Interview horror story! Felt need to share. (kind of long)

I will exclude the name of the firm and MD but maybe someone can figure it (I doubt it though). I just back from a P.E. firm and know for a fact I will not get hired for a s.a. position. Technically I won't know till Thursday but it's pretty obvious I won't get a shot.

The P.E. firm is a boutique firm where the CEO interviewed me directly. The interview lasted for about 1.5 hours. Worst case scenario, the person that interviewed me reads this and doesn't hire me just like he planned.

It started as the usual, tell me about your self. I walked through my resume/skills and this is where it started getting really weird. In my school I am in my student investment group. We get to use real capital to invest. He asked me to explain the fund to him-I do. Now get this, he grills me over how moronic the fund is and how it should be dissolved. I explain that the purpose of the fund is the help students to learn about the markets and some of the profits are used to fund CFA, CPA tests, trips to banks and few scholarships.

He asked me to show him the online performance spreadsheet - I do. He notices it is very volatile at times. Just like any school, there is an attrition issue and during semester breaks fund performance suffers because people aren't there. I get grilled over how this is moronic and pointless because people are not committed (which is true) but then he continues to grill me about how should ask for the fund to dissolved because "we are piss*ng away money". Anyways this went on for 10 minutes.

Then he asked me to explain my previous internship experiences. I had a pwm experience. He then grilled me for doing PWM instead of banking or another P.E. position. I explained I was a freshman and was trying to learn, I figured I did not like it and wanted to do something else. He said that was moronic and I should have figured out what PWM was about.

He went on to say in the process I didn't really learn anything about analyzing companies or real skills beyond talking to a few people and "wasted 3 months of my life". He said I should have tried to pitch equities or other assets to my PWM firm (given that is not the intern's job nor role of that position).

He then asks me abstract questions about P.E. They included, "what is the secret to a P.E. firm's success", "why do you think I'm successful" and something else. My responses of quality analysis, volume of deals, networking, relationship making, hard work, etc. were apparently all wrong. (This interview just kept getting worse).

Then we had this weird pitch experiment. I got a hypothetical company, he said all the analysis was perfect and everyone in the room except one person will agree with me. What will I do? I gave a series of responses as to how to get that person to agree with me or how to compromise on the company or develop another pitch.

In the hypothetical the person (my interviewee) kept saying no. This went on for 10 minutes with more extensive periods of awkward silences. Then he said the moral of the story was "Managers can be wrong". From all of that - that 1 line. Moving on.

Finally I got a few technical questions, including run me through an LBO. These were the only ones I got right and he had a smile on his face.

After wasting a few hours of my life, I felt the need to share this to blow off steam. I know I won't get the position and feel like all the things I got dinged for was not my fault. I can't force people to show up to meetings, I can't (nor will) cause a school to dissolve an investment fund, I can't make a division that has no say offer an asset to investors, etc. I know I sound like I might be whining a little but wanted to give everyone an idea as to what might go wrong in an interview and you have no control over it. That's life.

Note: I did not get the job as expected. He told me he was sure of two other MBA students prior to me getting there.

Interview Coming Up? Be Prepared.

Comments (64)

May 15, 2012

Would you really want to work for that guy anyways?

Answer: Fuck no.

May 15, 2012
bonks:

Would you really want to work for that guy anyways?

Answer: Fuck no.

I agree. Catch-22 is I will probably never get a shot to work at a P.E. firm ever again in my life. Seems like a once in a lifetime chance.

May 15, 2012
prudentinvestor:
bonks:

Would you really want to work for that guy anyways?

Answer: Fuck no.

I agree. Catch-22 is I will probably never get a shot to work at a P.E. firm ever again in my life. Seems like a once in a lifetime chance.

Hah, don't kid yourself. If you want it you'll get another opportunity.

May 15, 2012

I wouldn't get too caught up in this. It sounds like his entire objective from the get-go was to make you feel uncomfortable and awkward and see how you would respond. If you answered all his questions with a straight face (no matter how awkward or uncomfortable they made you feel, or how wrong or right you thought you were), I would say you did pretty well. At a boutique firm, he's probably more interested in fit and personality than your technical skills, which will likely be almost nonexistent considering that you're a sophomore/rising junior from the looks of it.

prudentinvestor:

Finally I got a few technical questions, including run me through an LBO. These were the only ones I got right and he had a smile on his face.

