Investment Banking Interview Questions - 15 Answers to Land the Job

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I was in your shoes about five or six years ago. I worked as an investment banking analyst at a Moelis/Houlihan/Evercore type firm in restructuring, got an offer for direct promotion to associate, passed on that to go to grad school in Europe, and have recently returned to take my associate perch in the same group. Take my word for whatever you will.

I drill my analyst interview candidates hard on technicals. Not obscure things, I just test how well they know the basics, how they think about things, and if they can apply and think on their feet a bit.

Here's a five step plan in getting you prepared for your investment banking interviews from top to bottom:

Investment Banking Interview - The 1st Impression

  1. The Entrance
  • A simple "Nice to meet you. Thank you guys for taking the time," is a great hello.
  • Don't flub the handshake. Stay standing until I sit down.
  • Don't come on too strong/overenthusiastic or I'll think I will be annoyed with you the first week on the job. Sit up in your chair. Don't wear weird socks. Fake smiles/laughs are a no-no. A quick joke is a gamble - it could be a plus, or I could just think you're silly.

  1. How to Carry Yourself
  • The biggest thing I am looking for is humble confidence - someone I would like to have a beer with.
  • Be punchy, brief, and learn how to end a sentence. I can't tell you how many times people have gotten into trouble by rambling off into some ass-backward irrelevant tangent. Learn to be comfortable with a little silence here and there while we absorb your answer.
  • Listen, listen, listen!!! So many mistakes come from just not listening carefully and not being in the moment.

Investment Banking Fit Questions (And Answers)

You've reached the interview. This means that the firm believes you are smart enough for the job. At this point, the little things matter. Fit questions are a major part of the investment banking analyst interview. The focus of fit questions is to see who you are and how you would fit into the firm's culture.

  1. Walk Me Through Your Background/Resume

    Dial-in a cohesive 90 second resume walkthrough that focuses on the positive motivating factors behind every transition (school to job, job to better job, most recent job to grad school). E.g.

    "I went to school to design cars, but after one internship I realized I liked interacting with clients directly and pursued full-time roles with a sales bent. In that role, I develop solid sales skills as well as gaining exposure to a, b, and c. I wanted to continue honing those and branch out to focus on x, y, and z. I sought a new role/promotion which provided that opportunity..."

    Be deliberate. Every move you made should have a reason (preferably that you initiated). Don't be negative. Never say you left because you were bored or "wanted to try something new."

  2. Why Investment Banking?

    Here's a complete guide to answering the "why investment banking" question. The reality is you need to tailor the question to yourself. It varies with your background, how substantive you want to get, and what follow-up questions you want the interviewer to ask. No matter what, the answer here should be well rehearsed as well as the scenarios that could follow.

  3. "Tell me about a time when...

    Ideally, you can come up with 6-8 stories that cover the 30-40 basic questions, with only slight modifications. Don't wing it. For every potential question, map out the story using the SOAR framework. Describe the Situation (10-15 seconds), Obstacle (10-15s), Action (60-75s), and Result (15-30s). Stories for these questions should be 1.5-2 minutes long and focus only on what's important.

Technical Investment Banking Interview Questions

  1. What are the Three Main Financial Statements?

    The three main financial statements are the Income Statement, the Balance Sheet, and the Statement of Cash Flows. The Income Statement shows a company's revenues, costs, and expenses, which together yield net income. The Balance Sheet shows a company's assets, liabilities, and equity. The Cash Flow Statement starts with net income from the Income Statement; then it shows adjustments for non-cash expenses, non-expense purchases such as capital expenditures, changes in working capital, or debt repayment and issuance to calculate the company's ending cash balance.

  2. If you Could Use Only One Financial Statement to Evaluate the Financial State of a Company, Which Would You Choose?

    Sample Answer:

    I would want to see the Cash Flow Statement so I could see the actual liquidity position of the business and how much cash it is using and generating. The Income Statement can be misleading due to any number of non-cash expenses that may not truly be affecting the overall business. And the Balance Sheet alone just shows a snapshot of the Company at one point in time, without showing how operations are actually performing.

  3. How would a $10 increase in depreciation expense affect the three financial statements?

  4. What is WACC and how do you calculate it?

    WACC is the acronym for Weighted Average Cost of Capital. It is used as the discount rate in a discounted cash fow analysis to calculate the present value of a company's cash fows and terminal value. It refects the overall cost of a company raising new capital, which is also a representation of the riskiness of investment in the company.

  5. Why would a company issue equity rather than debt to fund its operations?
    • If the company feels its stock price is inflated they can raise a large amount of capital compared to percentage of ownership sold
    • If the projects the company plans to invest in with proceeds may not produce immediate or consistent cash flows to pay debt
    • If the company wants to adjust cap structure or pay down debt
    • If the owners of the company want to sell off a portion of their ownership

  6. How/Why do you lever or unlever beta?

    Unlevering beta allows one to remove the debt effect in the capital structure. This will show you the risk of a firm's equity compared to the market. Also, if you are trying to do a market comparison with a company that's not on the market (so no beta), you can take a comparable company and unlever its beta as a proxy for the unlisted company's beta.

  7. What are some ways you can value a company?

    Comparable Companies/Multiples Analysis: Most often an analyst will take the average multiple from comparable companies (based on size, industry, etc) and use that multiple with the operating metric of the company being valued.

    Market Valuation / Market Capitalization: The market value of equity is used only for publicly traded companies. It is calculated by multiplying the number of shares outstanding by the current stock price.

    Discounted Cash Flow Analysis: The sum of the present values of all those cash flows is the estimated present Enterprise Value of the from according to a discounted cash flow model.

  8. Which of the valuation methodologies will result in the highest valuation?

  9. Name major factors that drive M&A activity (mergers and acquisitions)?
    • Create synergies and save on costs
    • Acquire new tech or product pipelines
    • Grow share in the market by removing a competitor
    • Buying a supplier or distributor to increase supply chain pricing power
    • Improve financial metrics and numbers

  10. General Things to Remember

    Walk me through every calculation you are doing. I want to hear you think out loud. The process matters far more than your answer and gives you a chance to demonstrate a grip on the concepts. I sometimes just ask of a simple calculation, "Are you sure?" to put on a little pressure and see how you respond. I am looking here for you to take five seconds, double check your math, and answer with a confident, "Yes, I am sure."

    Don't be afraid to say, "I don't know" to a tough technical. As an analyst, I expect you to ALWAYS tell me when you don't know something, and never BS an answer. If you give an, "I don't know" follow it with, "But here is what I am thinking. Tell me if I am on the right track." And walk me through your thoughts. This is a great analyst quality because it shows that you'll think about a problem critically before you call me and ask about it.

See the below link for more detailed technical interview questions and answers in finance:

Finance Technical Q&A

Investment Banking 'Pitch Me A Stock'


Many interviewers will ask you in one way or another to pitch a stock if you have any experience with trading, a private wealth management internship, a hedge fund internship, really anything that deals with market transactions. If this is you, spend 30 minutes to a couple of hours finding a stock you like and why. Even if it doesn't, better safe than sorry. Here's a good explanation for this question provided by user @BankerC159.

You have to follow the market a little bit but I think the underlying concept they are trying to get out of you is if you actually know what drives a business. What are the key drivers of the business (both revenue and cost)? Why is it a good investment? What are the potential opportunities available? What's their competitive advantage? Etc.

