Unpopular opinion: any firm that wants to interview you at midnight is not firm you want to work for

Cannot believe all these pe firms scheduling interviews at midnight.  Insanity! Talk about a red phucking flag.

If someone tried to set up a 1am interview with a software engineer you would be laughed at, firm name blasted all over glassdoor and blind, and essentially blackballed by all the talent.  

Cannot believe ib analysts let themselves be like this.  

Comments (42)

  • Associate 3 in IB - Cov
Apr 1, 2022 - 2:03am

enjoy harboring a culture that puts off top talent.  no self respecting person with options/talent would take an interview at 1am.

Look at the Oncycle thread, very interesting comments there:

"Agreed, the majority of people I've spoke with are sitting this one out. With banking paying higher and trying to improve WLB for juniors I think PE isn't exactly what it used to be and people are not prepared right now (especially with the lack of traditional internship experience due to Covid people are behind). The process has become inhumane at this point, with no true time to figure out the right fit."

You'd think with how smart people supposedly are in PE they would figure out doing last minute interviews at midnight with exploding offers is not the best recruiting method.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Apr 1, 2022 - 1:23am

I have no tangible skills so PE is the best I can do with my experience without having to learn how to code. There's a ton of us and not that many spots, so the most desperate of us get the offers. If you're not willing to stay up to interview, better for me because I am 

Apr 1, 2022 - 2:01am
baddealflow12, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I have no tangible skills..... the most desperate of us get the offers...

this right here is proof IB/PE is a second rate, dying/stagnating field.    IB/PE is the new big4 accounting.   

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Apr 1, 2022 - 2:32am

Can't really disagree with you there. If I were smarter I'd be a quant or programmer, but as I am now, I'm definitely satisfied with my PE offer. Idc if I'm second rate because someone out there will always be better off 

Apr 1, 2022 - 9:39am
chihayafull, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Isn't this just like college kids trying to go to Moelis knowing they're gonna get fucked? We're all retarded over here, so of course Analysts are gonna take those interviews. Plus, PE isn't actually a "hard" job, much like banking. So long as those funds can fill seats with kids perceived as "polished" and willing to take a fat one up the ass for another 2 years, then nothing's ever gonna change.

Most Helpful
Apr 1, 2022 - 12:20pm
kuf135, what's your opinion? Comment below:

It's kind of unintentionally genius self selection - the kids willing to interview at 1AM (right or wrong) are also likely the kids willing to grind hard and do whatever is asked of them as PE associates. You can talk about talent leaving the industry etc but PE is not rocket science at the end of the day, as long as someone is smart enough, it matters more that they are grinders / have high conscientiousness traits.

Ultimately the free market decides - if this practice turns off enough candidates where it's impacting PE recruiting classes, the funds will stop doing it.  

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Apr 1, 2022 - 12:38pm

Good take. Funny how everyone talks about PE no longer being an attractive place to go yet we are interviewing 50-100 kids with great resumes and backgrounds. I promise you no matter how much you get paid in banking, i would make the transition 100% of the time. Similarly, have fun being at any of the public tech firms down 50%+ place when most of your comp is stock.

  • Associate 1 in IB - Cov
Apr 1, 2022 - 12:51pm

Similarly, have fun being at any of the public tech firms down 50%+ place when most of your comp is stock.

This is a such a bad take I almost can't believe you are smart enough to be in PE.

If you put money in simple FAANG stocks the past 10 years you would have made WAY more money than PE.

Tech stocks and stock option appreciation is how most people in tech get very wealthy (given 500k in options over a 4 year vest period, by time it vests, its worth 1.5mm).

I would 100% take tech stock comp vs PE carry

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Apr 1, 2022 - 5:40pm

PE recruits from banking, so of course you're gonna have a consistent stream of kids wanting to go to PE because your recruiting base is already skewed towards hardos. The bigger argument is going to Tech instead of IB itself out of college, which I would argue is true on average, especially as the emphasis on decent pay / good WLB versus great pay / shitty WLB.

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Apr 2, 2022 - 10:12am

I honestly don't think this is an unpopular opinion at all. Feels like we're in that new wave where it's cooler to have the contrarian view anyways.

