Dumbest thing you've said in an interview

Curious about the dumbest things you've ever said in an interview that make for a funny story.

I had a coffee meet with associate/vp today (family friend). I have f'd up couliflower ears from wrestling/mma. The associate was a wrestler and commented something along the lines of "I see wrestling did a number on your ear" (or something like that don't really remember). For some retarded reason, I thought it'd be appropriate to joke, "nah my girlfriend just has really strong thighs..."

Associate cracked a smile, vp dead stare. One of the most awkward moments I've had in a long time...

Mod Note (Andy): top 50 posts of 2017, this one ranks #3 (based on # of silver bananas)

WSO Elite Modeling Package

  • 6 courses to mastery: Excel, Financial Statement, LBO, M&A, Valuation and DCF
  • Elite instructors from top BB investment banks and private equity megafunds
  • Includes Company DB + Video Library Access (1 year)

Comments (398)

Jul 17, 2017 - 5:55pm

Actually, know a kid who managed to grab a date with his interviewer by flirting with her at the interview. Apparently they hooked up a couple times and it got real awkward when he started working there.

For reference: the guy is a very attractive rower, so not saying all of you kids should try this. Good way to get blacklisted 99% of the time

Learn More

300+ video lessons across 6 modeling courses taught by elite practitioners at the top investment banks and private equity funds -- Excel Modeling -- Financial Statement Modeling -- M&A Modeling -- LBO Modeling -- DCF and Valuation Modeling -- ALL INCLUDED + 2 Huge Bonuses.

Learn more
Jul 18, 2017 - 12:23pm

Lol - It was a BB firm, he was interviewing at a superday for SA and she was an alum from our school 3 years out. They got dinner and hooked up the night of the superday, and then apparently the entire time he was a SA (they were in different groups so it wasn't like she was his "boss"). He got a FT offer, and when he started the year later, he said he didn't want to do it anymore and she sorta freaked out at him and said he was only doing it to get a FT offer (probably true tbh, she was below his usual). He was back on campus this spring and said they got staffed on a deal together and it was awkward as fuck, said some VP made a joke about them not getting along - something along the lines of "did you guys have a bad break up or something" and they both were like"fuck he knows," and they were really wary since it was unethical af on both of their parts. VP didn't know though. Guy said they hooked up once at work while working on the deal and it got even worse then. Made it through the deal and said he only rarely sees her at coffee shops at work.

Jul 25, 2017 - 12:51am

Confusius say: One must hustle in all aspects of life.

If you find yourself feeling lost, go climb a mountain.
  • 21
Jan 12, 2018 - 12:02pm

Actually, know a kid who managed to grab a date with his interviewer by flirting with her at the interview. Apparently they hooked up a couple times and it got real awkward when he started working there.

For reference: the guy is a very attractive rower, so not saying all of you kids should try this. Good way to get blacklisted 99% of the time

Never Happened.

Jul 14, 2017 - 4:57pm

Had a phone informational, which went smoothly for the most part. At the very end there was a big disconnect between my brain and what came out of my mouth - meant to say "It was nice chatting with you, thanks" or something of the sort and what came out of my mouth was "well, it was nice knowing you, thanks"... to which he replied "..ok.." *hung up. The stupid shit you say sometimes...

Jul 14, 2017 - 5:22pm

It wasn't something I said, but the way I behaved. When I finished answering each question, I stared down at the ground for some time, then looked back up, sorta smiled at the interviewer and then looked back down again.
It made me feel like I was at one of those psychological evaluations as a kid when they ask you to rate from 1 to 10 how comfortable you are in social interactions.

“I’m into, uh, well, murders and executions, mostly.”
  • 19
Jul 17, 2017 - 2:53pm

In '87, Huey released this, Fore!, their most accomplished album. I think their undisputed masterpiece is "Hip to be Square", a song so catchy, most people probably don't listen to the lyrics. But they should, because it's not just about the pleasures of conformity, and the importance of trends, it's also a personal statement about the band itself.

Jul 17, 2017 - 6:11pm

"What do you do in your free time?"

"I'm usually returning some videotapes."

Thanks, let me know if you ever need an introduction in the industry.
  • 48
Jul 14, 2017 - 7:28pm

Any time someone ends a long list of responsibilities with:

"...uhhh and stuff like that."

"A man can convince anyone he's somebody else, but never himself."
  • 9
Jul 14, 2017 - 8:21pm

I can't think of anything that I personally did, but I was once at a superday dinner where some kid spit out food. There was this one kid who embodied every single Asian stereotype who decided to sit in the corner of the dinner table with all the MDs. We get drinks, appetizers, and then the entree comes and the kid loses it. I guess he didn't like his steak because all of a sudden, he spits it out. Not into a napkin or anything, but the middle of his plate. The MD sitting next to him just pauses and stares at the kid. Wish I remember the kid's name so that I could see where he's working now.

Ironically, at the same superday as above, another kid decided to be Mr. Cool and not stand up while the firm's CEO was giving a speech. So, we're getting drinks when and networking before the superday dinner, when the CEO walks in and asks for a moment. As he's thanking us for coming in, I notice two people sitting: the vice chairman of IB and this one kid. I did remember his name and looked him up on LinkedIn a few months ago. Never broke into IB. Ironically, this kid had a 4.0 at HSW and knew (not exaggerating) close to half of the firm's bankers through family connections. Goes to show you can't always get away with being a douche.

Jul 15, 2017 - 2:17pm

The spitting out food thing reminds me of a kid I knew in middle school who pulled that. Totally disgusted me. Can't believe this guy did it as an adult at something so formal and crucial to his own career.

