Comments (49)

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  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Jan 27, 2021 - 3:07pm

Think it's usually the other way around, with BBs being more focused on fit and light on technicals (e.g. BAML, JPM). EBs vary, but on average tend to be pretty hardcore when it comes to technicals. MM covers a really broad range of firms, so it depends. 

In general a smaller deal-team --> more individual responsibility for the analysts and less training --> higher need to ensure technical qualities of the analyst

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jan 28, 2021 - 5:42pm

Agree with this. BB interviews are a breeze compared to EB

  • Associate 1 in IB - Cov
Jan 27, 2021 - 6:42pm

Just learn the 5-10 questions they actually ask during interviews instead of picking a company based on easiest interviews. If you can walk through a DCF, explain how $10 of deprecation effects the 3 statements and give a high level overview of the three statements and how they link you'll be fine.

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Jan 28, 2021 - 3:51pm

No kidding? I got asked three or four, the rest behavioral. Superday was hours long, but just good conversation about fintech and some deals. Guess it really varies by interviewer because a buddy of mine got grilled, too. 

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Jan 28, 2021 - 3:53am

The two banks that tested me the hardest on technicals last year were Evercore and William Blair. The bank I received NO technicals at was GS.

Evercore just asked really obscure and hard ones. WB didn't ask hard ones, but they absolutely didn't seem to care about my story/they didn't ask many behaviorals.

When I interviewed with Stephen's, I got asked pretty easy technicals but I literally had 8 interviews BEFORE a superday, and in each interview I was asked technicals. I didn't make it to the superday, but I was told that their superday consisted of another 6-8 interviews, all of which had similar technicals. Just freaking blows my mind that a bank would interview you that much for an SA position and that they'd continue asking you the same/similar technicals every freakin time. 

My experience is certainly just a data point, so take it with a grain of salt. In my experience, EBs had the hardest technicals (see above) and MMs tended to focus mainly on LBO-type questions. Most BBs except GS asked a couple of technicals but they were always the same 10-20 standard questions that I got asked.

Jan 28, 2021 - 2:11pm

Because that's what they do the most. 80% of the work at pure-play advisory banks like Blair, Baird, and Lincoln is sell-sides that ultimately go to financial sponsors, in other words, LBOs. I wouldn't say these banks all focus on LBOs during interviews, but it certainly makes sense for it to be an important topic.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jan 28, 2021 - 10:16am

Well in my experience some US EBs focused almost exclusively on behaviorals besides case study, while US BBs were a lot more technical (especially groups like FIG). Firms like Rothschild were in the middle. 

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Sep 4, 2021 - 1:52am

Rothschild was super light on technicals for me. Superday was all behavioral. 

Jan 28, 2021 - 12:48pm

Would look into banks with lower turnover rates for analysts! A lot of the places that hire you and dont expect you to leave after 2-3 years will care more about fit and culture instead of technical knowledge imo. 

Jan 28, 2021 - 1:18pm

It really depends not only on the bank, but also the interview process. For example, I'd you are in a general recruiting process, meaning that for are just broadly interviewing for a bank, but it is not group specific (as in group interviews will come after you get a general offer with the firm), then I find that is is pretty easy and more fit based. If, however, you're interviewing with like a satellite office that does their own recruiting process away from corporate, then things can be much more difficult. I can't speak to this from direct experience, as I went to a non-target, but most of my target co-workers with other banks said their interview experiences were very easy. Everything I said above generally applies more to bulge brackets. Looking back at my interviews with MMs, I think they can be very hit or miss. For example, Baird was a behavioral cakewalk, while Houlihan, even for the genera process, was hell. It just really depends.

Array

  • 3
  • Analyst 1 in S&T - Equities
Jan 28, 2021 - 1:46pm

Not exactly sure, but all of the BBs are very reasonable. To be honest, if you're expecting to be paid that kind of money it's a very reasonable expectation to be able to run through three financial statements or a brief A/D scenario. When people can't it's lack of study or caring because this stuff is extremely learnable. 

