7/16/15

Mod Note (Andy): Throwback Thursday - this was originally posted 9/27/13

Been a while since I posted so I thought I'd write in especially since we're in the midst of investment banking interview season.

I was in your shoes about 5-6 years ago, worked as an investment banking analyst at a Moelis/Houlihan/Evercore type firm in restructuring, got an offer for direct promotion to associate, passed on that to go to grad school in Europe, and have recently returned to take my associate perch in the same group. Take my word for whatever you will.

I do drill my analyst interview candidates hard on technicals. Not obscure things, just testing how well they know the basics and how they think about things and whether they can apply and think on their feet a bit.

Here are a few observations from our latest superdays which I've had the pleasure of participating in:

The First Impression

1. The biggest thing I AM looking for is humble confidence and a person I would like to have a beer with.

2. Don't come on too strong/overenthusiastic or I'll think I will be annoyed with you on the first week on the job. Sit up in your chair. Don't wear weird socks. Fake smiles/laughs are a no no. A quick joke is a gamble - could be a plus, or I could just think you're silly.

3. A simple "Nice to meet you, thank you guys for taking the time" is a great hello.

4. Don't flub the handshake. Stay standing until I sit down

5. Be punchy, brief, and learn how to end a sentence. Can't tell you how many times people have gotten into trouble by rambling off into some ass-backward irrelevant tangent. Learn to be comfortable with a little silence here and there while we absorb your answer

6. Walk through the resume in 1 minute or less - I know you've had an interesting life but I don't need to hear about it now - maybe we come back to it at the end of the interview

7. Listen, listen, listen!!! So many mistakes come from just not listening carefully and being in the moment

Technicals

1. For an analyst interview we expect a working knowledge of DCF, comps, and comp transactions, the CAPM, and the WACC. That's pretty much it. You should nail those.

2. Nailing those means knowing what they actually MEAN, not just being able to recite formulas. Most candidates cannot tell me WHY we look at free cash flow in simple terms.

3. Lay out the broad strokes of your answer from start to end, and then go more detailed and work the problem. Think out loud. Consultants are great at this. Bankers are not.

4. Again, brevity is king. Do not ramble on tangents - briefly note there is another wrinkle you might want to come back to later, but get to the answer to the question I just asked

5. Explain things first in kid terms - a favorite of mine is to tell the candidate to pretend I am a client CEO and you are selling my company. I have no college education or finance background. Now explain to me the DCF in 5 minutes or fewer. I am looking for you to lead with: "Potential buyers will see your company as a stream of future cash flows. We need to project out and then value those future cash flows."

6. Placing these sorts of things into context is more of an associate interview skill - but if you can do it as an analyst (esp important if you have banking internships on your resume) you will stand out

7. To re-emphasize point 3, walk me through every calculation you are doing. I want to hear you think out loud. The process matters far more than your answer and gives you a chance to demonstrate a grip on the concepts. Honestly I wasn't even checking the math in many of these most recent interviews - I would sometimes just ask of a simple calculation "Are you sure?" to put on a little pressure and see how you respond. I am looking here for you to take 5 seconds, double check your math, and answer with a confident "Yes, I am sure."

8. On that note, I always like to say "Maybe" doesn't put men on the moon. You need to be sure on your answers, so write clearly, label things, and don't rush. Practice your hand multiplication, addition, subtraction, division. Don't ever ask ME if your answer is right because I probably don't know. Just check it and know that it is right. That will be your job soon enough if you do well here

9. When relevant, it's nice to relate the question to something you have done in the past, but don't go on profusely - stick to the question and answer it

10. If you find yourself getting stuck or panicing, just tell me where you're having trouble - if it's just that you're not remembering a formula, no big deal, I'll probably help you get it. Half the battle is seeing how you handle adversity.

11. Don't be afraid to say "I don't know" to a tough technical. As an analyst, I expect you to ALWAYS tell me when you don't know something, and never BS an answer.

12. If you give an "I don't know" follow it with "But here is what I am thinking - tell me if I am on the right track." And walk me through your thoughts. This is a great analyst quality because it shows that you'll think about a problem critically before you call me and ask about it, and I know you'll remember it better the next time it comes up

Wrapping up

1. Before you ask us questions it's nice to say "I've done lots of research on your firm and talked to a lot of people so I know your firm pretty well, so I really want to hear more about your own personal experiences here."

2. Some good questions to ask your interviewers: 1) Tell me about a recent deal you've worked on that you liked. 2) What are the next steps from here? 3) How have you liked your experience here so far? Anything surprise you, good or bad? 4) Tell me about what you guys do for fun.

