How do you convince an MO/Ops interviewer that you are the best fit?


I recently graduated from a target school with a master's degree (not MBA).
I had 6 interviews since I graduated and I don't think anything will convert to an offer from different reasons:
- I was clearly not a good fit from the beginning and just wasted their and my time.
- They were interviewing internal candidates and I had to be better than perfect to actually get an offer.
- They gave preference to bachelor degree holders or basically wasted my time.
- I interviewed for a great position and did great with everything (e.g., interviews, modeling exam) but somebody very senior shoved his own person for the position.

I'm yet to hear back from 4 interviews, but I know already that anything of the situations above will happen.

I'm currently doing a part-time temp investment banking internship that won't lead to a full time job. The company is currently looking for an analyst and I was told that they want to hire somebody with at least 2 years of experience, which I don't have.

I have worked hard and networked nonstop for 4 out of these 6 interviews and I'm kind of losing hope and would settle for practically anything.

Starting next week, I will be applying for MO/BO Ops/Assistant Trader positions.

My question is how do I convince the interviewers that I'm the best fit? or answer the question "Why Operations?" ?

I have a degree that leads to careers in trading/structuring/research/risk/AM. So, it will be hard for me to convince them that I would love to do operations (analyst level).

Any advice would be appreciated.

Comments (7)

Mar 9, 2013


Mar 9, 2013

You are right, they do not want to hire someone with your background to be a button pusher because they know you will get fed up with it in 6 months and start looking else where, or at least be in a bad mood at work. Even I am sick of it, and I have a bachelors degree.

You are best off applying for risk, finance or middle office trade support if you are looking for a MO role. Otherwise apply for like you said, assistant trader roles.

You would never convince me you want to be a data processor.

Mar 9, 2013

regardless of how desperate you are for a job, applying for entry level ops roles with a masters degree (i'm assuming it's something remotely finance related) makes you seem like you have something seriously wrong with you. the best thing i can think of is emphasize a strong attention to detail and some shit about how systems work and integrate with each other being your thing. probably very biased in this but coming off enthusiastic in an ops interview would make me think you were psychotic...

Mar 9, 2013

You have an MS/MA from a target and your going for ops jobs? You're basically asking how do I convince someone that i'll take a job that I'm probably too ambitious to stay in.

Go for the job that you really want; the one that you had in mind when you went for the degree.


Mar 9, 2013

Since nobody answered your question, allow me:

Operations is about process review and making things more efficient. It's considered back office because it doesn't drive revenues.

If you're unlucky you get stuck with trade clearing or settlements, which are absolutely dreadful and completely process-driven. In short, a complete dead end.

But if you're placed in a group where you focus on driving down the bottom line, it can actually be an interesting experience. Think about it as internal consulting - you're working to make your own company more efficient. I've typically gone with the following responses in my Ops interviews:

1. Challenging work - problem solving associated with reviewing and solving problems, analytical aspects of making processes more efficient, etc.
2. Work with good people - best people in the world work at your bank, etc.

It's all bullshit but interviewers eat it up because they're also in Ops, and they like to think of themselves as people who are perfectly capable of working in IBD or investments or etc. but chose Ops because of work life balance, or are happy where they are, etc. If you tell them you're smart and want to work in Ops, it makes them feel good about themselves and they'll give you the job.

At least that's how I think it works.

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Mar 9, 2013

I'm actually confused.....Does the OP want to work in ops?

Mar 9, 2013