Comments (92)

Apr 18, 2010

It's the same as the "biggest failure" that you've ever experienced.

Just take it in stride, explain something you made a mistake with, didn't succeed in, and turn it around on the interviewer and state that you did succeed after trying it again. If you didn't, ensure the interviewer that you learnt from the mistake and this lesson has helped improve your decision making process in other areas.

Apr 18, 2010

Tell the truth = no
Correct answer = "I tried too hard and..." or "I was such a perfectionist that..." or "I just wanted to get the job done so quickly that..."

Apr 18, 2010

isn't this similar to a weakness question? i've been asked this also. i pick something that happened but that i have since learned from and talk about how i am better because of it.

Apr 18, 2010

The weakness is slightly different.

The weakness doesn't necessarily need to be a mistake as it is maybe you haven't had the opportunity to do something enough. I.E. I consider my main weakness as a trader the amount of practical desk experience I've had. I believe with increased market exposure on a trading desk is what I need to improve my money making abilities and profitability as a producer.

Something like that you'd give if you were going to interview for an associate role - you've had some experience, really good knowledge but not enough experience to be a full fledged trader yet.

Apr 18, 2010

My biggest mistake:

Rejecting a CITI SA Front Office Interview because I accepted an offer in IT for another BB. Freaking IT of all divisions.

I was an idiot, but an ethical one. If I could go back in time I would interview in a heartbeat.

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Apr 19, 2010

stickin' the dick in crazy and letting the baby batter go

=========================================
We are excited to formally extend to you an offer to join Bank of Ameria

Apr 19, 2010

when the interviewer asked me why I became interested in his firm, I mixed up the companies and proceeded to spend 10 minutes talking about how I really liked the work culture of a rival company

Apr 23, 2010

Your answer should be "I have never made a mistake ever in my life". Then get up smash through the wall instead of using the door and fly out the window.

I did that and got the job.

Apr 23, 2010

major in engineering

Apr 24, 2010

i say i stood for elections for something in university and my entire election campaign was based around smearing other person and not talking too much about my own policies etc. At the end of the day, this backfired and I lost miserably. However, I was immature and learnt a lot of lessons + wonderful experience because developed relationshiop building skills, increased my profile with other students etc.

Works like a charm!!

Apr 26, 2010

Chasing too many dimepieces in undergrad. I shoulda just focused on school and settled down with an average looking broad.

Apr 29, 2010

Not sure entirely what I'd say in an interview, but my biggest mistakes lately...

Back in May 2009, I graduated. I didn't have a job lined up (mistake 1 from not networking hard enough in college), but I did have an equity research interview lined up in my home town. I went into the interview way too cocky and unprepared (mistake 2), but I didn't hear about a rejection like you do normally in the next few days; the firm is a boutique that doesn't recruit on a schedule. I continued to follow up with them, and eventually a few weeks went by and no word. I thought the interviews went well (mistake 3), so I didn't work as hard on looking for a backup plan (mistake 4) and ended up staying at my parents place home from college for a few weeks...then months...

I'm employed now doing financial advising stuff while I look for what I really want and work on CFA program studies. Seriously, financial advising sucks, no joke, but I got to get money somehow. Moral of the story: if you are a May 2009 graduate and have an opportunity to go back in time and tell your past self not to be a dumbass and prepare more for interviews so you can actually have a very legit job in a shitty economy--please do so.

I'm trying to stay in touch with the MD that I interviewed with since it seemed like me and him had a good connection, but I didn't realize until later that it's actually the analysts at his firm that really make the hiring decisions, since they want to pair people up for a best fit. Oh well.

Apr 30, 2010

Rejecting an acceptance from medical school.

Apr 30, 2010

Well I'm pretty sure he came from a Law school since he is a Law Associate.

I wonder what prestigious school you came from...

Apr 30, 2010

Ha good call Dealz...nice work on the reading comprehension and critical reasoning herbmonkey. How can you be a lawyer at Big Law and not know how to navigate a spreadsheet. How else do those clowns calc their hourly allocation for client billing? Pen and paper?

Apr 30, 2010
junkbondswap:

How else do those clowns calc their hourly allocation for client billing? Pen and paper?

They just make that shit up. How else do you think you get 32 billable hours out of a 24 hour day???

Apr 30, 2010

Yea WTF...you ask for detailed back-up and its like Associate responded to email Re: LLC Structure its all fcking BS but luckily we have been able to get huge haircuts on fees in these markets

Apr 30, 2010

"banging your Mom"

Apr 30, 2010
SirTradesaLot:

"banging your Mom"

And mine...

Apr 30, 2010

Someone actually asked you this? You sure it wasn't : "Tell me about a mistake that you've made"?

