How many interviews did you f*up?

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

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Comments (55)

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.

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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.

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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.

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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 23, 2018

If you're getting dinged by literally everyone you need to do a hard review of yourself buddy. That's the only way you will get an offer.

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Feb 23, 2018

If you didn't manage to get an offer this semester, I'd say delay your graduation or network like crazy until your graduation in May. Try to shoot for internships, especially off-cycle and summer internships!

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Feb 23, 2018

Yea... I was actually talking to some older people in the finance industry earlier this week. They were telling me about how they graduated no-name schools with liberal arts majors and were clueless during senior year and still landed in their dream careers out of college, or no more than 2 years out of college.

It's funny how 3 GS/MS/JPM internships and 4.0 from top school is pretty much a pre-requisite for anything decent nowadays.

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Feb 23, 2018

Have you considered reaching out to boutiques? Many do not do any formal recruiting. Gaining some experience at one before lateraling is one option.

wanttobreakin111:

Yea... I was actually talking to some older people in the finance industry earlier this week. They were telling me about how they graduated no-name schools with liberal arts majors and were clueless during senior year and still landed in their dream careers out of college, or no more than 2 years out of college.

Times have changed. The number of spots at banks has not increased at the same rate as the number of college graduates has.

Feb 23, 2018

yeah, lots of dings. FT recruiting is tough when 15 people are gunning for 1 seat.

Feb 23, 2018

even that is no guarantee. everything is made exponentially tougher now because of the ever increasing pool of applicants. more technicals, more rounds, more grilling and posturing, so they can whittle the pool down

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Feb 23, 2018

I just graduated from a target MBA program. I had 30+ first rounds (every single industry... banking, consulting, corp strat/dev, FLDP, etc..) and got about 12 final rounds which converted to 3 offers. The whole process was a huge pain in the ass and took up my entire 2nd year of school. By the time I had graduated I became so good at interviews (unfortunately after burning through several BBs in the beginning) that I ended up with my 3 offers within the same week.

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Feb 23, 2018

I really feel that the human capital market is extremely inefficient... Someone who may be far more qualified for a job will often times get dinged in favor of some idiot who just happens to possess the ability to fake a smile and charm the interviewer. People really get dinged for extremely arbitrary things...

Especially with large organizations, where interviewers who are given the discretion/power of choosing who moves on to the next round have little to no incentive to ACTUALLY analyze and pick out the best talent for their companies. Most interviewers from large companies I've interviewed with really just go off personal impression, are too lazy to actually read the resumes before the interview, and just want to GTFO back to their hometown.

Seriously..the only people who have truly scrutinized my resume and tried to find out my real talent are boutique MDs. They actually have a stake in my failure/success as a hire. All the big places have such a "industrialized" process.

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Feb 23, 2018

Obviously. But the key is to learn how to smile and charm the interviewer along with bringing skills to the table, not to complain that people aren't searching for your talents enough. Bring your talents to the table yourself. Be personable, be confident. This whole woe is me schtick is probably the same mentality that's getting you dinged.

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Feb 23, 2018
wanttobreakin111:

I really feel that the human capital market is extremely inefficient... Someone who may be far more qualified for a job will often times get dinged in favor of some idiot who just happens to possess the ability to fake a smile and charm the interviewer. People really get dinged for extremely arbitrary things...

Especially with large organizations, where interviewers who are given the discretion/power of choosing who moves on to the next round have little to no incentive to ACTUALLY analyze and pick out the best talent for their companies. Most interviewers from large companies I've interviewed with really just go off personal impression, are too lazy to actually read the resumes before the interview, and just want to GTFO back to their hometown.

Seriously..the only people who have truly scrutinized my resume and tried to find out my real talent are boutique MDs. They actually have a stake in my failure/success as a hire. All the big places have such a "industrialized" process.

So...what you're saying is that you get how the game is played yet you still can't use that knowledge to help yourself? Your attitude and "jaded" personality is probably what is off-putting and ruining your chances during interviews. Like I said, do a review of your personality and see if people would actually like working with you.

The system isn't perfect. Learn to get used to it.

