A Recurring Rejection Theme
During the previous ~6 months, I have recruited for numerous PE / IB off-cycle internships. With a decent GPA and coming from a strong school, I managed to score a lot of interviews. 5 IB internship interviews, and 3 PE internship interviews to be exact.
The outcome from all of the interviews was 1 IB offer. Of course I am happy about the offer, but still - the conversion rate is very poor. Some of the earlier interviews, I was poorly prepared and failed the technical parts. However, in some interviews, especially the IB ones, I nailed the technicals but received the same rejection feedback: "You did not motivate well enough why this firm / why IB."
My answer to "Why IB" has been something like: "Working at startup XXX (I worked with M&A at a startup), the transactions have been the most exciting thing. Of course the sell-side is different, but I am attracted to the transaction-centered work. I also enjoyvaluation, so I want to apply my skills and learn more within those areas. Finally, I'm drawn to the fast-paced environment and work well under pressure."
To answer "Why this firm", I have looked at the deals the firm has worked on and said something like "Because you work with very exciting deals and industries such as XX which I personally find interesting. I also have had great interactions with people within the firm."
WSO, I am turning to you guys for tips / tricks on how to nail this so important part of the interview process. Coming from a startup background, what would you see as the most logical and strong argument for why IB?
Or perhaps my answers are ok, perhaps (and this might be the case) I appear too unenthusiastic. If so, do you have any tips on how to really signal that one is ready to give everything for the job?
Thanks in advance!