And this sounds pretty positive. He threw the technicals at you, and you handled them well. Don't count yourself out just yet.

May 15, 2012

I had an interview like this once and I know it wasn't me. There are a lot of ass clowns (a technical term) in this business. It sucks that you had to meet one, but it's better to just put it behind you and move on.

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May 15, 2012
Ravenous:

I had an interview like this once and I know it wasn't me. There are a lot of ass clowns (a technical term) in this business. It sucks that you had to meet one, but it's better to just put it behind you and move on.

I had an interviewer like that at one of those elite boutiques for SA. 3 including a head guy liked me over the phone, so I was invited to speak with another bankers but I turned them down because the 4th guy was an ass. He even told me that he would not consider me unless the other guys wanted me.

May 15, 2012

Maybe he was just fucking with you, seeing how you handle those situations?

Otherwise he seems like an ass

May 15, 2012
Bobb:

Maybe he was just fucking with you, seeing how you handle those situations?

Otherwise he seems like an ass

I doubt he was trying to see how I handle anything. Every time I tried to defend myself or a certain course of action, he kept cutting me off.

May 15, 2012

Note: I am trying to reply but for some reason it is not working.

Thanks for the feedback guys. I needed to hear something. The issue I have is that he should have seen on my resume, I did a PWM and worked for a investment management firm (at my school). If he was going to grill the absolute hell out of me, HE SHOULDN'T"T HAVE INTERVIEWED ME IN THE FIRST PLACE!

That's what ticks me off the most. If he thought the whole thing was moronic he should have just thrown my resume in the trash. I am just going to chill out for the rest of the day instead of being productive at anything.

    • 1
May 18, 2012
prudentinvestor:

Note: I am trying to reply but for some reason it is not working.

Thanks for the feedback guys. I needed to hear something. The issue I have is that he should have seen on my resume, I did a PWM and worked for a investment management firm (at my school). If he was going to grill the absolute hell out of me, HE SHOULDN'T"T HAVE INTERVIEWED ME IN THE FIRST PLACE!

That's what ticks me off the most. If he thought the whole thing was moronic he should have just thrown my resume in the trash. I am just going to chill out for the rest of the day instead of being productive at anything.

Thats the thing - why would the MD of a boutique waste his time interviewing an intern for lulz? Obviously they saw some potential. I agree with the comments above - they were probably just looking for a solid attitude. Definitely don't count yourself out yet. But next time (hopefully there won't be), post this kind of thing after you get the result.

Best of luck buddy.

May 15, 2012
lifegoeson:
prudentinvestor:

Note: I am trying to reply but for some reason it is not working.

Thanks for the feedback guys. I needed to hear something. The issue I have is that he should have seen on my resume, I did a PWM and worked for a investment management firm (at my school). If he was going to grill the absolute hell out of me, HE SHOULDN'T"T HAVE INTERVIEWED ME IN THE FIRST PLACE!

That's what ticks me off the most. If he thought the whole thing was moronic he should have just thrown my resume in the trash. I am just going to chill out for the rest of the day instead of being productive at anything.

Thats the thing - why would the MD of a boutique waste his time interviewing an intern for lulz? Obviously they saw some potential. I agree with the comments above - they were probably just looking for a solid attitude. Definitely don't count yourself out yet. But next time (hopefully there won't be), post this kind of thing after you get the result.

Best of luck buddy.

I didn't get the job as expected. Got the confirmation, now not really sure what to do for the summer.

May 15, 2012

Sometimes you get this attitude because these Fund Heads with years of experience are sick of young kids fresh out of school coming in spewing all those canned responses. So he took some time to rip you in half and 'put you back in your place'. The whole 'tell me why im successful' question leads me to believe he was looking for you to acknowledge his superiority. I wouldnt be surprised if you went to the school he wanted to go to but got dinged or couldn't afford way back when.

Would you want to work for someone like this? Probably not but some of the best experiences you can get are from these hardass cultures where they're very demanding and come down on you for not knowing the answer beforehand. It makes you feel like shit but those are the lessons you never forget.

