Do everyone with a 3.5 GPA + target school really all are guaranteed interviews? Are all recruiters on WSO FAT LIERS?

Note: This question assumes everyone attends a TARGET SCHOOL.

So the current most widely accepted fact about the way they sort through resumes is: Toss out cover letter; Look at GPA. If over 3.5 toss it into "interview" pile, if it's under, auto reject (without even looking at previous experience or other stuff).

But then again, I hear contradicting facts on this site:

1) "As a former recruiter, I've tossed out resumes with 3.9s" (implying they look at the entire resume, not just GPA)

2) "As a former recruiter, all I look at was the GPA. If it's below a 3.5, I toss out. If it's above 3.5, they get an interview" (implying that if 500 applicants have above a 3.5, then there will be 500 interviews)

3) "As a former recruiter, I've given interviews to kids with a 3.2 on their resume because I looked at his work experience and noticed he already interned at CitiBank." (implying they closely analyze a kid's resume and are open-minded over GPA)

4) "As a former recruiter, I don't even glance at their cover letters or work experience or clubs and activities. I just look at the GPA" (implying only the GPA matters - absolutely no excuses and nothing else will make up for a low GPA. not even work experience)

CLEARLY, all of those statements contradict each other! So what is it really? How do they really evaluate the resumes sent during a resume drop? If they got 150 applicants from Columbia, are they going to give all 150 applicants interviews if all of them have a GPA above a certain level? Or do they actually look at the entire resume? I've heard so many contradicting reports on WSO that I have no idea how resumes are evaluated.

Comments (26)

Dec 26, 2009

It's very random. The facts that you were gathered were probably all right. Depends on the bank and the banker. If you want a guarantee interview, know someone from the inside.

Dec 26, 2009

If you are from a target + have a strong GPA (3.8+) + have previous finance experience (even better if you have BB experience) then yes, you are more or less guaranteed an interview.

Other than that, I've seen 3.9 from strong target not land interviews (first round).

Dec 26, 2009

whats more important GPA or experience (assuming reasonable GPA)

Dec 26, 2009

Assuming GPA is higher than 3.5 --> experience is infinitely more valuable

The great GPA gets you into the first interview but it is hard to standout beyond that without some kind of "professional" internship on the resume.

"professional" = anything in fortune 500, banking, consulting, IT @ F500, accounting, back office even...there's probably more I did not mention

You just need to show that you can thrive in a corporate setting. Having a 4.0 does not mean you can work from 9am to 2am for 2 years straight.

Dec 26, 2009

There is no cut and dry method for selecting candidates for interviews.

I know of people with sub 3.5 gpas who landed interviews with GS, some top boutiques, etc.
On the flip side, I know of 3.8+ gpa kids who struggled to obtain any interviews.

Higher gpa and better credentials increases your chances at an interview, but as with many things in life, there is some aspect of randomness.

Dec 26, 2009

i heard in HK they care less about GPA, more about the school you went to ....can someone confirm?

Dec 26, 2009
aceman:

i heard in HK they care less about GPA, more about the school you went to ....can someone confirm?

confirm

Dec 27, 2009
amande96:
aceman:

i heard in HK they care less about GPA, more about the school you went to ....can someone confirm?

confirm

cool...any anecdotes?

Dec 26, 2009

dude ur the most insecure guy ever, look at his other threads. just relax man

    • 2
Dec 26, 2009

That's very American to care about your GPA. In France, we don't have such a thing, the resume is read thoroughly and the most important thing when you are a newly graduate is your school, then experience then extra (command of foreign languages - usually at least 3, French included - ). For instance, if you come from a school like HEC Paris, you will probably land an interview with a 2.8 GPA .
Besides, we don't have the GPA written in our transcripts, and since we have a different notational system, we have to calculate the GPA ourselves and then submit it to the administration for approval (after having explained to the office person what it is and why we need such a mark)

Many students discover it just before applying to IB internship and get panicked after understanding that they should have worked a little bit more and not only spending 4 nights out of 5 in parties !

Dec 26, 2009

How many hours a week do French I-Bankers work ?
Do the labor laws apply limiting work to 35 hours/week?
How's Societe Generale faring after the trading scandal last year?

Dec 26, 2009
squawkbox:

How many hours a week do French I-Bankers work ?
Do the labor laws apply limiting work to 35 hours/week?
How's Societe Generale faring after the trading scandal last year?

==> I will talk about what I know. During my ECM internship, the minimum was 9 am to 10pm - 11pm and the max I did was 9 am to 4 am (it happened some times). The typical day would be 15 hour long but I know that it was worse for m&a bankers two floors below.
Luckily I never worked during week ends except once or twice but I could do the job from home. I think that's the big difference between me and the other interns in m&a groups.

==> the 35 hour limit is barely respected even by civil servants, so no way it would be by bankers. But it was written 39h in my contract but my boss was laughing when he read it. He told me something like 'don't expect to finish your weeks on Wednesdays'

==> Well Societe Generale is getting better but is still behind BNP. They made profit in the last quarter ~EU300m but three or four times fewer than BNP. They have great ambitions especially in M&A (they recently were in the Vivendi NBCU deal) and they've been recruiting a lot of experienced bankers (VP D MD level). A new MD came this summer from JPM where he was head of M&A France. They also want to develop their retail banking offers in EMEA to support their IB activities

Dec 26, 2009

The GPA in the U.S is just a pre-screening mechanism ... also there are recruiters as in actual HR / program recruiters and then there are hiring managers who are actually bankers

The bankers tend to be a little less regimented in terms of giving out interviews - (i.e GPA is not a great indicator)

Dec 26, 2009

Very random,
I had a 3.9+ gpa from a target school with previous experience in s&t from gs/ms/jpm and got all of the BB interviews for IB, but got dinged in the resume drop for smaller boutiques like lazard and rothschild

Best Response
Dec 26, 2009
confusedperson:

Very random,
I had a 3.9+ gpa from a target school with previous experience in s&t from gs/ms/jpm and got all of the BB interviews for IB, but got dinged in the resume drop for smaller boutiques like lazard and rothschild

Then you probably did something stupid, like use bold blue on your resume or put "first generation" on there somewhere.

