Interview Questions: Softballs

I recently had a 2nd round phone interview for an investment management position at a BB. Having read through some of the interview experiences here, I was pretty nervous about the possible questions. However, the questions were pretty simple: focused on my resume and past experience. In addition, they weren't hard on my answers and seemed to be almost overly nice. My question is should I worry about how they didn't really test me? Their questions all consisted of a basic overview of my resume. Too simple for a 2nd round?


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Comments (6)

Jan 26, 2011 - 8:01pm

I wouldn't worry too much.

There will probably be a third round, particularly if this is a major NY investment bank that starts with a G, which tends to have 2nd round interviews over the phone, mostly to figure out placement. If that's the case, in particular be prepared for a last minute phone call at 4PM next week where they want you to fly out to NYC for an interview the next day. The check-in lady will ask you if you'd like to upgrade to 1st class for $100 and look at you like you're crazy when you say no on a ticket "you" just spent $900 on. You'll have four to six interviews, including possibly a lunch interview if portfolio management is a particularly high touch group (I honestly don't know.)

There will be technical questions in the final round interview, but it's Portfolio Management, not trading, not quant analytics, maybe not even research (I am unfamiliar with the specifics of your group). Wouldn't be a bad idea to study up on any courses you've listed on your resume and definitely CAPM.

This will probably not be as stressful as the S&T interviews you read about. They might ask difficult questions, but the interviewers will probably be nicer and friendlier than the traders. And there's definitely going to be a strong fit component. So it's really best to just be yourself, be honest, and smile.

I'm way out of my normal area on this (Markets-side Quant Analytics), but if I had to guess, that's a rough idea of what you can expect over the next couple weeks.

Jan 26, 2011 - 8:36pm
Crazy Ray:
Thanks Illini. It's not for a position in NY, but I'm told there is another round where they'll bring in the finalists for a face-to-face. I was just figured with such easy questions they had possibly already made up their minds on me at least for this round.

Nope. This is probably someone figuring out where to place you for final round interviews. Had the same experience with the precious-metals-named firm.
Jan 26, 2011 - 8:34pm

All my phone interviews were really chill. Maybe I had an unusual experience, or maybe interviewers are uncomfortable grilling you over the phone. I wouldn't stress too much. If they seemed overly nice and you're not the son of the CEO or something, that's a good thing.

One of those lights, slightly brighter than the rest, will be my wingtip passing over.
Jan 27, 2011 - 9:29am
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