3/19/17

I don't remember where / who I stole this from, remember kids, there's no originality in banking, but my favourite question when they ask: "Do you have any questions for me / us":

What is it about my resume and experience that interest you.

It's a beautiful question, makes them recite a list of why you're awesome, right before you leave. Aside from the ego stroke, it makes them verbalise about why they should hire you. Also, their answer lets you know what they are focusing on, so you can tailor your follow-up and prep for the next round interview.

What are your favourite questions?

Comments (43)

3/13/17

Genius.

Investment Banking Interview Course

3/13/17

Assuming that it is a new company:
Why do you choose to work here instead of another firm?

3/14/17

One of the safe questions I ask is this:

"Tell me a little bit about your background? I mean what did you study at University and how did you find yourself in banking?"

Generally they'll answer the question with something and I would use their answer to hook another question. i will give you a general example of an interview I did a year or two ago:

Interviewer: "I think that is all. We have some time left for questions - do you have any?"
Interviewee: "Yes, please. I was wondering what is your background? I mean what did you study at University and how did you find yourself in banking?"
Interviewer: "I studied Economics at Cambridge and did an internship at XYZ then ended up here bla bla"
Interviewee: "Which college did you go to if I may ask?"
Interviewer: "Selwyn College"
Interviewee: "Yeah, they have a fantastic rugby team - have been winning a lot recently. Do you play sports yourself?"
Interviewer: "Yes, I played rugby at college actually. I played in the first team bla bla"
Interviewee: "I'm assuming you played union rugby? If so, do you know a professional player called XYZ who play for XYZ? I know his sister - he's pretty a big guy"

From there we struck up an interesting conversation about rugby and what position we both played. I ended up with the offer.

Above example is a good example of the way I ask questions at the end - try to hook it up with something outside of work and show them my personality.

3/14/17

Good thinking and I love this thread btw op. Oddly enough most the people I've interviewed with tended to talk about their background at the start of phone screens and superdays.

3/14/17

The "I played rugby" conversation usually goes well until you say that you were a hooker

"He was an idiot! He was a bouncer who got his Series 7" - Josh Brown

3/14/17

I always ask questions that I already know the answers to. I am very good at finding information about people in creative ways. Usually starts with a linkedin check, a finara broker check about their past work history, instagram/twitter and most importantly facebook check. A lot of times they will have their facebook semi private, but the part where u can get a lot of info is from their friends. Usually the closes friends and family are the ones that like thier profile pictures and whatnot, these "likes" show up a lot on their public profiles. From there I now have access to 20-30 of their closes friends and families as well as those people's facebook accounts.

There was this one MD who's facebook was very private except for his pro pic which listed the 40 likes it had. I clicked on the number 40 and it showed me everyone that liked his pics. From there I was able to find his mother's profile as well as his wife's. Going into the interview I knew where he got married, his children's names, what private schools they went to, what sports they play, what organizations they support, etc.... Oddly enough going into the interview him and I had *A LOT in common ;)

We're not lawyers. We're investment bankers. We didn't go to Harvard. We Went to Wharton!

3/14/17
gridironceo:

I always ask questions that I already know the answers to. I am very good at finding information about people in creative ways. Usually starts with a linkedin check, a finara broker check about their past work history, instagram/twitter and most importantly facebook check. A lot of times they will have their facebook semi private, but the part where u can get a lot of info is from their friends. Usually the closes friends and family are the ones that like thier profile pictures and whatnot, these "likes" show up a lot on their public profiles. From there I now have access to 20-30 of their closes friends and families as well as those people's facebook accounts.

There was this one MD who's facebook was very private except for his pro pic which listed the 40 likes it had. I clicked on the number 40 and it showed me everyone that liked his pics. From there I was able to find his mother's profile as well as his wife's. Going into the interview I knew where he got married, his children's names, what private schools they went to, what sports they play, what organizations they support, etc.... Oddly enough going into the interview him and I had *A LOT in common ;)

That's fkn creepy

3/14/17

No it isn't. I bet the MD doesn't know how this kid got all that info, and assumes he found them out during networking chats. That isn't creepy.

Former fake Frank Quattrone
youtube.com/watch?v=XwOAS1TBoN4

3/14/17

I would agree with you, but caution that most people outside of IB will think this is creepy. I would tread carefully when interviewing outside of IB (not that you ever need to interview, Frank :))

3/14/17

Yeah, coming to think of it, most people with a respectable, demanding job wouldn't bother checking out (and updating) their facebook and sometimes even LinkedIn. Too less time at hand for that. But yeah, guys with enough time to maintain an updated, regular facebook timeline would find it creepy. Though I haven't found a good number of people in high finance/consulting who would want that.
That being said, after retiring, Facebook's been keeping me quite a bit amused and updated on stuff I missed out on in the last decade.

