Pre-Interview routine

Deal Team Six's picture
Rank: Neanderthal | 3,648

Obviously this depends greatly on an over the phone vs. in-person, but what does your process consist of? I have taken this opportunity to describe my phone interview strategy:

I hardly ever sleep the night before, because who knows, I may never get this opportunity again. I wake up groggy as all hell, and down a massive cup of coffee. Then I really get things going.

Get the shower going and throw on my guilty pleasures playlist. The songs I jammed this morning are:

End Credits - Pirates of the Caribbean Soundtrack
Behind these Hazel Eyes - Kelly Clarkson
Sk8er Boi - Avril Levine
Fergalicious - Fergie
Promiscuous - Nelly
4 Minutes - Madonna

This is of course all preference. I like to throw on the most absurd songs to calm the nerves and remind myself that if Madonna can save the world in < 4 minutes, Im pretty sure I can act normal for 30 minutes over the phone.

I get these bangers going at full volume to let my sleeping roommates know what I am doing is of the utmost importance. They need to be jacked up for ME, as this is my time to shine, and Im running this bitch back from the 20 straight to the end zone.

All kidding aside, I usually have about an hour left. I print out everything, rehearse in the mirror like a madman to ensure I say pitch book as opposed to bitch cook, and remind myself that if I fuck this up, there's always the Steak and Shake down the road.

I throw on dress clothes to act the part, never putting on shoes because I pace across my floor the entire time, and I don't want the interviewer to be cognizant of that fact.

Finally, I throw on one of Eminem's famous pump-ups like Lose Yourself, and pray the interviewer calls on time, and not to reschedule.

Mod Note (Andy): top 50 posts of 2017, this one ranks #40 (based on # of silver bananas)

Comments (74)

Sep 27, 2017

" if I fuck this up, there's always the Steak and Shake down the road."

Haha +1 SB. No formal phone interviews for me yet. Hopefully that will change soon.

"The only thing I know is that I know nothing, and i am no quite sure that i know that." Socrates

Sep 28, 2017

Thank you sir. Just keep grinding my man, it really is that simple. I worked unpaid positions 6 months before I could even entertain the idea of stepping foot in a bank. I know how hard it is and how discouraging the process can be. If you network everywhere and apply to every firm under the sun (especially the smaller regional players), you'll land them!

Sep 27, 2017

Interview routine:

sometimes I shave

sometimes I do not

thats life

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Sep 27, 2017

Night Before: brush up on technicals, mock interview, get a pulse of industry, nail down any specific industry items/ trends.

If I know who's interviewing me, try to learn about them.

Take something to sleep, preferably something with anti-anxiety properties in large dose.

Day of: (Always try to interview as early as possible), review notes, get rates, sp 500/ Dow, selected stocks.

Before interview, listen to pump up playlist, take a confidence booster (stimulant), rehearse answers to behaviorals.

    • 2
Sep 28, 2017

Very good point about trying to learn about the interviewee. I always do a quick LinkedIn peek to try and gauge them. Are they philanthropic? Do they take LinkedIn seriously? Are they good looking? Would they want to go out with me? So many questions

Sep 28, 2017

It's always a tough battle to figure out how much caffeine/ephedra to take before an interview. Take nothing or too little and you run the risk of your brain feeling slow, but too much and you turn kind of twitchy and anti-social. I have a MBA interview on skype next week so definitely going to try and find the sweet spot.

Sep 28, 2017
southernstunna:

It's always a tough battle to figure out how much caffeine/ephedra to take before an interview. Take nothing or too little and you run the risk of your brain feeling slow, but too much and you turn kind of twitchy and anti-social. I have a MBA interview on skype next week so definitely going to try and find the sweet spot.

You should know how much caffeine your body can take.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Sep 28, 2017

Good luck. I do a medium sized cup of coffee about an hour before, that was I can gauge my caffeine levels and readjust if needed.

Sep 29, 2017

Insead?

