort of thing. 2) The double-shit. You finish shitting, whipe, finally get your tie fixed and shirt tucked in, belt done, and realize, I have to continue shitting. You can't say you've never experienced it, and again, serious time crunch.

Not saying it doesn't sound like a good plan. But you better hope it goes smoothly.

1) whipe??? WTF is a whipe 2) to avoid a sloppy shit, you do not shit for the previous 3 days. yes, this sounds grueling, but will ensure that your deuce makes a bowl entry that will echo throughout the entire building, rattling the plumbing structure to the core and sending the message to everyone that you have arrived. it will also be a ghost poop with 99% probability requiring no whiping (sic) which will save time in case the aforementioned "double-shit" occurs 3) you are correct in the assertion that you have no defense against the double-shit. if you believe in a god, pray. otherwise, build in an extra 10-15 minutes to account for the possibility of this

3 days??? serious??? it would be a tough time when you finally have to pull it out.. its great I guess, walk into an interview with all that comfort (if you manage to pull it out)...

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Monkeyman2:
I can see some risks attached to that:

1) What if it turns into a sloppy shit. Then you really have problems. 15 minutes just may not give you enough time to deal with that sort of thing. 2) The double-shit. You finish shitting, whipe, finally get your tie fixed and shirt tucked in, belt done, and realize, I have to continue shitting. You can't say you've never experienced it, and again, serious time crunch.

Not saying it doesn't sound like a good plan. But you better hope it goes smoothly.

Easy solution, gentlemen. You MUST eat oatmeal for breakfast the week of the interview, or for at least 3 days prior. Drinking coffee in the morning, is OK, but a cup of tea is even better for firming it up...

I concur that extra time is a must. Also make sure you are drinking enough water, and eating a high-protein diet. You want to be at peak performance level.

What did the B-ball player on Van Wilder call it? A "Pre-Game Dump?"

 
Best Response

I was actually introduced to the process while interviewing at Goldman. After stashing my topcoat in the secret behind-the-wall closet, the receptionist gave me the code for the men's room and told me to take my time - clearly she wanted me to go in and pinch a loaf.

No one came in while I was making the shit, but I feel like this would be an ultimate success if your interviewer happened to come in to take a piss at the same time while you're dropping a burly deuce. That way, as he was washing his hands at the sink, he would be able to see you in the mirror as you emerge victorious from the stall and begin to urinate around the perimeter of the restroom.

He would stand helpless, realizing that he just released his urine into the toilet and has no way to combat the territory-marking that you have just done. Shaking his head in disappointment, he would exit the restroom knowing that he was just pwn3d by some random guy he's never seen before. Upon finding out that you are in fact the interviewee, his subconscious primal realization will be that you are in fact the alpha male, and he is in no place to deny you the job you seek.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I tend to think of myself as a one-man wolfpack Buyside strongside
 
rooster:
Shaking his head in disappointment, he would exit the restroom knowing that he was just pwn3d by some random guy he's never seen before. Upon finding out that you are in fact the interviewee, his subconscious primal realization will be that you are in fact the alpha male, and he is in no place to deny you the job you seek.

ha, nicely put.

 
rooster:
I was actually introduced to the process while interviewing at Goldman. After stashing my topcoat in the secret behind-the-wall closet, the receptionist gave me the code for the men's room and told me to take my time - clearly she wanted me to go in and pinch a loaf.

No one came in while I was making the shit, but I feel like this would be an ultimate success if your interviewer happened to come in to take a piss at the same time while you're dropping a burly deuce. That way, as he was washing his hands at the sink, he would be able to see you in the mirror as you emerge victorious from the stall and begin to urinate around the perimeter of the restroom.

He would stand helpless, realizing that he just released his urine into the toilet and has no way to combat the territory-marking that you have just done. Shaking his head in disappointment, he would exit the restroom knowing that he was just pwn3d by some random guy he's never seen before. Upon finding out that you are in fact the interviewee, his subconscious primal realization will be that you are in fact the alpha male, and he is in no place to deny you the job you seek.

