BO to IB Analyst: about to make the jump. Requesting advice.

Calculus
Rank: Baboon | banana points 162

Hello Monkeys,

I have an IB analyst interview, that may be scheduled sometime mid feb 2014. I'm a 2nd year analyst in operations with some BO experience at a BB and have read some CFA L1 material.

As you can guess, this is an opportunity of a lifetime for me. I got it because I topped in an in-house equity training course at my BB covering valuation and modeling apart from correctly answering a lot of the questions they asked us (they never thought any of us would have a clue). Also, I networked like hell. Still, the course was basic and I'm going to buy BIWS to learn modeling.

I would deeply appreciate any advice on how to prepare and use this two month period to prepare.

Your advice can make my life.

Regards,
Rearden

PS: My old laptop got screwed and I need to buy a new one to learn financial modeling.

Please advise:

Is lenovo thinkpad e531 a good choice?

Anonymous Monkey, Upload Your Resume - Land a Job

Members that upload a resume get 2.3x the number of interview invites through the Talent Oasis. Learn more.

Comments (32)

Dec 22, 2013

The BIWS guides are good and I would also recommend the Rosenbaum book for a good overview of the LBO / M&A process.

    • 1
Learn More

7,548 questions across 469 investment banks. The WSO Investment Banking Interview Prep Course has everything you'll ever need to start your career on Wall Street. Technical, Behavioral and Networking Courses + 2 Bonus Modules. Learn more.

Dec 22, 2013

Thanks, Ruskii. Taking your advice, I've placed an order for the Rosenbaum book.

Dec 22, 2013

Macabacus is also an excellent resource for technical interview prep.

    • 1
Dec 22, 2013

@CorpFinHopeful: WOW! It is an amazing resource. Had never heard of it despite reading a lot of wso. Thank you :)

    • 1
Dec 22, 2013

Glad you found it to be useful, but to echo what @"Quaneaser" has said, also get your fit questions down so you're solid from all angles. The content on M&I as well as the WSO behavioral interview guide (if you are willing to invest the 40 USD) are essential. Best of luck for your interview!

Dec 22, 2013

@Quaneaser thanks for your time and suggestion. I just posted on M&I and got a reply from one of their folks. I've started reading, and will continue to do so. You introduced me to the fit criteria and story development. Bless you!

@CorpFinHopeful I'll definitely invest in them. This is life or death for me. While looking at the behavioural guides, I came across the WSO technical guide and am thinking of investing in that too. Thanks for everything. Wish you success.

Dec 22, 2013

Those are good resources for the technicals portions but the fit part is just as if not more important. Read the articles on mergers and inquisitions about developing your story, etc.

    • 1
Dec 25, 2013

Would really appreciate any more advice people have.
I'm back office and any insight will be helpful.

Any thoughts on additional things that can be done to stand a better chance..

Dec 25, 2013

My lateral interviews were mainly based on behaviorals. Also, be smart about coordinating with HR/ your current group. My situation got pretty messy. Best of luck!

Dec 25, 2013

Thanks @confused23 , I'll make sure I focus on behaviorals.

6 months ago, I had an interview for a similar role but the first round was totally technical. Could not get past it due to my lack of knowledge and skills. I seek to be super strong on technicals this time around. Any advice on that front?

PS: the role offered 6 months ago was about credit analysis (IB risk)

The one now is for IBD

Learn More

7,548 questions across 469 investment banks. The WSO Investment Banking Interview Prep Course has everything you'll ever need to start your career on Wall Street. Technical, Behavioral and Networking Courses + 2 Bonus Modules. Learn more.

Dec 25, 2013

I had a relevant major and I was willing to take a year back and start as a first year, which is why my interviews probably focused more on fit. BIWS Q&A guide is very good. I would brush up on accounting, and have a high level understanding of DCF, LBO, and accretion dilution models including the uses and pros and cons of each. Be able to explain the rationale behind trading and transaction comparables. Brush up on some recent M&A, especially the ones advised by the bank - know transaction size, multiple, and rationale.

    • 1
Dec 25, 2013

@confused23 Man you are a godsend. I am going to do all of these. Thank you for your time!