May 15, 2012

OP, I do agree with alot of what everyone else has said, but I want to point out one thing.

prudentinvestor:

Then we had this weird pitch experiment. I got a hypothetical company, he said all the analysis was perfect and everyone in the room except one person will agree with me. What will I do? I gave a series of responses as to how to get that person to agree with me or how to compromise on the company or develop another pitch.

In the hypothetical the person (my interviewee) kept saying no. This went on for 10 minutes with more extensive periods of awkward silences. Then he said the moral of the story was "Managers can be wrong". From all of that - that 1 line. Moving on.

At this point, if he keeps saying no or not giving in, you should have turned the tables on him. You should have asked him why he wasn't sold and without overly doing it, call him out on why he thinks your philosophy is wrong. True story, I know a guy who was pitching an idea to a number of MDs at a bank and effectively told one of the MDs to Fuck Off because he was being adamant against the pitch by calling out the fact that the place where he got his MBA has caused more destruction of wealth in the world than has been created in the last 1000 years. The rest of the MDs got a chuckle at the thought of this and the dissenter shut up because he had just been knocked for being a hard ass who refused to listen to an idea and then started actually asking questions that changed his view. I bring this up because if you had flipped the tables by taking an interest in what he thought was wrong with the deal, then you could have used those negative points as a lynchpin to convince him that his view, while it is his view, is wrong and then give him the reasons why.

May 15, 2012
Frieds:

OP, I do agree with alot of what everyone else has said, but I want to point out one thing.

prudentinvestor:

Then we had this weird pitch experiment. I got a hypothetical company, he said all the analysis was perfect and everyone in the room except one person will agree with me. What will I do? I gave a series of responses as to how to get that person to agree with me or how to compromise on the company or develop another pitch.

In the hypothetical the person (my interviewee) kept saying no. This went on for 10 minutes with more extensive periods of awkward silences. Then he said the moral of the story was "Managers can be wrong". From all of that - that 1 line. Moving on.

At this point, if he keeps saying no or not giving in, you should have turned the tables on him. You should have asked him why he wasn't sold and without overly doing it, call him out on why he thinks your philosophy is wrong. True story, I know a guy who was pitching an idea to a number of MDs at a bank and effectively told one of the MDs to Fuck Off because he was being adamant against the pitch by calling out the fact that the place where he got his MBA has caused more destruction of wealth in the world than has been created in the last 1000 years. The rest of the MDs got a chuckle at the thought of this and the dissenter shut up because he had just been knocked for being a hard ass who refused to listen to an idea and then started actually asking questions that changed his view. I bring this up because if you had flipped the tables by taking an interest in what he thought was wrong with the deal, then you could have used those negative points as a lynchpin to convince him that his view, while it is his view, is wrong and then give him the reasons why.

I did. I asked what issues did you have with the pitch and do you have an alternative idea. His response, "I don't like this company or product". My response, "Would you like to try their product". his response, "I tried it don't like it". Really at this point I had nothing. Besides his point was to show "people can be wrong" but I can't correct an adamant manager now can I?

May 15, 2012

Then you dig deeper into the issue. You, in an non-confrontational way, need to get to the root of the problem. Instead of stopping at "would you like to try the product", you shift gears to "What don't you like about the product or the company" and you spade through the info trying to find a nugget of something to call him on. Part of the pitch is being able to think on your feet and change the line of questioning in order to find out what the real underlying issue is. It doesn't matter whether your pitching a stock, a VC idea, a restructuring pitch or trying to buy a company. What matters is how well you can wade through all the crap and find out what is important to convince him to the contrary. Change gears. Change focus. Change how you target your questions. Just find a way to catch him off guard to give you something you can use or lever his responses (ie "I tried it and don't like it") into something you can use (ie "What didn't you like about the product?"). And sometimes its not about being correct, but about how far you are willing to go to make a point to change someone's mind.

May 15, 2012
Frieds:

Then you dig deeper into the issue. .

I guess you might be right. I feel like I would have gotten dinged either way.

May 15, 2012
Frieds:

Then you dig deeper into the issue. .

I guess you might be right. I feel like I would have gotten dinged either way.

May 15, 2012
Frieds:

Then you dig deeper into the issue. .

I guess you might be right. I feel like I would have gotten dinged either way.