3. Some questions to avoid: 1) What are the hours like here? (get that info later from an insider that you know better) 2) Anything related to compensation 3) What are your plans after banking? (we can't answer that and we'll all say we're planning on staying in the near term...duh...)

4. Don't stand up until I stand up.

Questions, disagreements, comments, fire away. As always, if you like it put a banana on it, silly enough it actually encourages me to write more (bravo Patrick and Andy, bravo!).

frgna

Comments (130)

9/27/13

I really thought this was about "how to nail an investment banking analyst"

Seriously though: Nice post! TLDR for Friday though, I'll reread Monday

Get busy living

Financial Modeling

Best Response
9/27/13

I came here because the thread appeared on the side bar as "How to nail an investment banking analyst."

9/27/13

Cookies With Milken:

I came here because the thread appeared on the side bar as "How to nail an investment banking analyst."

Sorry for the psyche-out...mods can you retitle to something that works?

if you like it then you shoulda put a banana on it

9/27/13

How to nail the IB analyst interview should work.

Great post though, lots of it should be applicable in any BB/MBB/F500 interview.

9/27/13

Ha looks like everyone came here for the same reason. Lets face it though - the vast majority of them are dudes ...

9/27/13

Great post. Thanks

"I like Ackman," Mr. Icahn said. "I'll tell you why I like him. Anyone that makes me a quarter of a billion I like."

9/27/13

As someone looking to break in to an analyst role, this is chock-full of good advice. It isn't anything revolutionary, but it is a nice consolidated look at the fundamentals of the interview process.
Someone else posted this link recently, but for an answer to the technicals the following is pretty solid: http://www.ibankingfaq.com/
Thanks for the post, frgna

9/27/13

Excellent advice. If only I had SBs..

9/27/13

Great advice! Will be using it in upcoming interview. Thanks a lot!

9/28/13

Golden post. Thanks so much for sharing! +1SB

9/28/13

This is gold , but

frgna:

6. Walk through the resume in 1 minute or less - I know you've had an interesting life but I don't need to hear about it now - maybe we come back to it at the end of the interview

Don't they usually say 3-5 minutes?

9/28/13

Arsene Wenger's Father:

This is gold , but

frgna:

6. Walk through the resume in 1 minute or less - I know you've had an interesting life but I don't need to hear about it now - maybe we come back to it at the end of the interview

Don't they usually say 3-5 minutes?

There's not a hard and fast rule - if you think you have an interesting story and its worth telling - just go and tell it. Now don't drone on while an interviewer clearly shows signs of no longer being interested, but for fucks sake if you've got to say something that's important to winning a 'gig then say it. For the record, my story can be as long or as short as the interviewers body language is allowing me.

'Before you enter... be willing to pay the price'

9/28/13

BepBep12:

Arsene Wenger's Father:

This is gold , but

frgna:

6. Walk through the resume in 1 minute or less - I know you've had an interesting life but I don't need to hear about it now - maybe we come back to it at the end of the interview

Don't they usually say 3-5 minutes?

There's not a hard and fast rule - if you think you have an interesting story and its worth telling - just go and tell it. Now don't drone on while an interviewer clearly shows signs of no longer being interested, but for fucks sake if you've got to say something that's important to winning a 'gig then say it. For the record, my story can be as long or as short as the interviewers body language is allowing me.

Yes, not a hard and fast - depends if it is a technical or a fit interview. This is great advice to read the body language. At 21-22 the story shouldn't take an awful long time, and remember that if there are a lot of loops you don't have to share every loop - only those that will help win the job as another poster mentioned.

if you like it then you shoulda put a banana on it

9/28/13

Very helpful!

9/29/13

Wow this list is great. I think college students tend to read many of these threads and forget half of their wisdoms when it comes to the interviews. But I urge every prospective kid to take every one of these points and own them, perfect them. I would suggest printing this list and referencing it after every mock interview to see how closely you kept to it

9/29/13

NYKnicks92:

Wow this list is great. I think college students tend to read many of these threads and forget half of their wisdoms when it comes to the interviews. But I urge every prospective kid to take every one of these points and own them, perfect them. I would suggest printing this list and referencing it after every mock interview to see how closely you kept to it

Yes yes yes - absolutely. Had a few w PE internship experience who couldn't explain the sources of return on an LBO. Shows a complete lack of interest/engagement in what you were doing. Even if you didn't have substantial "real work" I would have expected you to read a few wikipedia articles on LBOs.