Apr 30, 2010

when in doubt, i always ask to go to the bathroom and come back naked. works 30% of the time.

Money Never Sleeps? More like Money Never SUCKS amirite?!?!?!?

Apr 30, 2010
sayandarula:

when in doubt, i always ask to go to the bathroom and come back naked. works 30% of the time.

LOL

Apr 30, 2010

How could an interviewer call BS on some shitty thing you've done? Everything we do is relative to us, and what's great for me (say, banging some girl) might be horrifyingly bad for someone else (banging the same girl, except she happens to know your fiancee). I hope that was a clear enough example lol.

As for answering, I don't think there's any real "wrong" way to go about answering that, so long as you show that it truly was a mistake and not some stupid decision you could have prevented yourself from making.

Apr 30, 2010

Interviewer asked where I saw myself in 5 years ....My dumbass said "your position"......and no surprise ..got Dinged the F**** out. Lesson learned.

Wally!

Apr 30, 2010

Going to an interview hungover

Apr 30, 2010

Getting a Masters from a non target, when I at least went to a semi for ug

Apr 30, 2010

Ripping a large fart in an interview and then proceeding to say you have been hot boxed...

Apr 18, 2010

putting the wrong firm's name on a CL

Apr 30, 2010

left my cell phone on and acted natural

Apr 19, 2010

NOT applying to Piper Jaffray IBD

=========================================
We are excited to formally extend to you an offer to join Bank of Ameria

Apr 30, 2010

A few minutes into an interview, I realized that I was chewing gum.

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Apr 30, 2010

yeah I got them late night finance blues

Apr 30, 2010

Oh stop whining. Millions of propective college students would LOVE to have that choice, including me. Most of us don't :( Personally I would have loved to be in your position. Wharton is an amazing school and you'll develop lifelong friendships and connection and your Wharton education will serve you well for the rest of your life.

My mistake: not applying to enough private schools. Still waiting on NYU.

"We are lawyers! We sue people! Occasionally, we get aggressive and garnish wages, but WE DO NOT ABDUCT!" -Boston Legal-

Apr 30, 2010

Hey, could you get that dick out of your ass? Because it's making your posts hard to read.

"wahh, I should've went to MIT, waaahhhh"

You fuckin nerd, commit that, NOW.

"To Know Me Is To Love Me"-Jebus Price

Apr 30, 2010

I made a mistake in choosing to goto a non-target over 2 other target schools. I didn't know that I wanted to go into banking/consulting at the time and now I regret it.

Apr 30, 2010

Was probably going through the painstakingly difficult process to read and then respond to this thread. I'm still recovering...

"Cut the burger into thirds, place it on the fries, roll one up homey..." - Epic Meal Time

Apr 30, 2010

Wharton or MIT, what a predicament.

Apr 30, 2010

I think either would open up opportunities so don't feel bad.

Apr 30, 2010

getting drunk and puking on my professor during class before a football game...then punching him in the face.

Apr 30, 2010

I didn't give a shit about school, grades or making connections I just cared enough to do well on the exams and ok on the homework and forgetting what I had studied promptly afterward. I ended up with a piss-poor GPA, less than a 3.0, and graduating in a less than decent economy expecting that I would have a lot of job offers. I completely fucked up and I have been playing catch-up ever since.

Enjoy school but realize that a good start in your career at the beginning is infinitely more enjoyable than not caring or getting drunk with your so-called friends. Most of them had daddy to help them out...

"but hey, that's the way it is"-Tupac

Hawtness is a state of being, not how you look like...
I'm pretty, so pretty...

Apr 30, 2010

Not applying to more schools
Taking 22 credits one semester

Being told that GPA doesn't matter, and that all you need is a 3.0

Disclaimer: The post above has been made by someone who is not currently employed in IBD, and has not had an interview yet...

Apr 30, 2010

Getting fuckin wasted last night and breaking my friend's beer pong table..

Apr 30, 2010

I'm fuckin taking 28 credits this semester (7 classes) and now comes the final season..... 7 finals in a week. My GPA is gonna take a dive from 4.0...... so sad :~(

Apr 30, 2010
Ken0122:

I'm fuckin taking 28 credits this semester (7 classes) and now comes the final season..... 7 finals in a week. My GPA is gonna take a dive from 4.0...... so sad :~(

Go put a big, black penis in your mouth, ya faggot.

Apr 30, 2010

Damn, yall are assholes. If those guys ( Ken0122 and devin)have done well enough in life to have a 4.0 or a choice between MIT and Penn then good for them, dont hate. Maybe if you worked hard enough you would be in that position as well.