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May 15, 2012

One time I had an interview in a hotel room. I had serious diarrhea though so in the middle of it I just had to excuse myself and go to the washroom within the hotel room. After a very noisy and smelly shit, I resumed the interview. The rest of the hotel room was putrid and it was really awkward when the two interviewers (one of whom was a hot girl) were trying to hide their disgust. Needless to say I didn't get it...

May 15, 2012
manbearpig:

One time I had an interview in a hotel room. I had serious diarrhea though so in the middle of it I just had to excuse myself and go to the washroom within the hotel room. After a very noisy and smelly shit, I resumed the interview. The rest of the hotel room was putrid and it was really awkward when the two interviewers (one of whom was a hot girl) were trying to hide their disgust. Needless to say I didn't get it...

Monkey Business reference?

    • 1
May 15, 2012
manbearpig:

One time I had an interview in a hotel room. I had serious diarrhea though so in the middle of it I just had to excuse myself and go to the washroom within the hotel room. After a very noisy and smelly shit, I resumed the interview. The rest of the hotel room was putrid and it was really awkward when the two interviewers (one of whom was a hot girl) were trying to hide their disgust. Needless to say I didn't get it...

monkey business

    • 1
May 15, 2012
gstackle32:
manbearpig:

One time I had an interview in a hotel room. I had serious diarrhea though so in the middle of it I just had to excuse myself and go to the washroom within the hotel room. After a very noisy and smelly shit, I resumed the interview. The rest of the hotel room was putrid and it was really awkward when the two interviewers (one of whom was a hot girl) were trying to hide their disgust. Needless to say I didn't get it...

monkey business

my immediate thought after reading it lol

    • 1
May 15, 2012
manbearpig:

One time I had an interview in a hotel room. I had serious diarrhea though so in the middle of it I just had to excuse myself and go to the washroom within the hotel room. After a very noisy and smelly shit, I resumed the interview. The rest of the hotel room was putrid and it was really awkward when the two interviewers (one of whom was a hot girl) were trying to hide their disgust. Needless to say I didn't get it...

dude you cribbed this from "Monkey Business"

May 15, 2012
manbearpig:

One time I had an interview in a hotel room. I had serious diarrhea though so in the middle of it I just had to excuse myself and go to the washroom within the hotel room. After a very noisy and smelly shit, I resumed the interview. The rest of the hotel room was putrid and it was really awkward when the two interviewers (one of whom was a hot girl) were trying to hide their disgust. Needless to say I didn't get it...

isnt this from monkey business or something

May 15, 2012
manbearpig:

One time I had an interview in a hotel room. I had serious diarrhea though so in the middle of it I just had to excuse myself and go to the washroom within the hotel room. After a very noisy and smelly shit, I resumed the interview. The rest of the hotel room was putrid and it was really awkward when the two interviewers (one of whom was a hot girl) were trying to hide their disgust. Needless to say I didn't get it...

I was laughing so fucking hard when I was reading this in the book.

May 16, 2012
manbearpig:

One time I had an interview in a hotel room. I had serious diarrhea though so in the middle of it I just had to excuse myself and go to the washroom within the hotel room. After a very noisy and smelly shit, I resumed the interview. The rest of the hotel room was putrid and it was really awkward when the two interviewers (one of whom was a hot girl) were trying to hide their disgust. Needless to say I didn't get it...

Awesome. I'd totally not hire too though...not cause of the smell but the weak-ass anal sphincter. Learn to clench that ass son. Great read.

May 16, 2012
SaucyBacon85:

Learn to clench that ass son.

...Jerry Sandusky? That you?

May 16, 2012

Sometimes people do this just to see your reaction. You could still end up with an offer, you never know. I've seen this done when I was the #2 guy in a 2 on 1 at my previous fund, and my job was simply to ignore the interviewee and when he made any answer that wasn't 100% correct, I was supposed to either chuckle or do something dickish to make him uncomfortable. The guy leading the interview was even worse and I ended up feeling really bad for the guy.

However, any firm that does this is not a place I'd want to work. I found that out pretty quickly.

May 16, 2012
BlackHat:

Sometimes people do this just to see your reaction. You could still end up with an offer, you never know. I've seen this done when I was the #2 guy in a 2 on 1 at my previous fund, and my job was simply to ignore the interviewee and when he made any answer that wasn't 100% correct, I was supposed to either chuckle or do something dickish to make him uncomfortable. The guy leading the interview was even worse and I ended up feeling really bad for the guy.