PS they are: leverage (lower cost of capital/paying down debt over time), multiple expansion, and operational improvements (e.g. revenue synergies and cost cutting).

if you like it then you shoulda put a banana on it

9/29/13

Lots of good advice in this thread. Also, don't overestimate your competition. You'd be surprised how many candidates from top 15 schools and "Investment banking" or "private equity" experience on their resume cannot walk through how the 3 financial statements connect. Know all the technicals cold and be confident. Those two things alone put you ahead of the game.

9/29/13

Thanks for the comments guys, hope this makes it into at least a few good hands in time for super saturdays. Anyone who uses this stuff, curious to hear how your interviews go.

if you like it then you shoulda put a banana on it

9/30/13

frgna:

Thanks for the comments guys, hope this makes it into at least a few good hands in time for super saturdays. Anyone who uses this stuff, curious to hear how your interviews go.

I read your post Friday night, right before my super day at a MM shop. I definitely used some of the advice and was extended the offer for FT. Thanks a lot!I

9/30/13

kedwards33:

frgna:

Thanks for the comments guys, hope this makes it into at least a few good hands in time for super saturdays. Anyone who uses this stuff, curious to hear how your interviews go.

I read your post Friday night, right before my super day at a MM shop. I definitely used some of the advice and was extended the offer for FT. Thanks a lot!I

frgna, you should feel proud for this. This is a success story.

Congrats, kedwards33.

10/2/13

ManyHenny:

kedwards33:
frgna:

Thanks for the comments guys, hope this makes it into at least a few good hands in time for super saturdays. Anyone who uses this stuff, curious to hear how your interviews go.

I read your post Friday night, right before my super day at a MM shop. I definitely used some of the advice and was extended the offer for FT. Thanks a lot!I

frgna, you should feel proud for this. This is a success story.

Congrats, kedwards33.

This is why I do this - very happy to hear this sir or lady :)

if you like it then you shoulda put a banana on it

9/30/13

great stuff, thanks frgna

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My story | My Linkedin

9/30/13

Great post, will definitely help me a lot!

9/30/13

frgna:

Most candidates cannot tell me WHY we look at free cash flow in simple terms.

frgna

Could you help me on this one? I kinda know, but not well enough to explain in interview. And do you know any other questions of this type off the top of your head?

Currently going through the BIWS and WSO guides.

9/30/13

Fetter:

frgna:

Most candidates cannot tell me WHY we look at free cash flow in simple terms.

frgna

Could you help me on this one? I kinda know, but not well enough to explain in interview. And do you know any other questions of this type off the top of your head?

Currently going through the BIWS and WSO guides.


due to the fact that free cashflow is the value of the company's earnings attributable to all investors. Basically, this is the potential earnings for investors in this company.
9/30/13

wonderful post, thanks for the perspective from the other side of the desk. also, for the record, posts like this are what i love about wso.

9/30/13

Awesome post, thanks for the tips

"Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly"

9/30/13

Very informative and helpful, thank you for taking the time to write this up!

9/30/13

My secret to nailing the analyst interview was getting hammered the night before with the analysts on jag bombs and macallan 18

10/4/13

Connecticut Yankee:

My secret to nailing the analyst interview was getting hammered the night before with the analysts on jag bombs and macallan 18

The social events are definitely important - if they take you to dinner/drinks, that's part of the evaluation too. Stay out until a reasonable hour. Don't say "I have to go back to study/prepare" even if you do - just say you should probably get some rest for the big day tomorrow.

Do NOT drink so much you oversleep on superday (yes sadly I have seen it happen, and to a candidate who was formerly the leading choice).

if you like it then you shoulda put a banana on it

10/1/13

My question is not how to behave during the interview, but how to attract recruiter say," Hey, you look interesting, let's schedule an interview." That's the real issue for me now.

10/1/13

christinema:

My question is not how to behave during the interview, but how to attract recruiter say," Hey, you look interesting, let's schedule an interview." That's the real issue for me now.

- Network
- Resume --> target school, relevant job experience, student associations, experiences abroad, voluntary work, special interest / hobbies?

Differentiate yourself!

10/1/13

I can only hope some of our future analyst candidates find, read and utilize this post. Mostly basic points, but it's amazing how few candidates (regardless of background) are able to hit on them. +1 SB for you, thanks.

10/1/13

SB for you, Bookmarked webpage, Great post!!

As a remorseful fresh Big 4 auditor teaching myself technicals and trying to get into banking/TAS/away from audit in general, this is great information.

"You are neither right nor wrong because the crowd disagrees with you. You are right because your data and reasoning are right."

-Warren Buffett

10/1/13

One more thing I would add to must know technicals is how a dollar of revenue or a dollar of capex flows through the three statements.

