How HR Decides Who is Chosen for Superday/Eventually Hired...

After interviews, do the VPs and associates who conduct the interviews rate the candidate on a number scale? Are there categories such as professionalism, leadership ability, etc.? Are there cut offs for scores based on a numeric list.... or is it done simply on recommendation. If so, how does HR effectively fill 10 spots if they get 43 yes recommendations from the interviewers?
Any insight would be appreciated.

What Happens After a Superday?

Even with robust forums like WSO, there's always a bit of mystery around the recruiting process. Superdays are so competitive that even if you had a good set of interviews, you may not get an offer. A few investment banking insiders shared what actually happens once the day is over and how they decide who gets offers.

Candidates are Ranked and Fought Over
From Certified Investment Banker - Managing Director @GenghisKhan

  • When the interviews are all done, you go home (call it, 4:30pm) and we gather all our interviewers into break-out rooms (say, at 5pm)
  • We bring in some pizza, and write your names on a white board. We make fun of all the silly things you said, the more outrageous things you wore, and then take a moment or two to complain "who the hell brought this guy back from first rounds?!!"
  • Then, in an exceedingly ugly, drawn out battle, we fight over who we liked best and where we rank each of you with respect to one another. Be glad you never hear what was said about you, even if you did get an offer.
  • Then, the other bankers go back to work (and completely forget about you until you show up for work) while I go fight it out with the staffer/recruiters from other groups to determine who gets first dibs on each of the candidates who is getting an offer.

At the end of that, we give our lists to HR, and they start calling the lucky tier "A" offers. I send emails to the other bankers in my group to get off their asses and call our own selectees and begin the "sell" process. Then I forget about you until my group head asks me "Are we done on the recruiting yet?"

MDs Have Final Say
From Certified Investment Banking Professional - Retired @dosk17

  • During Superday, generally HR will gather everyone up afterward for a debrief and see what people thought
  • Each interviewer usually looks at a different quality (leadership, drive, technical skills, etc.) and focuses on evaluating the candidate on that, but there isn't really a formal "ranking"
  • Usually consensus emerges pretty quickly on who we give offers to, who we say no to and who we put "on hold"
  • In the end, the MDs have final say... however it is very rare that an MD says one thing and everyone else disagrees, in fact I've never seen it happen

It's tough to answer who an "ideal candidate" is but I think the #1 thing that helps people is convincing us that they really want the job. Some people I interview are clearly doing it just to test the waters and don't really know what they're getting into or what the job entails. Basically, prove to me that you can work hard on very little sleep, learn quickly, play well in teams and are hungry to get experience... show me you really, really want this job.

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Comments (134)

Dec 26, 2007

Basically here is how it works:

After the first round of interviews, the interviewers decide among themselves who they want to invite back for Superday. We don't "rank" people per se but generally have in mind the best few people we saw that day. Sometimes there are too many people and not enough slots, in which case we will give slots to the best few and then decide who among the rest should get an interview. Sometimes this part of the process can be unfair because not everyone has interviewed all the candidates and different people have different standards.

During Superday, generally HR will gather everyone up afterward for a debrief and see what people thought. Each interviewer usually looks at a different quality (leadership, drive, technical skills, etc.) and focuses on evaluating the candidate on that, but there isn't really a formal "ranking." Usually consensus emerges pretty quickly on who we give offers to, who we say no to and who we put "on hold." In the end, the MDs have final say... however it is very rare that an MD says one thing and everyone else disagrees, in fact I've never seen it happen. And needless to say, if an Analyst is pushing for someone but no one else liked him/her, the Analyst is overruled.

With the way the market has been lately, "on hold" was by far the most common response... everyone is reluctant to hire without knowing what 08 will look like.

Dec 26, 2007

that was very helpful dosk, thanks

Dec 26, 2007

dosk17, when you say that "we generally have in mind the best few people we saw that day", what stands out in these candidates? Is it their resumes (school/gpa/experience) or just their interviewing skills/personality or a combination of both? Who is an ideal candidate? Thanks you very much. And thanks for your previous posts as well.

Dec 26, 2007

actually, we ranked everyone that we met. for instance, those that met all the candidates had to rank who they wanted from 1-whatever number of open spots there are. we go around the room doing the same. occasionally there are disagreements but for the most part, the rankings are prety similar.

Dec 26, 2007

School/GPA is almost irrelevant after the interview, all it matters for is getting your foot in the door. It's tough to answer who an "ideal candidate" is but I think the #1 thing that helps people is convincing us that they really want the job.

Some people I interview are clearly doing it just to test the waters and don't really know what they're getting into or what the job entails... you would be surprised just how many candidates don't really do their research or really know what they are getting into.

You don't want to be one of them. Basically, prove to me that you can work hard on very little sleep, learn quickly, play well in teams and are hungry to get experience... show me you really, really want this job.

    • 1
Dec 26, 2007

If you offer to jack off the interviewer, how does that impacting your rankings? OR does it depend on the specific person?

Dosk, whats the funniest interviewing story you have?

Dec 27, 2007
SternMonkey:

If you offer to jack off the interviewer, how does that impacting your rankings? OR does it depend on the specific person?Dosk, whats the funniest interviewing story you have?

no comment

Dec 27, 2007
SternMonkey:

If you offer to jack off the interviewer, how does that impacting your rankings? OR does it depend on the specific person?

Dosk, whats the funniest interviewing story you have?

Oh that note-- what if you're a chick (let's say at least above average looking)? How does that impact the entire process?

Dec 27, 2007

Usually the funniest ones are when someone makes some absurd claim that I then prove wrong with a simple question. One time someone actually told me he was a "math genius" in an interview (great way to set expectations there). Then I asked him the "number of squares on a checkerboard" question just to see if he knew how to do any math and he got completely flustered... and it's not really that tough of a question, especially since he could use a pen/paper. In fact it's not even a brainteaser, it's just a counting question!

That's the best example I have offhand of someone being really stupid in an interview. Needless to say, don't make any claims that you can't substantiate, especially ones where you claim to know more about math/finance than the interviewer.

People always claim that being a hot girl helps you get recruited... whether this is true or not, who knows. I think there probably is a fair bias toward recruiting attractive people, but that's true in general - lots of studies show model-like females are more likely to get jobs, etc. If there is a bias in banking recruiting, it's not more than the bias you would find in any other field.