As someone who has reviewed resumes, there's NO consistency. I can tell you guys across my group look at different things -- some look at school, some look at GPA, some look at work experience, some look to see if you're an athlete, some look at the whole package. I myself scan through 3 things -- school, ECs (plus if you're a varsity athlete), and work experience, then a quick glance to make sure your GPA is there and it's reasonable (i.e. it's not a 3.2 at a state school). I know an associate who will only look at resumes from Ivies and then from there, it's only about GPA and nothing else matters. I also know a guy who will only take athletes. Heck, one of my buddies told me he has an associate in his group who throws out top Ivies who attended top private high schools because he "can't stand those type of kids."

Also, it depends on when we're looking at them. I try to be fair, but if I'm crushed, time-per-resume goes from ~30 seconds to ~10 -- I don't want to waste my time looking at the book when I have a ton of work piled on. So OP, you're right, there are many inconsistencies, which is why there is quite a bit of luck involved (and it REALLY helps to know someone).

Dec 26, 2009
jimbrowngoU:
confusedperson:

Very random,
I had a 3.9+ gpa from a target school with previous experience in s&t from gs/ms/jpm and got all of the BB interviews for IB, but got dinged in the resume drop for smaller boutiques like lazard and rothschild

Then you probably did something stupid, like use bold blue on your resume or put "first generation" on there somewhere.

As someone who has reviewed resumes, there's NO consistency. I can tell you guys across my group look at different things -- some look at school, some look at GPA, some look at work experience, some look to see if you're an athlete, some look at the whole package. I myself scan through 3 things -- school, ECs (plus if you're a varsity athlete), and work experience, then a quick glance to make sure your GPA is there and it's reasonable (i.e. it's not a 3.2 at a state school). I know an associate who will only look at resumes from Ivies and then from there, it's only about GPA and nothing else matters. I also know a guy who will only take athletes. Heck, one of my buddies told me he has an associate in his group who throws out top Ivies who attended top private high schools because he "can't stand those type of kids."

Also, it depends on when we're looking at them. I try to be fair, but if I'm crushed, time-per-resume goes from ~30 seconds to ~10 -- I don't want to waste my time looking at the book when I have a ton of work piled on. So OP, you're right, there are many inconsistencies, which is why there is quite a bit of luck involved (and it REALLY helps to know someone).

This is a pretty accurate representation of how the recruiting process works. Often times there is no structure and it really depends on which individual is looking at your resume. Even if there is a general company-wide preference for students with a GPA over X.X, there are always exceptions and most reviewers don't really care.

You may not realize it, but even things such as geography can play a pretty substantial role. The MM investment bank I worked at was located in the South in city much smaller than NYC. If a resume came in and the person had no ties to the South, they typically didn't even get an interview. If they had bulge bracket experience, this was actually LESS desirable than MM experience, because the experience was less relevant and we weren't interested in hiring the "glory searchers." It probably confused the heck out of people who thought they were super qualified, but the process worked great for our bank.

Apr 24, 2013

[x]

Dec 26, 2009

Thanks for the France comments.

Did either bank receive equity infusions from the French government?

Do you think there is a possibility of a breakup of the Euro currency? Greece, Ireland, and Spain need looser policy, which Trichet is certainly not interested in. I wonder if they will need to divide the euro zone into a growth bloc and a mature bloc, with two separate currencies. What is the French opinion of Greece -- any real chance of default?

Dec 26, 2009

yeah both of them. BNP was the first one to raise money through a capital increase to pay back the government and then SocGen followed with a ~5bn rights issue.

I don't think there is a risk of default. I think it would be something like Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Other EU countries will help Greece or Spain not to default, at least because they want to show some kind of unity, at least there, since they can't get any politically or recently about climate issues. Historically, since they joined the EU, these countries have benefited from the money of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), I think they're going to be helped by such a fund.

But I think this isn't going to happen immediately. Sarkosy, for example, was for a weaker Euro currency. He used to struggle a lot with Trichet about that. So I think, he's going to take advantage of this situation to let the markets weaken the Euro currency to a level he wants before launching a plan.

Dec 26, 2009

^^ so your company only hired confederates?

Dec 27, 2009

depends on the bank, depends on the recruiter from that bank, and depends on what major you are in.

  • different banks have different standards, and HR handles that
  • the recruiter designated by HR is told by HR the constraints, but with some rooms to be flexible depending on the recruiter him/herself, like is that recruiter an alum
  • if you major in something hard, or if you have a double major plus a minor, you are better off than someone who has a higher GPA but only with one major
Nov 11, 2013

Is it looked upon positively to be an athlete? I've heard of some biases against athletes at Ivies because it's "how they got in".

Nov 11, 2013

Can someone explain why putting "first generation" can automatically get you dinged?

Oct 18, 2014
SamanthaSmith:

Can someone explain why putting "first generation" can automatically get you dinged?

I struggle to see how "first generation" can be relevant in any sense in an application.

Oct 17, 2014
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