How to answer "what do you see yourself doing long term" in a banking interview

Hi all,

I know that whenever someone in IB asks you where do you see yourself in five years, you obviously want to say banking with them. With that being said, I really want to know how someone can effectively answer that question without looking like a total liar.

Is it true that places like Moelis who are receptive to PE recruiting (this is just from what I heard through grapevine) might call BS on that? If so, how would you structure your answer if they ask you a question like that?

Would love to know your thoughts.

Comments (3)

Jun 11, 2019

I innocently and foolishly thought I could be more honest about my long term career goals with bankers, and that resulted in me not being at a bank. It did, however, make it super easy when asked the same question at a buy side firm in the area I wanted all along. While it came together for me, I don't recommend that strategy. Regardless of context, if a banker asks you this and you want to even work there for just a year, tell them you want banking for as long as you can foresee.

Frame it as understanding that you can't possibly know what you'll truly want then because you lack experience now, but based on what you do know, this is the path you want to take. Gives them a sense that you are humble and understand that your perspective is limited, and at the same time you are checking the banker-for-life box.

JUST DO IT. Don't let your memes be dreams.

Most Helpful
Jun 11, 2019

I was able to answer this honestly and I think it was one of the primary reasons I landed a FT offer. I demonstrated an understanding of how IB changes form Analyst to more senior roles ie. grunt to relationship management. I then highlighted my personality and understanding that the technical analyst period is mandatory for long term success in banking but I really saw myself thriving in a relationship management role given my background.

TL;DR Develop and understanding of what a career in banking looks like then mention what aspects of that you enjoy and thats why you want to stay in banking long term (~5 years).

    • 2
Jun 11, 2019