For more details and many examples on how to pitch a stock, you should also check out the WSO Hedge Fund Interview Course.

Investment Banking Interview - Wrapping Up

  • Before you ask us questions, it's nice to say "I've done lots of research on your firm and talked to a lot of people, so I know your firm pretty well. I really want to hear more about your own personal experiences here."
  • Some good questions to ask your interviewers: 1) Tell me about a recent deal you've worked on that you liked. 2) What are the next steps from here? 3) How have you liked your experience here so far? Anything surprise you, good or bad? 4) Tell me about what you guys do for fun.
  • Some questions to avoid: 1) What are the hours like here? (Get that info later from an insider that you know better.) 2) Anything related to compensation. 3) What are your plans after banking? (We can't answer that, and we'll all say we're planning on staying in the near term...duh...)
  • Don't stand up until I stand up.

Questions, disagreements, comments? Fire away. As always, if you like it, put a banana on it. Silly enough, it actually encourages me to write more. (Bravo, Patrick and Andy. Bravo!)

IB Interview Course with 7,548 Questions

The fact of the matter is you won't improve unless you practice. While this guide is a great starting point, you need to get real questions and answer them as a simulation for interviews. The WSO investment banking interview course is designed by countless professionals with real world experience, tailored to people aspiring to break into the industry.

IB Interview Course Here

Comments (202)

 
Sep 30,2013

I really thought this was about "how to nail an investment banking analyst"

Seriously though: Nice post! TLDR for Friday though, I'll reread Monday

Get busy living

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.

 
Best Response
Sep 30,2013

I came here because the thread appeared on the side bar as "How to nail an investment banking analyst."

 
Sep 30,2013
Cookies With Milken:

I came here because the thread appeared on the side bar as "How to nail an investment banking analyst."

Sorry for the psyche-out...mods can you retitle to something that works?

if you like it then you shoulda put a banana on it

 
Sep 30,2013

How to nail the IB analyst interview should work.

Great post though, lots of it should be applicable in any BB/MBB/F500 interview.

 
Aug 31,2017

Top tier banks are GS, MS, Moelis, Lazard, Evercore and PJT for buyside exits...no questions asked

 
Funniest
Aug 31,2017
 
Sep 30,2013

Ha looks like everyone came here for the same reason. Lets face it though - the vast majority of them are dudes ...

 
Sep 30,2013

Great post. Thanks

"I like Ackman," Mr. Icahn said. "I'll tell you why I like him. Anyone that makes me a quarter of a billion I like."

 
Sep 30,2013

As someone looking to break in to an analyst role, this is chock-full of good advice. It isn't anything revolutionary, but it is a nice consolidated look at the fundamentals of the interview process.
Someone else posted this link recently, but for an answer to the technicals the following is pretty solid: http://www.ibankingfaq.com/
Thanks for the post, frgna

 
Sep 30,2013

Excellent advice. If only I had SBs..

 
Sep 30,2013

Great advice! Will be using it in upcoming interview. Thanks a lot!

 
Sep 30,2013

Golden post. Thanks so much for sharing! +1SB

 
Sep 30,2013

This is gold , but

frgna:

6. Walk through the resume in 1 minute or less - I know you've had an interesting life but I don't need to hear about it now - maybe we come back to it at the end of the interview

Don't they usually say 3-5 minutes?

 
Sep 30,2013
Arsene Wenger's Father:

This is gold , but

frgna:

6. Walk through the resume in 1 minute or less - I know you've had an interesting life but I don't need to hear about it now - maybe we come back to it at the end of the interview

Don't they usually say 3-5 minutes?

There's not a hard and fast rule - if you think you have an interesting story and its worth telling - just go and tell it. Now don't drone on while an interviewer clearly shows signs of no longer being interested, but for fucks sake if you've got to say something that's important to winning a 'gig then say it. For the record, my story can be as long or as short as the interviewers body language is allowing me.

'Before you enter... be willing to pay the price'

 
Sep 30,2013
BepBep12:
Arsene Wenger's Father:

This is gold , but

frgna:

6. Walk through the resume in 1 minute or less - I know you've had an interesting life but I don't need to hear about it now - maybe we come back to it at the end of the interview

Don't they usually say 3-5 minutes?

There's not a hard and fast rule - if you think you have an interesting story and its worth telling - just go and tell it. Now don't drone on while an interviewer clearly shows signs of no longer being interested, but for fucks sake if you've got to say something that's important to winning a 'gig then say it. For the record, my story can be as long or as short as the interviewers body language is allowing me.

Yes, not a hard and fast - depends if it is a technical or a fit interview. This is great advice to read the body language. At 21-22 the story shouldn't take an awful long time, and remember that if there are a lot of loops you don't have to share every loop - only those that will help win the job as another poster mentioned.

if you like it then you shoulda put a banana on it

 
Sep 30,2013
 
Sep 30,2013

Wow this list is great. I think college students tend to read many of these threads and forget half of their wisdoms when it comes to the interviews. But I urge every prospective kid to take every one of these points and own them, perfect them. I would suggest printing this list and referencing it after every mock interview to see how closely you kept to it

 
Sep 30,2013
NYKnicks92:

Wow this list is great. I think college students tend to read many of these threads and forget half of their wisdoms when it comes to the interviews. But I urge every prospective kid to take every one of these points and own them, perfect them. I would suggest printing this list and referencing it after every mock interview to see how closely you kept to it

Yes yes yes - absolutely. Had a few w PE internship experience who couldn't explain the sources of return on an LBO. Shows a complete lack of interest/engagement in what you were doing. Even if you didn't have substantial "real work" I would have expected you to read a few wikipedia articles on LBOs.

PS they are: leverage (lower cost of capital/paying down debt over time), multiple expansion, and operational improvements (e.g. revenue synergies and cost cutting).

if you like it then you shoulda put a banana on it

 
Sep 30,2013

Lots of good advice in this thread. Also, don't overestimate your competition. You'd be surprised how many candidates from top 15 schools and "Investment banking" or "private equity" experience on their resume cannot walk through how the 3 financial statements connect. Know all the technicals cold and be confident. Those two things alone put you ahead of the game.

 
Sep 30,2013

Thanks for the comments guys, hope this makes it into at least a few good hands in time for super saturdays. Anyone who uses this stuff, curious to hear how your interviews go.

if you like it then you shoulda put a banana on it

 
Sep 30,2013
frgna:

Thanks for the comments guys, hope this makes it into at least a few good hands in time for super saturdays. Anyone who uses this stuff, curious to hear how your interviews go.

I read your post Friday night, right before my super day at a MM shop. I definitely used some of the advice and was extended the offer for FT. Thanks a lot!I

 
Sep 30,2013
kedwards33:
frgna:

Thanks for the comments guys, hope this makes it into at least a few good hands in time for super saturdays. Anyone who uses this stuff, curious to hear how your interviews go.

I read your post Friday night, right before my super day at a MM shop. I definitely used some of the advice and was extended the offer for FT. Thanks a lot!I

frgna, you should feel proud for this. This is a success story.

Congrats, kedwards33.

 
Oct 31,2013
ManyHenny:
kedwards33:
frgna:

Thanks for the comments guys, hope this makes it into at least a few good hands in time for super saturdays. Anyone who uses this stuff, curious to hear how your interviews go.