10/1/13

I actually landed an FT analyst gig this summer, but this is great advice, Thanks, SB for you!

"When a defining moment comes along you define the moment or the moment defines you."

10/3/13

Great post, I particular like 12) under the technicals and the general comment about "thinking out loud".

10/4/13

great post

Let thine own self be true

Financial Modeling

10/4/13

great post

10/9/13

Curious to hear if anyone else has put this into action/experience etc.

Cheers

if you like it then you shoulda put a banana on it

10/12/13

Fantastic post!! Read this over the weekend a few times before my interview on Wednesday. Refined my answers to the "short and sweet" format (they were pretty long before) and I landed the offer! Starting this January as an analyst!

10/19/13

Cotton Eyed Joe:

Fantastic post!! Read this over the weekend a few times before my interview on Wednesday. Refined my answers to the "short and sweet" format (they were pretty long before) and I landed the offer! Starting this January as an analyst!

Great news, glad to hear it!

if you like it then you shoulda put a banana on it

10/19/13

Short and punchy tends to work much better.

if you like it then you shoulda put a banana on it

10/20/13

Wow, finally something useful. Thanks for this.

"Elections are a futures market for stolen property"

10/20/13

Is this for a full time position or for a potential summer analyst? What technicals would you say I should know as a summer analyst hopeful?

10/20/13

You should definitely know WSO Technical Questions Guide cold. It really helped me to structure my answers.

10/21/13

I absolutely plan on going through them, and have a fair idea about them now, but I am unclear on what kind of technical knowledge is expected of a summer analyst candidate (and non-finance major at that).

10/21/13

Leveraged Bailout:

I absolutely plan on going through them, and have a fair idea about them now, but I am unclear on what kind of technical knowledge is expected of a summer analyst candidate (and non-finance major at that).

Leveraged Bailout - interns would not be expected to know as much. Very much tailored to the candidate / their experience. For you, I'd say it's a bonus to know valuation. If you can nail valuation, you'll have a great shot.

Sometimes I think that non-finance majors have an easier time because it is easier to exceed expectations - imagine a history major comes in and nails the technical interview better than a bunch of finance majors. He knows finance and will help us nail it in trivia. Compelling.

if you like it then you shoulda put a banana on it

10/22/13

Thanks for your response. I do agree, it does seem to be easier for non-finance majors with the whole under promise/over deliver thing.

1/7/15

frgna:

Leveraged Bailout:

I absolutely plan on going through them, and have a fair idea about them now, but I am unclear on what kind of technical knowledge is expected of a summer analyst candidate (and non-finance major at that).

Leveraged Bailout - interns would not be expected to know as much. Very much tailored to the candidate / their experience. For you, I'd say it's a bonus to know valuation. If you can nail valuation, you'll have a great shot.

Sometimes I think that non-finance majors have an easier time because it is easier to exceed expectations - imagine a history major comes in and nails the technical interview better than a bunch of finance majors. He knows finance and will help us nail it in trivia. Compelling.


Mostly yes and also no. Sometimes they pound the liberal arts major because they think they're stupid and ask really tough questions to prove it to themselves, so it's very possible there are other expectations to overcome. While you are right in most cases, sometimes it's the reverse....as a liberal arts major, I've experienced both situations. Either way, going in prepared is going to mitigate both possible lines of reasoning. This isn't rocket science and the prep materials available these days are preeeeeeeety good :)

Get busy living

10/21/13

Great post frgna. Some people get so caught up in the interviewing process that they forget to exhibit human behavior. For example, one MD asked each interviewee at the start of the interview "What would you like to talk about?". Every single one of the interviewees rambling about DCF, comparables etc. was dinged. The advice one VP gave everyone at an informal drink was "Just be interesting. We will have to work with you until 2am sometimes, so be cool.".

Also relevant to note "what to wear". As for London a safe and sound outfit would be: Navy suit (at least made to measure, please), black (oxford) shoes and black socks. White shirt and a light blue tie is a safe bet. Don't be the guy wearing brown shoes in London, you will get killed.

DYEL

10/21/13

Waving Wind:

Great post frgna. Some people get so caught up in the interviewing process that they forget to exhibit human behavior. For example, one MD asked each interviewee at the start of the interview "What would you like to talk about?". Every single one of the interviewees rambling about DCF, comparables etc. was dinged. The advice one VP gave everyone at an informal drink was "Just be interesting. We will have to work with you until 2am sometimes, so be cool.".

