How many interviews did you f*up?

EUROPETARGET's picture
Rank: Baboon | banana points 119

I'm just wondering what the ratio for other people is like, I had 4 interviews for spring weeks at BB so far and only got 1 offer. It that normal for summer internships as well? I've read that people got offers from multiple (like 4-5) BB's and EB's. How did your interview went?

My interviews so far:
2 of them went horrible (1 interview was finished after 8-9 Minutes and at the other one, the person who interviewed me seemed not even to know what kind of questions to ask).
1 went really great but still got rejected.
1 was somewhat bad, I was under a lot of time pressure to catch my flight, I felt it was bad, nevertheless, I got the offer

Comments (19)

Best Response
Feb 21, 2018

You only really fuck up an interview if you don't learn anything.

Getting the offer doesn't necessary mean you messed up, sometimes there is just someone better or they already had someone else in mind.

Interviews should also not end after 10 minutes, you should be prepared with information and questions double the schedule interview time.

    • 10
Learn More

7,548 questions across 469 investment banks. The WSO Investment Banking Interview Prep Course has everything you'll ever need to start your career on Wall Street. Technical, Behavioral and Networking Courses + 2 Bonus Modules. Learn more.

Feb 21, 2018
ironman32:

You only really fuck up an interview if you don't learn anything.

Very, very well said.

Feb 22, 2018
ironman32:

You only really fuck up an interview if you don't learn anything.

Getting the offer doesn't necessary mean you messed up, sometimes there is just someone better or they already had someone else in mind.

Interviews should also not end after 10 minutes, you should be prepared with information and questions double the schedule interview time.

100% agree with the first part. Many times, especially in finance, not getting an offer simply means that there were better candidates, not that you did anything wrong. Most of the time, you really could not have done anything differently to change the outcome of the situation.

I disagree with your second part. Are you saying if it's an hour-long interview, one should prepare enough questions to take up two hours? That's extreme, and if you really do get to the point where the interview ends in 10 minutes, you're either dinged already or are being shown a massive red flag about this company and its interview practices.

    • 2
Feb 22, 2018

Let me clarify, the double interview time in questions is not a hard and fast rule.

A better idea would be to be sure to have talking topics, smart questions to ask and some communication skills. If they cut it off after 10 minutes, just chalk it up to there really wasn't anything you could have done to get the role. However, if the person interviewing talks for a couple minutes then answers for questions, be able to provide some and "steer" the interview the way you want it to go.

For example, if the job said we want someone who knows how to do a DCF, include that on you resume but also find a way to work it in.

When you get to an interview, usually you have a solid resume and its all face time. Part of banking is selling, and the first part of that is selling yourself.

    • 2
Feb 22, 2018
ironman32:

For example, if the job said we want someone who knows how to do a DCF, include that on you resume but also find a way to work it in.

This is very, very solid advice. Once I learned to work my background into all my answers, interviews went a lot smoother.

Feb 23, 2018

Yeah let me also say that the length of time someone spends with you doesn't necessarily mean anything. It's the quality of that time. I had a superday and one of the last guys I talked to literally spent 5 minutes with me and only asked "why should we hire you?" I gave my answer, he got up, shook my hand and left. Thought I was fucked, but turned out he was one of the stronger advocates for me and to him, my answer to that simple question on selling myself was enough.

In asking questions, you just want to avoid awkwardness. Asking too many questions when the person wants to leave doesn't go well and doesn't leave a good impression. If it goes short, try to ask only a couple of actually relevant and interesting questions, maybe get them talking about themselves or a deal or something. That way you can eat up a few minutes but they're talking and engaged, and it doesn't feel like you're checking the clock trying to fill the remaining 10 minutes. You just have to read the person more than anything because no two people and no two interviews are the same. Your goal is to make a connection and the impression that you get what's going on. If they have to run, pace the conversation to show that you get it and you don't want to waste their time (doing so confidently and without panicking of course). If they've got plenty of time and they seem to want you to keep talking, then try to get into a meatier topic.