Dec 27, 2007

I'd say if you're an attractive female that can coherently string sentences together to form somewhat of a feasible answer to your interview questions, every effort will be made to hire you.** Probably very unfair, but look who's running the interview process.

**This applied for the past two years, but with the market the way it is that might not be enough..

Dec 27, 2007

Hey Dosk,

What if that guy you posed that question to doesn't play checkers? I don't play checkers and I had to look up a checkerboard to answer your question. There would be no way I could figure it out even with a paper/pencil. Good fun though.

Dec 27, 2007

dosk17, the answers 50 right? (7X7 plus the whole board is one?)

Dec 27, 2007
sammy101:

dosk17, the answers 50 right? (7X7 plus the whole board is one?)

7x7?? The board used in checkers is the same one as in chess, 8x8. And if you're going to include the 8x8 square (in your case 7x7) as a square, why not all the squares in between (the 2x2 squares, 3x3, etc.). If you start from the top, its fairly simple to see the pattern:

8x8 squares: 1
7x7 squares: 4
6x6 squares: [(8-6)+1]^2 = 9, etc.

so total squares is 1^2+2^2+3^2+16+25+36+49+64 = 204

Dec 27, 2007

a better way to put the question is to ask how many squares (of any size) can be constructed out of a square which contains 8x8 unit squares.

and to solve it:

  1. how many ixi squares can be constructed out of an nxn square? this is equal to (n-i+1)^2
    -> think of an ixi square being pivoted down the length/width of the square -> you can pivot it n-i+1 times
  2. sum this up from 1 to n

thus, the answer is
sum (i = 1 to n) [ (n-i+1)^2 ] = sum (i = 1 to n) [ i^2 ] = n(n+1)(2n+1) / 6

8917 / 6 = 204

another way to stump someone with a big math ego is to ask them how many paths there are from the bottom-left corner of an 8x8 square to the top-right corner (i.e., Catalan paths).

Dec 27, 2007

I'm never going to say I'm a big math guy :O

Dec 27, 2007

I was under the impresion that HR has no say on your hiring? They only TELL you yes or no

Dec 27, 2007

Do you ever think about how you guys did with hiring, such as reviewing all those who were hired 1 or 2 yrs previously and seeing who worked out well and who didn't and then use such information to recalibrate the recruiting process? At my firm I don't hire out of school but I have hired laterals over the years with 2-4 years experience often, and always wondered how those who hire out of school do it; I think it is much harder to discern who will be a good fit before they have actually been in the workplace. Just wondering.

Dec 27, 2007

Yes, 204 is the right answer for the checkerboard question. If you don't know what one looks like for some reason you could always ask the interviewer, looks a look better than getting flustered and not saying anything.

HR generally doesn't have much of a say on hiring, they may pre-screen resumes sometimes depending on the bank but they don't do much besides communicate with candidates.

As far as reviewing how we did with hiring, no, we don't do enough of that. Bankers in general are notorious for having VERY short-term memories - people can barely remember business happenings from one day to the next, let alone remember how someone did in interviews 1-2 years ago.

In general agree with you - it's very hard to discern good from bad for people who have never worked before. I know of people who interview very well but are actually bad employees and I know of great analysts who are terrible at interviewing.

It's never a perfect process but reviewing past interviews and hires may definitely be a good way to re-calibrate things.

Dec 27, 2007

my Lehman Final rounds for capital markets, 3 of the interviews were essentially fit, with varying degrees of easy market questions, and one of the interviews was strictly brainteasers/ Stress tests. They threw pretty hard probability q's at me to see how'd I'd deal. Not sure how anyone else does it though.

Dec 27, 2007

For IBD, pretty much all interviews are mainly behavioral fit interviews. Some firms, like UBS, will have specific rounds to be more or less technical. For SA jobs, everything tends to be fit, with the amount of technicals up to the interviewer. You can always expect that further interviews will be more difficult, just make sure any question you were weak on early that you have a strong answer for.

Dec 27, 2007

My questions were all fit related.. My advice is show that you are interested in IB, but don't tell them that you are 100% sure where you want to go for your career. My interviewer adviced me to keep my eyes open and tried new things as I am still young..

I think they like us to be relatable to them when they were younger..

As for technical questions, analysts and assoicates tend to ask more of these questions than other ones..

Ling~

Ling~

  • b
  •  Dec 27, 2007

As previously mentioned, it depends on the firm. I know that JPM will specifically divide your superday up into 4 interviews, where each interviewer is assessing a different trait (don't remember off the top of my head what the 4 "key traits" are).

ML on the other hand, was 1 fit and 1 technical for 1st round, 2 fit for 2nd round.

Dec 27, 2007

I can say from my personal experience (current senior who has participated in superdays) I received a call the next morning informing me of my offer. I actually posed a similar question to my recruiters about how the decisions were made and they said that the decision would be made before I had even left the building.

After our interviews we met once more with a current analyst to answer any last minute questions...he very candidly told us that the decisions were currently being made. Following the meeting a few of the HR people came in to ask a few applicants to return to the interview room for some follow up interviews (most likely the undecideds). So it seems as though the decisions are made almost immediately following the interviews.

Dec 27, 2007

Here's the scoop:

If you came in, it's probably a super day. That means that when the interviews are all done, you go home (call it, 4:30pm) and we gather all our interviewers into break-out rooms (say, at 5pm).

We bring in some pizza, and write your names on a white board. We make fun of all the silly things you said, the more outrageous things you wore, and then take a moment or two to complain "who the hell brought this guy back from first rounds?!!"

Then, in an exceedingly ugly, drawn out battle, we fight over who we liked best and where we rank each of you with respect to one another. Be glad you never hear what was said about you, even if you did get an offer.

Then, the other bankers go back to work (and completely forget about you until you show up for work) while I go fight it out with the staffer/recruiters from other groups to determine who gets first dibs on each of the candidates who is getting an offer.

At the end of that, we give our lists to HR, and they start calling the lucky tier "A" offers. I send emails to the other bankers in my group to get off their asses and call our own selectees and begin the "sell" process. Then I forget about you until my group head asks me "Are we done on the recruiting yet?"