Make Idaho a Semi-Target Again 2016 Not an alumnus of Idaho
  • 3
Jul 15, 2017 - 1:02pm

lmao pulled out my mugshot on my phone during a superday ... question was "what's one of your biggest mistakes?" .. it was a 2v1, with an Analyst and VP. The VP thought I was a savage from his response, but stupid shit like that is what leaves young savages unemployed. gotta minimize the retarded comments during this upcoming recruiting season

Jul 15, 2017 - 2:18pm

pretty badass, but to be fair you didn't say anything stupid

Make Idaho a Semi-Target Again 2016 Not an alumnus of Idaho
  • 1
Jul 15, 2017 - 3:20pm

yeah you're right .. i followed it up by saying what i learned from it, how it helped me develop perspective/character (not take things for granted), and how I'm glad to have been able to overcome it. i've definitely said some retarded shit though haha you get better over time fortunately

Jul 15, 2017 - 3:50pm

I use to work at an auto manufacturer and in one of the interviews a manager asked the candidate what he knew about the company, and he replied that a lot of lesbians buy their vehicles. Lol savage.

Jul 18, 2017 - 2:12am


If you find yourself feeling lost, go climb a mountain.
Jul 15, 2017 - 8:09pm

Not something that I said, but something that I did. Last year Fall when I was doing OCR for Deloitte Advisory, I made a pretty rookie mistake. I did not have a clear plan of what I wanted to do in the future back then and I was not really familiar with job hunting/interview skills and tips. I remember vaguely that I read from somewhere to "take notes" for your interview.

Everyone knows that it means to take down notes of what your interviewer says while doing your interview, not take some written notes with you and look at it while talking to a team manager/my future boss...

I had two 30-minute interviews back to back with two managers. I spent a pretty good time with one of them. By the end of our interview, she told me that she'd probably hire me based on my qualifications/the interview, but one mistake that I made was to bring written notes. Even if she was okay with that, that would probably not okay with another manager.

Jul 15, 2017 - 8:48pm

Interview was going pretty well, was from 1:30 to 2:00 or something, I looked up at the clock saw 2:00 and for some stupid reason just sighed really loud and said well okay, and that ended it.

Jul 24, 2017 - 8:39pm

I use a vague version of this when I was doing a ton of informational calls back in the day. IF I was starting to run out of questions or felt bored, "Hey, I just realized it is 1:56, and I don't want to take up too much of your time. Do you have any questions I can quickly answer?" - Worked every time when I couldn't think of something.

  • 9
Jul 17, 2017 - 1:35pm

First internship interview ever - had been preparing the classic technicals and memorizing every day where the S&P, 10 year treasury, oil prices, etc. were at, but for some reason I never looked at the DOW.

In the middle of the interview and the guy goes, "could you tell me where the DOW is right now?" and I just blacked out and responded, "I don't follow the DOW..." I followed up with the S&P price and it went fine from there, but it's absolutely unreal that I told some dude I don't follow the DOW like it was a personal preference of mine.

Weirdly ended up getting the 2nd round, but blew it there. I was not very well prepared early on.

Jul 17, 2017 - 6:13pm

was the tuxedo too much?

Sporting goods manager:
...Was that a fart?

I don't know.

Sporting Goods manager:
I can taste it. On my tongue.

Okay, I'll be honest with you. I did fart.

Sporting Goods manager:
Is that onion? Onion and...onion and ketchup. It stinks. This is a small room...


Sporting Goods manager:
Okay, now the tuxedos seem kinda fucked up.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw
  • 16
Jul 24, 2017 - 10:46am

Ask each person who is giving you the different tasks (I assume this is a timing related question) what the deadline is / when they need the work by. Then proceed to tell them that you also have work due to VP/Director by "x" day, so that they're aware of your workload. You don't want to take on too much work and not get stuff done by given deadlines.

Jul 17, 2017 - 5:19pm

Oh god there's so much to choose from.

I had a first round interview at a top PE shop and the interviewer asked me if I would be comfortable traveling. My response was "yeah, I'm single now so it shouldn't be a problem." I should add that the individual interviewing me was female and attractive. Needless to say, no round 2.

“Elections are a futures market for stolen property”
  • 12
  • 1
Jul 18, 2017 - 5:09pm

You shouldn't discuss sexual/relationship status on an interview. Especially if not prompted.

“Elections are a futures market for stolen property”
  • 3
Jul 17, 2017 - 5:39pm

I have quite a few.

One that sticks out is my 2nd year of college I was interviewing for a PWM position to get my foot in the door. The guy is loving me, I tell him my story, we shoot the shit about sports, he says he likes my drive, etc etc. At one point, he asks me: "What is your biggest distraction", I say "women, I can't stop thinking about them" followed by a chuckle. Fam gives me a stoneface and says "Really. You thought that was the best way to answer that?". Did not get this position.

Jul 17, 2017 - 7:41pm

How could someone answer this question and still display minimal weaknesses?

“Bestow pardon for many things; seek pardon for none.”
Jul 18, 2017 - 10:15am

In that specific situation, I think it was one of those questions where he was okay with me showing a flaw, since I was still in college and he knew he was hiring a young guy with not much experience as an intern. The problem with how I answered it is that I answered it as if he were my friend, not my potential employer. Some acceptable answers off the top of my head: "I'm distracted by the situation in any troubled country, I have family from over there so I'm constantly checking current events even though it may not really be helpful". " I follow politics closely so I sometimes get caught up reading too much about trivial stuff, "I'm part of this group on campus that I'm really passionate about so sometimes I spend more time on that rather than some classes I'm not very interested in".