Feb 23, 2018

Don't know about the effectiveness of this, but sometimes when I've asked my good questions, I'll let the interviewer know that I want to be respectful of his/her time. I will either get told that they have enough time for 1-2 more questions or they just have so much time that after asking enough questions to the point that it's not worth it for the both of us, I tell them that that's all of the major questions I had and that I'll email them I have more.

Many times, the interviewer will actually tell you that they have a hard stop or time limit, which is actually really helpful because you get to ask 2-3 of your best questions and then the interview ends.

Feb 21, 2018

Thank you! Actually this reminds me of my search for summer internships as well, I applied to a bunch of places fucked up the technicals but kept improving till I actually answered all the questions (naturally with the help of BIWS) and finally got an offer at a mid-cap m&a boutique after my first year.

Nevertheless, once I'm finished with midterms next week I want to start networking regarding the 2019 SA programs, how can I tackle this task? Should I just start to cold-email people from my country who are working in london?

Feb 22, 2018

Browse WSO and M&I to learn how to network the right way. Its very important that you follow convention with regard to your emails and phone calls, because in my experience people will expect you to err on the side of formality. I would get my story down, keep reviewing the technicals, and start practicing the typical behavioral questions now too. If you keep at it you'll get there, no doubt.

Feb 22, 2018

If you finished in 8 or 9 minutes then it means you're really under-prepared and/or a horrible conversator. Don't go into an interview expecting it to be a one-sided interrogation, where they just lob you question after question to answer. It should be more like a conversation and you're expected to arrive with some prepared questions too. You'll know you had a great interview if you go through the entire thing and they don't ask you more than one or two prepared questions because the conversation was flowing so seamlessly.

My rough rule of thumb is a 25% success rate, as it generally seems like there's 1 spot available per every 4 or 5 candidates at a super-day. So if you're below a 25% success rate then you're probably not doing something that successful candidates are.

Feb 22, 2018

I bombed my first few formal interviews. I was nervous and didn't know how to properly prepare. The more you do the better you'll get.

Feb 22, 2018

Make sure you take notes of your mistakes. I have made the adjustments and this has resulted in Superdays.

Work hard, work clean, & most of all do not give up.

Feb 23, 2018

I once told an interviewer that their question was a very odd question, so don't feel too bad.

Feb 23, 2018

Interesting... I told the VP interviewing me that another BB had asked me more interesting questions.... I still wonder why Blackrock has rejected me after that interview hahaha

    • 1
Feb 23, 2018

Had 6 interviews in my life and landed 2 roles. agree with what top comment said about learning. The biggest problem is how many jobs i've applied to vs how many interviews I've landed. I dont really know how to learn from not hearing back...

    • 1
Feb 23, 2018

The first finance interview I had was horrible. Was a phone interview with two associates at a small boutique. I was super nervous and not well enough prepared for many of the questions. At first, I was really disappointed with me, however, afterwards I realized that it was a massive learning opportunity.

Since that interview, every interview I had went really well because I prepared thoroughly in advance.

Keep in mind that selling yourself at an interview is a quite difficult skill and you can't expect to be born with it. So don't worry if you messed up your first interviews, but see them as learning opportunities. It is important, though, that you go over the interview again and think about what you did wrong and how you can improve.

    • 1
Feb 23, 2018

I feel this. I had 5 super days.. got rejected by the first 3 but then got the offer from the last 2. Learned a ton from those first 3 interviews though. Just goes to show that its only a failure if you get nothing from those interviews that can't be used for the next one.

Feb 23, 2018

Didn't mess up any interviews except 2 (one technical wrong and one fit question I answered poorly) but thats because those were my first few... I did reach out to the ones that didn't move on to the superday. Most of them told me I did nothing wrong but it was just how the MD felt since they could only take a few kids. However, my last one I made sure I got everything fixed up. It was my only offer and last interview. Best of luck and always learn from your mistakes. Sometimes the interviewers are nice enough to give you adequate feedback for you to make the next one better.

Feb 23, 2018

1-Click to Unlock All Comments - 100% FREE

Why do I need to be signed in?
WSO is a knowledge-sharing community that depends on everyone being able to pitch in when they know something.
+ Bonus: 6 Free Financial Modeling Lessons with 1-Click Signup ($199 value)
    • 1