My Favourite Question For Wrapping Up Interviews

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 (49)

 
Mar 13, 2017 - 10:35pm

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

Only two sources I trust, Glenn Beck and singing woodland creatures.
  • 1
 
Mar 14, 2017 - 12:30am

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.

 
Mar 14, 2017 - 11:47pm

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
  • 10
 
Controversial
Mar 14, 2017 - 2:23am

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!
  • 18
  • 10
 
Mar 14, 2017 - 2:49am

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

 
Mar 14, 2017 - 5:10am

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.

GoldenCinderblock: "I keep spending all my money on exotic fish so my armor sucks. Is it possible to romance multiple females? I got with the blue chick so far but I am also interested in the electronic chick and the face mask chick."
  • 1
 
Mar 14, 2017 - 6:11am

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.

Only two sources I trust, Glenn Beck and singing woodland creatures.
 
Mar 14, 2017 - 1:07pm

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.

 
Mar 14, 2017 - 3:17pm

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!
  • 6
 
Mar 14, 2017 - 3:17pm

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

Sips water*

26 Broadway where's your sense of humor?
  • 12
 
Mar 15, 2017 - 2:15pm

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."

 
Mar 17, 2017 - 2:23am

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

 
Mar 21, 2017 - 12:53pm

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.

 
Mar 14, 2017 - 8:19am

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.

 
Mar 14, 2017 - 9:36am

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.

 
Oct 9, 2020 - 2:56pm

I tried asking this question at the end of a buyside analyst interview before and it sorta backfired. The MD just replied "well this is just a first round and I don't know you at all so, I'm not really going to make a judgement call" and the interview sorta went awkward from there.

 
Mar 14, 2017 - 11:23am

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.

 
Mar 14, 2017 - 5:06pm

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!
  • 2
 
Mar 14, 2017 - 7:53pm

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.

Thanks, let me know if you ever need an introduction in the industry.
  • 1
 
Mar 15, 2017 - 1:47am

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.
 
Mar 17, 2017 - 2:00am

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.

 
Mar 19, 2017 - 4:50pm

I always ask how I should prepare if I were given the job today. Helps me understand what are the relevant things I could do to prepare myself, whether for work or for another interview if they do not extend an offer.

And it also shows that I am a proactive person (perhaps?).

 
Mar 19, 2017 - 8:55pm

A little off topic, but when they ask me what my greatest weakness is, I say "public speaking". Then I give a spiel about how I've been improving my skills and mention I'm good in small groups and 1-on-1 but seeing 20 or more faces can be a little daunting. Majority of people feel the exact same way and will sympathize with you. But obviously don't do this if your job requires presentation skills

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