Dec 27, 2007

I had my first interview six days ago with two departments at Goldman. The interview was with nine individuals and lasted 4 hours and 45 minutes. The last person I met with seemed rather hurried and said that the groups had to get together and talk. How long does it generally take for them to get back to you with an offer or the alternative? From all accounts, I interviewed well and got along well with all of the interviewers.
Thanks.

Dec 27, 2007

Wow, the process of determining who gets in, and who doesn't goes a lot quicker than I thought..

In terms of "ranking the candidates", does seniority play a role in determining how much say a banker has in the selection process?

Also, is it true that in order to get an offer, one must get a "yes", or at least a "maybe" during the selection process from every single person they interviewed with, and if they get even a single "no", they are out of the drawing?

Finally, say I am one of the candidates that is "on hold", and does not get an immediate offer or rejection from HR. In this case, who should I follow up with after a few days? If I follow up with a banker who I got along well with, will they have any influence over the process at that point, or should I only be dealing with HR?

Thanks for all of your advice. I have a couple of superdays coming up next week, and want to make sure I have a good grasp of what I need to do to get an offer. Your posts are very useful to that end.

Dec 27, 2007

lol I wish my experience was like this

the group I inteviewed with has still not made a decision (interviewed a LONG time ago, recruiter doesn't even know why there's no decision yet). The woes of S&T I guess.

Dec 27, 2007

Also Khan, could you lend us some insight in to some of the stuff that people said or wore that gets made fun of in the pow-wow room?

Dec 27, 2007
corgi95:

Also Khan, could you lend us some insight in to some of the stuff that people said or wore that gets made fun of in the pow-wow room?

It's not much different from what the thread on resumes and cover letters indicates, only now they have more personal details to work with. Almost anything is fodder, and the difference is that it can get pretty argumentative. I'll make up a discussion:

"I like that Mis Ind girl - articulate and hungry"

"Hungry? Yeah, that's because she's living on Ramen. Did she even finish second grade? Hungry... yeah, I bet she'd eat all of us alive."

"Yeah, and look where she is now. We weren't all born with silver spoons, 'Cooper Douglas IV'."

"Ha, ok, fine. Is she really going to stick it out? She's like 40 years old for crying out loud."

"Yeah, and what about that outfit she had - that probably cost more than your bonus, John."

"Good, she'll be working her ass off to pay off her loans and her shopping habit then."

"Well, I don't like her"

"Come on, she's way ahead of that kid you just had us rank as an A/B borderline"

"Yeah, and speaking of outfits, that kid showed up in a double breasted suit!"

"He did?"

"You bet"

"You're checking out their suits now? I guess that's what doing Consumer/Retail deals does to you."

"Shut up. How could you not notice? That jacket was so cheap I got blinded by the reflection from the overhead lighting."

"The kid's from Turkey, man. He's poor as dirt, give him a break. He probably bought the suit at home."

"Hey, can we get back to Mis Ind?"

"I like her - A"

"Me too - A"

"Yeah - A"

"She's OK - B"

"I still don't like her - Kill"

...

"Alright, when we sum it up, that's 33, right behind the kid from Turkey. Do we like her better or worse than him? OK, fine, we'll move her up. That's an offer, then? OK, done. Now, who's next?"

And that's more or less how it goes.

Dec 27, 2007

That was my experience Khan. I was told that two desks liked me and would have to fight it out for me because I'd met all the basic requirements from the superday activities already. And I heard like 2 hours after I left.

Dec 27, 2007

Oh man, I bet they ripped me up in the room with the white board even though I got an offer by 7 PM that day. I made some stupid (STUPID!) mistakes during the interviews.

Odd that you hire directly into groups, Khan.

Dec 27, 2007
Mis Ind:

Oh man, I bet they ripped me up in the room with the white board even though I got an offer by 7 PM that day. I made some stupid (STUPID!) mistakes during the interviews.

Without doubt, Mis Ind. I know they peed all over me during my analyst interviews.

Mis Ind:

Odd that you hire directly into groups, Khan.

Or is it just a bit of misdirection? Just kidding, mostly. I've done both the 'direct hire' and the 'general offer followed by group placement' thing over the years.

I actually prefer the former - I think it gives you a slight edge on yields because most candidates prefer it when they know they'll be in M&A now rather than risk a group they might not want as much after they've already committed to the firm.

Although some of my friends loved it, the one thing I did not want to do coming out of school was to go into a generalist pool, or to do rotations for a year. In fact, I turned down one of the firms I liked best because I wanted to be sure I'd go back to M&A.

Dec 27, 2007

I hear it's like fraternity/sorority rush (probably more like sorority rush).

I love it.

Dec 27, 2007

Heh. Ghengis, that was hilarious if overly gentle. I'm sure my interviewers had a lot more to slam me on. Examples:

I claimed to follow Home Depot but then had no clue where it was trading when I asked, or how their earnings had compared to analyst estimates.

I said I enjoyed sports when asked, but the interviewer took that to mean that I enjoyed spectator sports and asked me about football, baseball, basketball, and hockey... and then I lamely admitted that I had been thinking along the lines of martial arts and running and knew nothing about any of the sports the guy was interested in. (Not awful, but uncomfortable nonetheless).

At least one of the interviewers sounded suspicious when I talked about having been a NASKA martial arts champion.

I disagreed with one interviewer as to the reasons why EBITDAR is used so heavily in valuation... and in retrospect, I was wrong. Though I did present several points of evidence, all were irrelevant from a banker's point of view.

When asked by one guy what I had studied to prepare for the interview (which is perhaps one of the most brilliant interviewer techniques ever because the interviewee doesn't dare BS the answer and it gives you plenty of room to help/hang him further on in the interview), I gave him my list, which unfortunately included the major points of the yield curve (which I had memorized that morning). He said, "Oh, that's very interesting. Why don't you tell me why you memorized that... tell me why we need to know the current yield curve in banking?" Well, the answer was that I memorized it just in case some asshole asked where the ten-year was trading (as tended to happen on the trading floor I'd worked on), but I couldn't tell him that. So I BSed a long answer about how bankers need to understand the yield curve in order to properly structure/ladder their clients' debt. Then he grinned and said, "Bullshit. I don't even know what the yield curve looks like right now. You need to go talk to Lev Fin, not me."

