Most Common Behavioral Questions for IB Interviews

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most common behavioral questions for IB internships

Can we get a list going?

Frequently Asked Behavioral Investment Banking Interview Questions

While investment banking interviews include a variety of technical and behavioral questions to see if you truly fit the demanding environment that is IB, the community of WSO has gathered to help list a few of the commonly asked IB questions!

  • Why investment banking?
  • Why would you be successful in investment banking?
  • Explain a time where you experienced leadership/teamwork?
  • Why this company?
  • Explain a time where you had difficulty working in a team.
  • Explain a time you had to juggle numerous tasks.
  • What do you do in your free time?

While this is by no means an exhaustive list, this is a good starting point to getting an edge on the behavioral portion of the investment banking interview!

Check out a good video with a sample "Why Investment Banking" interview question.

You can check out our free finance interview guide with guidance on behavioral and technical interview questions.

Also you should check out our comprehensive and free Investment Banking question guide.

Preparing for Investment Banking 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. This guide will help you learn how to answer these questions and many, many more.

Investment Banking Interview Course Here

Comments (11)

Jan 3, 2009

Here are a few I've been asked during my interviews:

Give an example of when you've been required to pay particular attention to detail;

Why investment banking? (this seems like an obvious one...but a lot of people don't answer it properly)

What characteristics do you possess that would make you a successful IB analyst/SA?

Why our company? Why this particular group (if you interview for regional positions you'll be interviewing with a specific group within the IBD)?

What do you do in your free time? Do not be the guy that claims to follow the market every second of every day.

Jan 3, 2009

tell me about a time you displayed leadership.
tell me about a time when you worked on a team and there was someone who wasn't pulling their weight. how did you deal with the situation?

Jan 3, 2009

"tell me about a time you had to persuade a group of people and how you did it."

"can ethical standards be too high in a firm?"

"if you were running the bank, where would you take it right now?"

...Usually the bank's career website will have some resources to help you prepare and it lists characteristics that they are looking for in a candidate... try to find these if you havent yet and match them up with separate team, academic, work experiences you've had... often the characteristics include teamwork, adaptability, initiative, etc...

And always expect some really odd questions too... I got this one:
"tell me the full names of the three people who interviewed you before me and how you prepared for this day." I got this one as I was walking into the office, before even sitting down.

Jan 3, 2009

How would you answer the "can ethical standards be too high in a firm?"

Jan 3, 2009

I answered it as follows:

"No, I do not believe that ethical standards can be too high since first class business should be performed in a first class way and obviously ethics theoretically cant cause harm... HOWEVER, it must also be acknowledged that rules too strict might hinder performance in the creative sense... people might be afraid to be bold and think outside of the box if they fear that they might break some high and strict standards... "

I discussed this specific question with two MD's at my interviews and I got a very good response to my answer. You can twist it any way you want, just be sure to express the need for a healthy balance.

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Jan 4, 2009

In response to pedigreed monkey's post... WSO just released a guide of their own of just technical questions. Almost 150 questions and only $9. Click the guide link at the top of the site. I think a behavioral one is coming soon.

NEVER lose your BlackBerry

Jan 4, 2009

what's the worst mistake you've made in a professional context

that was a tough one for me since i hadn't prepped for i ended up telling the truth, which was a story that didnt make me look particularly good

Apr 8, 2018


I'm making it up as I go along.

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Jan 4, 2009

You need to aim higher Cornelius (well, lower, depending on the perspective).

Jan 4, 2009

Rule one of any game or con: You can only get smarter by playing a smarter opponent.

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