Feb 23, 2018
GrandJury:

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So...what you're saying is that you get how the game is played yet you still can't use that knowledge to help yourself? Your attitude and "jaded" personality is probably what is off-putting and ruining your chances during interviews. Like I said, do a review of your personality and see if people would actually like working with you.

The system isn't perfect. Learn to get used to it.

Amen to this. Calm down and good luck!

Also, it's funny someone started this thread earlier: http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/hey-you-ocr-...
Hope it could help even for a bit?

Feb 23, 2018
wanttobreakin111:

I really feel that the human capital market is extremely inefficient... Someone who may be far more qualified for a job will often times get dinged in favor of some idiot who just happens to possess the ability to fake a smile and charm the interviewer. People really get dinged for extremely arbitrary things...

Especially with large organizations, where interviewers who are given the discretion/power of choosing who moves on to the next round have little to no incentive to ACTUALLY analyze and pick out the best talent for their companies. Most interviewers from large companies I've interviewed with really just go off personal impression, are too lazy to actually read the resumes before the interview, and just want to GTFO back to their hometown.

Seriously..the only people who have truly scrutinized my resume and tried to find out my real talent are boutique MDs. They actually have a stake in my failure/success as a hire. All the big places have such a "industrialized" process.

This answer explains your dings. IB , let alone business, is relationship-based .

Feb 23, 2018

Welcome to life. Get with the program or you are going to have a very hard-life, forget making it into banking. Client facing roles are largely about people skills and you make it sound like you have none. Trust me, your resume is most likely un-impressive. Not because of what is on it, but because there are 152 other kids exactly like you.

Feb 23, 2018

I do have people skills in terms of building camaraderie with co-workers and getting along with friends. I just suck at interviews, it's really a different dimension of communication that I'm not used to.

Feb 23, 2018

Whoever threw MS at this post clearly didn't receive multiple interviews from top-notch elite firms and doesn't have in-depth insight on the process.

Super insightful and deep post.

wanttobreakin111:

I really feel that the human capital market is extremely inefficient... Someone who may be far more qualified for a job will often times get dinged in favor of some idiot who just happens to possess the ability to fake a smile and charm the interviewer. People really get dinged for extremely arbitrary things...

Especially with large organizations, where interviewers who are given the discretion/power of choosing who moves on to the next round have little to no incentive to ACTUALLY analyze and pick out the best talent for their companies. Most interviewers from large companies I've interviewed with really just go off personal impression, are too lazy to actually read the resumes before the interview, and just want to GTFO back to their hometown.

Seriously..the only people who have truly scrutinized my resume and tried to find out my real talent are boutique MDs. They actually have a stake in my failure/success as a hire. All the big places have such a "industrialized" process.

"I do not think that there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature."

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Feb 23, 2018

Did FT recruiting last year. Had about 15 first rounds which translated into 5 superdays and ultimately 1 offer. Fortunately that one place happened to a top choice for me.

Feb 23, 2018

I wouldnt say OCR recruiting season is almost over. As a matter of fact a few firms are still conducting interviews until the end of Oct and early Nov. This info was made by a recruiter thats an alumni of my school that knows the process since the 90s.

Feb 23, 2018

It's relatively clear your issue is you. You need to work on your personality a bit, learn to relax. The guy who walks into that interview room and actually DOES smile, act personable, be inquisitive, etc. is the one who goes round two. Contrary to popular belief, in my opinion R1 is about eliminating robots, people that aren't interesting, non personable, etc. That way in R2 and final they can focus on the nitty gritty with people that are actually worth it.

Feb 23, 2018

As someone who never was successful for with OCR but still able to eventually land roles. I would say that continue working on interview skills and keep looking out for roles. The more interviews, the better able to polish skills.

Feb 23, 2018

Join a frat or a varsity sports team and become a bro.

Feb 23, 2018

Dont worry man, I didnt even have the opportunity to get dinged by OCR. I had networking phone calls and totally fcked it up, but it led me to think about how to structure my next calls so I can lead the conversation to topics about their hobbies and etc.

The point is your gonna fck up a bunch of times before you become good at this stuff. Just try and think about what happened afterwards; remember how the conversation flowed and where you messed up, then practice on fixing it.

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Feb 23, 2018

Thanks man. I assume that you're younger than me though, so you still have time. Your attitude will get you places, I'm still working on mine! Good luck.