Sep 28, 2017

The same every time:

Wake up after an hour of sleep,
take 20 mg brain enhancer
listen to naruto theme
jack off to take the edge off
scream like super saiyan for confidence
profit ++++

Array

    • 10
Sep 28, 2017

Fuck me no wonder I havent landed any offers, I haven't been doing any of this! I blame WSO and their guide for not including this proper pre-interview practice

    • 2
Sep 28, 2017

+1 for Naruto theme - real question is which theme?

Best Response
Sep 29, 2017

bonus points if naruto running all the way to interview location
http://pad1.whstatic.com/images/thumb/4/4f/Run-Like-Naruto-Step-5-Version-3.jpg/aid315255-v4-728px-Run-Like-Naruto-Step-5-Version-3.jpg

    • 17
Sep 28, 2017

Day/Night before - review technicals, behaviorals, company news, company's Investor Relations, McKinsey/PwC industry insights

Morning of - Drink a lot of water, play some ambient music, check stock and index prices, read some newsletters. Delay eating as long as possible to feel sharper (but eat at least an hour before the interview). Take a cool/cold shower.

30 minutes before Interview - Caffeine+L-Theanine+Ashwaganda

Sep 28, 2017

I had a patrick bateman-esque ritual back in the day.

If you want some confidence, go LinkedIn search analysts at the firm you're applying to, look at some of the cucks that work there and realize that you can fucking do it.

I actually perform better when my confidence has been crushed so I would do some fucked up shit to make myself feel like a loser right before interviews. I got an offer from every superday I interviewed for SA and FT so goes to show you.

    • 6
Sep 28, 2017

I follow a similar ritual. Works nicely as long as you don't have the early morning interview that u sleep through

Sep 29, 2017

Best advice I received for in-person interviews: Go to their office about 15 minutes early, ask for the bathroom and drop a deuce. It sounds stupid until you think about it. It makes you feel at home and you'll perform better because you'll feel more comfortable with the environment.

    • 2
Sep 29, 2017

I do this everytime. Marking the territory with the deuce

Sep 29, 2017

wake up, shower, poop, fap, get dressed, walk out the door. In that order.

Sep 29, 2017

wake up, shower, walk out the door, fap, poop, get dressed. In that order.

    • 2
Sep 29, 2017

HR/mgmt phone screen routine: get woken up after a night of drinking by my phone ringing and proceed to take the call in bed

Once passed the HR/mgmt screen this is what I do...

A couple days before:

  • Homework on my interviewers. Focus on finding content (analyses/videos/ranking) to understand their communication style and cater to that. Personal stuff is secondary. If we both happen to like sport fishing great, but it doesn't add THAT much to an interview
  • Brush up on whatever I suck at, like accounting
  • Put together some semblance of a stock pitch in case they ask (don't offer one up)

The day/night before:

  • Exercise and eat well but don't change it up drastically, try to avoid drinking
  • Briefly review my pitch's valuations at market close to ensure the story is valid
  • Avoid screens before going to bed (I know reading is hard but give it a shot)
  • Get some sleep and never cram. The whole idea here is I like the industry and already casually follow markets

The day of:

  • Wake up, chug water, get the blood flowing with some calisthenics, poop
  • Take a cold ass shower, they absolutely suck at first but it's worth it
  • Eat the normal stuff, caffeinate as needed, skim the news
  • Aim to get there 15 mins early. But, RIGHT before leaving take 10 minutes to zen out
    • 6
Sep 30, 2017

Awesome routine, as someone who has interviewed a handful of times for ER positions it was nice to hear someone elses approach.

Sep 30, 2017

15 mins before interview = get a Chicken Mayo from McDonalds. Never failed one yet with that.

    • 1
Sep 30, 2017

Day before: Rehearse behaviorals and technicals for several hours
Day of: Sleep until 2 hours before the interview, eat like a horse 90 minutes before the interview, take a caffeine pill 20 minutes before the interview, cross myself and say a Hail Mary 10 seconds before the interview.

I come from down in the Valley, where Mr. when you're young, they bring you up to do like your daddy done.

Oct 1, 2017

I always always always work out the day of the interview, no matter how early it is. I feel like this, coupled with all the Waka Flocka at the gym, really gets my confidence up, especially if I do some of the heavier olympic lifts that morning.