Just a few, but hopefully you get the idea on how I could've done that better.

Jul 21, 2017 - 4:15pm

Just because an interviewer asks a question doesn't mean it's a good question. I don't even know how I would answer that and I'm sitting at a desk about to leave for the day reading WSO with zero stress right now.

Jul 17, 2017 - 5:39pm

At lunch, in between rounds 2 and 3 of an interview for a boutique consulting firm. With a manager and an associate (I was interviewing to be an analyst).

Manager: So how do you like [city we are located in]?

Me: I love it. I actually grew up around here, and I'd like to move back.

Manager: I like it here too. Very pretty, lots to do outside. You're lucky you got to grow up here.

Me: I agree, I'm very fortunate. You don't have those same opportunities if you grow up in ... [racks brain to think up unattractive, non-descript midwestern city] ... say, Duluth.

Associate: I grew up in Duluth.

Me: Oh, shit.

The manager cracked up and the associate didn't give me too hard a time about it. Got the job, worked with both of them a lot over the next year-- both really good dudes. I lucked out on that one.

"Son, life is hard. But it's harder if you're stupid." - my dad
  • 64
Jul 18, 2017 - 12:24pm

At lunch, in between rounds 2 and 3 of an interview for a boutique consulting firm. With a manager and an associate (I was interviewing to be an analyst).

Manager: So how do you like [city we are located in]?

Me: I love it. I actually grew up around here, and I'd like to move back.

Manager: I like it here too. Very pretty, lots to do outside. You're lucky you got to grow up here.

Me: I agree, I'm very fortunate. You don't have those same opportunities if you grow up in ... [racks brain to think up unattractive, non-descript midwestern city] ... say, Duluth.

Associate: I grew up in Duluth.

Me: Oh, shit.

The manager cracked up and the associate didn't give me too hard a time about it. Got the job, worked with both of them a lot over the next year-- both really good dudes. I lucked out on that one.

Story would have been better if they really didn't grow up in Duluth. I would have busted balls like that.

If the glove don't fit, you must acquit!
  • 6
  • 1
Jul 17, 2017 - 5:44pm

Not necessarily dumb but definitely cringe worthy. My first time interviewing for a legit company which was a major BB in commodities trading.

I was asked what attracted me to finance and this line of work. My response: I enjoyed movies like Wall Street and Boiler Room and that's what ignited a passion for trading and finance.

The woman was not impressed and the next person I interviewed made it seem like I was being interviewed by the FBI and kept saying "Uh huh" like I was lying about every answer.

Never moved on. Turned out the role was a glorified admin assistant disguised as S&T.

  • 6
Jul 17, 2017 - 6:05pm

My second semester freshman year I had an interview at Draftkings and I go to school in a state where it's illegal. I talked about how I love their platform and playing in contests every week when I'm at school. My account was banned by the time I drove back to my parents house 45 minutes away and a check with my balance was at my door within 2 days.

Jul 17, 2017 - 6:18pm

"My brain just shit itself." It was over a simple happy go lucky question. Mid answer the next word just fell into oblivion with nothing to follow. I ended up with the job.

Only two sources I trust, Glenn Beck and singing woodland creatures.
  • 3
Jul 17, 2017 - 6:28pm

This one is from a friend of mine.

First interview out of grad school bio-engineering. Mind you, this guy is normal, parties, etc, and is a life-long friend - not an anti-social stereotype of engineers.

Interview is for a big shot consulting firm and he takes the first round remote over video conference. As the interview is wrapping up, most interviewers ask "So do you have any questions for us?". Typically we all have questions prepped and ready to go about the culture, their experience, blah blah.

My friend often blanks when asked point blank questions and the first jumbled words out of his mouth were "So.....how's the weather out there?". Response "silence......Well, that wraps things up"

Jul 17, 2017 - 7:05pm

Not what I said, but a kid we were interviewing at my old firm. It was for an analyst position and there were probably ~5 people on our side for the interview. If I remember correctly, myself, one other male associate, and 3 women who were all VP level or above. Kid gets asked why he's leaving his current firm, and proceeds to go on a tirade about how he hates his current team because it's all women and all they do is talk about 'shopping and stuff'. Probably the most difficult it has ever been for me to maintain a poker face. Needless to say, no offer.

"Who am I? I'm the guy that does his job. You must be the other guy."
  • 39
Jul 18, 2017 - 4:09pm

It was in person in a very close-quarters conference room. These women were dressed professionally but also all dressed very 'feminine' (long skirts, blouses, long hair, heels, etc) so it wasn't like he didn't know they were women (i.e. it wasn't a Chaz Bono situation). Extremely entertaining all around.

"Who am I? I'm the guy that does his job. You must be the other guy."
  • 5
Jul 19, 2017 - 7:54am

Reminds me of Natasha Mitra

GoldenCinderblock: "I keep spending all my money on exotic fish so my armor sucks. Is it possible to romance multiple females? I got with the blue chick so far but I am also interested in the electronic chick and the face mask chick."
Jul 19, 2017 - 1:23pm

Yeah I think everyone wanted to, but they got some pretty good trolling in themselves. After he said that it was obvious no one wanted to move forward with him so there were a few funny questions that were asked. Wish I could remember them but we all got a chuckle out of it after the initial 'WTF' moment.