That was the funniest thing I have EVER read on WSO!! You might also consider dropping the Upper Deck:

See definition # 2: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=upper%20deck

 
rooster:
I was actually introduced to the process while interviewing at Goldman. After stashing my topcoat in the secret behind-the-wall closet, the receptionist gave me the code for the men's room and told me to take my time - clearly she wanted me to go in and pinch a loaf.

No one came in while I was making the shit, but I feel like this would be an ultimate success if your interviewer happened to come in to take a piss at the same time while you're dropping a burly deuce. That way, as he was washing his hands at the sink, he would be able to see you in the mirror as you emerge victorious from the stall and begin to urinate around the perimeter of the restroom.

He would stand helpless, realizing that he just released his urine into the toilet and has no way to combat the territory-marking that you have just done. Shaking his head in disappointment, he would exit the restroom knowing that he was just pwn3d by some random guy he's never seen before. Upon finding out that you are in fact the interviewee, his subconscious primal realization will be that you are in fact the alpha male, and he is in no place to deny you the job you seek.

I just gave you my last banana because this was the most epic and hilarious post I have ever read on WSO.

Wall Street leaders now understand that they made a mistake, one born of their innocent and trusting nature. They trusted ordinary Americans to behave more responsibly than they themselves ever would, and these ordinary Americans betrayed their trust.
 
rooster:
I was actually introduced to the process while interviewing at Goldman. After stashing my topcoat in the secret behind-the-wall closet, the receptionist gave me the code for the men's room and told me to take my time - clearly she wanted me to go in and pinch a loaf.

No one came in while I was making the shit, but I feel like this would be an ultimate success if your interviewer happened to come in to take a piss at the same time while you're dropping a burly deuce. That way, as he was washing his hands at the sink, he would be able to see you in the mirror as you emerge victorious from the stall and begin to urinate around the perimeter of the restroom.

He would stand helpless, realizing that he just released his urine into the toilet and has no way to combat the territory-marking that you have just done. Shaking his head in disappointment, he would exit the restroom knowing that he was just pwn3d by some random guy he's never seen before. Upon finding out that you are in fact the interviewee, his subconscious primal realization will be that you are in fact the alpha male, and he is in no place to deny you the job you seek.

hahahahaha this post made my day. What kind of shit do you think of in that head man?

 

Hey Rooster, for people who recruited virtually during the pandemic, how would you adjust this strategy? There's a lot of wisdom here.

 

+1

Most importantly point is #2. Please don't be a tool. At the analyst level, we don't really want the overzealous finance conoisseurs. As long as you know the basic technicals and seem genuinely interested in finance, that's all you need. I'm far more interested in talking to an interesting person who enjoys things OUTSIDE of finance so we can chat about whatever it may be -- my brain does finance 70 hours a week, and chatting with you on the phone is an opportunity for a break. So please please PLEASE have interests outside of finance.

 

Thanks for the great inputs.

And a few questions: are the interviewers for the 1st round mostly 1st to 2nd year analysts, or the HR people of the company? And does your advice, especially #2, apply the same for trading SA at BB, or would people expect interviewees to be more enthusiastic about the financial markets and thus spending more time on them?

 

Interviewers are generally analysts and associates with a couple of VPs/MDs sprinkled in there (superday format). Overall enthusiasm is expected for IB or S&T, but understanding of the 'day in and day out' of the markets is more expected for S&T obviously. Beside knowing the technicals, knowing specific M&A/cap. raising deals is much more relevant to IB.

 

What I meant is to show interest in finance but don't go over the top, and that can apply to any section of finance (IBD, S&T, ER, AM, IM, PWM, etc.). If someone asks about your interests, please don't say "following the stock market, maintaining a portfolio, becoming the next Gordon Gecko." I can promise you that most analysts will ask open-ended questions that will allow you to go in any number of directions -- by taking the finance route, it's likely you'll just start blabbing about something we know more about than you do. Show you have a life outside of finance.