I read your post Friday night, right before my super day at a MM shop. I definitely used some of the advice and was extended the offer for FT. Thanks a lot!I

frgna, you should feel proud for this. This is a success story.

Congrats, kedwards33.

This is why I do this - very happy to hear this sir or lady :)

if you like it then you shoulda put a banana on it

 
Sep 30,2013

great stuff, thanks frgna

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My Linkedin

 
Sep 30,2013

Great post, will definitely help me a lot!

 
Sep 30,2013
frgna:

Most candidates cannot tell me WHY we look at free cash flow in simple terms.

frgna

Could you help me on this one? I kinda know, but not well enough to explain in interview. And do you know any other questions of this type off the top of your head?

Currently going through the BIWS and WSO guides.

 
Sep 30,2013
Fetter:
frgna:

Most candidates cannot tell me WHY we look at free cash flow in simple terms.

frgna

Could you help me on this one? I kinda know, but not well enough to explain in interview. And do you know any other questions of this type off the top of your head?

Currently going through the BIWS and WSO guides.

due to the fact that free cashflow is the value of the company's earnings attributable to all investors. Basically, this is the potential earnings for investors in this company.

 
Sep 30,2013

wonderful post, thanks for the perspective from the other side of the desk. also, for the record, posts like this are what i love about wso.

 
Sep 30,2013

Awesome post, thanks for the tips

"Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly"

 
Sep 30,2013

Very informative and helpful, thank you for taking the time to write this up!

 
Sep 30,2013

My secret to nailing the analyst interview was getting hammered the night before with the analysts on jag bombs and macallan 18

 
Oct 31,2013
Connecticut Yankee:

My secret to nailing the analyst interview was getting hammered the night before with the analysts on jag bombs and macallan 18

The social events are definitely important - if they take you to dinner/drinks, that's part of the evaluation too. Stay out until a reasonable hour. Don't say "I have to go back to study/prepare" even if you do - just say you should probably get some rest for the big day tomorrow.

Do NOT drink so much you oversleep on superday (yes sadly I have seen it happen, and to a candidate who was formerly the leading choice).

if you like it then you shoulda put a banana on it

 
Oct 31,2013

My question is not how to behave during the interview, but how to attract recruiter say," Hey, you look interesting, let's schedule an interview." That's the real issue for me now.

 
Oct 31,2013
christinema:

My question is not how to behave during the interview, but how to attract recruiter say," Hey, you look interesting, let's schedule an interview." That's the real issue for me now.

- Network
- Resume --> target school, relevant job experience, student associations, experiences abroad, voluntary work, special interest / hobbies?

Differentiate yourself!

 
Oct 31,2013

I can only hope some of our future analyst candidates find, read and utilize this post. Mostly basic points, but it's amazing how few candidates (regardless of background) are able to hit on them. +1 SB for you, thanks.

 
Oct 31,2013

SB for you, Bookmarked webpage, Great post!!

As a remorseful fresh Big 4 auditor teaching myself technicals and trying to get into banking/TAS/away from audit in general, this is great information.

"You are neither right nor wrong because the crowd disagrees with you. You are right because your data and reasoning are right."

-Warren Buffett

 
Oct 31,2013

One more thing I would add to must know technicals is how a dollar of revenue or a dollar of capex flows through the three statements.

 
Oct 31,2013

I actually landed an FT analyst gig this summer, but this is great advice, Thanks, SB for you!

"When a defining moment comes along you define the moment or the moment defines you."

 
Oct 31,2013

Great post, I particular like 12) under the technicals and the general comment about "thinking out loud".

 
Oct 31,2013

great post

Let thine own self be true

 
Oct 31,2013

Curious to hear if anyone else has put this into action/experience etc.

Cheers

if you like it then you shoulda put a banana on it

 
Oct 31,2013

Fantastic post!! Read this over the weekend a few times before my interview on Wednesday. Refined my answers to the "short and sweet" format (they were pretty long before) and I landed the offer! Starting this January as an analyst!

 
Oct 31,2013
Cotton Eyed Joe:

Fantastic post!! Read this over the weekend a few times before my interview on Wednesday. Refined my answers to the "short and sweet" format (they were pretty long before) and I landed the offer! Starting this January as an analyst!

Great news, glad to hear it!

if you like it then you shoulda put a banana on it

 
Oct 31,2013

Short and punchy tends to work much better.

if you like it then you shoulda put a banana on it

 
Oct 31,2013

Wow, finally something useful. Thanks for this.

"Elections are a futures market for stolen property"

 
Oct 31,2013

Is this for a full time position or for a potential summer analyst? What technicals would you say I should know as a summer analyst hopeful?

 
Oct 31,2013

You should definitely know WSO Technical Questions Guide cold. It really helped me to structure my answers.

 
Oct 31,2013

I absolutely plan on going through them, and have a fair idea about them now, but I am unclear on what kind of technical knowledge is expected of a summer analyst candidate (and non-finance major at that).

 
Oct 31,2013
Leveraged Bailout:

I absolutely plan on going through them, and have a fair idea about them now, but I am unclear on what kind of technical knowledge is expected of a summer analyst candidate (and non-finance major at that).

Leveraged Bailout - interns would not be expected to know as much. Very much tailored to the candidate / their experience. For you, I'd say it's a bonus to know valuation. If you can nail valuation, you'll have a great shot.

Sometimes I think that non-finance majors have an easier time because it is easier to exceed expectations - imagine a history major comes in and nails the technical interview better than a bunch of finance majors. He knows finance and will help us nail it in trivia. Compelling.

if you like it then you shoulda put a banana on it

 
Oct 31,2013

Thanks for your response. I do agree, it does seem to be easier for non-finance majors with the whole under promise/over deliver thing.

 
Jan 31,2015
frgna:
Leveraged Bailout:

I absolutely plan on going through them, and have a fair idea about them now, but I am unclear on what kind of technical knowledge is expected of a summer analyst candidate (and non-finance major at that).

Leveraged Bailout - interns would not be expected to know as much. Very much tailored to the candidate / their experience. For you, I'd say it's a bonus to know valuation. If you can nail valuation, you'll have a great shot.

Sometimes I think that non-finance majors have an easier time because it is easier to exceed expectations - imagine a history major comes in and nails the technical interview better than a bunch of finance majors. He knows finance and will help us nail it in trivia. Compelling.

Mostly yes and also no. Sometimes they pound the liberal arts major because they think they're stupid and ask really tough questions to prove it to themselves, so it's very possible there are other expectations to overcome. While you are right in most cases, sometimes it's the reverse....as a liberal arts major, I've experienced both situations. Either way, going in prepared is going to mitigate both possible lines of reasoning. This isn't rocket science and the prep materials available these days are preeeeeeeety good :)

Get busy living

 
Oct 31,2013

Great post frgna. Some people get so caught up in the interviewing process that they forget to exhibit human behavior. For example, one MD asked each interviewee at the start of the interview "What would you like to talk about?". Every single one of the interviewees rambling about DCF, comparables etc. was dinged. The advice one VP gave everyone at an informal drink was "Just be interesting. We will have to work with you until 2am sometimes, so be cool.".