Also relevant to note "what to wear". As for London a safe and sound outfit would be: Navy suit (at least made to measure, please), black (oxford) shoes and black socks. White shirt and a light blue tie is a safe bet. Don't be the guy wearing brown shoes in London, you will get killed.

"No brown in town" right? :) Yes, London, always wear black.

Great advice on the interview, just be yourself. Pass the airport test (imagine I'm stuck at O'Hare for 8 hours with you - time to not talk about banking / work for a bit).

if you like it then you shoulda put a banana on it

10/22/13

Will try these tips this week and see how it goes

11/27/13

Any success stories lately?

if you like it then you shoulda put a banana on it

11/27/13

frgna:

Any success stories lately?

Yes sir, mine. This is long overdue as I got my offer like a month ago. I owed you a big one. Printed this off and took it with me to where I had the superday. Read it like a zillion times before my interview and followed your advice strictly. Didn't sit down on my chair when the interviewer spent 2 mins talking on his phone standing up. Put DCF and other technical questions to context while stuck to brevity. Walked interviewer through thoughts and calculations, and ended my sentences strong. Defended well my explanation instead of saying "maybe" when questioned.

Thanks and SB'd!

Nothing is true; everything is permitted.

12/27/13

great post! thanks a lot!

Actually I wonder whether or not interviewers would treat female candidates differently? especially minorities (Asian/African American, ect.) female candidates.... If so, what else should they pay attention to?

1/9/14

wannabe2015:

great post! thanks a lot!

Actually I wonder whether or not interviewers would treat female candidates differently? especially minorities (Asian/African American, ect.) female candidates.... If so, what else should they pay attention to?

Short answer no, everyone is treated the same.

if you like it then you shoulda put a banana on it

12/28/13

Thanks man!

1/1/14

SB'ed

I thought people gave this kind of advice only after charging for it.

@frgna could you advise me? have an ib analyst interview mid feb and would be damn glad if you could respond here:

//www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/bo-to-ib-analyst-ab...

I am BO. Sometimes ppl don't give advice because they think everyone would know the basics. I really don't. strongly believe your advice could be a game changer for me.

Thanks for this wonderful post!

1/9/14

ReardenCapital:

SB'ed

I thought people gave this kind of advice only after charging for it.

@frgna could you advise me? have an ib analyst interview mid feb and would be damn glad if you could respond here:

//www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/bo-to-ib-analyst-about-to-make-the-jump-requesting-advice

I am BO. Sometimes ppl don't give advice because they think everyone would know the basics. I really don't. strongly believe your advice could be a game changer for me.

Thanks for this wonderful post!

Feel free to PM me

if you like it then you shoulda put a banana on it

1/4/14

Should a investment banking summer analyst candidate be familiar with the currencies, derivatives, options, and stock sections of the WSO guide or just the valuation, M&A, accounting, and bonds sections?

1/9/14

Island101:

Should a investment banking summer analyst candidate be familiar with the currencies, derivatives, options, and stock sections of the WSO guide or just the valuation, M&A, accounting, and bonds sections?

Accounting and Valuation would be top priority. Stock is also a good portion to review, mostly for market and pitch me a stock question. Touch on the basic of M&A and Bonds/Debt just to be sure, unless you are gunning for M&A or LevFin group.

Nothing is true; everything is permitted.

1/9/14

Ezio Auditore:

Island101:

Should a investment banking summer analyst candidate be familiar with the currencies, derivatives, options, and stock sections of the WSO guide or just the valuation, M&A, accounting, and bonds sections?

Accounting and Valuation would be top priority. Stock is also a good portion to review, mostly for market and pitch me a stock question. Touch on the basic of M&A and Bonds/Debt just to be sure, unless you are gunning for M&A or LevFin group.

Yes, agree with this. For summer interns, unless you have prior experience, wouldn't expect much beyond the basic finance and accounting and valuation.

if you like it then you shoulda put a banana on it

1/8/14

bump I'm curious about the question above^.

Should a summer analyst be familiar with sections beyond valuation and accounting?

1/9/14

Printed this as well, and took it with me for AC at top BB for IBD summer. Advice was golden, particularly the part with explaining the DCF in simple terms. Finishing sentences strong and in general terms being decisive is very very important as well, as you said, and I took that to heart that day.

The very same day I received an offer for the summer. Many thanks, and SB'ed!

Whether you think you can or you think you can't, your're right. - Henry Ford

7/26/14

This post is gold. It is gold wrapped in golden foil. Clear. Succinct. Informative and Complete. You might as well have just handed me my 1st years salary. I will do well to memorize this post. Thank you.

Benjamin A Gilman Scholar
Economics & Finance, Mandarin Chinese & Japanese
Small Business VP

8/29/14

This is fantastic! Thank you!