"Who am I? I'm the guy that does his job. You must be the other guy."
  • 1
Jul 17, 2017 - 7:25pm

Not me but a friend of mine;

BB IB; "Where do you see yourself in 10 years?"
Response: "Hopefully not in Jail for insider trading!"

MD lost it, Got the internship.

Quand on veut, on peut.
  • 114
Nov 6, 2017 - 11:46am

This brings up an interview debacle that still makes me cringe today. For those who take joy in another's demise, this is especially for you.

First off, it wasn't necessarily what I said during the interview that was spectacularly stupid, but rather what I actually did / transpired...a convincing testament that action does indeed speak louder than words...

It was my senior year and I had made it to, what I thought at the time, the final round analyst interview for a MM bank. The interview was scheduled for 8am at the bank's HQ in NYC, but the actual analyst position was in the SF office. My school is 4 hours away and I had no car to get to the interview so my brother and mom, who both live 2 hours away from my school the opposite direction, woke up at 1am to pick me up at 3am to drive me to NYC by 7am, giving me a 1 hour buffer before my interview at 8am. Of course, we hit stop and go NYC traffic about 4-5 blocks away from the office and I check my watch and see it's 7:30am, 30 minutes before my interview. I decided the only way I can make my interview on time is to get out of the car and make a run for it. Bare in mind, I barely had any sleep (2-3 hours) the night before because I had just finished all my finals and had to prepare for the interview. I was running full speed in my cheap suit, zigzagging across streets and breaking any and all rules of the road. Miraculously, I make it to the lobby of the building with 10 minutes to spare. I'm sweating profusely so I clean up in the a bathroom and head towards the elevator (office was like 30th floor or something). Perfectly situated at the elevator was a coffee vendor/cart. I figured a coffee made sense since I had almost no sleep and wanted to make it all the way through the 4-5 hour interview. I get into the elevator at 7:55am (5 minutes before my interview) and start chugging the coffee. I figured I'll find a trash can to throw away the coffee when I get to the reception area. Literally, the moment I get off the elevator, the HR person was there to receive me so I had no time to look for a trash can. She escorted me straight to the VP's (first interviewer of the day) office and I was still carrying the F!#@ing half-finished iced coffee in one hand and my interview portfolio folder in the other. Before she left to get the VP, she reached out for a handshake and right at that god forsaken moment, I tried to shake her hand by switching the coffee in my right hand to my left hand (which is also holding my portfolio folder) and completely dropped the coffee all over the VP's nice carpeted floor. The HR person ran to the bathroom to get paper towels and the both of us frantically tried to clean up the mess that I created. In comedic fashion, the VP arrives as I'm still performing janitorial services to his carpet on my hands and knees. I apologized to the VP that I couldn't shake his hand because I just cleaned his floor. It was like staring death in the face...I was so embarrassed I just wanted to die at that very moment.

I survive the day. My mom and brother asked how I did and I said it went pretty well (obviously lied, I hate disappointing my mom and didn't want them to feel their 8 hour drive was all for naught). To make matters worse (if even possible at this point) I later found a huge coffee stain on my tie. I literally didn't even want the job anymore, not at that bank at least. I never wanted to show my face there again.

Few weeks later, I receive a call that I made it to the (actual) final round, which will be in the SF office. I still don't know how, but I guess I aced the "what makes you special / what differentiates you from other candidates" question.

Aug 7, 2017 - 9:30pm

Cause it's not a big fucking deal. You spilled coffee trying to shake her hands?

So what?

Let's clean it up, get some stain remover in there and proceed. Trust me, at one point in life this almighty VP spilled something too. You think he felt embarassed cleaning up? It's life.

Trust me you could've done something worse like farted or shit yourself or better yet a loud shart.

Jul 17, 2017 - 9:03pm

"I can't wait to start" to the CEO of a "trade finance" company operating out of a warehouse in a rough part of town.

I got a better offer and ended up not taking it and last I checked the company has ceased to exsist. To this day I can't figure out what their actual hustle was but it makes a great story for interviews.

  • 1
Jul 18, 2017 - 1:57am

not in IB, but...

I didn't get the name of my interviewer in advance. When I researched the firm, there were no pictures of the team, so there was no possible way I could research my interviewer's background. I show up the day of the interview, I walk in and the guy is still in his 20s. We connect at a personal level by talking about classic rock, we barely talk about the role, the interview goes great, dude hints towards hiring me, and ends the interview with the classic:

"Hey dude, before we wrap this up, do you have any questions for me?"

"Yeah man, what's your position here and why XYZ firm?"

"I'm the founder. I guess that answers the second part of your question, too."

Jul 18, 2017 - 7:38am

Oh dear...... This happened AFTER the interview but it still pains me to this day

Freshman year of college, I received notice that I secured an interview at a top CRE brokerage firm (CBRE/JLL/HFF). The office was located in a city about an hour away from my school. Now me, being a homebody, never explored the city much less know where to park. The interview went very very well. Met the MD, VP, Associate, and a few of the other analysts. I walked them through my case study, answered any questions they had, etc etc. Interview is done, I thank them for their time and start to leave the office. I walk back to my car and there's a fucking heavy duty, car boot wheel lock thing on my driver side tire. Apparently, freshman me didn't see the sign above the parking space that read, "Reserved for XXX District Attorney." I ask the parking attending to see how much it would cost to get the car boot removed and she says "50 dollars dumbass." I had $25............

Had to call the associate to see if he can lend me some money. He obliged. I ended up getting the internship. He got his revenge by working me like a dog.

TL;DR Parked in the DA's spot. Had to borrow money from the associate. 4/10 know how to read signs people.