Jan 28, 2021 - 4:14pm

found BB and MM interviews much easier than boutiques lmao - boutiques are always the ones that give you a 3-statement model, dcf + lbo test. like wut

What concert costs 45 cents? 50 Cent feat. Nickelback.

Jan 28, 2021 - 7:49pm

Jamie_Diamond

found BB and MM interviews much easier than boutiques lmao - boutiques are always the ones that give you a 3-statement model, dcf + lbo test. like wut

This. DA Davidson game me an entire aptitude/IQ test in the final round, after an LBO and writing case study. I think it was because it was for their RE group which was tiny and they don't have the resources to systemically train people like BBs do.

Jan 29, 2021 - 4:23pm

ah i interviewed with DA for SA junior year - gave me a 3 statement + DCF and then told me that they already hired all the interns but really liked me and to stick around in case one renegs lmfao 

What concert costs 45 cents? 50 Cent feat. Nickelback.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Jan 28, 2021 - 4:28pm

Would say it also depends on countries.

For example in Europe, interviews in France are mostly technicals, whereas UK is more focused on fit. 

Funniest
Jan 28, 2021 - 9:11pm

Prospect in IB-M&A

Would say it also depends on countries.

For example in Europe, interviews in France are mostly technicals, whereas UK is more focused on fit. 

I swear ta god if a Frenchman ever asks me a technical question I don't know and then looks at me with that smug "silly American" smile I will DROP that sucker on the spot.

Sep 4, 2021 - 2:31am

MensaMan

Prospect in IB-M&A

Would say it also depends on countries.

For example in Europe, interviews in France are mostly technicals, whereas UK is more focused on fit. 

I swear ta god if a Frenchman ever asks me a technical question I don't know and then looks at me with that smug "silly American" smile I will DROP that sucker on the spot.

We need more of you my man

  • Analyst 3+ in IB - Cov
Jan 28, 2021 - 5:37pm

Your undergrad and GPA make a large difference unfortunately. If you go to a target school with a high GPA, you'll most likely get much less technical questions than someone from a non-target school with a low GPA. Know several people personally of varying schools and GPAs where these factors definitely come into play. 

  • Associate 3 in IB-M&A
Jan 28, 2021 - 5:42pm

This is very much dependent on the person you get at the interview, but overall trend is BBs are easier on technicals while EBs may ask math questions or just generally push you more.

If you spend 2 weeks on the M&I 400 and get solid on the basic concepts you will be fine in almost all interviews. Technicals are usually a check the box thing to show you've studied the basics, not trying to trick you up on math. You will get the same 20 questions over and over so you need to be solid on firm value, valuation methods, basic accounting etc

Jan 29, 2021 - 5:31pm

Regardless if you're at a BB, EB, MM, boutique, or Joe's M&A shack, you'll be doing near-identical work as an analyst which requires some sort of accounting / corporate finance knowledge. Even if you do slip by the interview process without getting grilled on technicals, you'll be a bottom bucket analyst if you don't have the basic skill set required to do the job. You're not getting hired on the sole basis of how personable you are, and will definitely get dinged if you whiff at easy technicals / aren't as competent as other candidates. 

Sep 3, 2021 - 7:46pm

HL is super focused on technicals. Often there is a technical written exam as well as 2 technical interviews at the super day compared to one for culture/fit/behavioral. Phone screener and first round also had a fair bit of technicals.

Big fan of everyone I met at HL, and I have nothing but wonderful things to say about the culture - but definitely hard to break into if you're not very proficient technically.

Sep 3, 2021 - 8:18pm

Industry specific boutiques.

For example, Raine - you should understand the major trends in TMT. Should also have a strong grasp about their portfolio companies and the levers they're trying to pull. Maybe less technical (but unsure, I'm sure any given bank is looking for a baseline at least).

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Sep 4, 2021 - 1:55am

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  • Intern in IB-M&A
Sep 4, 2021 - 11:45am

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  • Intern in IB-M&A
Sep 4, 2021 - 11:45am

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