10/20/14

Thanks for the info, an outside perspective is always helpful.

10/28/14

Thanks for the info

12/26/14

I find this to be excellent advise and something to keep in mind for my investment banking interview in the near future!
Thanks!!

Mordi Lati
Finance Major at Baruch College

12/26/14

I find this to be excellent advise and something to keep in mind for my investment banking interview in the near future!
Thanks!!

Mordi Lati
Finance Major at Baruch College

12/29/14

Great post. +1

1/25/15

thanks for this

6/16/15

Related interview question, kind of a random question, I'm kind of tipsy too...

I had an interview at a table with four interviewers at a boutique. What's protocol for sitting and standing if they walk in and leave roughly one-by-one over the course of three minutes or so. Stand up again as each person comes in?

Make Idaho a Semi-Target Again 2016
Not an alumnus of Idaho

7/19/15

Absolutely fantastic post... Thanks a lot frgna!

7/19/15

Thanks for posting! You talk about thinking out loud while going through your calculations...what type of questions are they asking? Case studies?

7/20/15

i cant stop laughing after reading the comments from the guys who say: "I came here because the title of the post in sidebar said "How to nail an investment banking analyst""

LOL you know 80-90% are dudes right??? Nothing wrong with that, but be sure to check under the hood before test driving! :)

"I'm talking about liquid. Rich enough to have your own jet. Rich enough not to waste time. Fifty, a hundred million dollars, buddy. A player. Or nothing. "
-GG

7/23/15

Hi there! Id like to start by saying this post spurned me to join the WSO community!
Anyway, i plan to pursue a career in investment banking and although these tips are sure to be useful in the future, due to my age (on my way to university next year) im yet to be formally introduced to the 'technicals' in any way.
As im someone that wants to be as ahead of the game as physically possible im wondering if anyone could point me in the direction (in the form of a web link or maybe a blog post) of anywhere i can learn these 'technicals' or even useful links that help a budding investment banker further his/her learning. I would also love any tips of setting myself apart from other candidates, in any way possible.

9/14/15

As someone who recently recruited/interviewed candidates at a university career fair, I love the below point:

"5. Be punchy, brief, and learn how to end a sentence. Can't tell you how many times people have gotten into trouble by rambling off into some ass-backward irrelevant tangent. Learn to be comfortable with a little silence here and there while we absorb your answer"

I cannot tell you how many times a student started answering a question, or giving me a summary of a work/school/extracurricular experience, and they trail off with a "so...yeah.....". I dock major points for this seemingly small flub. There is no reason you cannot clearly and concisely provide me your point without acting like you are leaving something to be desired.

11/5/15

This was really helpful as well as motivating.

1/15/16

I'm curious as to interview tactics: are there certain standard operating procedures for interviewers in New York that are far afield from questions asked or evaluation methods used in San Francisco, Los Angeles, or London?

1/26/16

Truly, I am amazed at what informative things you've told us today. Thanks a million for that, frgna.

1/29/16

Fantastic timeless advice.

2/16/16

Great post...crisp and straight forward. I guess all interviewers expect on more or less the same as mentioned in post

2/17/16

This is great advice, thank you for taking the time to help us

2/17/16

nice post

3/29/16

This should be in a book somewhere, great information. THX

Want to Lose the body fat, keep the muscles, I can help.

3/29/16

One thing to read guides. Completely different thing to build models. I suggest the latter. When you have fully function (and not extremely basic) models built, mess with the assumptions and inputs and see where they flow. No other way to really understand how everything fits together in my opinion.

"Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be"

3/29/16

Thanks for the input. I completely understand but I'm currently interviewing for analyst positions and need more of a basic top down approach...unfortunately I don't really have any financial models readily availabe to tinker around with

3/29/16

Pele10:

Thanks for the input. I completely understand but I'm currently interviewing for analyst positions and need more of a basic top down approach...unfortunately I don't really have any financial models readily availabe to tinker around with

You can build one. Get some financial statements for the past few years, get the Rosenberg/Pearl investment banking book, and jump on youtube for instructional videos. You could probably learn to build your own.

Or you could drop money on some guides that include templates and stuff.

3/29/16

On WallStreetPrep there are a few sample models that you'll be able to download. Also, macabacus.org has models with a step-by-step tutorial on building them.

People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for freedom of thought which they seldom use.

3/29/16

they will most likely ask you some technical accounting questions that way they dont waste money flying you out only to realize you know nothing

3/29/16

Good to know. Do you think I should mainly focus on my technicals? Also, I don't know if it makes a difference, but the bank is located in Toronto, and so am I.