Oh yea my biggest mistake was taking spanish. I hate it, it meats every day, and it is a year long.

Apr 30, 2010
Dj:

Damn, yall are assholes. If those guys ( Ken0122 and devin)have done well enough in life to have a 4.0 or a choice between MIT and Penn then good for them, dont hate. Maybe if you worked hard enough you would be in that position as well.

Oh yea my biggest mistake was taking spanish. I hate it, it meats every day, and it is a year long.

It isn't about being an asshole, it's about realizing that shit like this is not worth calling them a "biggest mistake." Come on man, if the biggest mistake of one's life is going to MIT over Wharton or Wharton over MIT, then they need to be very, very grateful that they haven't faced more hardship than that.

Apr 30, 2010

yeah king is right. People like that bitch about the most trivial things.

"What was your biggest dissapointment in life? Oh 2 years ago, I got a B in a class!"

I mean come on

Disclaimer: The post above has been made by someone who is not currently employed in IBD, and has not had an interview yet...

Apr 30, 2010

I wish I had studied a bit more in school.

Still got a job in IB, but it's not pleasant to think about how to spin a low-ish GPA if/when I decide to apply to B-school. From what I have heard people say (both on this forum and from people I know), a low GPA doesn't kill you, but it does mean you have to make up for that elsewhere in the application.

That said, I did do some pretty cool things otherwise that maybe being a 3.9 bookworm doesn't allow.

Apr 30, 2010

you had something like a 3.0 right?

Disclaimer: The post above has been made by someone who is not currently employed in IBD, and has not had an interview yet...

Apr 30, 2010

3.2

Apr 30, 2010

Don't want it to end so soon

Apr 30, 2010

Hmmmm.... let's see. I fuck almost every night, I go to Yale, I'm jacked (5'10", 230). I have a 3.2 but i dont give a fat fuck's shit. if i dont go IB ill go military. and if i dont go military ill go back to Darien and spunge off the parents.

Apr 30, 2010

I deeply regret choosing my school. Although it's ranked well, I feel that my decision will haunt me for years to come (the Ibanking world has opened my eyes). My closest friends and family insist that I'm exaggerating, yet I'm having an awful time trying to change my way of thinking.

My highschool grades were high, I had more than enough contacts, and money wasn't an issue. Still, I managed to blow it by not knowing what the hell I wanted when I was a senior High Schooler in the U.S. I try hard to stay positive but it's been a difficult.

Apr 30, 2010
alvar:

I deeply regret choosing my school. Although it's ranked well, I feel that my decision will haunt me for years to come (the Ibanking world has opened my eyes). My closest friends and family insist that I'm exaggerating, yet I'm having an awful time trying to change my way of thinking.

My highschool grades were high, I had more than enough contacts, and money wasn't an issue. Still, I managed to blow it by not knowing what the hell I wanted when I was a senior High Schooler in the U.S. I try hard to stay positive but it's been a difficult.

Dude,

u r the only guy i know that can actually use the clich

Apr 30, 2010

being very not clutch during freshman finals :P

Apr 30, 2010

Alvar,

Not many people know what they want to do their senior year of high school: most have not taken the necessary business courses nor do most have the maturity to realize that you really can impact your life early on, plus, they're too busy chasing pussy and getting drunk.

I was still deciding between engineering, medicine and business. I chose business because I figure everyone ends up there sometime so why not just go ahead and take it? I should have done the engineering route because it would have been more helpful or double major in engineering and finance (which would have rocked!) but I didn't...

You can't undo a mistake, or if you can it's very rare and painful, just learn from it...or at least try.

Hawtness is a state of being, not how you look like...
I'm pretty, so pretty...

Apr 30, 2010

I regret not doing anything first semester of freshman year besides party. I was a great student in high school, and once I got to college I figured I'd made it and that grades didn't matter since I was at a top school. Luckily, I had several upperclassmen friends who told me bluntly that grades still matter regardless of where you go to school, and that with my 2-something first semester GPA, I would have difficulty getting a lot of the really desirable jobs. I ended up getting a 4.0 second semester freshman year and working my butt off since then, but it wasn't easy to undo the damage of first semester freshman year. So, I regret not having done decently first semester feshman year, since if I had, I wouldn't have had to work so hard to undo all the damage.

Apr 30, 2010

The point is that an MIT degree will not give you any more opportunities than a Wharton degree, and vice versa.

Apr 30, 2010
MikiLzrd:

The point is that an MIT degree will not give you any more opportunities than a Wharton degree, and vice versa.

that may be your point, but that's not his point.

he regrets having chosen the wrong college in the first place (which could be for many different reasons). if you hate your college, then obviously it is a huge regret having chosen to go to that school.