Also relevant to note "what to wear". As for London a safe and sound outfit would be: Navy suit (at least made to measure, please), black (oxford) shoes and black socks. White shirt and a light blue tie is a safe bet. Don't be the guy wearing brown shoes in London, you will get killed.

DYEL

 
Oct 31,2013
Waving Wind:

Great post frgna. Some people get so caught up in the interviewing process that they forget to exhibit human behavior. For example, one MD asked each interviewee at the start of the interview "What would you like to talk about?". Every single one of the interviewees rambling about DCF, comparables etc. was dinged. The advice one VP gave everyone at an informal drink was "Just be interesting. We will have to work with you until 2am sometimes, so be cool.".

Also relevant to note "what to wear". As for London a safe and sound outfit would be: Navy suit (at least made to measure, please), black (oxford) shoes and black socks. White shirt and a light blue tie is a safe bet. Don't be the guy wearing brown shoes in London, you will get killed.

"No brown in town" right? :) Yes, London, always wear black.

Great advice on the interview, just be yourself. Pass the airport test (imagine I'm stuck at O'Hare for 8 hours with you - time to not talk about banking / work for a bit).

if you like it then you shoulda put a banana on it

 
Oct 31,2013

Will try these tips this week and see how it goes

 
Nov 30,2013

Any success stories lately?

if you like it then you shoulda put a banana on it

 
Nov 30,2013
frgna:

Any success stories lately?

Yes sir, mine. This is long overdue as I got my offer like a month ago. I owed you a big one. Printed this off and took it with me to where I had the superday. Read it like a zillion times before my interview and followed your advice strictly. Didn't sit down on my chair when the interviewer spent 2 mins talking on his phone standing up. Put DCF and other technical questions to context while stuck to brevity. Walked interviewer through thoughts and calculations, and ended my sentences strong. Defended well my explanation instead of saying "maybe" when questioned.

Thanks and SB'd!

Nothing is true; everything is permitted.

 
Dec 31,2013

great post! thanks a lot!

Actually I wonder whether or not interviewers would treat female candidates differently? especially minorities (Asian/African American, ect.) female candidates.... If so, what else should they pay attention to?

 
Jan 31,2014
wannabe2015:

great post! thanks a lot!

Actually I wonder whether or not interviewers would treat female candidates differently? especially minorities (Asian/African American, ect.) female candidates.... If so, what else should they pay attention to?

Short answer no, everyone is treated the same.

if you like it then you shoulda put a banana on it

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.

 
 
Jan 31,2014

SB'ed

I thought people gave this kind of advice only after charging for it.

@frgna could you advise me? have an ib analyst interview mid feb and would be damn glad if you could respond here:

//www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/bo-to-ib-analyst-ab...

I am BO. Sometimes ppl don't give advice because they think everyone would know the basics. I really don't. strongly believe your advice could be a game changer for me.

Thanks for this wonderful post!

 
Jan 31,2014
ReardenCapital:

SB'ed

I thought people gave this kind of advice only after charging for it.

@frgna could you advise me? have an ib analyst interview mid feb and would be damn glad if you could respond here:

//www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/bo-to-ib-analyst-about-to-make-the-jump-requesting-advice

I am BO. Sometimes ppl don't give advice because they think everyone would know the basics. I really don't. strongly believe your advice could be a game changer for me.

Thanks for this wonderful post!

Feel free to PM me

if you like it then you shoulda put a banana on it

 
Jan 31,2014

Should a investment banking summer analyst candidate be familiar with the currencies, derivatives, options, and stock sections of the WSO guide or just the valuation, M&A, accounting, and bonds sections?

 
Jan 31,2014
Island101:

Should a investment banking summer analyst candidate be familiar with the currencies, derivatives, options, and stock sections of the WSO guide or just the valuation, M&A, accounting, and bonds sections?

Accounting and Valuation would be top priority. Stock is also a good portion to review, mostly for market and pitch me a stock question. Touch on the basic of M&A and Bonds/Debt just to be sure, unless you are gunning for M&A or LevFin group.

Nothing is true; everything is permitted.

 
Jan 31,2014
Ezio Auditore:
Island101:

Should a investment banking summer analyst candidate be familiar with the currencies, derivatives, options, and stock sections of the WSO guide or just the valuation, M&A, accounting, and bonds sections?

Accounting and Valuation would be top priority. Stock is also a good portion to review, mostly for market and pitch me a stock question. Touch on the basic of M&A and Bonds/Debt just to be sure, unless you are gunning for M&A or LevFin group.

Yes, agree with this. For summer interns, unless you have prior experience, wouldn't expect much beyond the basic finance and accounting and valuation.

if you like it then you shoulda put a banana on it

 
Jan 31,2014

bump I'm curious about the question above^.

Should a summer analyst be familiar with sections beyond valuation and accounting?

 
Jan 31,2014

Printed this as well, and took it with me for AC at top BB for IBD summer. Advice was golden, particularly the part with explaining the DCF in simple terms. Finishing sentences strong and in general terms being decisive is very very important as well, as you said, and I took that to heart that day.

The very same day I received an offer for the summer. Many thanks, and SB'ed!

Whether you think you can or you think you can't, your're right. - Henry Ford

 
Jul 31,2014

This post is gold. It is gold wrapped in golden foil. Clear. Succinct. Informative and Complete. You might as well have just handed me my 1st years salary. I will do well to memorize this post. Thank you.

Benjamin A Gilman Scholar
Economics & Finance, Mandarin Chinese & Japanese
Small Business VP

 
Aug 31,2014
 
Oct 31,2014

Thanks for the info, an outside perspective is always helpful.

 
Oct 31,2014
 
Dec 31,2014

I find this to be excellent advise and something to keep in mind for my investment banking interview in the near future!
Thanks!!

Mordi Lati
Finance Major at Baruch College

 
Dec 31,2014

I find this to be excellent advise and something to keep in mind for my investment banking interview in the near future!
Thanks!!

Mordi Lati
Finance Major at Baruch College

 
Jan 31,2015
 
Jun 30,2015

Related interview question, kind of a random question, I'm kind of tipsy too...

I had an interview at a table with four interviewers at a boutique. What's protocol for sitting and standing if they walk in and leave roughly one-by-one over the course of three minutes or so. Stand up again as each person comes in?

Make Idaho a Semi-Target Again 2016
Not an alumnus of Idaho

 
Jul 31,2015

Absolutely fantastic post... Thanks a lot frgna!

 
Jul 31,2015

Thanks for posting! You talk about thinking out loud while going through your calculations...what type of questions are they asking? Case studies?

 
Jul 31,2015

i cant stop laughing after reading the comments from the guys who say: "I came here because the title of the post in sidebar said "How to nail an investment banking analyst""

LOL you know 80-90% are dudes right??? Nothing wrong with that, but be sure to check under the hood before test driving! :)

"I'm talking about liquid. Rich enough to have your own jet. Rich enough not to waste time. Fifty, a hundred million dollars, buddy. A player. Or nothing. "
-GG

 
Jul 31,2015

Hi there! Id like to start by saying this post spurned me to join the WSO community!
Anyway, i plan to pursue a career in investment banking and although these tips are sure to be useful in the future, due to my age (on my way to university next year) im yet to be formally introduced to the 'technicals' in any way.
As im someone that wants to be as ahead of the game as physically possible im wondering if anyone could point me in the direction (in the form of a web link or maybe a blog post) of anywhere i can learn these 'technicals' or even useful links that help a budding investment banker further his/her learning. I would also love any tips of setting myself apart from other candidates, in any way possible.