So yeah, I bet they had a lot more to rag on than my suit. I think I came off like a total bullshitter with insufficient knowledge of investment banking practices, but at least I had the foresight to carefully prepare a whole truckload of bullshit with which to sell my abilities, some of which was even believable. Which, when you think about it, is kind of what bankers do with clients, which may be why I'm here.

Dec 27, 2007

Mis Ind:

What were the reasons EBITDA(R?) is used heavily in valuation? I thought the two reasons were that it is an easy way to estimate Free Cash Flows for the firm, and that it is relevant to bankers because they can modify the capital structure of the company, which would affect the I,T,D,A parts, so they want to know what the company can generate in a period excluding those items.

Are there other reasons that I am missing?

Dec 27, 2007

I... uh... I'm gonna take the fifth on that one. Your answer is fine. Mine was stupid.

Dec 27, 2007

In the regionals we hire into groups, MS doesn't do that for nyc though

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Dec 27, 2007

So what does anyone think about not hearing from them 8 days after the interview process is over. Also, they are not responding to e-mails.

Dec 27, 2007

Start looking for another job, usually you should here a reply back within a week at the most.

Dec 27, 2007

Usually you hear by the next day. I was called an hour after my superday ended.

Dec 27, 2007

I will start looking at alternatives. Are there any instances however where Goldman can take longer than usual to get back to applicants. For example, if they are waiting for others to reply to offers first?

Dec 27, 2007

They put you on hold and may ask you to go in again for interviews. My friend had to do this for a full time position in S&T and initially, they told her no, but then were like "uh. wait. actually we do want to make you an offer".

In the end, she chose to go somewhere else.

Dec 27, 2007
HerSerendipity:

They put you on hold and may ask you to go in again for interviews. My friend had to do this for a full time position in S&T and initially, they told her no, but then were like "uh. wait. actually we do want to make you an offer".

In the end, she chose to go somewhere else.

Pretty unprofessional and insulting, if you ask me.

    • 1
Dec 27, 2007

Interesting. I e-mailed them today and was told that Goldman (at least in their office) doesn't make hiring decisions that fast. (!) They used exclammatory punctuation. I responded that I did not want to press the issue, yet was told by many that hiring decisions were executed more quickly. I was asked today however to come in for another interview which I consider good news. Also, since I am finishing my undergraduate and the position does not start until May, perhaps there will be an extended process anyways. For many reasons, I think Goldman is an incredible firm and I would very much like an opportunity to make a difference there. Thanks for all of your feedback, it is much appreciated. I'm sure you can relate to the processes and the desires involved in working for a firm like this.

Dec 27, 2007

MDs in the group have final decision, but there is usually a vote between the people who interviewed you. So while an associate doesn't have the final say, he does have a say.

Dec 27, 2007

I'm prety sure HR have little or no say in the final decision, though they are very influencial in getting you into that interview seat in the first place of course.

Dec 27, 2007

From my short experience (recently recieved an offer), right after the final round/superday, the interviewers gather up and voice their respective opinions. MDs have final say, but its always beneficial to have the junior guys go to bat for you. HR does not make the final decision, they do the initial screening.

Best Response
Dec 27, 2007

Depends.

We generally have a group of 2-3 analysts, 2 assoc./VP's, and 2 D/MD's on each target school recruiting team. The lead (MD) generally has the final say, but it really is a team effort so getting in contact with anyone will be helpful.

    • 2
Dec 27, 2007

whoever, you think, have power in the hiring process.

Resume goes through to
1. HR who passes it along to hiring manager
2. hiring manager sort through resume
3. interview

I think there are certain firms that gives analyst the responsibility to sort through resumes

Dec 27, 2007

Would you expect the person with 1 year experience of 30 years experience to make the hiring decision?

Dec 27, 2007

The final say is mostly rested with the managing director / executive director that you interviewed with in the final round. All other factors from previous rounds aren't factored in.

Dec 27, 2007
kbluearmor7:

The final say is mostly rested with the managing director / executive director that you interviewed with in the final round. All other factors from previous rounds aren't factored in.

Really? I guess it differs with each company, but I thought all the interviewers sit down after the superday and go through it together, and it's sort of like a majority rules decision...

Dec 27, 2007
kbluearmor7:

The final say is mostly rested with the managing director / executive director that you interviewed with in the final round. All other factors from previous rounds aren't factored in.

true

banker88:

Really? I guess it differs with each company, but I thought all the interviewers sit down after the superday and go through it together, and it's sort of like a majority rules decision...

and true.

what happens is that after the interviews everyone sits down and go through the candidates. everyone shares their opinion, however if the MD/partner says that he likes/dislikes this kid, it will have a major influence on the decision

ultimately i think its about two points
-how well (or less mistakes made) compared to peers in case interviews
-how much they like you
with the latter one heavily weighted after final rounds

Dec 27, 2007

Fit is a major factor in the final decision. If you've made it to the final round, you're probably good at the case interviews. There will be some relative comparisons of how you did vs other candidates, but that aspect of the interview is largely a weeding out process if you really do a poor job.

If you handle the case well enough, you're being considered for how you interact with others, how curious you are, would you do well in front of a client and on a client team.

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Dec 27, 2007

Interviewers who make assumptions before the interview begins are a big pet peeve for me, not sure about anyone else

Dec 27, 2007

Heyman80, welcome to the real world. we always make assumptions about a candidate one way or another before we meet him - otherwise, how do we screen resumes? the process of resume screening already involves making assumptions about that candidate based on his background.

Dec 27, 2007

But the biggest thing that drives me crazy during interviews is when people just give boilerplate very standard Vault Guide-type answers to all my questions.

That usually encourages me to start asking really off-the-wall and obscure stuff, because I like to see some originality and creative thought in people.

Honestly I don't even think about the GPA at all unless it's extremely bad or extremely good. In fact I might be a little scared by someone with a 4.1 GPA in a really tough major at one of these places, they either worked really hard and didn't do much else or are WAY too smart for investment banking.

Dec 27, 2007

That is actually a very interesting phenomenon, that some people are rejected from BBs because they are way too smart. I've never heard about it before and when I first did, I thought it was kind of funny actually. My friend who was interviewing for JPMorgan had this candidate with a 3.95 from a target, Rhodes scholar, extremely smart girl, and he decided not to extend her offer because she was too smart :) I was like "what, does this really happen?"

