DB first round, very technical

samantha.ylw's picture
Rank: Baboon | 109

So I thought first round interview would generally be very competency based with maybe some technical stuff. I guess those guys think I am competent enough so decided to grill the s*** out of me. 35 mins technical interview with no "break". I answered some questions pretty well but others not so well. I did manage to answer everything.

Now I am wondering if I can ever be prepared well enough for technical interviews. I have no problems explaining dcf, M&A models etc but not sure how well i can handle other questions such as how would you project sales if the client were to be taken over by a PE firm (I didn't prepare for it some didnt answer very well).

Do I have to absolutely nail every technical question to be considered a job at BB? :( or cultural fit is more important?

Thanks guys

Comments (25)

Sep 8, 2015

As the amount of applicants has increased, the need to eliminate them has also. When banks receive thousands of resumes and interview plenty of people, they need to find ways to filter through those. Asking technical questions is an easy way to do this.

You should prepare for technicals regardless if this is a first round interview or a superday. I imagine you had the same problem that I did for one of my interviews. For FT recruiting two years back, I managed to network enough to get a first round with an EB. The interview consisted of "walk me through your resume" followed by 30 minutes of technicals. I got destroyed. I was "prepared", but I only knew the answers to the questions, not the concepts behind them. This is probably why your struggled. Anyone can memorize the answer to "walk me through a DCF", but if you do not understand the concepts behind that, you will not do well once they delve deeper.

My other suggestion would be to take some time to study the M&A timeline. I always ask interviewees a question like "walk me through how to construct a buyers universe" or something else related to the process. It's a good way to gauge how much the interviewee knows about IB since these questions are never in the guides.

Hopefully that helps. Good luck.

Sep 8, 2015

Thank you! Very solid advice.
I didn't read a lot of interview guides and wasn't very well prepared for the technical questions. I knew i wasn't ready but I needed to apply early as well :( I ve been told that DB is very competency based in first round so I spent all my time on my cv and researching the s*** out of DB. I should receive an email with the outcome tomorrow.

If technical interview is such an important part of the process, will I be totally disadvantaged when competing other candiates who had a summer gig or FT experience at BB (in the UK we are allowed to apply if we graduate from uni for not longer than 12 months)

Sep 8, 2015

I had a 30 minute phonecall with an Analyst in DB before, not an interview but just a fit phonecall. Quickly turned into 25 minutes of technicals. Could be that DB is very, very technical. As per the above post, the questions asked were all set to gauge my conceptual understanding of valuation, not my ability to rattle off the points covered in the WSO / Vault / "Insert name" Technical Interview Guide.

Could anyone in IB clarify OP's technical? Is this a trick question to understand conceptual understanding? My answer would be that you forecast sales normally as a PE firm acquiring shouldn't change its sales projections materially. OP, did your interviewer give any insight into this themselves? Also was this for FT or SA.

Sep 8, 2015

Yes they are looking for an answer which tells how i will define the growth drivers for the sales projection if there is no synergies incurred. As I built a model just for when there will be a synergy, i failed to give the right answer (my knowledge is limited in this case :( ). I did say something similar to your answer but it wasn't what they were looking for. They said they'd look at things like GDP growth. Then I asked them if they look at the growth rate of the particular industry they said possibly :(

Sep 8, 2015

What's the best way to gain a deeper understanding of the concepts behind the methodologies guys?

Sep 8, 2015

I found building ground up DCF and lbo models helped my conceptual understanding hugely. I just used Rosenbaum as a guide and followed their chapters to the word.

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Sep 8, 2015

Nice one mate. Currently reading up on Rosenbaum, going to take a leaf out your book and start building models from scratch. How many hours did you put in to it all?

Thanks

Sep 8, 2015

You interviewed in London today?

Sep 9, 2015

rejected a few hours after the interview. Great experience tho.

Sep 9, 2015

sorry to hear that.
you have any other interviews coming up tho?

Oct 14, 2015

What group /role are you interviewing for this early int he process?

Oct 14, 2015

The guide books are the bible, apparently. I didn't follow its suggestions (and I think I came off arrogant and spent too much time tooting my own horn), and got sent home from a DB S&T first round. I then recommended that my buddy buy the Guides, and he landed a BAML S&T SA in NY. He said the guides were right on point. Yeah, maybe I would have had a better shot at BAML, who knows.

My advice: read the Behav guide with a completely open mind, specifically the Big 3 things at the beginning, and make sure you can convince them of it. Good luck.

Oct 14, 2015

Thanks I will definitely put in the time to read the guide book.

Since this position is back office, I'm thinking no technical questions? Anyone know how may interns DB might have in their Finance division?

Oct 14, 2015

Had the same setup for FT Global Markets interview last fall. Its quick and dirty. I was expecting a 55-y-o man, and was surprised to be interviewed by a late-20s, very attractive woman (Director) in Credit Sales. She was sharp, witty, Ivy Leaguer, and a great contact. Expect the Walk Me Thru Your Resume, Why DB, Why this Dept, behavioral stuff. Maybe some about "what experiences have you had trading?" (Not sure what dept. you're going for??) No teasers or anything crazy-- no time for that.

I thought it was weird that they flew me in for 30 minutes, but I wasn't under the impression that they were hiring very many people. My interview was at 3:30 and they called by 5 to let my know I didn't make it. I actually had the flu that week, so that made my interview tougher. Wish I had another shot at it though...

Go get a bagel from Country Cafe in the Atrium below the building while you wait.

Oct 14, 2015

I had IBD with a director, mine was all resume, no tech and no behavior. The guy did asked me about every single detail that went into this model that I built two years ago, I struggled and didn't get 2nd round. Friend's was all fit.

Oct 14, 2015

I figured they were going to take a decent amount of people into final rounds, but it seems like they were pretty selective. does anyone know about the numbers for this?

Oct 14, 2015

Strictly speculation from a fellow interviewee who had a friend in the dept. He said they invited 21 people and were going to hire 3. Take it for what its worth. I had a stellar internal recommendation and I interview pretty well. I'd take a wild guess, though, that my Ivy interviewer selected Ivies over me.

Oct 14, 2015

flutterby- what position are you interviewing for?

I've got an on campus interview this week with final rounds the following day on campus as well. The position is for Finance Analyst (looks back-office reportingish to me). They have 24 interviewees for the 1st round and given my school is a semi-target, I'll be shocked if they give more than 2 offers. I'm assuming all fit for 1st round.

Oct 14, 2015

The email I received for HR said I am being interviewed for : "Global Banking:Corporate Finance Group"... which i'm guessing is investment banking.

I only have 1 30 min interview Thursday. I know there is also a 1st round on Tuesday. They must be interviewing a decent amount of people. I think mainly non core schools, not sure though.

Oct 14, 2015
flutterby:

"Global Banking:Corporate Finance Group"... which i'm guessing is investment banking.

PLEASE research this group and the firm before your interview...

http://www.corporatefinance.db.com/home/
http://deutsche-bank-news.newslib.com/
http://www.db.com/en/content/company/headlines.htm
Good luck!

Oct 14, 2015
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Oct 14, 2015