Apr 30, 2010

I had a gf for 3 years of college.

  • MAJOR fail

twitter: @CorpFin_Guy

Apr 30, 2010

My undergraduate major was a complete mistake in terms of something that is employable by banking standards. I've managed okay, but I continue to get shit for it.

"Cut the burger into thirds, place it on the fries, roll one up homey..." - Epic Meal Time

Apr 30, 2010

Took a year of 100 level French

Apr 30, 2010

There is too much to list, the way I see it my life is compromised by various degrees of failure. On the plus side it has given me a level of respect that I personally did not think was remotely possible when I was a younger monkey in high school.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

Apr 30, 2010

I was a latin major to start

Apr 30, 2010

Took Japanese for two years. class everyday. gpa would have been much better if i did some bs minor instead

Apr 30, 2010

This fall will be my 3rd time taking Calculus 3. The first time I dropped it halfway through the semester. The second time I got 12% on the quizzes and 54% on the homework. I will get an A+ this time around so help me god

Apr 30, 2010
M. Alexander:

This fall will be my 3rd time taking Calculus 3. The first time I dropped it halfway through the semester. The second time I got 12% on the quizzes and 54% on the homework. I will get an A+ this time around so help me god

I don't understand... To me, Calc 3 was so much easier than either Calc 1 or 2.

Apr 30, 2010

It remains to be seen if it'll help or not, but I would say double majoring in engineering. I feel like a finance degree stanadlone would have sufficed for entering the industry. Engineering degree doesn't feel like it's adding too much value for the amount of time I have to put into it to keep my grades afloat.

Apr 30, 2010

lol I had plenty of fails OP - I like to think they will make for a better story in the end.

Apr 30, 2010

I absolutely loved my time in university, but if I had to do it over I would have picked a different school. The school I am at is still an up and comer, and doesn't have the reputation other undergrad bschools I could have went to.

Apr 30, 2010
accountingbyday:

I had a gf for 3 years of college.

- MAJOR fail

Bro I know that feel, had a gf for most of my first two years...HUGE fail considering how many opportunities were missed

Apr 30, 2010

I had plenty of fails OP - nothing to worry about

Apr 30, 2010

Got really sick freshman year. Missed 5 weeks. Didn't notify my professors or anyone because I just figured I'd be able to make everything up when I got back, like what happens in highschool, and I had no idea I'd be out that long. Ya...ended up "failing" all of my classes and being kicked out of school for a year.

*shrugs*

Shit happens

Apr 30, 2010
kingoftheotherroad:

I had plenty of fails OP - nothing to worry about

Like getting your gf pregnant?

Apr 30, 2010

Decided to skip my freshman physics exam because I was to hung over and didn't feel like moving. Needless to say, I failed and had to retake next semester.

Majoring in STEM and not easy ass business.

Apr 30, 2010
yeahright:

Decided to skip my freshman physics exam because I was to hung over and didn't feel like moving. Needless to say, I failed and had to retake next semester.

Majoring in STEM and not easy ass business.

Bio major detected.

"Mr. Perkins poses an extreme risk to the market when drunk."

Apr 30, 2010

Failed a class because I was on so many medications during finals week.

Apr 30, 2010

28 years old. Here are just a handful of some "life fails" (some in college, some after):

1) I'm Mr. Average and met the hottest girl in the history of Earth 2nd semester freshman year who just so happened didn't care about looks, money or any other superficial thing. She actually really liked me and wanted to date me. I was turned off by her excessive drinking, which I came to find out was not really that excessive (I didn't really drink at the time). Pretty much past on her for stupid reasons. 9 years later I still haven't forgiven myself for that blunder.

2) Spent $20,000 on a business that failed.

3) Left one of the best companies to work for in the entire world--literally--because I thought it was months from collapsing and being shut down. Turns out I was wrong--4 years later it's humming along nicely.

4) I bought a vacant lot and decided that I wasn't in the position to take on the home build project. Sold the lot to my friend who followed my plans exactly--he walked away with a $450,000 profit.

5) Dated a girl who falsely accused me of rape.

6) Bought a white 2008 Scion Xb and was made fun of mercilessly for it for the next 2 years...

And I could go on.

Apr 30, 2010

Changed my major way too late. My first major was something I completely hated and forced myself to like. Also,not approaching this really cool girl I liked when I first saw her freshman year. She graduated early this year and it sucks how i pussied out

Apr 30, 2010

Pissed on a girl in a relatively public setting to punish her for saying something stupid. Wasn't allowed back into her sorority house after that.

Apr 30, 2010
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Apr 30, 2010
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Apr 30, 2010
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The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

Apr 30, 2010
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Apr 30, 2010