Dec 27, 2007

Mr. Milkshake,

You may have misunderstood my post. I understand that screening takes place in order to find the best candidates- but isnt the point that you're looking for the BEST candidates. Looking for high GPAs from great schools is not only sensible, you'd be irresponsible not to seek out these candidates. But dinging someone straight away based on one line of a resume (or in your case, nationality) seems to be straying away from an important part of the interview- determining if the candidate is qualified. Just my personal take, and as I have only conducted interviews for prospective interns, not full-time, I may be a little too idealistic. Give me two years and I'll probably be dinging anyone over 5'8'' or likes the red sox.

Dec 27, 2007
heyman800:

Mr. Milkshake,

You may have misunderstood my post. I understand that screening takes place in order to find the best candidates- but isnt the point that you're looking for the BEST candidates. Looking for high GPAs from great schools is not only sensible, you'd be irresponsible not to seek out these candidates. But dinging someone straight away based on one line of a resume (or in your case, nationality) seems to be straying away from an important part of the interview- determining if the candidate is qualified. Just my personal take, and as I have only conducted interviews for prospective interns, not full-time, I may be a little too idealistic. Give me two years and I'll probably be dinging anyone over 5'8'' or likes the red sox.

My boyfriend asks everyone he interviews if they are a Yankee or Red Sox fan and then pretends to walk out if they say Red Sox to see their reaction

Dec 27, 2007

yeah, i'm glad to see racism is well and alive on the street.

Dec 27, 2007

Dont hold it against him, Milkshake's Indian ex-IT Consultant dad left him and his mom high and dry when he was still in diapers.... I would hold a grudge too.

(his step-dad that later abandoned him was an ex-lawyer)

Dec 27, 2007
elan:

Dont hold it against him, Milkshake's Indian ex-IT Consultant dad left him and his mom high and dry when he was still in diapers.... I would hold a grudge too.

(his step-dad that later abandoned him was an ex-lawyer)

lol

Dec 27, 2007
elan:

Dont hold it against him, Milkshake's Indian ex-IT Consultant dad left him and his mom high and dry when he was still in diapers.... I would hold a grudge too.

(his step-dad that later abandoned him was an ex-lawyer)

This was priceless elan, a great way from preventing this thread from turning into a flame war...

Dec 27, 2007
Banana_milkshake:

I absolutely can't stand ex-lawyers - I will ding them straightaway if I ever come across their resumes.

Why the hate for ex-lawyers?

--------
Right now this is a job. If I advance any higher in this company, then this would be my career. And um... Well, if this were my career, I'd have to throw myself in front of a train.

--------
Right now this is a job. If I advance any higher in this company, then this would be my career. And um... Well, if this were my career, I'd have to throw myself in front of a train.

Dec 27, 2007

In my limited personal experience, I've been given a stack of maybe 100 or 200 resumes and am tasked with distilling to 25 or so. As I've really only been qualified to review undergrad resumes, most don't have great work experience, so GPA is a major factor. I don't really discriminate by school if it's the non-target pile, but usually all the resumes you'll be culling will be from the same school.

If I was reviewing resumes of more experienced lateral hires or associate hires, I probably would employ a similar methodology to that process. Certainly I would never toss out a resume solely based on the field of someone's past work experience, their nationality, or their outside interests, obviously on a relative basis that preclude them (i.e. prior banking or corporate finance experience vs. non-finance).

For example, if a non-native English speaker stacked up exactly relative to a native English speaker in terms of GPA, work experience, etc. for the 25th spot in my selection process, I may be inclined to go with the native English speaker. But I would never pick a less qualified native English speaker over a more qualified non-native.

Dec 27, 2007

Personally, the most important thing is being able to see myself working with the person. I prefer high GPA, finance experience, somewhat related major, higher major GPA then overall.

I could care less about leadership positions, because honestly leadership doesn't matter until the VP/MD level of banking. I only care about sports insofar as it indicates that someone can balance their life and put up with long hours (D1 athletes practice a lot).

The reasons why really smart people often get dinged are simple, you can't count on them joining, they might not be the right fit, and you can't count on them staying. The guy with a 4.0 and a triple major, with ridiculous extracurriculars could be awesome, but he might also leave for a hedge fund after 6 months because the job isn't challenging him. A really quant oriented person probably won't enjoy banking, its not mentally challenging in that way.

Dec 27, 2007

"I absolutely can't stand ex-lawyers - I will ding them straightaway if I ever come across their resumes"

You realize you'd be missing out on the likes of Bruce Wasserstein, David Rubinstein, and Peter Thiel? I'm not even suggesting that all ex-lawyers are going to go on and do amazing things in the industry, but a few of them have done okay for themselves.

Dec 27, 2007
lawyersrule:

"I absolutely can't stand ex-lawyers - I will ding them straightaway if I ever come across their resumes"

You realize you'd be missing out on the likes of Bruce Wasserstein, David Rubinstein, and Peter Thiel? I'm not even suggesting that all ex-lawyers are going to go on and do amazing things in the industry, but a few of them have done okay for themselves.

wow did you create that username just to respond to his post?

Dec 27, 2007

Oh, I won't hold it against Elan. I know it's tough to get a job in banking with his background as an IT consultant in Poonjanay or Krishnanmuthusamy IT consulting.

Dec 27, 2007

If I were an analyst or anyone in a recruiting capacity for banking, I'd be biased against non-finance/accounting and non-math majors. I'd go well with physics and engineering too.

Dec 27, 2007

Depends how hot the chick is.

Dec 27, 2007

Maybe I'm just pissed that I'm in the office...but some of you people are such fucking tools it's unbelievable.

"If I were in banking, I would be biased against non-finance/accounting majors"

.......you are...a monkey's anus.

Dec 27, 2007

I like green-eyed brunettes.

If you made it past the resume review, and I'm interviewing - you're in, no questions.

People make recruiting far more complicated than it ought to be.

Dec 27, 2007

I like to know to what extent this is true... I def would assume that if you're a guy and you're interviewing an attractive grl, she has a leg up against the rest of your interview roster... given she is qualified. Id bet money on on it.

newbie2banking:

I like green-eyed brunettes.

If you made it past the resume review, and I'm interviewing - you're in, no questions.

People make recruiting far more complicated than it ought to be.