Former fake Frank Quattrone
youtube.com/watch?v=XwOAS1TBoN4

Best Response
3/14/17

Never know when you might need the info. Interview going bad? Smile and say I know where your kids go to school.

3/14/17

Very important advice. Follow it up with this phrase if you don't hear back for a few days:

3/14/17

This why my LinkedIn hasn't been updated in 3 years and my Facebook is private as they come - also has not been logged into for years.

3/14/17

I commented on a thread a few months ago about how a kid asked me how my vacation was because he peeped my gram. It was creepy - we don't like it. Linkedin is fine, just keep it professional for the interview.

I don't usually like someone because they have a lot in common with me, I mean sure it helps but at the end of the day I want to see if you're a cool, smart guy/girl with good work ethic.

3/23/17

I think you are vastly underestimating how much having stuff in common positively influences how you feel about that person.

3/14/17

Ok guys need to clarify. I drop subtle hints. when he asks me what I do for fun:
"I like to go boxing every now and then. There's actually this really good gym around the corner that I'd like to join if I work her... Wait what? You've been a member of that gym for 7 years and are in charge of outside social events for all the members? No way!"
"When I was in high school I was looking at some of the boarding schools in CT. Hotchkiss and Deerfield are really nice? Oh your son goes there? I almost played soccer there? He's the captain of the soccer team? Excellent! How's Coach Felipe doing?"

that type of stuff.

One of the guys was a huge italian soccer fan. I personally just watch major premier league games every now and then. Regardless, I loaded up on recent news that's happening with Juventus since their stadium was his cover photo. We talked about it for 30 minutes, which was scary because I had only googled relevant info the night before that would give me 5 minutes of talking points. good thing the guy could talk for days and told me about his vacation to Italy last year.

We're not lawyers. We're investment bankers. We didn't go to Harvard. We Went to Wharton!

3/14/17

Coach Felipe was indicted on charges of running an underground drug and sex ring and is currently facing 20-30 behind bars.

Sips water*

where's your sense of humor?

3/14/17

This is unbelievably creepy, does this happen on a larger basis than I think? Anyone else do this?

3/15/17

The MD might lay the smackdown on you for saying Deerfield is in CT.

3/15/17

You do know it's pretty easy to tell when someone already knows the answer to the question you just asked them...

I can already picture you there in an interview asking where the VP went to vacation last year with a knowing smug smirk, thinking "fuck yes I know you're going to say Cancun! Now let me try to remember what I know about Cancun from that EliteDaily article I read last night."

3/17/17
gridironceo:

I always ask questions that I already know the answers to. I am very good at finding information about people in creative ways. Usually starts with a linkedin check, a finara broker check about their past work history, instagram/twitter and most importantly facebook check. A lot of times they will have their facebook semi private, but the part where u can get a lot of info is from their friends. Usually the closes friends and family are the ones that like thier profile pictures and whatnot, these "likes" show up a lot on their public profiles. From there I now have access to 20-30 of their closes friends and families as well as those people's facebook accounts.

There was this one MD who's facebook was very private except for his pro pic which listed the 40 likes it had. I clicked on the number 40 and it showed me everyone that liked his pics. From there I was able to find his mother's profile as well as his wife's. Going into the interview I knew where he got married, his children's names, what private schools they went to, what sports they play, what organizations they support, etc.... Oddly enough going into the interview him and I had *A LOT in common ;)

Hahahaha. Goes to show, if you're going to stalk, might as well do it properly

3/17/17

This is epic

3/18/17

Change your name to PatrickBateman RFN

3/21/17

This is brilliant. Information is power. "Creepy" is a very relative term - unattractive guy hits on a woman? He's a creep. Charming guy hits on a woman? He's got game.

You ask your interviewer about the vacation you saw on his gram? Creepy as fuck. You subtly steer the conversation into the right topics based on your prior research of the interviewer's online presence? That's called being prepared.

Investment Banking Interview Course

3/14/17

I always ask senior employees what they relationship is like with their subordinates (e.g. ask associates what their relationship is like with their analysts). It sounds like a simple question, but you would be surprised with the answers that I have gotten.

3/14/17

Colleague just reminded me of one (pair):
- What's your favourite thing about the culture here?
- What's your least favourite thing about the culture here?

Great for identifying red flags, if they go quiet and say, "well, um"...