However, any firm that does this is not a place I'd want to work. I found that out pretty quickly.

My firm does this and having been through it I think that while it's definitely a dick move, you really find out what people are made of. I wouldn't want to work with people who couldn't handle it. If you're doing research and picking securities for a living and you can't stand up to a little scrutiny then I don't want you on my team. Plain and simple.

May 15, 2012

I actually agree that it's possible he was just doing that to see how you handle pressure/defend your ideas, and especially if you got some tough technicals correct, that you're still in the running. Definitely let us know if you end up hearing back.

May 15, 2012

Yeah man, it sounds like you did pretty well actually. You might end up getting an offer, but if you don't... dont lose hope, the dude sounds like a prick anyway

I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

May 15, 2012

Post-interview anxiety is very common among college-aged candidates, and I think that's what you're experiencing right now. You are over-analyzing the interview and second guessing yourself. I am guessing you also occasionally have flashbacks to various moments in your life that make you want to bang your head against the wall.

The only objective data point I have on this interview is that it lasted 90 minutes rather than the typical thirty. And that's a very strong indication that you did well. If you were an idiot, or if he felt it was awkward, he would have gotten you out of there sooner. He didn't, so he probably liked you. Whether he liked you more than all of the other candidates is another question with a much lower r^2.

He probably won't find this, but you may want to edit your post, or if you can't, send me a PM and I can take some stuff down.

    • 1
May 15, 2012
IlliniProgrammer:

Whether he liked you more than all of the other candidates is another question with a much lower r^2.

He probably won't find this, but you may want to edit your post, or if you can't, send me a PM and I can take some stuff down.

Thanks a lot. Thanks to all of you, I definitely feel a "little" better about myself. I think at the end of the day, the stuff that got me the interview is the material that got me dinged. I think I just had that luck where I had exactly the combination of experiences that allowed him to excoriate me but he didn't look carefully over enough the first time thus got me the interview. For some reason I doubt anyone else interviewing is going to have this problem. Most of them are former investment bankers and MBA students from what I understand.

Thanks for the take down offer but I don't (or hope) it won't be an issue.

May 15, 2012
prudentinvestor:
IlliniProgrammer:

Whether he liked you more than all of the other candidates is another question with a much lower r^2.

He probably won't find this, but you may want to edit your post, or if you can't, send me a PM and I can take some stuff down.

Thanks a lot. Thanks to all of you, I definitely feel a "little" better about myself.

As IlliP said, undergrads tend to over analyze their answers after interviews. OP, before you diagnose yourself with depression or low "self-esteem", first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes." -- William Gibson. Your interviewer was either an a.hole or was challenging how you could turn the table on him.

Power and Money do not change men; they only unmask them

May 15, 2012

My feeling towards interviews like these is that they are just trying to test you whether you can deal well under stress. Imagine your clients yelling you over the phone, while your MD and VP yelling at on the other end, would you be able to deal well with stress? Most FO jobs are very confrontational, it is a part of the work, you just have to deal with it.

From what you wrote, like other people on the thread, I don't think you messed up the interview. I think the Partner is just waiting to see at what point you will break down. Based on this, after 90 minutes, you will break down. I think that is what he wants to know. I don't think you performed poorly for the interview.

I had people screaming at me at IBD interviews. And throw pitchbooks at me during the interview. I got called out "bluffing". Interviewers can get confrontational. The only way to do well in these interviews is:
1) not to back down just because they are interviewers
2) argue on the issues only without attacking the person
3) be more confident in asserting your opinion
4) maintain composure at all time

May 15, 2012

Either way, I think it's a great experience to add to your baggage.

May 15, 2012

Please keep us posted. But like a previous poster said, i believe it was a test.

May 15, 2012
prudentinvestor:

Then he asked me to explain my previous internship experiences. I had a pwm experience. He then grilled me for doing PWM instead of banking or another P.E. position. I explained I was a freshman and was trying to learn, I figured I did not like it and wanted to do something else. He said that was moronic and I should have figured out what PWM was about.

He went on to say in the process I didn't really learn anything about analyzing companies or real skills beyond talking to a few people and "wasted 3 months of my life".

This is how I would handle that part of his tirade. Keep in mind that this is an example that can be reworded differently.