Dec 27, 2007
newbie2banking:

I like green-eyed brunettes.

If you made it past the resume review, and I'm interviewing - you're in, no questions.

People make recruiting far more complicated than it ought to be.

Haha maybe that's why I got my internship. Juuuuust kidding - I swear I'm qualified, too...

Dec 27, 2007

Honestly I have seen that before... preference given to attractive females. However, usually it's less, "I chose her over him because she's a hot girl!" and more like, "Well, she was pretty good... plus, she's hot!"

I'm sure of course there are cases where a girl is selected over an equally qualified male because of that, but honestly if you're not good in the first place, we won't pick you no matter how hot you are.

(This of course does not apply to all banks. :)

Dec 27, 2007

It's interesting how qualified hot girls have an advantage over equally qualified guys when it comes to recruitment, but on the other hand, there ain't that many females at the senior levels. Maybe they are older when it comes to promotion time and therefore less hot ;)

Anyway, back to lawyers and indian ex-IT consultants, my two pet peeves. From my personal experience, I find the JUNIOR lawyers totally unsuited for banking because (a) they cannot do math, (b) they know nuts about finance, (c) they are too senior to be analyst but lack the skills to do well as an associate, (d)they nitpick on the minor stuff and cannot see the "big picture", (e) they are too cowardly to put a foot forward and give an opinion. You ask them for an opinion, they will list out all the risks for you in a laundry list, but when you ask them to take a stand, they prevaricate, (f)they think they are smarter than bankers but just watch the way they grovel and lick my ass - they don't seem that smart while they are at it; and (f) most lawyers I know are twisted, psychotic and perverted individuals (and no, i don't have a lawyer as a step-dad, and I don't remember having a step dad either).

As for Indian ex-IT consultants - you guys may not know this but many of them have FAKE resumes. In my previous job (which is every bit as competitive as banking), I interviewed this guy who's from ABC IT consulting firm in Mumbai and he also claimed to have started two companies of his own. I recommended him for an offer, but it turned out that his two companies were fakes - that guy paid $5 to register these companies in India and designed a website to make it seem real. When I was in business school, I personally knew many East Indians who faked their backgrounds to get admitted, but it's so difficult to verify because, well, it's India. Guess what? they told me that it's actually very common in India to fake resumes ("Almost everyone does it"). It's not that I will reject them outright, but I am just very wary of them. If they had worked for some reputable firm like McKinsey in India, then that's a different matter altogether because that can be verified. Oh and in case anyone's wondering, my dad's not Indian, I haven't been to India and my name's not Poonjanay.

Dec 27, 2007

I understand why you may be more guarded when it came to Indians with IT or start-up backgrounds, but still not justifiable to rule them out if they had good credentials. If anything, it justifies truly putting their feet to the fire during the interview process - grilling them on technicals while gauging how well your personalities mesh. If they nail every technical question and it's obvious they can do the job, and do it well (and better than any other candidate you interview), then I don't see the problem. Especially since alot of Indians applying for jobs at banks are coming from top B-schools (why would you care about work experience for undergrad and why would you hire someone without banking experience for a lateral higher than 1st year associate?). So presumably they were intelligent enough to make it to a top school and learn quite a bit there, work experience be damned.

When I was in banking, we hired several laterals. A few of them were from a lower tier BB - specifically, BofA. A few of them were from middle markets (Cowen, etc.). The Cowen guys, despite having terrible deals on their resumes, were absolutely rock stars. We made it a point to grill them into the ground technically to get comfortable with their skillsets, and they were awesome guys to top it all off. The BofA guys we interviewed like regular candidates. They started working in our group and in addition to not meshing with the personalities in the group, they were terrible bankers - not technically sound, no time management, just pure disasters.

What's the moral here? We could have been discriminative towards "non-bulge" laterals, but then we would have missed out on some of the best bankers we have in the group. We also weren't discriminative enough to status-quo laterals, and got burned pretty badly. On the other hand, I could easily say "well now let's hire only Cowen guys for laterals, and immediately dismiss any BofA guys" which would be a stupid rationale, as well.

Dec 27, 2007
GameTheory:

I understand why you may be more guarded when it came to Indians with IT or start-up backgrounds, but still not justifiable to rule them out if they had good credentials ... Especially since alot of Indians applying for jobs at banks are coming from top B-schools (why would you care about work experience for undergrad and why would you hire someone without banking experience for a lateral higher than 1st year associate?). So presumably they were intelligent enough to make it to a top school and learn quite a bit there, work experience be damned.

You douchebag, didn't you read what i wrote "It's not that I will reject them outright, but I am just very wary of them. If they had worked for some reputable firm like McKinsey in India, then it's a different matter altogether". so the answer is no, I won't reject any candidate with good credentials.

Further, of course work experience matters even if you are a b-school hire. Have you been to bschool? Do you really think it's so transformational that it can make up for average pre-MBA work experience? B school cannot substitute for solid work experience. In an associate interview, 80% of questions are directed towards your pre-MBA work experience.

I guess you are assuming that all top b-school students are intelligent and have great work experience. you will be shocked - it's absolutely not the case. Many got in through great essays (thanks to essay editing agencies), favorable demographics, and truth be told - there are just not that many smart people applying to b schools. It's a mixed bag even at the top bschools (and I went to one of them).

Dec 27, 2007
Banana_milkshake:

I absolutely can't stand ex-lawyers - I will ding them straightaway if I ever come across their resumes.

Please explain to me how being an ex-lawyer equates to "bad credentials."

Also, good credentials does not always mean a "McKinsey-equivalent" in India. You specifically mentioned people with start-ups on their resume. A lot of people may consider start-ups pretty decent credentials, as well. Furthermore, I never asserted that you would reject them outright, since you already said you didn't or wouldn't. I simply said, a simple solution would be to ask them harder questions. I think we can both agree that someone with weak work experience at a great b-school will still be given the opportunity to tap into the school's resources in the form of networking and career resources. For example, an undergrad who went straight to b-school may not fare very well in associate recruiting, but may still get interviews.