Speaking for myself here, the reality is many of us are so horribly disillusioned with IB that any alternative is worth the shot. PE firms vary widely in culture, hours, pay, etc. I'd personally rather take the risk on that unknown vs. staying at my current bank where I know for a fact I'm absolutely miserable. And for me - that's not entirely all about WLB, but more so doing pointless garbage for toxic yet utterly retarded assholes. I'm currently doing about 20 hours / week post-offer and hate everything more than when I was a naïve first year grinding daily.

As much as on-cycle sucked for me, it was less than a week and I ended up with some sense of security for the next year or so. On the flip side, I could spend months applying and interviewing to roles outside of PE that I find interesting (sports, strategy, whatever) without much real sense of timing, interview questions, etc. which is tough uncertainty to have when you want out at all costs. On cycle is fast and regimented, and even if I wasn't super prepared, I knew exactly what to expect. For some of us, on cycle PE recruiting is the most efficient way out of here, with quite frankly nothing to lose.

Clearly software engineer is pretty out of the cards for me, so you do what makes the most sense right now.

Apr 2, 2022 - 4:32pm
sheldonxp, what's your opinion? Comment below:

How does it make sense that you want out at all costs, yet you take an offer that keeps you there for another year where as you said yourself, you hate everything now even more than before? 

If you applied to these other jobs that you said you find interesting, you may not know the timing as precisely, but if you get the job you can leave immediately. 

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Apr 2, 2022 - 5:23pm

The honest answer is I got my on cycle offer before I even made significant progress elsewhere that I had started applying over a month prior. There were a number of factors but the timing created issues with the idea of shopping/reneging, and also of course committing to the pay cut. Psychologically it became harder knowing I had secured the ~elusive~ PE offer and would have to turn it down vs. when it's all an unknown hypothetical. From there it turned into "why not see if there's a chance it works out?"

And frankly I thought that checking out of IB would make things chill rn. Which to be fair, it does for the 80% of the time that I'm not working, but I'm more frustrated at the job the 20% of the time that I am. It's net a fine state to be in for a temporary time, but I guess what I'm trying to say is that I hate the job itself more now than ever, not my overall life. So my point was more that it's not long term sustainable as a career for me with that mentality, even making it to associate or VP with promise of supposedly better WLB.

I'm certainly not saying this should all make sense to everyone or that it's a smart way of going about things. Just throwing out my personal thought process with respect to these processes and how some of us get roped into it. I don't come to WSO to give or seek life advice, but figured it relevant here that I and many others I know have shared similar sentiments in terms of some "easy" straightforward route away from a very miserable place.

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Apr 27, 2022 - 2:44am

I'm dying to work for the corp strategy department of LA Lakers because management is clearly clueless about what they should do after LeBron retires.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Apr 2, 2022 - 6:57pm

uh bud, I think it's more like "Any Firm That Wants To Interview You At Midnight Is Not Firm I Want To Work For"

Don't assume everyone else is soft pussy just cause you are, thx

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Apr 2, 2022 - 9:01pm

Yeah, its dumb. Just don't do PE? I never saw the appeal, just go into L/S equity or something and make more money if money is driving you. A lot of gigs out there pay better than MFPE, you just need to be clever.

Then again the hardocels who are willing to take a 1 am interview aren't exactly clever so they need to grasp at any tangible opportunity which comes their way.

Apr 3, 2022 - 12:20pm
Risk Weighted Ass, what's your opinion? Comment below:

This is BS. To think you don't respect yourself is new age entitlement.

Some ppl find it exciting to have 1am calls with great firms they've looked up to. The fast paced business scene gives them a rush. Just like jumping on client calls or making big investments overnight to get in before another investor.

Instead of saying others have no seld respect, how about you just stay in your job and stfu and let others do what they wanna do

  • Associate 1 in IB - Cov
Apr 3, 2022 - 11:20pm

lmao at finding it exciting hopping on a phone call at 1am to talk to someone in finance......

you must be trolling

  • Assist. VP in PE - LBOs
Apr 30, 2022 - 2:16pm

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Apr 30, 2022 - 2:53pm
her interest-nah-carried interest, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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