I have an interview tomorrow for an Equity Sales Intern position. I wonder what I should answer to the question "Why sales?" I guess one part of the answer should be "because I like to sell things", but what else do they usually want to hear ?
Thanks a lot for your answers.
Why do you want to work in Sales and Trading?
In any sales and trading interview on Wall Street, candidates will likely be asked to answer some variation of this question: Why Sales and Trading?
To tackle this broad question, you need to consider two components. Why are you interested in the division and what experiences do you have that can back up this interest? This story should highlight your interest in the markets and in the competitive, fast paced nature of sales and trading. If you can speak to the atmosphere of the trading floor (after having visited), you should touch on that as well.
In many summer analyst positions, candidates will also be asked to preference why sales vs. trading?
How to Answer the Why Sales Question
When explaining why you want to work in sales - you should curtail your answer to strengths and experiences that you can speak about. You could use a combination of the reasons below or a myriad of other reasons to explain why you want to work in sales.
- Entrepreneurial/meritocratic environment: You are paid/promoted based on your skill in generating investment/trading ideas for your clients and finding value where others fail to do so. Stress that it's less political than other areas of the bank and that it's more fair/meritocratic, thus appealing to your personality, etc. (@fishbeancake)
- You like the challenge of interacting with different clients and coming to an understanding of their business and how your product can suit their needs as well as moving your trading desk's risk. (@Jimbo)
- You're great at managing relationships and seeking common solutions - i.e., balancing the interests of your traders and clients.
- You enjoy debating and persuading, so working with clients is right up your alley.
Traits to Mention in a Sales Interview:
- Entrepreneurial / Merit Based - Fast advancement for high performers
- Client Interaction - Relationship manager and problem solver for clients
- Expectations Manager - Able to have difficult conversations with clients when unable to fill requests
- Persuasive - Skilled at communicating ideas and persuading those with different beliefs
Read More About Sales & Trading On WSO
- Sales & Trading Interview Guide - Gekko's Guidance Part 2
- Breaking Into Sales & Trading?
- College Major For Sales And Trading (& Is Trading Dead??)
Want a Career in Trading?
To begin preparing for your interview, WSO Prop Trading has everything you need to know for prop trading interviews, including a myriad of questions with thoroughly explained answers.