You're right, I've never been to B-school, but I have been in banking for a few years, and now private equity. I also have many friends in their first year of b-school that have gone through the summer associate process. Many of them had totally unrelated work experience before interviewing at banks and can speak to things like teamwork and leadership, but the majority of the offer-decision making comes from their understanding of basic finance and technicals, fit, and general "work experience" qualifications like leadership. This can be accomplished by anything, whether it be IT-consulting in India, advertising, being a school teacher, whatever. As long as you can speak to what you've done, and convince your interviewer that you know your finance (even if you don't but express knowledge about the industry) that's enough to land you summer associate roles. From there, it's trial by fire.

Listen, I realize you were trying to start a discussion in the forum, maybe being slightly more controversial than you really are to spur discussion (congrats on that, you did). I'm just pointing out that the flaws in your reasoning, that's all.

Dec 27, 2007

You're a tumbling dick weed.

ha.

Banana_milkshake:

You douchebag, didn't you read what i wrote "It's not that I will
reject them outright, but I am just very wary of them. If they had worked for some reputable firm like McKinsey in India, then it's a different matter altogether". so the answer is no, I won't reject any candidate with good credentials.

GameTheory:
Banana_milkshake:

I absolutely can't stand ex-lawyers - I will ding them straightaway if I ever come across their resumes.

Please explain to me how being an ex-lawyer equates to "bad credentials."

Dec 27, 2007

Now listen - do you know what a presumption is, and that presumptions can be rebutted? I am saying that because of the rife faking of resumes in places like India (or equivalents), I am more wary of them as compared to, say, an American resume. It's like someone coming from any non-traditional background applying to banking - complete non-targets for instance or someone who has not done any quantitative coursework, you give them a long hard skeptical look before betting on them.

Secondly, of course we can agree that someone with poor work experience at a great b-school is not doomed, but I am pointing out the flaw in your reasoning that "work experience be damned" and it doesn't matter at all once you are in a great b school. This raises questions on whether you actually know what banks' hiring criteria are. Pre-MBA work experience is the SINGLE MOST important criteria (amongst other criteria) in evaluating associate applicants. It doesn't have to be finance experience of course, but candidates who have done well in competitive organizations will always have a greater chance than those who don't.

Dec 27, 2007

Of course, that's been my point all along. Your opened with a statement asserting that you reject people outright based on their backgrounds, and now you say you're just skeptical and test them harder. No problem there, but two different things (again, with the desire to spur conversation).

Pre-MBA work experience is the single most important criteria for hiring if you have significant work experience to speak of. A student with no prior work experience interviewing for summer analyst jobs would most likely need to speak about his leadership activities while in school, and the focus would then shift to his technical abilities. In fact, if I had two candidates with equal academic scores from similar instutions, one with 4 years work experience as a school teacher (or something completely unrelated to finance - advertising, social work, etc.) and one straight from undergrad, I would ask both of them to speak to leadership or teamwork experience from either teaching or school. Then I would proceed to gauge them from a technical standpoint. If they were still equivalent at that point, I'd try to guage their personalities from a more subjective standpoint to see which one I preferred. The only advantage I would give to the schoolteacher would be 4 years of added maturity.

Dec 27, 2007

The line is: "Pumpkin, you're dating the biggest dickweed in New York. Pumpkin, you're dating a tumbling, tumbling dickweed."

Why would he call her a dickweed?

Dec 27, 2007

I know what the line is...

ideating:

The line is: "Pumpkin, you're dating the biggest dickweed in New York. Pumpkin, you're dating a tumbling, tumbling dickweed."

Why would he call her a dickweed?

Dec 27, 2007

Why wouldn't he? He doesn't seem to have any qualms about doing any number of things, many of which I would consider more extreme than calling her a dickweed.

Regardless, I hate that movie and I'm tired of hearing about it.

"I'm not sure what the four 9's do, but the ace, I think, is pretty high."

Dec 27, 2007

i still don't think you have a good grasp of how resume screening is done in practice. You receive 1,000 resumes. You spend 1 minute per resume. You draw on your own experience and biases to assess which candidates can, and cannot do, the job. For those candidates that you think can't do the job and you don't like to work with, you ding. You do not give chances to everyone. If you are hiring 40 analysts, there are usually 2x the number of resumes who fit the profile of your "ideal candidate" on paper. You interview them, and not the rest. You do not spend hours trying to uncover gems.

In my case, it's lawyers (ding straightaway) and ex Indian IT consultants (take a harder look. Note: I did not say I will ding the indian IT guy on sight). Everyone screens resumes using their own rules of thumb. For some of my other colleagues, they will ding anyone with a soft major (e.g. fine arts, music) or who goes to a non-target school. You may squeal: why should we ding anyone just because he's from non-target? that guy's got good grades and extra-curricular and may be the best analysts we will ever hire, but thousands of candidates get dinged every year simply because they come from a non-target - doesn't matter how smart or accomplished they are. Non-target = ding, for many interviewers. Too bad. There are just too many ivy kids with the "ideal profile" that I can pick from.

It's really the same thing as what I am saying: there may be some ex Indian IT consultants, lawyers or non-targets who can do the job damn well, but recruiting is based on the majority cases (as drawn from the experience of the interviewer), not the minority cases.

Dec 27, 2007

As a law student (but one who's taking the CFA in December), I don't fault you for the lawyer-aversion. Lots of lawyers are douchebags. (Seems like lots of bankers are, too, but whatever.) And lots of them are really clueless about banking and just want to do it because they figure it's just like law but pays better. I think the onus is on lawyers to rebut the presumption that they lack the skills, and they should approach the interviews with that in mind.

Dec 27, 2007

This will be the last post I make in response to this, so I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. First, I appreciate you (a first year associate according to your profile...when did you graduate from B-school again?) trying to lecture me on "real world" recruiting practices that I apparently don't grasp (after 3 years of banking and subsequent recruiting). Second, at the bank we were at, we worked in recruiting teams, so kids from Duke in one pile, Stern in another, non-targets in another. Non-target was not an issue and there was no temptation to ding straight on school. I'm not arguing that people don't use irrational methods during their initial screening processes (or even thereafter), but I am pointing out that it's just that, irrational.

Dec 27, 2007

I understand where you're coming from Banana, but you need to realize that you've probably offended some people (Indians and lawyers / future lawyers). Not to mention that you've made it seem like discrimination based on your ridiculous stereotypes is common place. Yes, people are going to have natural biases, but most who realize that they have these (like you do) try hard to stop themselves from continuing the practice (what you should do).

