Help!! Internship interview at a Boutique tomorrow

lynnventures's picture
Rank: Baboon | 133

Hi all,

Just found out that I have a SA final round with a small MM boutique tomorrow. For those who interviewed with boutiques, are they pretty much the same as the interviews at BBs or some what different?

Also, for the "Walk me through the 3 statements" question, how detailed should I get? Should I list every single item on a typical IS or BS (e.g. A/R or A/P) or just explain the general components (e.g. CA or LTD)?

Thanks so much!!

Comments (12)

Apr 14, 2008

I interviewed with a variety of places and my experiences with boutiques are just that, only mine. However, they were always more relaxed than the bigger places. They asked more interested in my club experiences at school than whether I could walk them through a DCF.

I would stress your most interesting activities. Walking someone through the 3 financial statements is simple, go as detailed as the Vault Guide goes. You can't ever go wrong with that.

Good Luck!

Apr 14, 2008

My experiences interviewing at boutiques were A LOT more laid back than my interviews at BBs. Boutiques were more interested in my fit with the company, my personality, and whether or not I was generally smart - less emphasis on specific technical skills.

  • Capt K
Apr 14, 2008

I interviewed with a few boutiques as well. I wouldn't let your guard down just because they're not BB's. At one boutique, the final rounds were 6 half-hour interviews and I was asked to run through a DCF and various accounting questions in each of the 6 interviews (Acc Q's included - 3 fin statements, statement of cash flow specifics, accrual vs. cash, etc.).

It's a good idea to be familiar with the technical material because there's nothing to lose. If they ask you, you'll nail it. If they don't ask you (possibly not expecting you to know it), then you can still try to work your knowledge of the information into the interview and impress them even more.

Also be prepared to highlight the pro's of working at a boutique over a BB when you get the inevitable, "Why do you want to work here and not at a bigger firm?" Focus on the differences in culture, accessibility of senior professionals, and smaller SA classes which might allow you to work more actively with professionals in your division.

Hope this helps and good luck.

Apr 14, 2008

Based on my experience (I interviewed at a few well known boutiques) the previous poster is spot on. In fact I found the boutique interviews more technically challenging then all but one BB interview. In addition, as the previous poster noted make sure can answer why you want to work at a smaller firm. I noted: lean deal teams/more interaction with senior bankers, greater responsibility, emphasis on pure advisory (lack of many conflict of interest issues) and the ability to work on both M&A and restructuring projects (although that is often dependent on the firm). Obviously, you want to tailor that to your own situation. Good luck.

Apr 14, 2008

I think it would be helpful to the original poster if we all clarified what we mean by "boutique". Obviously the experience will be quite different at Greenhill/Gleacher/Evercore/etc than it will be at smaller, MM focused 20-40 man shops.

My post above is meant to refer to the latter.

  • Capt K
Apr 15, 2008

I also have experienced that boutiques are generally more laid back. I got some technicals, but nothing too difficult. Like others have already mentioned, be able to explain why you want to work at a smaller firm.

Apr 15, 2008

1 more vote for laid back. Basic technicals, mostly fit/personality.

Apr 17, 2008

Hi all,

I just got the call and accepted the offer. It's a great feeling...like having a moutain off my shoulder (for now anyways).

I just wanted to thank everyone who gave me all the in-depth advice and interview tips. They were immensely helpful and I couldn't have done it without you guys. I am really glad that I joined this forum.

Thanks again and good luck to everyone!!

Apr 17, 2008

Who is the boutique?

Apr 17, 2008

G.X. Clarke & Co.

Not sure if its classified as an actual boutique or what. I just ment its a small shop.

I had actually never even heard of them until my career counselor told me their deadline was approaching. From what I understand, they are primarily a brokerage house but also have their own sales & trading division.

I figured this interview would give me good practice for the more important ones coming up, and if I do good, it would be nice to have a secured backup going into BB internships.

Apr 17, 2008
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