Jul 18, 2017 - 9:23am

Startup interview.

Q: 'How would you describe Tinder to Julius Caesar?'
A: 'Julius, imagine a single place where you could see all the women of Rome. You could let the ones you like know, and if they like you back you could invite them over to your palace for a bottle of Italian finest and some fun.'
Q: 'Are you saying women on Tinder are prostitutes?'
A: 'Uhm, not necessarily. I am just using terms Julius Caesar would understand....'

This happened after I already introduced myself to the waiter thinking he was the CFO and drank the interviewer's tea, mistaking it for mine.

All in all, did not get 3rd round, but 10/10 would do it again.

Jul 18, 2017 - 9:45am

A friend of mine was interviewing at a shop with a heavy cold calling component, all had gone well and he had had the opportunity to ask them some questions, but just before he was leaving he got asked a final question how he dealt with rejection. Caught slightly off guard, his response was:

"Well I have been single my entire life but not for lack of trying..." Cue some pretty awkward silence, followed by "I have been rejected by loads of women in my personal life but I am very resilient and do not get demotivated"

They didn't see the funny side of this and he did not get made a job offer.

Jul 22, 2017 - 12:29pm

Agreed; I'm looking for someone who isn't a pain in the ass to be around when our flight's delayed

  • 2
Jul 24, 2017 - 1:55pm

That is a great response. Reminds me of a response that I heard of, second hand (incidentally during my last set of interviews for a position with that company), that a guy interviewing for a Sr. VP position there gave when asked, "What is your biggest regret in life?" by the CFO. Answer: "That I made all that money when I was in my 20s instead of my 30s and proceeded to blow it all on cars and women." CFO told me that's when he knew he was going to recommend an offer.

Seriously, who would want to hire someone / who would want to work at a place that doesn't appreciate honesty and a sense of self deprecating humor?

Jul 18, 2017 - 10:15am

Me at analyst interview at BX PE in 2007 while still in UG...

"where you staying in NYC while you're here this week?"

"The Four Seasons"

"Sounds pretty expensive"

"Don't I know it... Come up from school for the weekend all the time to party --- practically live in that bitch"


  • 17
  • 3
Jul 18, 2017 - 12:49pm

Interviewed with a buy-side fund ($250 billion AUM) in my junior year. Got on the phone with the head of LATAM sales and he said something along the lines of "yeah you come in here and you get on the phones make some sales...blah blah blah". My response "Yeah, I don't really want to be in sales.". Him: "yeah but you need to get some sales under your belt blah blah" Me: "yeah, I really don't want to be in sales". Him: "......everything is sales".

In my defense I got the interview through a connection and didn't grasp the magnitude of it. I had sales experience selling shit computer software and hated it.

Also, fast forward a number of years. When interviewing at a CBRE/JLL/HFF brokerage was asked to explain why I was moving from accounting to CRE and how I ended looking at brokerage "I wanted to be involved in transactions and I think that brokerage has the lowest barrier to entry in the CRE space". Yeah the director and associate just looked at me and nodded. Got a second interview after that but it took some hustle.

Jul 18, 2017 - 2:15pm

Interviewed at a small HF a long time ago, whole interview lasted close to an hour. Towards the end, the managing partner asks me what my plans are over the summer, and if I'm going to work in the porn industry. I chuckled, ignored the temptation to make a joke, and told him the truth – after I was done, he clarified again, asking if I'm sure I won't be working at Pornhub. Stone face, a couple laughs, followed by three months of no responses to my follow up emails.

Yeah. Actually happened.

EBITDA rules everything around me

  • 3
Jul 18, 2017 - 2:17pm

That'd explain it better, but no. Also, my phone? What do you take me for? I use this bad boy only.

EBITDA rules everything around me

  • 6
Jul 18, 2017 - 2:27pm

Lol alright – I went through a lot of networking to get to him, guy was maybe 45, 50 years old, managing partner of this HF. Had a teenage daughter, talked a lot about her throughout the interview, drawing parallels between the two of us at the time. Most of it was informational/behavioral, talking about what he does/his history/etc, and when we transitioned to my history/resume, we went through the basics. Started talking about prior jobs as kids (he told me about working at some amusement park) and I joked about how that must've been boring.

He asks me if I've ever had an exciting job as a teen, to which I said that the majority of teens (like around high school time) are working whatever jobs for money or otherwise. He then asks me about the following summer and after I say "so and so, but it's definitely not great," he says something along the lines of "What, are you going to work in the porn industry? That's definitely not great, but exciting." Fast forward and he clarified again about working at Pornhub, and I said something along the lines of "Yeah, that sounds like it would've been more fun than -insert bland job-." A few short laughs and the interview was over within 5-10 minutes.

He came from a S&T background so I figured a bro-type culture was what he was best with, but homie just spent the last 20 minutes talking about his 17 y/o daughter, so.. a bit shocking. He wore a Patek tho, so I had to give him props where props were due.

EBITDA rules everything around me

  • 5
Jul 18, 2017 - 4:41pm

So I was at a big fund in Greenwich, CT, interviewing for college. One of the alum of the college worked there. I didn't know about the firm at that time. But it was fine.

At the end of the interview, the interviewer (MD) worked me around the office showing his floor. I wanted to say how it looks like a real Wall Street place (idiotic remark 1). But somehow I burped out your firm look like a real Wal Mart (the real idiotic remark).

Never get into his school.