I was a freshman, looking for learning opportunities. I understand that my experience at the PWM boutique had its limitation and I know that there is much more to be learned about finance etc..., hence my interest in working/interning at your firm this summer.

You ask me some challenging questions which no other potential employers have asked me before. They are stimulating and are pushing me to think beyond a financial scope.

Then you throw the ball in his camp: When you were in undergrad, what strategies did you use to obtain internships/employment that could nurture your learning potential?

My answer shows two things: His criticism of the PWM is taken well and you hope that you can have a better learning experience if you work at his firm.

But as some others have said, you would probably not want to work for him.

Power and Money do not change men; they only unmask them

    • 1
May 15, 2012
FlakieBear][quote=prudentinvestor:

This is how I would handle that part of his tirade. Keep in mind that this is an example that can be reworded differently.
.

I think, you gave a great response (better than mine) I attempted to give something similar. He kept cutting me off and after 50 or something minutes in this interview I was getting slightly flustered. It was a pressure situation, I remained phlegmatic but he wasn't hearing it. My thought process definitely got impaired going through this.

May 15, 2012

Dude. he just wanted to see how you were handling the pressure. (or he's just a dick). as long as you gave straight answers and put up with his BS (he couldn't have been oblivious to it) you probably did well. I wouldn't auto-ding yourself, ya never know. keep your head and and be optimistic!

May 15, 2012

Maybe that was his odd way of testing your personality or maybe he was just a douche bag. Regardless, consider it a learning experience and move on. There WILL be more opportunities if you continue to push yourself. So don't get down on yourself and keep your spirits up.

Also, write him a thank you email anyway.

"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid"

May 15, 2012

My junior year I had an interview that went pretty much like the one the OP described, and I ended up with an offer that I accepted. The guy I worked for turned out to be an amazing fellow, and the interview was a great way to assess my growth potential as a quick thinker rather than any canned responses that I had prepared. I spent half my career working for him and don't regret it one bit. I'm with the other posters who think that if you had a 90 minute interview, you must have really nailed it.

May 15, 2012

he was testing you. i'll take any bet that you got the offer.

May 15, 2012

He was testing you. Saying no repeatedly to see how you would carry out any 'objection handling'.

You say he wouldn't listen to what you had to say <<< not important when trying to sell someone on something. Addressing the issue by 'flipping it on its head' (as another poster put it), would allow you to draw out the objection, put yourself in his shoes and think through the problem to come up with a way to handle his objection.

Plenty of stuff online about objection handling in the sales process, this stuff is very relevant for interviews, as an interview is nothing more than a direct sales pitch for you and what value you can provide to them. The section at the end of any interview where they ask if you have any questions for them is a perfect place to draw out any objections, ESPECIALLY if they haven't been raised during the interview.

Whenever you hear an objection you should be thinking you can sell this guy because these are typically driven by an underlying emotional response, so if you clear that then the emotions swing from negative to positive in your favour. <<< Something to keep an eye out for in your next interview.

May 15, 2012
iValueValue:

He was testing you. Saying no repeatedly to see how you would carry out any 'objection handling'.

You say he wouldn't listen to what you had to say <<< not important when trying to sell someone on something. Addressing the issue by 'flipping it on its head' (as another poster put it), would allow you to draw out the objection, put yourself in his shoes and think through the problem to come up with a way to handle his objection.

Plenty of stuff online about objection handling in the sales process, this stuff is very relevant for interviews, as an interview is nothing more than a direct sales pitch for you and what value you can provide to them. The section at the end of any interview where they ask if you have any questions for them is a perfect place to draw out any objections, ESPECIALLY if they haven't been raised during the interview.

Whenever you hear an objection you should be thinking you can sell this guy because these are typically driven by an underlying emotional response, so if you clear that then the emotions swing from negative to positive in your favour. <<< Something to keep an eye out for in your next interview.

Thanks a lot. I will definitely keep this in mind. I will research this in the future.

May 15, 2012

If it makes you feel any better, I have a similar story (yet I'll admit it was not as intense as yours). I just finished my junior year, and in an attempt to get an internship within ibanking or private equity, I cold called numerous IB and PE firms that were reasonably close to me over the course of the past year (my school does not have the best network when it comes to IB and PE).