Oct 3, 2017

Play Juicy J's - Drugged Out or Kanye's - Hold my Liquor and absolutely go bananas in a conference room or my apartment.

Oct 4, 2017

Im a 2nd year analysts so routine may be different. Ountiled below:

  • Wake up
  • Take a shower
  • Get dressed
  • Ensure my socks match my underwear (this is key)
  • Make as many buyer / client / internal MD calls as possible. I think this helps me by a) reminding me to talk in a confident manner, and b) through calling buyers / clients / MDs I get a lot of random questions which help me "think on my feet," obviously necessary for an interview
  • 25min before: listen to my "pump up" song (dreams and nightmears by Meek Mill)
  • Take a 10 min walk without my phone to completely clear my mind
  • get to meeting early(ish) to ensure I am going into correct place
  • Relax for 5-10min until meeting (or call) starts
  • Kill it.
  • Mention (politely) to hiring manager initial compensation outlined in the offer (or discussion) doesn't quite cut it
    • 3
Oct 4, 2017

+1, very interesting to hear about the approach of a more seasoned guy (relative to myself)

    • 2
Oct 6, 2017

"to ensure I say pitch book as opposed to bitch cook" thanks bruh now it's stuck in my head and I might actually say it next time

    • 2
Oct 7, 2017

You needa stop with the Fergie and put on that 21 Savage my g ! 21 21 21 haha good luck with everything !

    • 1
Oct 7, 2017

Thanks for the heads up, Too Hotty on repeat is how im doing things from here on out

    • 1
Oct 7, 2017

Atta boy! Put on that "built like me" by Migos, it'll help get your mind right. Good luck with everything bro

Oct 7, 2017

I generally talk to myself in the shower for an hour or two before interviews. Sometimes when I'm not feeling chatting I just need to get myself into the ramble on mood so I'll just rant to myself in my shower about politics or economics or whatever and that usually helps me get my bullshit juices flowing.

Oct 11, 2017

I always work out the morning of, and I eat a healthy breakfast loaded up on fruit.

Also, I listen to Tears for Fears, Hall & Oates, New Order, and Depeche Mode to get focused.

"Work ethic, work ethic" - Vince Vaughn
    • 2
Oct 12, 2017

+1 for music taste

Oct 11, 2017

usually a line of snow does the trick. not too much, not too little.
also, a line of adderall can, in truth, be much better, since it makes it easier to grasp your thoughts and also increases confidence a good deal.

    • 1
Dec 25, 2017

Nothing. I'm born ready.

Dec 25, 2017

After taking a shit, showering and dressing as sharp as possible, I go through my mental preparation.

I wanna get into that "beast mode". I was an athlete for most of my life and I always do the same process when I'm about to face any challenge, and after that, I really feel like I'm the most confident guy on the room. What goes through my mind is pretty similar to what mike tyson describes in this video:

https://youtu.be/S9MtJ164XJI?t=17s

    • 1
Dec 25, 2017

Im very similar. I wake up super early. Take an ICE COLD shower to get the juices flowing. Bump my HS football/lax pre-game track list to get my confidence through the roof. Sit on the subway and get mentally prepared. Walk over to the building blasting Kanye's Blood on the Leaves (the trumpet/horns get me going). I walk into the building feeling like the biggest BSD in NYC.

    • 1
Dec 25, 2017

every banker rubs one out before an interview

Dec 25, 2017
iambateman:

every banker rubs one out before an interview

ive heard that suppose to help ppl relax but does it actually work?

Dec 25, 2017

Haha - gross, but comical.

In all honesty, there are no secret tips or tricks to relax before an interview. You just have to find your confidence, and remember that if they didn't have an interest in you, you wouldn't have gotten the interview, especially in this market. Try taking your mind off of it - read a book, or a magazine on your way, make sure you know your stuff, and, again, confidence.

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Dec 25, 2017
Dec 25, 2017

Just repeatedly tell your self you are the man. Who da man? You da man.

