Introductory calls/coffee chats

We all do it - coffee chats, informational interviews, quick 20 mins calls, its a necessity to break into IB, especially from a non-target. Do any of you have advice on what questions to ask? I typically ask:
- questions about career path (tailor it to their past experiences on linkedin)
- "what advice have you got/wish you got when you were in my shoes"
- "do you know anyone else I may benefit from speaking with?"
Obviously there's follow up questions within the conversation and I'm a decent people person so the conversation flows well. What I'm asking about is should I ask industry specific questions?
"With m&a deal volume down in the O&G industry in Canada whats kind of implications does it have on the smaller players after all the consolidation in the previous few years?"
Just an example, but does asking stuff like that (if you know the guy does O&G M&A) reflect well on me or should I just stick to career/general questions?

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Put a flair with your own opinion; make it sound like a conversation, not an interview.

Ex. (Insert whatever Oil&Gas bs you said)-> "xyz? Because I think that all the signs of industry headwinds point to only the big players winning mandates."

Don't make it so nerdy, but you get the gist. Be interesting and make them want to know more about you.

 
Most Helpful

Echoing above. To make it productive you almost have to make it seem like you're putting together the pieces of the puzzle and you're just missing one piece of info that they can help you with. I.e. (to expand on your example and it's an IB thing) "ya, XYZ company did a really good job of tailoring their strategy to clean up their balance sheet and now they're printing cash...but what do you do with all that cash now?" obviously a very niche example, but stuff like that where it shows you know what you're talking about and just need refinement. While there are still some jobs out there that want to take a blank slate and mold you, I think more and more companies are looking for people they can refine vs. having to train from ground 0. 

 

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