Anyways, I ended up calling over 200 firms, and had a couple phone and in person interviews. I had this one particular phone interview with the MD of a boutique PE shop, and he was so awkward. He asked me questions about my experience/grades, but he seemed really unimpressed. I don't think I've ever had that many awkward silences in one interview before. I thought for sure this guy was going to forget about me the second he turned off the phone.

...In the end, of all of the firms that I cold called, this was the only one that gave me an offer. I talked to another person in the firm a few weeks later when I went in for an in-person interview, and he told me that the MD just has a really serious, no-bs personality. (I ended up not accepting the offer because I later learned the internship was unpaid and I got an offer for a paid internship at another place, which I did not cold call but rather got an offer through networking).

My point is don't get overly emotional over something like that. This could just be the person's personality, and it's difficult to tell what he was thinking. He might just have been testing you.

May 16, 2012

I had an interview at a boutique where the guy (55+ years old maybe pushing 60) just stared at me. Yes, that's right. He didn't say a word. Just stared, for about a minute. It was unbelievable I almost started laughing. I tried to break the silence by looking at a book on his shelf and being like oh I've read that too what did you think about it? No response. So I figured he was testing me so I just stared back without blinking.

LOL it turns out this was a bad habit of his as I eventually got the offer and worked with him for almost a year. When he thinks he just stares. I thought I did horrible and it was THE most awkward and horrifying interviews I've ever had but I got the offer. I imagine other candidates would have been 100% freaked out by him.

May 16, 2012

That was fun.

May 16, 2012

I bet you get the job.

May 16, 2012

my guess is that he gives you an offer and you become best of friends

May 17, 2012

I totally sympathise! I've had a similar experience on Tuesday though it wasn't a financial position but project management. This was the 2nd round interview. My first round was 3 weeks ago and I did extremely well and knew before I left the premises that they were going to call me for a second interview. They said they'd call me within a week but I got a call from them 3 days later asking me to come back. The second interview was with 3 senior directors and was all company fit style questions. One of the directors had such an imposing persona and made me feel really intimidated. I did my best to look him straight in the eye all the time when all I wanted to do was hide under the desk. His questions were tough and sometimes vague so I wasn't sure sometimes if i was giving the right answers. On a couple of occasions he nodded appreciatevely and even laughed at a couple of anecdotes i said but the rest of time I just got the feeling he wasn't interested in me. The first interview was meant to last 2 hours and lasted 3. The second one was meant to last an hour and lasted exactly that so not a bad sign i guess but not great either? Also I think I might have shot myself in the foot when I asked a couple of questions related to the company's performance. He looked impressed on hearing the first question and even said that it was " a very good question" and proceeded into giving me a good detailed answer but the second question I felt it made them a little uncomfortable though they all did give me a good answer...soooo overall I left the interview feeling loads less excited than I did the first time and I just have this feeling that they're not going to make me an offer which is such a shame because the first bunch of people I met seemed quite impresed with what I had to offer.

I really hope this guy was just testing you to see how you could cope under pressure and you get offered the job! Good luck

May 18, 2012

Delete this thread immediately if you can. A CEO would never interview a candidate if that candidate wasn't on top of the list. It's a weird but not uncommon interviewing style: See how much you can take in before blowing up. I had that during final rounds at McKinsey -- a partner was just ripping through everything I was saying and not listening to my counter-arguments. I got the offer (then turned it down to go to banking and VC, thankfully). If you didn't blow up, you have a good chance of getting the job.

May 17, 2012

Wow, just got a call from the company I interviewed at and I got the job!!!!!! in utter shock as i was convinced I had screwed up! soooo happy :))

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May 15, 2012
Littlemissconfused:

Wow, just got a call from the company I interviewed at and I got the job!!!!!! in utter shock as i was convinced I had screwed up! soooo happy :))

Congrats! SB

May 18, 2012
manbearpig:
Littlemissconfused:

Wow, just got a call from the company I interviewed at and I got the job!!!!!! in utter shock as i was convinced I had screwed up! soooo happy :))

Congrats! SB

MBP...that wasn't OP...

May 18, 2012

Anyone reading this should know from the beginning of this story that the CEO/interviewer had a goal in mind: be as annoying as possible.

OP didn't crack. Kudos. Let's hope the CEO gives you the offer and admits that he was testing you.

May 18, 2012
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May 15, 2012
May 15, 2012
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