Jul 18, 2017 - 5:40pm

I was interviewing with Nestle for a finance position. Just wanted as a backup if other things fell through. He asked me a question along the lines of "our motto is 'we want to make the world as healthy as possible'" or something along those lines. It caught me so off guard that i sat there for a solid 30 seconds having no idea what to respond. I finally open my mouth to spew some bullshit and I get a little tickle in my throat. I can't seem to get a single word out without coughing so the interviewer has to go grab me a bottle of water. Throughout the rest of the interview he would sigh and rub his eyes while i was answering questions. Worst interview experience of my life.

Jul 18, 2017 - 7:31pm

Interviewed for a summer internship with a bank in ER. Hustled for weeks to get into the superday.... Interviewer cuts me off 5 seconds after asking me to walk me through my resume, "Tell me how (insert very obscure and not on WSO guide accounting point here) would flow through the 3 statements. I instantly blank. I knew all my technicals, and in that moment I couldn't think of anything but this dude's stare burning through my soul and crushing my dreams. My response: "Do you mind if I draw it out? I'm more of a visual person." - Interviewer says sure, I proceed to draw 3 columns on a piece of paper and blank completely. Internship hopes and dreams gone.

  • 45
Jul 18, 2017 - 9:55pm

Had the opportunity to interview at a boutique IB shop in a major market after my freshman year of college through a connection, and I - unknowing at the time and a stupid freshman - was asked why I was interested in pursuing investment banking this summer, to which I answered "I love learning about the stock market, and I hope to one day trade stocks and bonds." Suffice to say, I didn't get another phone call from that firm.

Jul 18, 2017 - 10:24pm

It wasn't an interview but it was back when I first started networking. being the fledgling that I was I did all the best practices as part of cold emailing: setting up an excel spreadsheet of names, contact of the firm, email address, date contacted, etc.

Things were going well and I was getting a pretty good hit rate overall (~30% or so). There was this one time where I had time set up to speak to an analyst at a middle market firm. We exchanged a few emails over a week or so. I had mistakenly thought that he went to my alma mater and then transferred, so I was pivoted my questions around this. The call comes and I'm amped up to ask him about what made him decide to transfer from school x to y.

In my haste I had forgot that there were multiple folks of the same name and they each worked at different firms. This call was with another person by the same name who was analyst at a similar middle market firm. "I'm happy to speak about this, but I didn't go to either of those schools.."

...indeed :). The rest of the call went well. He ultimately took it in stride as a rookie making a mistake and was very helpful in providing constructive feedback. My lesson learned was simply doing diligence ahead of an interview or call. It's still draws out a bit of a chuckle whenever I think about it :D

There's a closer meaning to my user name. Try reading it quickly. Perhaps you will then understand ;P
  • 7
Jul 18, 2017 - 10:30pm

I will always remember one of the first times I had a phone interview for an internship. Expecting a call at a certain time, I was role playing how the call would go and putting to much thought into how to start the call. The call comes in, VP introduces himself from which I say

"Good afternoon Mr----, how are you?"
"I'm well how about yourself?"
"I'm great!..... How are you?"

After about 5 seconds of silence proceeded by "well okay then..." he starts the interview.

I still cringe to this day.

Jul 19, 2017 - 12:24am

Studied engineering. Got a phone interview on the investing side at a firm known for their radical transparency. First time interviewing for an investment role and that too at a prestigious firm. Phone interview is going well, recruiter is jovial. Get to the "do you have any questions for me". Asked a few questions, saw I still had some time left, brain farted and asked "How many hours do people typically work." Recruiter goes cold as ice and starts questioning why I would ask that. Honestly wouldn't have affected my decision, but dumb dumb mistake.

Interviewed with a consulting firm and asked the generic "where do you see yourself in 5 years."
"Well, hopefully still with the firm"
Dumb joke, but she smiled, and I got the next round.

Jul 19, 2017 - 1:57pm

Good ole' BWater...

Cheer up, Bateman. What's the matter? No shiatsu this morning?
  • 2
Jul 19, 2017 - 2:23pm

"What do you do in your spare time?"

"Rec sports, golf, good TV shows, read"

"What are you reading now?"

Blank stare

I really do read too, just complete brain fart and couldn't even think up a lie

Commercial Real Estate Developer

  • 5
Jul 19, 2017 - 6:09pm

Just remembered this. Nothing I said, but in my last internship, I worked for a family member on the managerial/administrative side of his business, (and without giving too much away) I interviewed people who wanted to work in the "main" aspect of the business. If you have had a misdemeanor or above, it could potentially bar you from employment in that line of work. We'd do a phone interview, and during the phone interview we'd say, "Okay, we're gonna do a preliminary background check. Anything gonna come up?" This one lady says "Oh no, of course not. Nothing." So I ran it.

I read the screen and tell her, "Yeah, so 14 things have popped up here." 14 fucking offenses, all misdemeanor and worse (DUI, assault, and the like). She didn't really know what to say, and the interview basically stopped there.

Jul 20, 2017 - 8:08am

This thread is legendary.

My story here: was one of my first interviews, for entry level role at a consulting firm.

The interviewer (VP level) asked me " where do you see yourself in fifteen years?" Being non-native English speaker, I heard "fifty years" instead and went on to explain that statistically (referring to average expected life in my country) I would be lucky to be alive at all then. At that point I didn't understand why he was looking at me like that. Figured out after the interview (he told me).

Apart from this awkward situation, the rest of the interview (and other interviews) went fine and I got the offer.