 
Sep 30,2015

As someone who recently recruited/interviewed candidates at a university career fair, I love the below point:

"5. Be punchy, brief, and learn how to end a sentence. Can't tell you how many times people have gotten into trouble by rambling off into some ass-backward irrelevant tangent. Learn to be comfortable with a little silence here and there while we absorb your answer"

I cannot tell you how many times a student started answering a question, or giving me a summary of a work/school/extracurricular experience, and they trail off with a "so...yeah.....". I dock major points for this seemingly small flub. There is no reason you cannot clearly and concisely provide me your point without acting like you are leaving something to be desired.

 
Nov 30,2015

This was really helpful as well as motivating.

 
Jan 31,2016

I'm curious as to interview tactics: are there certain standard operating procedures for interviewers in New York that are far afield from questions asked or evaluation methods used in San Francisco, Los Angeles, or London?

 
Jan 31,2016

Truly, I am amazed at what informative things you've told us today. Thanks a million for that, frgna.

 
Jan 31,2016

Fantastic timeless advice.

 
Feb 29,2016

Great post...crisp and straight forward. I guess all interviewers expect on more or less the same as mentioned in post

 
Feb 29,2016

This is great advice, thank you for taking the time to help us

 
Mar 31,2016

This should be in a book somewhere, great information. THX

Want to Lose the body fat, keep the muscles, I can help.

 
 
Mar 31,2016

One thing to read guides. Completely different thing to build models. I suggest the latter. When you have fully function (and not extremely basic) models built, mess with the assumptions and inputs and see where they flow. No other way to really understand how everything fits together in my opinion.

"Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be"

 
Mar 31,2016

Thanks for the input. I completely understand but I'm currently interviewing for analyst positions and need more of a basic top down approach...unfortunately I don't really have any financial models readily availabe to tinker around with

 
Mar 31,2016
Pele10:

Thanks for the input. I completely understand but I'm currently interviewing for analyst positions and need more of a basic top down approach...unfortunately I don't really have any financial models readily availabe to tinker around with

You can build one. Get some financial statements for the past few years, get the Rosenberg/Pearl investment banking book, and jump on youtube for instructional videos. You could probably learn to build your own.

Or you could drop money on some guides that include templates and stuff.

 
Mar 31,2016

On WallStreetPrep there are a few sample models that you'll be able to download. Also, macabacus.org has models with a step-by-step tutorial on building them.

People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for freedom of thought which they seldom use.

 
 
Mar 31,2016

they will most likely ask you some technical accounting questions that way they dont waste money flying you out only to realize you know nothing

 
Mar 31,2016

Good to know. Do you think I should mainly focus on my technicals? Also, I don't know if it makes a difference, but the bank is located in Toronto, and so am I.

Thanks for the reply!

 
Mar 31,2016

Whoops - doubled posted. My bad.

 
Mar 31,2016

I'm not really sure what a preliminary interview is. Is it informational or is it the same as a 1st round phone screening?

To start though, always OVER prepare. It will likely be largely behavioral so be sure to know your story, your why banking, why xyz bank, etc answers perfectly. As far as technicals, study up on knowing the basic accounting/valuations questions. At the least try to know the different types of valuations and when you'd use each type/which typically gives the highest value, the basics of a DCF (discounted cash flow) analysis and the basics of the three financial statements and how they tie together. Whether or not you need to know these things for your first round, it is unlikely you'd make it all the way through without having to touch on them.

Remember, people often assume that because they are non business backgrounds, they won't get any technical questions. While you likely won't as complicated ones as someone with prior experience, you are still coming to them and saying I want a job in this field. You can't credibly say that unless you have some idea of what the field is and what the work entails, regardless of your background.

"I know you think you understand what you thought I said but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant."

 
Mar 31,2016

Awesome response! Thank you! Also, sorry, I am not sure if this is the same thing as a first round phone interview or not.

Okay, I will definitely make sure I have my story and any other basic fit type questions down. I'll do my best to know the basic accounting and valuation questions as well.

Yes, I do understand that not having a finance background is no excuse, so it's not like I can avoid the technical questions. I'm just hoping that this interview is mostly fit so I have some more time to prep for the technicals later on.

To be honest, I'm really shocked that I even got this interview. I've mostly been focusing on networking with the smaller boutiques in the area. I didn't think a bank of this size would be interested in me (I don't even go to a particularly good school or anything either). I'd be really great if I got this job, so I'm definitely going to do all I can to prepare!

 
Mar 31,2016

Then congrats!

These great opportunities come around now and then so you need to make sure to leave nothing on the table with regards to preparation. I would very strongly suggest finding someone to run you through mock interviews. A big part of interviews is just being comfortable with the format and saying these things out loud, especially since they are topics you are not used to speaking about. Put quizlet on your phone with practice questions and whenever you find yourself with a few minutes practice answering the questions out loud.

Best of luck!

"I know you think you understand what you thought I said but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant."

 
Mar 31,2016

Thank you! I'm really going to do my best for this; thanks for the encouragement!

 
Mar 31,2016

@redacted So besides the technicals you just mentioned (DCF basics, valuations, and basics of the three financial statements) what else should we study for ib interviews?

Great post btw!

 
Mar 31,2016

@redacted So besides the technicals you just mentioned (DCF basics, valuations, and basics of the three financial statements) what else should we study for ib interviews?

Great post btw!

 
Mar 31,2016

@redacted So besides the technicals you just mentioned (DCF basics, valuations, and basics of the three financial statements) what else should we study for ib interviews?

Great post btw!

 
Mar 31,2016

I would also know your story well. You should be able to show them that you actually do want to be here and are enthusiastic about the job, and not that you are applying because your parents want you to do so, or just because it's what other people do. Make sure to have other behavioural based questions down as well (e.g. your strengths, weaknesses, an experience that best demonstrated your leadership abilities, a time you failed, etc.). Maybe also be able to speak a few words about certain markets (I was once asked "tell me something interesting about the markets"). Such a general questions may put some people off guard since you may not know where to start, so try to keep something interesting in mind that you can talk about. Knowing why you want to work at the particular bank is also good. They know that we are all interviewing at multiple banks, so they may ask something like this just to see if you are actually looking for something specific in an employer, or if you just sent your resume out en masse. If you say X bank is you #1 choice, you should have some good specific reasons as to why, and don't speak too much on general things that may apply to most of their competitors.

If you have the cash, I would recommend the BIWS stuff. I know there is other stuff put there, but this is all I have, and it's been serving me well so far during interview season. Do some research on which guide (e.g. WSO, Vault, BIWS, etc.) you think would be best for you.

Best of luck!

 
Mar 31,2016

Some basic common sense that will help you in your webcam interview:

Look at the camera, not the screen.
Smile
Wear a FULL Suit
Make sure lighting is properly set. Do a test run prior to the interview.
Interview against a flat wall with no wall decorations.

 
Mar 31,2016

Oh, I didn't expect that I would have to wear a full suit; I was just going to wear a dress shirt. Thanks for the tip; I'll definitely make sure to suit up!

I still haven't figured out where I can do this. My home is definitely not quiet enough; I think I will try to find some isolated place at school instead.