Dec 25, 2017

Xvideos.com

Dec 25, 2017

just like Johny Drama does before filming

Dec 25, 2017

"just like Johny Drama does before filming"

Haha, that's the first thing I thought of when I read bateman's post

Dec 25, 2017

I watch porn

Dec 25, 2017

"ive heard that suppose to help ppl relax but does it actually work?"

From a physiological standpoint, yes. Releases endorphins, lowers your heart rate (post self-copulation), and eases stress/tension.

From a pleasure standpoint, definitely.

Dec 25, 2017

the answer is obvious if you're a dude, but what about for chicks?

Dec 25, 2017
drexelalum11:

the answer is obvious if you're a dude, but what about for chicks?

Good question... I wouldn't think excessive cuddling would be a good interview tactic... then again?

Dec 25, 2017

Get some xanax.

Dec 25, 2017

You're about to interview for one of the biggest opportunities of your life, and you're asking about relaxing? Shit son, you better re-read that days WSJ while listening to CNBC, Bloomberg, or FBN, in the background. Thumb through your finance and accounting text books too if you can.

But seriously, jerk it.

Dec 25, 2017

i've actually tried wanking before an interview. just makes me less aware and more sleepy. try retalin.

Dec 25, 2017
nicol87:

i've actually tried wanking before an interview. just makes me less aware and more sleepy. try retalin.

hahahaha

Dec 25, 2017

This works especially well for a phone interview, just take a shot of jack and have a beer on hand. For an interview you'll need to brush your teeth afterwards.

Dec 25, 2017
PowerMonkey:

This works especially well for a phone interview, just take a shot of jack and have a beer on hand. For an interview you'll need to brush your teeth afterwards.

Agree. For a phone interview I take a shot or two to calm my nerves, it actually works. In person, best thing you can do is know everything you need to know, there is nothing better to calm the nerves than confidence. Know your technical stuff, go over common fit questions, and come off as personable not a robot.

Dec 25, 2017
PowerMonkey:

This works especially well for a phone interview, just take a shot of jack and have a beer on hand. For an interview you'll need to brush your teeth afterwards.

Although a small amount of alcohol would definitely help become more sociable and relaxed, I feel like you run the risk of screwing up your technical questions (includes being too slow). Please let me know if you were joking.

Dec 25, 2017

You can always take a xanax.

But personally, a little nerves are a good thing. Its a delicate balance. It keeps you sharp. If you're 150% prepared, you should feel slightly nervous and very confident.

Its when you start feeling too comfortable that you do/say stupid things and feel overly confident so you deviate from everything you reviewed while preparing.

Dec 25, 2017

Solid advice. Point 4 is the most important. Rejection allows you to reflect where you went wrong and to ensure that you don't make the same mistake twice! The more interviews you do, the better you get at doing them.

Dec 25, 2017

I looked at #3, saw ur name and I'm like this dood forsure referencing my favorite movie - 3 Idiots! My man!

Dec 25, 2017

jumping jacks

What concert costs 45 cents? 50 Cent feat. Nickelback.

    • 1
Dec 25, 2017

Lol, hadn't thought of that. I hit the gym too but I am not really focused at this time, hope everything settles so I can jump back in properly again

Dec 25, 2017

During OCR the three things that helped me the most were hitting the gym, meditating (Headspace app is legit), and getting good sleep. Also make sure to keep your diet good.

Other than that, no matter how stressed you are, you need to not show it during the interviews. Just take a step back, be relaxed, and realize you've done everything you can do to prepare. Now all you have to do is have a good conversation with the person across from you. Something you've certainly done a bunch of times before.

    • 2
Dec 25, 2017

As noted above exercise. Try to practice different questions and get the best clear and concise answers. One thing I did as well is have a napkin or tissue in my pocket. This way you can get your hands a little less clammy before you shake any hands.

    • 1
Dec 25, 2017

https://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_lang...
This video helped me out alot especially during interviewing etc

Stress is your body preparing you for an important event, recognize that and embrace it. Your nervous because you have a big opportunity, acknowledge the stress and use it to prepare for the opportunity.

    • 1
Dec 25, 2017

Thanks for the input guys! Will watch the TED talk and try the app.

Dec 25, 2017
Dec 25, 2017