Feb 23, 2018
wanttobreakin111:

Thanks man. I assume that you're younger than me though, so you still have time. Your attitude will get you places, I'm still working on mine! Good luck.

This is the person that does well in interviews. Be this person, even when you don't feel like it, even when you've failed 100 times. You just need one shot.

Feb 23, 2018

Well, if ur still in undergrad, then Im a bit older than u, but that doesnt matter. I had another network call earlier today, I set my focus on the flow of the conversation, and that went well-- For my speech, I still see a lot of room for improvements; stutter here, pause there, but I am conscious and focused on fixing it.

I have a mental list of items to focus on before I enter any speaking situation.

Feb 23, 2018

If you're actually getting first-round interviews, that's definitely a positive sign. Your resume's job is to get you in the door- anything else is on you. I would do some mock interviews with alums, and friends/colleagues who work in the industry to make sure your story is tight, make sure your technicals are sound, etc.

Barring that, I would start targeting off-campus opportunities (companies that would provide a good experience, but don't do OCR at your school). The thing about OCR to remember is if you're a rock star (on paper), things can go well for you. But sometimes even being above average (on paper) isn't necessarily enough and you can still miss out on a lot of opportunities.

Hope that helps
-Otto

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there" - Will Rogers

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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 23, 2018

Like 2.

Feb 23, 2018

The first 3 ish times I interviewed for anything (college undergrad) I was scared and awful. Then I decided I had to grow a pair and realize it's just a conversation where you talk about yourself. Took another 1 or 2 to get used to my own answers.

If you've been interviewed more than maybe 5 or 6 times in your life and you still feel uncomfortable, there might be a bigger issue. If you can't talk to interviewers and you can't get it though your head that it's not hard, you probably need to talk to more people in general. Go to parties and talk to people you don't know. Talk to your friends' parents who have important jobs. Try to set up a meeting with big shots at your school if you're a student -- president of university, major deans, etc. If you can get comfortable in those situations, interviewing is no different.

Feb 23, 2018

-

"I say to him, encouragingly: "Don't worry, Dikembe, breakfast's on Blackstone."
And that's the best part about working in finance." - LSO

Feb 23, 2018

It probably took me about 3 interviews to finally feel comfortable and feel like satisfied. I did a few mock interviews with some friends who already received FT offers from banks such as WF and GS, which really helped. Main thing is that you need to get your story down perfectly. Practice it over and over until you can do it in your sleep. I was nervous in almost every interview but I got more and more comfortable when I realized that botching an interview isn't the end of the world. Just relax and sound confident. I am a big believer of faking it till you make it.

Feb 23, 2018

I bombed my first and then killed all the other ones. Everyone else said it right. Do a ton of mock interviews with friends and this will help you big time. The mocks are what get you comfortable answering all the odd one-off questions.

Feb 23, 2018

Mocks are huge. I was one of those people that didn't believe in mock interviews initially, and thought that practicing my story in my head would be sufficient. I was terribly wrong. First IB SA interview I had was very below average, and the following 2 were even worse. That's when I started hopping on the phone for mock interviews and also doing in-person ones.

I would say that after 4 interviews and many MOCK interviews I was completely confident.

Feb 23, 2018

I think it is important to note that nearly everyone still feels a little anxious about interviews before going in / feels like things could have gone better if they had done something differently during the interview. If you are not a little bit nervous, I think you probably do not understand how important the interview is. If you are not thinking about the interview and how you can change things to do better next time, you will probably not get that much better as time goes on.

You will probably never feel that you did everything perfect and will never feel like you are 100% prepared going in. That doesn't mean you shouldn't be confident that you will do well. The world's best musicians still get a little nervous before shows, make mistakes, and wish they did this and that - and some of them have done shows 200-300 nights a year for decades.

Feb 23, 2018

It shouldn't take many. Recognize what areas you are lacking in (technical, behavioral, even small talk) and work to correct those problems.

Feb 23, 2018

Took me awhile. For everyone, it will differ a good amount but as long as you can see an improvement from one interview to the next, that is most important.

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

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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...

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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.

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Feb 23, 2018
Feb 23, 2018
Feb 23, 2018