 
Mar 31,2016

Go to your career services. They should have rooms set up for this. You might have to go to the career services department for business majors, but if you tell them you have an ib interview I'm sure they'd oblige.

"I know you think you understand what you thought I said but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant."

 
Mar 31,2016

Wow, I never even knew they had such rooms! I'll definitely makes some phone calls tomorrow to find out if I can book a room. Thanks for the heads up!

 
Mar 31,2016

So, I just found out that the interview is going to be mostly behavioural. Besides knowing my "story" and having solid answers to questions like "why IB?" are there any things in particular you guys recommend I be ready for?

Thanks again for the advice!

 
Mar 31,2016

If it's going to be mostly behavioral you are going to receive questions outside the typical fit cliches (why banking, why that bank, walk me through your resume, why you). Have 3-5 personal experiences that you could plug into questions like:

"When was a time you faced adversity in a team setting and how did you handle it,"
"When was a time you were a leader and made a mistake; how did you handle the situation,"
"Tell me about a time you had to juggle a lot of responsibilities at once, how did you go about handling them and what were the outcomes of those responsibilities"
"When was a time you faced an ethical dilemma and how did you go about handling it"
"what is/are your weakness/es / strength/s"

be prepared for any variation of the above questions. I have gotten plenty of those questions going through SA interviews so far, so have meaningful stories to use and use the STAR approach (situation, task, action, result). Also, try to relate any experience to investment banking (ie. with the responsibilities question, say you thrive under pressure and having a lot of things on your plate at once and have an example to back it. This is incredibly important if you want to be successful in IB.)

Like I said, the fit questions will only last ~10-15 minutes of the interview, so the rest of the talk will most likely be about specific experiences. Also, you said it will be "mostly" behavioral, so be sure to have basic techs down just in case, like the 3 statements, how they link, three forms of valuation and also know a good amount DCFs (Whats WACC, CAPM, FCF, how to calculate them, and if possible know how changes in certain aspects of those equations effects the DCF valuation in the end)

if you have time, try and run through Investment Banking by Pearl and Rosenbaum, or at the very least a technical guide or two, like the ones WSO and BIWS offer. The Rosenbaum book is very helpful, a little wordy and may be harder to understand, but has definitely helped me the most.

Good luck and congrats on the opportunity.

"My name's Ralph Cox, and I'm from where ever's not gonna get me hit"

 
Mar 31,2016

WOW, that's one heck of a post!! Thank you so much for that; it really helps! I've got some of the BIWS stuff, so I'm going through that now. Again, that's so much for all the tips; I really appreciate that :D

 
Mar 31,2016

Yea, not a problem man. Best of luck to you and if you have any other questions feel free to message me. We're both going through the same shit so would be glad to help further.

"My name's Ralph Cox, and I'm from where ever's not gonna get me hit"

 
Mar 31,2016

Thanks man, I'll certainly keep in touch!

 
Mar 31,2016

Know What the IBD is/does. What product group and industry group your interested in. Know basic stuff like EV, and EBITDA.

 
Mar 31,2016

I'll make sure to know that. Thanks for the post!

 
Mar 31,2016

Hey, thanks for asking! I actually recently finished, and I thought it went pretty well, actually! Like pretty much everyone said, it was mostly behavioural, and I think I was able to sell my self pretty decently. I actually really liked the people I was interviewing with, and I really liked how they were talking about how/why they like to interview non-business students for these internships as well.

I'm actually going to try and get in contact with some of the bankers there and see if I can learn more about the firm's culture. I was pretty impressed with the bank and the people I interviewed with and this bank is certainly my #1 choice right now.

Second round interviews are in about a week, and I'm hoping that I will hear from them soon. This bank really has me excited, and I'm hoping I make it to the second round! I'll keep everyone here posted. Also, I just wanted to say thank you again to everyone who helped me out on the forums! I really do appreciate it!

 
Mar 31,2016
 
Mar 31,2016
 
Mar 31,2016

WOOOO! Looks like I'm accepted for the second round of interviews!!

I'm really excited! Does anyone have any tips for round two?

Thanks everyone, and good luck with your own interviews :D

EDIT: I should probably make a separate thread about this.

 
Mar 31,2016

congrats. Only two more to go. At this point the technicals start rolling in. At least for me.

 
Mar 31,2016

Hey! I actually got through my second interviews and got an invite for the final round! I'm incredibly excited right now! My second round interviews were with HR and some senior bankers, and it was mostly fit, but also had some high level/overview type questions (e.g. what am I expecting to see in X market?).

So, do you have any advice for my last set of interviews? Anything I should expect in particular?

Thanks, and good luck with all your interviews too!

 
Mar 31,2016

aw sheeeet. Good luck man. Keep in touch about how it went. Do some power poses in the bathroom before you walk in. How did you prep? How far in advance? What was the two toughest questions you hade in your 2nd round?

 
Mar 31,2016

Hey, thanks! I'll definitely stay in touch! Thanks for the tips; I think confidence is pretty important for this, so I'll definitely make sure to keep that kind of stuff in mind. I've been using the BIWS stuff to prep, and I have been doing "soft prepping" since around September; I was just reading some of the material when I had the time to do so. Once I actually sent applications in and my networking efforts were picking up, I really started to pick up the prep so I would have the crucial things (e.g. my story, he basics of IB, etc.) down. mock interviews (even if they are with yourself) definitely also help. In terms of my hardest two questions, they somewhat relate to my major, so let me PM them to you.

 
Jul 31,2017

Its been more than a year. What happened? Is it possible to get to know what it ended up to be? I am in a similar situation like yours!

 
Apr 30,2016

Fantastic post, thanks for the perspective from the other side of the desk. Also, for the record, posts like this are what I love about WSO

 
May 31,2016

Clear. Succinct. Informative and Complete. Thanks!

 
Jul 31,2016

Great information.
These questions will surely help the people who are looking for the specified job. :)

 
Oct 31,2016

this needs to be published

 
Oct 31,2016

Gosh it's been a long time.
thank you OP I owe you my job, I remember I had an interview the other day of an analyst position, and 15 minutes were left till the interview starts, and I was reading this article, and I did everything like what you said.

and thanks to this article I got the job.
thanks bro.

 
Dec 31,2016

Awesome post! Surely, it needs to be published.

 
Aug 31,2017

I keep rereading this because it is such a great post. Thank you!

 
Apr 30,2018

Amazing post, thank you whoever did this!

 
Jun 30,2018
Alulim:

Amazing post, thank you whoever did this!

That'd be me, you're welcome

Tried to insert my gmail on my last comment but think I forgot, it is frgna1@gmail.com

All my best
frgna

if you like it then you shoulda put a banana on it

 
 
Jun 30,2018
 
Jun 30,2018

Only on WSO do you get hit with monkey shit for being helpful...

Anyways, it's readily available online if you spend some time googling: https://barnard.edu/sites/default/files/guide_to_f...

 
Jun 30,2018

@newbie16 and @finance.bae, do you even get it?
Do you realise what's wrong with the request and the response enabling her?
She comes on this forum whose owners created the guide she is asking for and requests to receive this for free.
There are resources out there which are actually free and would take a simple google search to find.
This is lazy, entitled, disrespectful, and unethical.
The fact that you don't have $ to spend doesn't justify your request.