Equally useful when interviewing candidates from another bank, if you can get them to start complaining about the bank they came from, makes your decision making much easier.

3/14/17

What are your concerns, if any, that I might not be a good fit for the position?

This question allows you to gauge how the interview really went. If it went well, they will not have any concerns or if they do, it is something easily addressed. If it didn't, they will outline what their biggest reservation is, allowing you the chance to respond and reiterate your argument.

3/14/17

Any backfire to this?

3/14/17

Lots of good points in all of this. Personally I got into the habit of doing three things during that 5 minute "ask me" section.

This is super-formulaic but developed from coffee-networking and felt/was natural. Analyzing it in hindsight:

1) Use the time to build rapport, within or outside of the work conversation. Generally I've found that most interviewers will give their background, but if they have not I would ask about it and try to connect. - Demonstrates social capability / empathy.

Necessary to be remembered at all.

2) Beat them to the "Okay seriously, time to get out of my office". Be the one to end the conversation, on time. Thank them for their time, and salute their busy schedule by kissing the bank's ass about the deal-flow. - Showes situational awareness (not autistic) and close mental attention to the clock / deadlines.

Demonstrates quality of a good analyst.

3) After the exit segway, "Before I go, is there anything else you think I should know about this group / this role / the industry?" - Give's them the last word, an opportunity for them to get invested through advice, and demonstrate's thoroughness.

Demonstrates quality of a good analyst.

Every candidate will try and tell their interviewer they have the qualities of a good analyst, but I think 2 and 3 give you an opportunity to actually show a few basic capabilities that saves time and ensures quality work process, and that you are possibly ahead of your competition in terms of time it will take you to take on the kind of workloads you were hired for.

3/14/17

Always hate when they ask "what is your compensation requirements?"

If I ever had the power to do this and was an attractive enough of a candidate I would say "My salary requirement is the maximum amount of money that is in your allocated budget for this position, and not a penny less." With a serious face.

We're not lawyers. We're investment bankers. We didn't go to Harvard. We Went to Wharton!

3/14/17
overpaid_overworked:

What is it about my resume and experience that interest you.

Awful question. I don't even look at your resume until we start interviewing...

3/14/17

I'd have to agree. I'd be annoyed if I was asked this question, it's like going on a date and asking the girl why she went out with you.

I'd end up giving a polite answer so it doesn't get anymore awkward than the candidate just made it, and walk away with the impression that they either don't understand what we're looking for, or can't come up with anything better than crappy generic canned questions.

3/15/17

Agreed. This question would only make sense if the interviewers were the ones who screened the resumes originally. I didn't have a choice about your presence in front of me, so there very well might be nothing that interests me personally.

3/23/17

Yea, you need to be aware the type of interview. If this is a one-off position or a position you created for yourself, this question works. But if this is post-grad, entry-level interviews where I need to get through 20/day if a person asked me this I would laugh.

3/15/17
overpaid_overworked:

I don't remember where / who I stole this from, remember kids, there's no originality in banking

Indeed. Originality is reserved for hedge funds.

Overwhelming grasp of the obvious.

3/16/17

I always ask them to tell me a joke.

3/16/17

What're some of the best you've gotten?

3/17/17

When can I start? - During my early days, I would always ask this at the end because 1) I already showed you that I am good, 2) there are other firms who wants to hire you, 3) I am setting the expectation for the next step.

Usually there are a few responses:
1) We will let you know - Translation: your chance of getting is very low. This just means that you are just one among the 100s that they interviewed. Or they already had someone that they want and you are just there to prove that they had interviewed enough people for the job.

2) Well our next step will be to round up everyone to get a feel of the candidates internally and we will get back to you - Translation: you are being considered seriously and there is a path to get there. I would usually ask a bit more on i) what is your concerns about my candidacy that the employers has [lack of experience, fit]; you would take this chance to convince them, ii) what is the steps on deciding [sometimes if all the candidates looked the same, sending in work samples at this point would help]

3) The best one is that something along the line of "Well you the most qualified candidate so far, we just need to run through HR to fill in the paperwork. When can you send in the data to HR so that we can do our background check and get the paperwork done?" - There are cases where the employers will tell you straight up like that.

3/17/17

I like this one. It's kind of a "put on the spot" type of question that forces them to make a jusgement about what they think of you, at least in their mind. How they actually respond tells you all you need to know if you can read between the lines as you pointed out

3/18/17

I feel like this one is gold if you have got them smiling and laughing but shit if you don't the breakthrough. And I'd be much more willing to say this in person than on the phone.

3/19/17
3/19/17
3/25/17
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