Dec 25, 2013

No problem. My final advice to you would be not to sell yourself short. Try to spin your BO experiences into a relevant experience where you picked up solid Excel modeling and PPT skills. Talk about how you learned accounting/modeling in courses at school and in your self study. You have be hustle hard and really show the interviewer than you want this job more than anyone else. If you have a good relationship with your current group, a good reference will also go a long way. Best of luck!

    • 1
Dec 25, 2013

SB'ed

Jan 9, 2014

Spent $900 and bought an HP laptop to learn modeling, study WSP and BIWS, and to do industry research.

Appreciate if anyone could guide me on:

1. Developing competence for technical interviews

2. Sector / industry tracking (planning aviation but haven't started yet) - how should I go about this

3. Behavioral interview

Jan 9, 2014

Just wanted to take a moment to express gratitude to @Ruskii @CorpFinHopeful @Quaneaser @confused23

My prep is well on its way!

The advice in this post was gold for me and helped me to make a plan.

SB for all of you good people.

Best Response
Jan 11, 2014

Interview resources:
Vault Guide to Finance interviews (all super elementary, this is the kind of thing you read as a freshman in preparation for coffee chats with people you've networked with).

M&I "Breaking Into Wall Street" guide (the 200-question version was out in my day, there's a 400-question version out now that's even better; as far as I am concerned, this is the best paid guide resource out there).

WSO Technical guide (I don't have the newest version; the one I had was good in terms of information, but for me, it wasn't nearly as organized or comprehensive as the BIWS guide).

WSO Behavioral guide (same as above).

ibankingfaq.com (not that comprehensive and doesn't seem to have been updated very recently, so it reflects a time when recruiting wasn't as competitive and therefore isn't remarkably in-depth, but still great for the few questions it has up there).

Macabacus.com (amazing resource that will help you learn the basics [and some complexities] of DCF, merger, and LBO modeling step-by-step; due to them having the spreadsheet plugin directly on the webpage, it isn't exactly as you'd see it in Excel in a real model, but the education is tremendous).

Rosenbaum and Pearl (if you have a lot of time before the interview, go for it, otherwise I think your time is better spent with one of the condensed guides like BIWS or WSO).

Aswath Damodaran (he is the preeminent valuation guru known around the world, all his material [slide decks, Excel templates, etc.] is available for free online at his personal page which you can find on Google).

General comments:
I would imagine you're going to get a lot of 'why' questions in addition to all the 'what' questions a normal applicant gets. 'What' questions are things like the DCF, LBO, accounting, etc. They are all quantitative and can be mastered by studying, learning, and practicing on your own. The 'why' questions relate to your story, and for you as an internal transfer applicant from a very unrelated role, they will probably prove to be pivotal to your success in the interview.

Make sure you have a coherent, compelling answer for things like:
- 'why investment banking'
- 'why the move from your current role'
- 'why do you dislike your current role' (this one is trickier, make sure you frame it as you not being upset with your current role, just incredibly humbled and eager for the opportunity to pursue another role within a firm you care so much about)
- 'why banking vs. an internal move to trading'
- 'why should we hire you vs. a kid out of college'

Chances are they will grill you pretty hard to make sure you can cut it technically, but they'll really need to be sold on the fact that you aren't some quanty geek who can't talk to people or some underperformer who couldn't cut it for banking out of undergrad. Perform well on the 'why' questions and you ought to be able to do it.

Hope this is helpful.

    • 3
Jan 11, 2014

SB'ed but I don't know how to thank you @APAE . I will make sure I do every single thing you said and the way you put it seems very logical. I now understand why they'll grill me on the behaviourals so much apart from the technicals. I will study from the Rosenbaum book because I'm going to make some time for myself.

Sadly, they have lined up an interview for me tomorrow in fund accounting / business analysis & reporting (all in that group are CPAs ie Certified Public Accountants / chartered accountants). However, as far as I could find out, the work is related to Operations/ BO. Though I will take the interview to find out more about the role, I may reject if it's close to Ops. In that case, I will have to wait till they find a role for me in IBD that was promised.

Not considering the interview for tomorrow, I have 3 weeks of paid leave and it is this period that I'm going to use to build technical skills and to form answers to behaviourals.

Jan 12, 2014
APAE:

Interview resources:

Vault Guide to Finance interviews (all super elementary, this is the kind of thing you read as a freshman in preparation for coffee chats with people you've networked with).