Jul 20, 2017 - 10:35am

had a PWM interview at a BB my sophomore summer. Met with the two senior portfolio managers. First was with a woman who seemed to like me and was giving me softball questions which I answered well. I was probably going to get the job through a connection and only one other person was interviewing, who i idiotically told him I was going to New York for the interview and he used same connection to get interview as well. He was my roommate mind you. Second interview the guy ripped me apart. He asked me who I was voting for in the upcoming election and I just gave some vague answer as I thought this was a trap, turns out hes the head of some republican group in the city. The guy then asks me if I am more a sprinter or marathon runner, and I said sprinter as I had different athletic experiences relating to that. He then spent 20 mins how the person right for the job would have said marathon runner and then I turned around and saw a marathon number or whatever it is you wear on your chest hanging up above me. Another cringe worthy detail is that he looked at me really close like 2 feet away from my face and asked If I shaved that morning. As a yungin I just used an electric razor as I was blonde and had barely any visible facial hair. he said word for word "what is that peach fuzz on your face you're in an interview for god's sake" didn't get the job and roommate said it was a nightmare anyway, he now does marketing for some no name thing.

Jul 20, 2017 - 11:43am

Two stories from 1 interview for Centerview Partners with a VP and Associate.

VP: Looks like you had an internship in PE. Why investment banking?
Me: PE was too slow, we turned down all the deals we looked at. I like the transactionary nature of IB.
VP: Transactionary is not a word
Me: I mean transactional
VP: Pulls out phone and nods/motions toward Associate

I start sweating profusely.

Associate: What is 57 * 23?
Me: Fumbling math in my head Around 1200, more than that, do you want a specific number?
Associate: That's not what I got looks at VP and laughs
Awkward silence as I can't tell if they're still expecting me to answer the question or not

Me: 1311 / Associate: At the same exact time Have you studied accretion/dilution?


Jul 12, 2019 - 3:24pm

Can confirm a few years ago in a phone interview with BB IB I was asked a question like 63*15/12 on the spot. Probably shouldn't have participated in extra curriculars before this interview or have forgotten the interview was on that day. Oops

P.S. I had another offer already and wasn't trying to do IB and pro tip have a calculator for any phone interview.

Jul 20, 2017 - 1:46pm

Managed to use the word "bitch" in an interview. Was going really well until that point, was told on the phone lack of professionalism was why I didn't get that job.

Jul 20, 2017 - 9:25pm

It's funny when I interview people, it's completely different. I'm looking for someone with a little bit of character, some fun, doesn't take himself too seriously but knows when to turn it up workwise.

Some of the stuff I read in here, if I heard that an interview there'd be a 2nd one and/or an offer. I think someone mentioned the song Work by Rihanna is the best way to describe him in a song version, I would've laughed my ass off. Asked to you elaborate and let's go do something.

I don't want you being uptight, I want you to be yourself, recognize we all make mistakes, not panic, and just enjoy and trust the process. My industry is nowhere near as formal as IB; it's commodity and trading I appreciate that for what it's worth. I couldn't imagine all standing up to hear someone speak, the hierarchy and self-worth is too damn much.

I want someone that I can joke with it at the office and expect to go to war with me when the peak hits full scale. I don't want any fake bullshit.

Jul 21, 2017 - 1:14pm

My first ib interview ever, the second week of my junior year. MM IB SA role. Spent a few weeks prepping for technical questions. Ended up memorizing the entire guide.
First Question: How do you calculate EBITDA?
I completely blank and start saying what EBITDA stands for, then proceed to say its Operating Income + Net Income. It all went downhill from there.

Jul 21, 2017 - 1:18pm

Interview for Moelis LA. Interview went alright, associate asks "do you have any questions for me?" I respond "...so I heard that your place is like kind of a sweatshop, could you please comment on that?" Guy gives me the most confused look ever and proceeded to respond. Needless to say, never heard from them again.

Jun 8, 2018 - 4:47pm

I asked a very similar question at another bank that also has a reputation as a sweatshop. I had run out of actual questions to ask at that point and was shocked to hear this question coming out of my mouth. I figured I had just shot myself in the foot, but surprisingly enough I got a thoughtful response. The interviewer also sent me a follow up email praising me for having the courage to ask such a tough question.

Definitely a high-risk move, but apparently it can be pulled off!

Jul 21, 2017 - 2:03pm

Middle Market ECM group.

Interviewer: So why do you want to do ECM? Why not M&A, or Leveraged Finance?
Me: I'm curious about the overall market of... blah blah blah
Interviewer: Okay, so it sounds like you have a good understanding of ECM? So do you have any questions for me?
Me: Yes, can you walk me through a day in ECM at your firm?
Interview: I thought you knew what we did here?
Me: I do.. I'd just love to here your take on it.

Didn't get called back.

Jul 22, 2017 - 12:59pm

Your question isn't stupid at all. How are you supposed to know the idiosyncrasies of what a day in the life at their firm is like?

let's see Paul Allen's card
  • 14
Jul 22, 2017 - 10:52am

In a BB superday:

"Tell me a joke."
"What did 50 cent say to his grandma when she gave him a sweater? 'G-u-nit?!'"

I didn't get the offer.