 
Jun 30,2018

I understand pretty clear, but here's the thing:

1) I think its funny that on a website where people solicit proprietary models and equity research documents, discuss lying on their resumes, and make misogynistic posts about women that this is where the line is drawn on decency and what is appropriate
2) this guide (among others) are circling around the internet and every IB target free of charge
3) I don't really care

 
Jun 30,2018

Thanks so much!!

 
 
Jun 30,2018

Hi Jonathannnnnn, check out these threads:

  • How do I nail an Informational Interview with head of division? Hey guys, So I have a 15-20 min informational interview coming up next week with the division head ... interview, heck even hire me for an intern if he wants (although I know that won't happen) but I just ... wanted to know if I needed to prepare anything in advance before my call. (I.E. Technicals, current ...
  • How to nail an interview dinner is an interview for you and for the bank. But really just relax. No one wants to go out with an ... able to knock the interview out of the park right? Wrong! See "The Why Credit Suisse ... beyond a certain point of knowledge the real question is do they want to invest in you. The first ...
  • Investment Banking Interview Questions- A Comprehensive Guide to get real questions and answer them as a simulation for interviews. The WSO investment banking ... the midst of investment banking interview season. I was in your shoes about five or six years ago. ... Here's a complete guide to answering the "why investment banking" question. The reality is you ...
  • IBD = Investment Banking Division " IBD " stands for "Investment Banking Division". As in- the division of a bank that ... investment banking division) a 100hr/week job?" you sound like a high school kid throwing out acronyms ... performs investment banking activities. This includes things like M&A, capital raisin
  • How to nail your MSF interview local, finance related firms that offer internships to MSF students. During your interview mention the ... a certain degree of focus, maturity and seriousness on your part to your interviewer. It signals that you ... during the interview; Blow some cash investing in the stock market. 4. Be calm, confident and dress ...
  • This is HANDS DOWN the ULTIMATE career path. Noone DARE disagree with me. a good idea. So here it is: 1. Enter the investment banking division of a bulge bracket bank, preferably ... reasoning behind why it is the "ultimate". 1. Contrary to what most people assume, getting ... to at least the VP level is quite a standard procedure. (THIS IS FOR BB BANKS, DOES NOT APPLY FOR ...
  • Why is the Investment Banking division important for the bank? Hi guys, I know what investment banking is about, but how would you explain the importance this ... division has for the bank? Why is it so important? I know it isn't only because of profits, but what ... else? This was a Goldman Sachs ' interview question for the summer analyst position in London. to ...
  • More suggestions...

Or maybe the following users have something to say: @eyu @Kemp Seeber @Henry-Chopra

If those topics were completely useless, don't blame me, blame my programmers...

 
 
Jun 30,2018

1) The vault guides in my experience suck. I don't think they do a good job of explaining stuff. WSO was much better in that respect but those are the only two I used really.
2) Relevant experience, modeling, pitches, writing, sucking dick.
3) You need to read your interviewer and go with the flow. If they lead off with a serious interview then follow their lead. If they seem more jovial then go ahead and be less formal.

 
Jun 30,2018

hey thanks richmondkey. just to clarify:
When you say vault guide, are you referring to the finance interview guide? or the vault career guide to top 50 banking?
Also, I am doing a research type of an internship right now and don't have experience with financial modeling and pitching. where do you think I can get enough information about those to prepare for interviews?

 
Jun 30,2018

The interview guide. I think the WSO guide and the M&I guide are both better put together. The top 50 banks is pretty subjective so I can't really comment on that.

Student organizations are the way to go with that. If you school has an IB club then a lot of those teach valuation and modeling. If not then see if your school has an investment club as you'll get exposure to both of those there.

 
 
Jun 30,2018

they will push you hard on why boutique. and i don't mean a regular "why boutique" question, they will grind you on why boutique and more importantly...why charlotte.

are you sure they sponsor?

 
Jun 30,2018
gekko2:

they will push you hard on why boutique. and i don't mean a regular "why boutique" question, they will grind you on why boutique and more importantly...why charlotte.

are you sure they sponsor?

I am not sure. I sent my cover letter along with my resume and I definite they know I am an international student.
I have a week until i receive the phone call and am reading Vault's guide to IB but I am not sure Why Charlotte at the moment..

Also should i consider my first interview as a fit/tech or an exploratory interview, I mean will the Associate grill me as such ..or I should expect that during the superday interview

 
Jun 30,2018

trust me, why charlotte is perhaps the most important question they will ask you. at least that's the sense i got.

they know a lot/most people want to go to ny and use them as a leveraging piece. why charlotte? you have family in the south, you went to school in the south.

what other reason is there to be in charlotte for banking over new york, chicago, SF/LA if you don't have family in the region or you didn't go to school there? none.

this question is even more important because you'd be an associate.

 
Jun 30,2018

Hey thanks Gekko, I am going to figure out that one!

 
Jun 30,2018

they're also pretty down to earth guys. so an answer like 'oh well the south is growing extremely quickly and i want to be at the center of that growth' will make them laugh. cut the bs and just be normal.

 
Jun 30,2018

McColl, Stephens and Edgeview will definitely be judging you on how you fit in the South. If you're an international student, I don't think you have much of a shot. But don't force-fit yourself. Just be yourself.

 
Jun 30,2018

gekko2 - From personal experience they are not down to earth people. The operate like an elite boutique or BB Expect the 120hr/weeks and the norm and getting a pile of work a 6pm everyday. They are tough on their analysts and it's a tough shop to get into, but a very decent place as far as deal exposure, deal flow, and name.

Hugh McColl the guy who runs the place was former CEO and Board of BoA and he also runs a PE shop in CLT....

http://www.falfurriascapital.com/
Landing a MM PE gig on the east coast or a mega fund in the south east shouldn't be a problem.

The interviews can be very technical and of course have why clt and why boutique down COLD. If you haven't came up with an answer starting thinking BS stories.

 
Jun 30,2018
oldmansacks:

gekko2 - From personal experience they are not down to earth people. The operate like an elite boutique or BB Expect the 120hr/weeks and the norm and getting a pile of work a 6pm everyday. They are tough on their analysts and it's a tough shop to get into, but a very decent place as far as deal exposure, deal flow, and name.

Hugh McColl the guy who runs the place was former CEO and Board of BoA and he also runs a PE shop in CLT....

http://www.falfurriascapital.com/
Landing a MM PE gig on the east coast or a mega fund in the south east shouldn't be a problem.

The interviews can be very technical and of course have why clt and why boutique down COLD. If you haven't came up with an answer starting thinking BS stories.

This is pretty bang on from my experience as well. I interviewed with McColl way back during senior year of college, and they pretty much came off as a bunch of NYC douches who thought they were an elite group of badass bankers who were too good for you. Much more an NYC feel than a Charlotte feel, although the why Charlotte and why boutique questions are critical to their evaluation of you. It's also pretty important you "fit" - which unfortunately for you means southern and white. The interviews were also more technical than your typical M&A MM/boutique like Edgeview, Stephens, Sagent, etc.

They do have pretty solid deal flow and good exit opps, especially into MM PE and especially in the southeast, though you'll have very good opportunities in New York as well.