From your post: "I am very discreet about my sexuality and so I am not comfortable joining one of those official LGBT networks in my bank."

How would you react if someone posted a forum claiming that their biases in candidate selection automatically dinged anyone they thought was part of the LGBT network?

Seriously, don't post such inflamatory threads and then claim that people on the board are overreacting and didn't understand you.

"I still don't think you have a good grasp of how resume screening is done in practice"

You don't have any idea how resume screening should be done, and I pity the group that lets you continue to screen resumes.

Dec 27, 2007

Milkshake.

What's your point? Did you really think people would say things like 1) I don't like black guys 2) I don't like obvious homosexuals 3) other politically incorrect statements

What was your intent? Just to stir a bit of controversy late at night.

I feel sorry for you.

Dec 27, 2007

Gunned down.

This just in: Slaughter on wwww.wallstreetoasis.com

Dec 27, 2007

Bankers are far bigger douchebags than lawyers. I say this as a banker.

Dec 27, 2007
taylorman_23:

Bankers are far bigger douchebags than lawyers. I say this as a banker.

Agreed, haha. At least some lawyers go into their field with genuine interest for what they do (hence, the youth's enthusiasm with the major due to its 'defend justice' motive). Bankers (and I guess most fellow business students) are practically unanimous in their underlying reason for entering the banking field: money.

Dec 27, 2007

I understand about the x-IT indian consultants because they do fake resumes a lot. I personally know a guy who got fired from Deloitte 9months after he faked a resume and got a job.

Dec 27, 2007

I second that..but it spoils everyone's reputation and it sucks when recruiters have bias against all indians coz of those liars....I have seen lot of Indians fake their resumes and show lot of work exp, even though they might be straight out of school...its ridiculous and hurts normal candidates like us...

P.S- I am Indian and one of the very few honest ones...

Dec 27, 2007

I am biased against White people.

Dec 27, 2007

i just want to go back to the topic of the original post and the banana_milkshake's comment in an earlier post of a bias against non-traditional backgrounds. i would appreciate comments from anybody or from banana_milkshake, as i intend to pursue a career in banking and finance after i graduate, and hope to start out as an investment banking analyst.

i come from a non-traditional major (medicine) but study at a target (medical) school (oxbridge), and i applied to many bulge-brackets in London and one single bulge-bracket in Asia. i would say my resume is between above-average and ideal. my resume looks something like this: top grades in medical school, leadership experience , previous finance experience with a fund.

of all the london applications that i made, i received ZERO invites for even a first-round interview, whereas for the only BB IBD that i applied for in HK BB IBD, everything went smoothly, got a first-round invite, nailed the superday and got along great with the interviewers and got the offer a few days later. so my london apps were pretty much a disaster and if i hadn't made that single application to HK i wouldn't have ended up with any summer analyst position this year.

i'm still lost as to why i wasn't even considered for a first-round interview in the london offices. was this because i was an asian? did i have more success with the HK office because i was asian and had some language skills?

i would have thought recruiters in london would have been more open to non-traditional backgrounds such as medicine, whereas HK recruiters would be more conservative and also have much more applications from finance/business backgrounds (99% of asians go into engineering/math/finance/business). was it my medicine and non-quantitative background that put the london recruiters off?

or did the credit crunch and downturn in recruiting in Europe/US have more to do with my lack of success in the london apps?

i feel i have the right reasons for doing IBD, the right skills, the finance knowledge and quant skills to do the job. i've gone through ross' fundamentals of corp fin, mba-level txtbooks on finance and economics. i felt like i sailed through the technical questions (i was asked to derive Gordon Growth formula from first principles and explain unlevered/levered beta, CAPM, WACC, calculating FCF etc) and fit questions, and i would probably have gotten multiple offers if i had been invited to more superdays.

would appreciate any comments on this, as i am hoping to start out as a FT analyst in a london BB IBD and hope to have more success this fall with the FT applications for london.

would also be interested on knowing recruiter's take on non-traditional backgrounds, e.g. medicine, non-quant major, or post-grads

Dec 27, 2007

im just a student now. but if i get to review resumes for my school in a couple of years, i would give interviews to people who remind me of myself.

Dec 27, 2007

Quote: godofsmallthings on 3/6/08 at 7:42pm: I understand about the x-IT indian consultants because they do fake resumes a lot. I personally know a guy who got fired from Deloitte 9months after he faked a resume and got a job."

Well, i guess there are honest chaps like you around, so good luck with your applications.

Anyway, to Gametheory and who else out there, we'll just have to agree to disagree then since I've said all that I wanted to say. It's just too bad if I've touched a raw nerve with some people. I don't really care.

Dec 27, 2007

more biases:

  1. i don't have a uber high GPA. so i won't put major weight on GPA. as long as you have a 3.5+, you are fine and your GPA won't factor into my decision making at all.
  2. if you are in a rival fraternity, you are screwed.
  3. if all you have on your resume are extracurriculars (fraternity/clubs) and you have zero working experience, you are screwed.
  4. if you seem like an overachiever/huge tool (all the honors/scholarships you can possibly get and all the "right" clubs at my school), you are semi-screwed. bad fit.
  5. if you have a first name like "chambliss", you are kind of screwed.
Dec 27, 2007

My boss prefers to hire women - the majority of analyst/associate hires over the past 3 years have been female. Clients seem to like it too. No brainer really.

Dec 27, 2007

no they do not understand these policies but you could bring it up in the interview if they ask.

Dec 27, 2007

at the point of comparison between such caliber schools, no one is looking at such a minor GPA difference. At that level, its all about your smooth-talk skill and networking situation.

Dec 27, 2007

[redacted]

Dec 27, 2007

Don't forget that firms try to have alums of schools involved in the recruiting process. That helps them determine what grades/activities are legit and which are fluff, as well as provide a point of in firm comparison.

Dec 27, 2007

I can't believe u got those 2 offers asking a question that is just so stupid

Dec 27, 2007
BigBucks:

I can't believe u got those 2 offers asking a question that is just so stupid

Makes you wonder right?

'Before you enter... be willing to pay the price'

Dec 27, 2007

No. They recruit at schools they attended.

Dec 27, 2007
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Betsy Massar
Come see me at my Q&A thread
http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/b-school-qa-... Ask away!

Dec 27, 2007