Welcome to the jungle.
  • 53
Jul 22, 2017 - 12:54pm

A couple of months ago I had this extremely weird interview for a very tiny firm with alumni from my school. The first thing that the interviewer said was "You know your school's career services are shit, right?" Tbh they really are but I should've defended my school. Instead I agreed with him and he said that I should do something about it. The firm was in VC and PE with a strong interest in blockchain VC, so when the guy said why I wanted to work there I told him how cryptocurrencies are burgeoning and how I had experience trading BTC through my online store. He then told me that he thought Bitcoin was absolute crap and that cryptocurrencies would never make it in the future, then iterating that he "wasn't a VC guy" and that I should talk to someone else from the firm if I wanted to discuss that. Mind you this firm has like a dozen people and it was impossible to find out individual employee's roles before going into the interview. The guy then said we'll e-mail you back with our decision but I obviously never got an e-mail. That was by far the most weird interview I ever had, but I was desperate at the time for any job that didn't involve audit or compliance like my previous year's SA role.

let's see Paul Allen's card
  • 3
  • 1
Jul 22, 2017 - 1:10pm

I interviewed to for an internship and I friend interviewed me. He asked me for my spirit animal (stupid question, but it was for an entry level marketing internship) and I said that my spirit animal was an ass because I work very hard and I don't mind having fun. Although he was my friend, he probably didn't recommend me for the internship after the interview.

Jul 23, 2017 - 6:05pm

Was a greeter and walking students around for super day interviews at a big4 firm. I guess this one student had a mental breakdown during her case study. Started screaming, then hysterically crying, ran out of the hotel hosting the interviews bawling her eyes out, never to be seen since. Bet she got the job

  • 2
Jul 23, 2017 - 9:59pm

Ut quae fuga quia non ut est ipsum ullam. Atque accusantium voluptate accusamus non odio. Rerum ut eum nam qui magni quo.

Recusandae et ut eos. Vel eveniet in reprehenderit veritatis et. Ut id delectus est enim praesentium ducimus.

Ipsam facilis repudiandae ipsam nihil. Aperiam reprehenderit quisquam nihil voluptatem nesciunt. Tempora totam molestiae qui possimus reiciendis in.

Pariatur nemo et impedit error et. Et animi debitis eveniet sunt accusantium. Soluta sit cumque voluptatem vero qui veniam et ea. Temporibus debitis fuga vitae officiis est totam consequatur. Aliquam consequatur inventore rem dolor autem et. Odit neque dolores beatae consequuntur voluptate in.

"I'm talking about liquid. Rich enough to have your own jet. Rich enough not to waste time. Fifty, a hundred million dollars, buddy. A player. Or nothing. " -GG
Jul 23, 2017 - 11:39pm

Est quisquam omnis incidunt omnis. Enim cupiditate debitis est laudantium laudantium ut est facilis. Incidunt facilis consequatur rerum facere non dicta.

Enim repellat debitis laborum sed vero doloribus nobis. Quis adipisci in ab vel aut. Est mollitia eligendi corrupti dicta voluptatem. Occaecati dolor beatae voluptatem culpa. Recusandae magni non est et molestiae. Et asperiores quisquam est eos laboriosam qui. Temporibus quo hic impedit.

Deserunt et sint voluptatibus qui sunt. Eum et distinctio soluta enim. Veritatis id commodi est sequi voluptates quisquam fugit exercitationem. Eos ut harum et aut rem veniam.


Sep 3, 2018 - 3:09pm

Aut dolorem saepe excepturi ut. Minima libero laborum minima rerum quo sit animi.

Harum consequatur impedit cupiditate rem recusandae ducimus illum. Id nulla facere exercitationem perferendis. Praesentium in sit enim impedit. Maiores suscipit aliquam pariatur similique velit. Occaecati voluptates repellendus nulla magni. Dolor aut nemo commodi aut molestias.

Inventore dolores non quo esse sed corporis provident atque. Voluptas harum autem officiis. Eius voluptate vitae sint velit officia soluta quod. Quos nam ullam dolor minima excepturi blanditiis et. Enim vel omnis sit. Quis aspernatur corporis repellendus minus magnam illo dignissimos. Minus dolores eum autem assumenda.

Excepturi rerum et neque et quia nemo iusto. Expedita id eligendi illum et aut. Officiis libero voluptatem dolor voluptatem facere veritatis. Esse autem repellendus quaerat velit voluptate ut rerum.

Jul 24, 2017 - 7:58am

Aspernatur tempora fugiat velit a modi facere. Ea itaque quia expedita quisquam atque aspernatur. Molestiae earum et accusantium enim. Et quibusdam ut provident qui.

Accusamus nisi quis rerum a eaque non quo. Autem et qui velit ea. Nesciunt perspiciatis sint voluptatem ducimus ea perspiciatis. Dicta in nemo quisquam qui. Tempora accusantium quos rerum eum assumenda quo aut.

Jul 24, 2017 - 3:58pm

Magni et porro in distinctio. Consequatur laudantium dicta nobis sit aliquam id reiciendis est. Quidem eveniet ut aut iusto in consequatur. Nobis accusamus sit ea vel. Quis nihil odio quia labore iste sed ut.

Inventore ullam laudantium sapiente iusto vel quam. Quisquam repellendus aliquid dolor tempora illum sit laudantium blanditiis. Tempora alias omnis autem.

Accusantium impedit nesciunt dignissimos eum est. Est deserunt illo iure eaque culpa molestias. Officia id aut iste rerum. Dolor doloremque non a ut.

To believe is very dull. To doubt is intensely engrossing. To be on the alert is to live; to be lulled into security is to die. by Oscar Wilde
Start Discussion

Total Avg Compensation

September 2021 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (10) $853
  • Vice President (39) $363
  • Associates (220) $232
  • 2nd Year Analyst (135) $154
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (30) $147
  • Intern/Summer Associate (103) $143
  • 1st Year Analyst (487) $135
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (377) $82