Qatalyst Interviews

How do I prepare for Qatalyst's interviews? for anyone that went through the SA or lateraling process?

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Mar 9, 2021 - 5:33pm

I interviewed and two from my school accepted SA offers there. Interviews were intense and technical and dug deeper on tech and finance knowledge than anywhere else I interviewed (BB or EB). Expect many rounds - I got cut after 7 and the kids who got offers did 10+ each.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Mar 9, 2021 - 9:08pm

Interviewing for it has begun with very select people, yes.

The internship itself has not, because we are currently in the year of our lord two thousand and twenty one. 

  • Associate 2 in IB-M&A
Mar 9, 2021 - 9:37pm

I tried lateraling. I did 3-4 interviews and got positive feedback throughout the process, including after the last one. While waiting for next steps (which likely woulda been another interview or perhaps wishfully a superday) I then got another offer that I wanted to use to accelerate their process...they told me gfy so I accepted the other offer.

So depending on how bad you want them, may need to be patient. You may kill the process if you ask them to accelerate.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Mar 9, 2021 - 11:21pm

Tried to lateral but got ghosted after a few calls (which all went super well) once they realized I'm international. This was shockingly similar to the negative experience I had with Q when recruiting FT. It's truly remarkable to me that such a prolific tech bank can have such a messy, poorly-communicated recruiting process run by the world's least responsive HR people. Despite half of their team coming from Canada, they stopped sponsoring recently for some unclear reason (guess the transaction fees they get from $30B mergers aren't enough to pay a couple of $10K fucking H1-B application fees).

If you're not an American citizen, don't waste your time with these guys.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Mar 9, 2021 - 11:58pm

Completely understand the frustration, but just for your international point why pay $10k for Canadians when you have Wharton, Stanford, Ivy league, really really strong state school etc.. students right here in America? 

  • Intern in IB-M&A
May 30, 2021 - 11:27am

Bump. A recruitment agency (working for Qatalyst) recently reached out to me apply to their FT Analyst position in London.
Submitted my application and within a few days was invited to make their online assessment. I'm guessing I passed (just finished it so I'm not sure yet). But I'm international and live in Continental Europe. So I guess that's an auto-ding?

Jun 5, 2021 - 10:52am

Got the invite to the test just yesterday. Do you perhaps have any input on what to expect? Didn't find much noteworthy w search.

Did you hear back after the test already?

I'm also paneuropean, so would be interested if we're flipped automatically.

May 30, 2021 - 3:55pm

For you personally, I don't know but maybe sharing my experience can be helpful to you as something to learn from as I did not advance in their process. Somehow was invited to interview with them for an SA role in college. Interview was morning after super bowl. I think I spent most of the game prepping but did watch a bit of game/commercials. Interviewer was like a VP and asked me what my favorite commercial was. Nevertheless, seems like the people I know / my friends who work there and/or have worked there were very sharp on the financial technicals. At the time, I don't think I would have been surprised if those guys could have gone on to the top HF/PE/IB jobs based on qualification/entry knowledge. Also, they seemed to know tech and have a meaningful passion for the sector. The guy who I know who still works there I believe I very passionate about tech. When Frank came to speak for OCR in like 2014 was a very tech heavy crowd (plenty of Wharton engineer types from my memory) who all seemed to love tech. Good luck. I hope this helps

Jun 6, 2021 - 9:46pm


Also, they seemed to know tech and have a meaningful passion for the sector. The guy who I know who still works there I believe I very passionate about tech. When Frank came to speak for OCR in like 2014 was a very tech heavy crowd (plenty of Wharton engineer types from my memory) who all seemed to love tech. 

Exceptional insight - has anyone else heard that guys at the Q are into Tech?? First I am hearing of this

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Ind
Jun 8, 2021 - 6:19pm

Can confirm after going through the lateral process, you will find many people at Q to be from a Stats, Math, or Comp Sci background.

While not everyone at Q is from a STEM background, a lot of people there do have a deep passion for tech that really is hard to beat with a lot of shops having tons of bankers who work in tech, not a ton of tech people who work in banking. 

Because of this, you will find that people do typically not go to PE or HF's out of Q. And this is not because Q is a bad shop. On the contrary, it is because the people at Q are from these more STEM backgrounds and like tech so you do see many more people going into Venture Capital or Growth Equity or even Corp Dev / Strat since they are more focused on being in tech long-term and following their interest rather than being your typical bankers. 

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Ind
Jun 8, 2021 - 6:14pm

Just went through a lateral process to move out to the west coast and did a lateral process with Q. 

My route of going through this was reaching out (since networking is hard for some of us) was to go through and reach out to the analysts. I focused on those that had lateraled since they understood what I was wanting and were the best advocates I had in the process. Once I had talked to a few and they had said that they had "sent my resume to the recruiter", I then went and followed up until I got the interview.

My Process and Advice:

  • Q moves very slowly, if you're looking at lateralling to any other BB or EB then you want to start your reach outs and networking here first since they take a few weeks to get converted for first rounds and then run their proceeding rounds slower than a BB which would superday you or an EB which may highly accelerate.
  • Even if you have competing offers from other top EB's and BB's, it doesn't mean Q will move to accelerate or match. I had this first hand with a few other offers from the other top shops and Q offered to continue interviewing but would not accelerate.
  • The interviews are technical from a SaaS perspective (DUH). Expect the questions to come in a few different ways:
    • Your normal 3 statement banking questions but applied to SaaS (ie do deferred revenue for a SaaS company on a multi-year contract). I personally found that the IB Vine "Outside the Guide" section had some of the exact questions I was asked in my interviews.
    • Understanding SaaS terminology and technical terms (ie the differences between gross and net retention) For this I found that the For Entrepreneurs guide on understanding SaaS part 1 and 2 are fantastic to answer these questions
    • Recent deals or trends that you're following in the industry. Be able to go through and find 2-3 deals and talk about how they highlight trends you're seeing in the market. 
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