- Capt K -
"Prestige is like a powerful magnet that warps even your beliefs about what you enjoy. If you want to make ambitious people waste their time on errands, bait the hook with prestige." - Paul Graham

 
Jun 30,2018

oldman - i actually heard that a lot prior to my experience with them. to be fair, i only interacted 3-4 people before dropping out of their process. so, OP, refer to oldman's experience with them.

 
Jun 30,2018

I have one week to prepare and I am positive, I can get my valuation concepts right + I have some modelling skills I learnt at school. I dont like to believe it is impossible especially before I have had the interview.

I am okay with working 120 hours/week if required and being an international student I have good command over english ( it is my 1st language and I use english more freq than my mother tongue)

I am just scared about brainteasers, what to expect from 1st interview and the charlotte question - which I will try to figure out as I still have one week.

But sincere thanks to all you guys!!

 
Jun 30,2018

to support what oldman said, i know someone who went from mccoll to carlyle CLT

 
Jun 30,2018

btw arnt they MM rather than boutique?

 
Jun 30,2018

i always referred to them as a boutique and didn't encounter any problems (ie telling lazard they're a boutique)

i didn't get any brainteasers going through analyst recruiting, but again, i go through the entire process.

 
Jun 30,2018

Hmm. okay!

Thanks guys.. any inputs regarding prep work will be highly appreciated!

 
Jun 30,2018

you'll do fine. be confident, smile and know your shit.

good luck.

 
Jun 30,2018

Thank you Oldman!

will keep u guys updated.

Cheers!

 
Jun 30,2018

Knowing your ACC sports is probably more important than knowing your technicals...

open the conversation by saying something like "Kyrie irving what a pos for selling out like that," or "how bout those heels harrison barnes pre-season num1 you bought your tix to new orleans yet??" or "UVA lax for life baby"

this is like a secret code to demonstrate that you are not just another clueless international student with spikey hair and pointy shoes. (comb your hair so it falls over your forehead but goes swoops right just above eye level, get some cole-hann hore-bit loafers, and a Vineyard Vines tie before the interview if you can)

Fit is very important at McColl because they are so small. they dont need bodies, they need Frat-stars. I suggest bringing a bud-light with you and shotgunning it infront of the interviewer to demonstrate how frat you are.

you better LOVE charlotte. Hugh McColl built that place with his bare hands! You can talk about how you love all the great, ok well maybe not great but at least conveniently located, sports teams right in the city. Go Panthers!!! Also cost of living there is NOTHING because it is so overbuilt and the banking economy crashed so you will be eating at overpriced steak chain restaurants every night for sure.

 
Jun 30,2018
deal_mkr:

Knowing your ACC sports is probably more important than knowing your technicals...

open the conversation by saying something like "Kyrie irving what a pos for selling out like that," or "how bout those heels harrison barnes pre-season num1 you bought your tix to new orleans yet??" or "UVA lax for life baby"

this is like a secret code to demonstrate that you are not just another clueless international student with spikey hair and pointy shoes. (comb your hair so it falls over your forehead but goes swoops right just above eye level, get some cole-hann hore-bit loafers, and a Vineyard Vines tie before the interview if you can)

Fit is very important at McColl because they are so small. they dont need bodies, they need Frat-stars. I suggest bringing a bud-light with you and shotgunning it infront of the interviewer to demonstrate how frat you are.

you better LOVE charlotte. Hugh McColl built that place with his bare hands! You can talk about how you love all the great, ok well maybe not great but at least conveniently located, sports teams right in the city. Go Panthers!!! Also cost of living there is NOTHING because it is so overbuilt and the banking economy crashed so you will be eating at overpriced steak chain restaurants every night for sure.

Seriously just laughed out loud at work after reading this.

 
 
Jun 30,2018

There is a list of technical and non-tech questions that have been posted on here, just search for them.

 
 
Jun 30,2018

I have found it to be incredibly helpful.

 
Jun 30,2018

Anyone get a chance to check out the blog?

 
Jun 30,2018

I did - and thought it was pretty solid. q

 
Jun 30,2018

I've been reading it for a while and know the guy who made it as well. It has tons of resources for anybody that needs to get ready for interviews. Good stuff.

 
Jun 30,2018

If you are new to investment banking, Wall Street Prep is a good source for you to learn the inside stuff. Check out http://wallstreetprep8.blogspot.com/ to get the discount.

 
 
Jun 30,2018

dude calm down and stop worrying, online apps are a huge mess anyway. Follow up by email to the person you talked with

"I came, I saw, I networked"

 
 
Jun 30,2018
Studiofan:

What skills do you feel are necessary to succeed as an investment banker?

You need to have strong analytical skills, the ability to explain very complex things in a way that everyone can understand, have excellent teamwork, stellar grades, work extremely well under pressure and under time restraints, the ability to multitask and you need to be personable enough that someone would want to travel with you/be stuck at an airport with you for hours.

Studiofan:

When firms hire new investment bankers what do they look for? What can one do to catch the eye of the top firms?

To catch the eye of the top firms you need to network. Networking generally means going to events, cold calling/warm calling until you get to know some people in the industry/specific firms you're looking at.

You usually come in as an intern in the summer (Summer Analyst) and from there you move on to a Full Time Analyst. After 2 years of being an analyst you are either asked to leave, or to work another year as a 3rd year Analyst, hoping to become an Associate. Getting your foot in the door is the hardest part, once you're there, if you're a good fit for the industry you will succeed.

Each investment bank is different in what they look for.

Studiofan:

Which universities do you feel provide the best education for business education?

1) Pennsylvania (Wharton School of Business)
2) Virginia (McIntire School of Business)
3) Notre Dame (Mendoza School of Business)
4) Cornell
5) A lot of people say Emory here, but I like Michigan (Ross Business School)

Studiofan:

What does an average day entail for an investment banker entail?

Studiofan:

Do you feel internships are beneficial?

Internships are both beneficial and mostly the key to landing full-time offers in such a competitive and lucrative field.

Studiofan:

Investment banking is known to be very stressful and time consuming, do you feel you have had to make sacrifices to achieve success?

Yes. A common interview question is "Your friends wedding is on Monday and you've told your team you will be out for it. You are in the wedding party. You get a call over the weekend that your client wants to meet with the deal team. What do you?" If you aren't willing to sacrifice things, you won't ever achieve at a level that it takes to make it rain.

Hope this helps.

 
 
Jun 30,2018
  1. yes
  2. questions will probably be a little different. one may ask you technical ?'s, another, just behavioral.
  3. you should be fine with studying the wso guides. I also read through the investment banking book to prepare...specifically the dcf and lbo sections...
 
 
Jun 30,2018

search function still works

 
Jun 30,2018
Loki777:

search function still works

I would like some advice since i'm economics student & my gpa is not stellar so i'm trying figure out as many ways i can leverage firms to give me an interview...

 
Jun 30,2018

Look at the WSO header image. To its right there should be the Interview Guides. Purchase the package and know it inside and out.

 
 
Jun 30,2018

In my experience they usually won't let you know if you haven't made it for a little while. If you haven't heard within a week or two...odds are not in your favor. You may get a standard rejection email eventually.
As for the technicals, depends on how "soft.." if you can't walk them through the financial statements or a DCF....you're in trouble

 
Jun 30,2018
 
 
 
Jun 30,2018

Bitch please, I love bananas! If you found my advice useful, hit me up with one.

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