 

As someone who just interviewed a bunch of SA's, I'd add to #5:

Find the "poster" deals each bank has done across different sectors and products. Shows you know more about the bank and that you're more enthusiastic. You also sound smart if you get a sector banker interviewing you and you happen to name something in their sector - conversely you sound rather silly if you're talking to an M&A banker and you can't name any M&A deals..

Also, do some research on the bank you're interviewing with and what distinguishes them from everyone else - we all know you're applying to a bunch of banks, but please at least make the guy feel like you really want to go to his bank..

Worst of all - DO NOT bluff - you will be found out, and it will not look pretty.

 
blueofspirit:
MNE:

No, when I/we say tell me about yourself I want to hear about stuff that I haven't read through on his resume the 30 seconds before I called the guy..

I believe you, but I've also heard the other side, ie people saying 'dont bore me with your personal stuff' when asking this question. To cover for both, do you think a good strategy would be to first answer the question in 30-50 secs like you suggest, and end with something like 'did you want me to walk you through my resume right now as well'?
 

stick with it......don't mention whom you've interviewed with specifically...just answer that you are going through the process with a number of banks. If it is technical at all read the vault guide it always helped me out a bit. Remember that every recruiter/ interviewer is different so although your personality might not fit with that firm it will fit in somewhere. On the outside interests when I interview a candidate (I'm an analyst) keep it short and sweet....example enjoy playing golf, fishing and spending time with friends....you could even ask what his/her interests are to keep the conversation flowing. ......bottom line is just relax....I know your probably in a panic since it is March...but you'll land it....just keep at it.

 

I feel you man. I've definitely been in your shoes. I've had dozens and interviews and onetime didn't get a job because I was TOO enthusiastic. You can memorize every technical question and guide, give them every on paper reason to hire you, and still be left out to pasture. I may not even be anything you are or aren't doing. Focused and intense are good things to project during your interview, so I doubt it's that given that you aren't acting like fucking Eeyore across the table.

Any job offers I've gotten have been not because of my internships, grades, or how well I interviewed. It's who I had putting a word in for me and other random stuff. I had one super at a BB where I (as I was told) had the vote of every deal team member (analyst-MD, ~17 people) sans a director and his little but buddy VP. I've gotten offers for equally stupid reasons as well. My best advice is to get someone influential within the organization push your name. I know that's easier said than done but if you've made it on your own to finals ontop of powerful rec, your golden.

Ace all your PE interview questions with the WSO Private Equity Prep Pack: http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/guide/private-equity-interview-prep-questions
 

Be yourself. You seem to have a good level of passion and interest. Just be yourself, and people will notice. Don't try to be someone you're not.

Also, you should know that there is such a thing as overpreparation. After a certain point, you should be spending less and less time on interview prep, and more on networking/applications/getting your resume out there. Of course, this is also highly dependent on the interviewer - sometimes, you just won't mesh, no matter who you try to be.

 

you have to go into the interview KNOWING you deserve the job. thinking you are predestined to fail will be a self fulfilling prophecy, an interviewer will pick up on it. practice your fit questions in the mirror and get them down as well as your technicals. at the same time, be yourself, trying to be someone you are not will only make you seem more awkward. if you are intense and focused, showcase that.

 

Best advice I have heard is to answer the question honestly. If you say yes they very well may give you the offer right there (or within a couple hours after the interview).

The hard part is if it is your second or third choice and you haven't heard back from your first choice yet.

 
Controversial

this is absolutely, by far, THE worst interview advice i have EVER come across. why don't you just take a shit on the MD's desk then. what do you think the receptionist, recruiting coordinator, and possibly your first interviewer will be wondering while they look at their watch 15 minutes after you've gone into the bathroom? what, subsequently, do you think they will think when you finally emerge, with your shirt half untucked and pants wrinkled, and extend your hand for the very first handshake?