Thanks for the reply!

3/29/16

Whoops - doubled posted. My bad.

3/29/16

I'm not really sure what a preliminary interview is. Is it informational or is it the same as a 1st round phone screening?

To start though, always OVER prepare. It will likely be largely behavioral so be sure to know your story, your why banking, why xyz bank, etc answers perfectly. As far as technicals, study up on knowing the basic accounting/valuations questions. At the least try to know the different types of valuations and when you'd use each type/which typically gives the highest value, the basics of a DCF (discounted cash flow) analysis and the basics of the three financial statements and how they tie together. Whether or not you need to know these things for your first round, it is unlikely you'd make it all the way through without having to touch on them.

Remember, people often assume that because they are non business backgrounds, they won't get any technical questions. While you likely won't as complicated ones as someone with prior experience, you are still coming to them and saying I want a job in this field. You can't credibly say that unless you have some idea of what the field is and what the work entails, regardless of your background.

"I know you think you understand what you thought I said but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant."

3/29/16

Awesome response! Thank you! Also, sorry, I am not sure if this is the same thing as a first round phone interview or not.

Okay, I will definitely make sure I have my story and any other basic fit type questions down. I'll do my best to know the basic accounting and valuation questions as well.

Yes, I do understand that not having a finance background is no excuse, so it's not like I can avoid the technical questions. I'm just hoping that this interview is mostly fit so I have some more time to prep for the technicals later on.

To be honest, I'm really shocked that I even got this interview. I've mostly been focusing on networking with the smaller boutiques in the area. I didn't think a bank of this size would be interested in me (I don't even go to a particularly good school or anything either). I'd be really great if I got this job, so I'm definitely going to do all I can to prepare!

3/29/16

Then congrats!

These great opportunities come around now and then so you need to make sure to leave nothing on the table with regards to preparation. I would very strongly suggest finding someone to run you through mock interviews. A big part of interviews is just being comfortable with the format and saying these things out loud, especially since they are topics you are not used to speaking about. Put quizlet on your phone with practice questions and whenever you find yourself with a few minutes practice answering the questions out loud.

Best of luck!

"I know you think you understand what you thought I said but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant."

3/29/16

Thank you! I'm really going to do my best for this; thanks for the encouragement!

3/29/16

@redacted So besides the technicals you just mentioned (DCF basics, valuations, and basics of the three financial statements) what else should we study for ib interviews?

Great post btw!

3/29/16

@redacted So besides the technicals you just mentioned (DCF basics, valuations, and basics of the three financial statements) what else should we study for ib interviews?

Great post btw!

3/29/16

@redacted So besides the technicals you just mentioned (DCF basics, valuations, and basics of the three financial statements) what else should we study for ib interviews?

Great post btw!

3/29/16

I would also know your story well. You should be able to show them that you actually do want to be here and are enthusiastic about the job, and not that you are applying because your parents want you to do so, or just because it's what other people do. Make sure to have other behavioural based questions down as well (e.g. your strengths, weaknesses, an experience that best demonstrated your leadership abilities, a time you failed, etc.). Maybe also be able to speak a few words about certain markets (I was once asked "tell me something interesting about the markets"). Such a general questions may put some people off guard since you may not know where to start, so try to keep something interesting in mind that you can talk about. Knowing why you want to work at the particular bank is also good. They know that we are all interviewing at multiple banks, so they may ask something like this just to see if you are actually looking for something specific in an employer, or if you just sent your resume out en masse. If you say X bank is you #1 choice, you should have some good specific reasons as to why, and don't speak too much on general things that may apply to most of their competitors.

If you have the cash, I would recommend the BIWS stuff. I know there is other stuff put there, but this is all I have, and it's been serving me well so far during interview season. Do some research on which guide (e.g. WSO, Vault, BIWS, etc.) you think would be best for you.

Best of luck!

3/29/16

Some basic common sense that will help you in your webcam interview:

Look at the camera, not the screen.
Smile
Wear a FULL Suit
Make sure lighting is properly set. Do a test run prior to the interview.
Interview against a flat wall with no wall decorations.

3/29/16

Oh, I didn't expect that I would have to wear a full suit; I was just going to wear a dress shirt. Thanks for the tip; I'll definitely make sure to suit up!

I still haven't figured out where I can do this. My home is definitely not quiet enough; I think I will try to find some isolated place at school instead.

3/29/16

Go to your career services. They should have rooms set up for this. You might have to go to the career services department for business majors, but if you tell them you have an ib interview I'm sure they'd oblige.