M&I "Breaking Into Wall Street" guide (the 200-question version was out in my day, there's a 400-question version out now that's even better; as far as I am concerned, this is the best paid guide resource out there).

WSO Technical guide (I don't have the newest version; the one I had was good in terms of information, but for me, it wasn't nearly as organized or comprehensive as the BIWS guide).

WSO Behavioral guide (same as above).

ibankingfaq.com (not that comprehensive and doesn't seem to have been updated very recently, so it reflects a time when recruiting wasn't as competitive and therefore isn't remarkably in-depth, but still great for the few questions it has up there).

Macabacus.com (amazing resource that will help you learn the basics [and some complexities] of DCF, merger, and LBO modeling step-by-step; due to them having the spreadsheet plugin directly on the webpage, it isn't exactly as you'd see it in Excel in a real model, but the education is tremendous).

Rosenbaum and Pearl (if you have a lot of time before the interview, go for it, otherwise I think your time is better spent with one of the condensed guides like BIWS or WSO).

Aswath Damodaran (he is the preeminent valuation guru known around the world, all his material [slide decks, Excel templates, etc.] is available for free online at his personal page which you can find on Google).

General comments:

I would imagine you're going to get a lot of 'why' questions in addition to all the 'what' questions a normal applicant gets. 'What' questions are things like the DCF, LBO, accounting, etc. They are all quantitative and can be mastered by studying, learning, and practicing on your own. The 'why' questions relate to your story, and for you as an internal transfer applicant from a very unrelated role, they will probably prove to be pivotal to your success in the interview.

Make sure you have a coherent, compelling answer for things like:

- 'why investment banking'

- 'why the move from your current role'

- 'why do you dislike your current role' (this one is trickier, make sure you frame it as you not being upset with your current role, just incredibly humbled and eager for the opportunity to pursue another role within a firm you care so much about)

- 'why banking vs. an internal move to trading'

- 'why should we hire you vs. a kid out of college'

Chances are they will grill you pretty hard to make sure you can cut it technically, but they'll really need to be sold on the fact that you aren't some quanty geek who can't talk to people or some underperformer who couldn't cut it for banking out of undergrad. Perform well on the 'why' questions and you ought to be able to do it.

Hope this is helpful.

APAE killing it again.

Thanks and much kudos for the awesome writeup.

Jan 11, 2014

All of the above is great advice for you. Good luck!

Jan 12, 2014

Thanks, I'm getting really busy with implementing all the fabulous advice :)

Jan 12, 2014

As people said before here, focus on your fit/story too. It's good to know some modelling as it'll help you get down the technicals, but you're not going to be doing modelling in your interviews. The most important thing is that you connect with the interviewers, show them how motivated you are and explain why you want to do this.

Jan 12, 2014

I am incredibly grateful to this forum and all the people for the generous advice that was given to me. Also, thanks, @Logros !

Jan 14, 2014

Let us know how you do. Would be great to hear your story if all ends well.

Jan 14, 2014

Other than valuations, risk management is going to be your next best bet. Potentially you could spin credit risk management into a later internship with a LevFin or Sponsors group, because at least you will be involved at looking at business drivers, projections, paydown, etc.

Be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes.
Jan 14, 2014

Go for the boutique, take asset management and start looking at boutiques. Cold email them and be aggressive. Just don't take operations.

Jan 14, 2014

I'd honestly keep on looking for the job you really want. Don't settle for a back office or AM job. Plenty of boutiques out there. PM me if you want a PE summer job in NYC.

Jan 14, 2014

I have a spreadsheet with every boutiques in NYC and I keep applying. I feel like they go out of their way to lose your resume.
I have 3.3 from non-target school.
Exp in back office of BB Ibank
Created a non-profit (i know bankers could care less but its a credit education non-profit working with college's and other institutions)

Is there anyother way other than just sending your resume in and cold calling?

Also is it that big of a deal to renege on a back office offer? Is there such a thing as a blacklist at BB (just in case it happens in the future)

  • eyelikecheese
  •  Jan 14, 2014

1-Click to Unlock All Comments - 100% FREE

Why do I need to be signed in?
WSO is a knowledge-sharing community that depends on everyone being able to pitch in when they know something.
+ Bonus: 6 Free Financial Modeling Lessons with 1-Click Signup ($199 value)
Jan 14, 2014