I'm from a non-target and, in part, due to mistakes avoided by listening to you lot for the last few years, I've landed an analyst role, so thanks! :)
My generation primarily and increasingly uses the internet to gain information. Although a wonderful source, it rarely has the same, lasting impact as a book. Just like every CEO can be heard claiming the key to their success is to surround themselves by people better than them, a book is a fantastic opportunity to borrow someone else's brain and learn about a subject you have never considered before or even knew existed.
When it comes to interview, you can't predict every question coming your way. But if you have a holistic view of banking and life in general, you stand a much better chance. I've probably read a book a month for the last six years. That sounds a lot, but it's not really much of a sacrifice if it gets you to where you want to be.
Just to start us off, here are some books that I have read over the years that I either really enjoyed or learned a lot from:
1.: Hedge Funds and the Making of a New Elite (S. Mallaby)
A nice primer for thewith a bit of history, a guide to the key players and some of the big deals.
2. Flashboys (M. Lewis)
If you ever wondered what happens in the milliseconds after a trader taps enter, this one is for you. The book explains the rise of High-Frequency Trading, how exchanges work (and the incentives they are driven by) and the rise of IEX.
3. Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure (T. Harford)
You can't go far wrong with Tim Harford, always insightful. The FT's "Undercover Economist" explores complex systems and how to deal with complexity. Will make you feel worryingly insignificant and question the way in which human beings have built and designed the systems that govern our lives.
4. Young Money: Inside the Hidden World of Wall Street's Post-Crash Recruits (K. Roose)
A beginners guide to what life is like at a Bulge Bracket for analysts. Some parts sensationalist but nonetheless entertaining.
5. Anything by Malcolm Gladwell (The Tipping Point, Blink, What the Dog Saw)
He just seems to get people. The examples he uses are always insightful and helped me build a logical toolkit.
6. Freakonomics (s. Dubier, S. Levitt)
It's a classic. Why we don't read this in school is beyond me. Just because we have always done it/thought it, does not mean it's right. This should be the real takeaway. Some on here may disagree, but a lot of people that work in Finance are far from masters of the universe. Don't be afraid to challenge things that seem wrong. If they seem wrong to you, they probably are. This book should give you the confidence to think differently.
7. Money Mavericks (L. Kroijer)
Follows the author from IB analyst atof his own fund. Helpful for those interested in hedge funds but also for those that want to set up their own gig; decent human element.
8. Poor Economics (E. Duflo, A. Banerjee)
Two wonderful development economists from MIT, a bit like in Freakonomics, challenge your inherent perception of the world's problems and how to solve them. Intuition is no match for data. They strip down macro problems to the human, micro level to aid the understanding of incentives and how to change them. Why are people in rural India averse to spending a days wages on a vaccine for their child but will spend a years wages and walk 50 miles to get them treated once they get ill? No, it's not because their stupid, it's all about incentives.
9. The Financial Times Guide to Investing (G. Arnold)
The driest book on this list, it's not designed to be entertaining. More of a textbook, it will give you a basic understanding of every major asset class from OEICs to. Afraid it just has to be done.
10. More Sex is Safer Sex (S. Landsburg)
The proof we have all been waiting for! Again challenges your perception of logic, but with more whacky examples.
11. The Great Crash 1929 (JK Galbraith)
Although an older title in it's writing style, goes some way to showing that humans are dumb and often fail to see the big picture.
Please add the titles you enjoyed, I need some more to read!