"I know you think you understand what you thought I said but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant."

3/29/16

Wow, I never even knew they had such rooms! I'll definitely makes some phone calls tomorrow to find out if I can book a room. Thanks for the heads up!

3/29/16

So, I just found out that the interview is going to be mostly behavioural. Besides knowing my "story" and having solid answers to questions like "why IB?" are there any things in particular you guys recommend I be ready for?

Thanks again for the advice!

3/29/16

If it's going to be mostly behavioral you are going to receive questions outside the typical fit cliches (why banking, why that bank, walk me through your resume, why you). Have 3-5 personal experiences that you could plug into questions like:

"When was a time you faced adversity in a team setting and how did you handle it,"
"When was a time you were a leader and made a mistake; how did you handle the situation,"
"Tell me about a time you had to juggle a lot of responsibilities at once, how did you go about handling them and what were the outcomes of those responsibilities"
"When was a time you faced an ethical dilemma and how did you go about handling it"
"what is/are your weakness/es / strength/s"

be prepared for any variation of the above questions. I have gotten plenty of those questions going through SA interviews so far, so have meaningful stories to use and use the STAR approach (situation, task, action, result). Also, try to relate any experience to investment banking (ie. with the responsibilities question, say you thrive under pressure and having a lot of things on your plate at once and have an example to back it. This is incredibly important if you want to be successful in IB.)

Like I said, the fit questions will only last ~10-15 minutes of the interview, so the rest of the talk will most likely be about specific experiences. Also, you said it will be "mostly" behavioral, so be sure to have basic techs down just in case, like the 3 statements, how they link, three forms of valuation and also know a good amount DCFs (Whats WACC, CAPM, FCF, how to calculate them, and if possible know how changes in certain aspects of those equations effects the DCF valuation in the end)

if you have time, try and run through Investment Banking by Pearl and Rosenbaum, or at the very least a technical guide or two, like the ones WSO and BIWS offer. The Rosenbaum book is very helpful, a little wordy and may be harder to understand, but has definitely helped me the most.

Good luck and congrats on the opportunity.

"My name's Ralph Cox, and I'm from where ever's not gonna get me hit"

3/29/16

WOW, that's one heck of a post!! Thank you so much for that; it really helps! I've got some of the BIWS stuff, so I'm going through that now. Again, that's so much for all the tips; I really appreciate that :D

3/29/16

Yea, not a problem man. Best of luck to you and if you have any other questions feel free to message me. We're both going through the same shit so would be glad to help further.

"My name's Ralph Cox, and I'm from where ever's not gonna get me hit"

3/29/16

Thanks man, I'll certainly keep in touch!

3/29/16

Know What the IBD is/does. What product group and industry group your interested in. Know basic stuff like EV, and EBITDA.

3/29/16

I'll make sure to know that. Thanks for the post!

3/29/16

Howd it go?

3/29/16

Hey, thanks for asking! I actually recently finished, and I thought it went pretty well, actually! Like pretty much everyone said, it was mostly behavioural, and I think I was able to sell my self pretty decently. I actually really liked the people I was interviewing with, and I really liked how they were talking about how/why they like to interview non-business students for these internships as well.

I'm actually going to try and get in contact with some of the bankers there and see if I can learn more about the firm's culture. I was pretty impressed with the bank and the people I interviewed with and this bank is certainly my #1 choice right now.

Second round interviews are in about a week, and I'm hoping that I will hear from them soon. This bank really has me excited, and I'm hoping I make it to the second round! I'll keep everyone here posted. Also, I just wanted to say thank you again to everyone who helped me out on the forums! I really do appreciate it!

3/29/16

hey I PM'd you

3/29/16

Reply sent!

3/29/16

WOOOO! Looks like I'm accepted for the second round of interviews!!

I'm really excited! Does anyone have any tips for round two?

Thanks everyone, and good luck with your own interviews :D

EDIT: I should probably make a separate thread about this.

3/29/16

congrats. Only two more to go. At this point the technicals start rolling in. At least for me.

3/29/16

Hey! I actually got through my second interviews and got an invite for the final round! I'm incredibly excited right now! My second round interviews were with HR and some senior bankers, and it was mostly fit, but also had some high level/overview type questions (e.g. what am I expecting to see in X market?).

So, do you have any advice for my last set of interviews? Anything I should expect in particular?

Thanks, and good luck with all your interviews too!

3/29/16

aw sheeeet. Good luck man. Keep in touch about how it went. Do some power poses in the bathroom before you walk in. How did you prep? How far in advance? What was the two toughest questions you hade in your 2nd round?

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