Yeah the title does sound like I had some Superman (woman in my case) experience! I spent the summer at one of the big 5 banks in Canada this year. (It is worth writing another post to elaborate on how I got the internship in the first place). But to make this story short and precise, it was 15 interns competing for 3 full time positions.
I being the only candidate in Vancouver (all the other interns were on thein Toronto), I thought it was reasonable to assume that I had a very slim chance of making it. To further support that assumption, I was told that I would be doing 4 phone interviews while everyone else did one-on-one interviews.
Nevertheless, I really prepared hard for those 4 phone interviews. From interpersonal to behavioral to problem solving to technical - I started a new notebook for all possible 'interview questions'. A friend who had been hired the year before told me to get the WSO Interview Guide - and it helped with the preparation too.
So the Interview day came, and I did back to back 4 phone interviews with 2 interviewers each. Some of the questions that are still fresh in my memory were:-
* It's Friday afternoon and you are the only trader on the desk. Suddenly 3 clients of equal importance call to do large trades. What do you do? (Problem Solving)
* There is one theory of 'Survival of the fittest', and another one of 'Survival of the most cooperative'. Which one do you think you belong to and why - answer in 45 seconds? (Interpersonal)
* If you think that the 2-10's curve will steepen - which trade will you put on? (Technical)
* If a client wants you to create a market for a trade that you deem risky for your book - which factors will you consider? (Technical)
* If you don't get this job and with no other bank, what would you do? (Behavioral - everyone seemed to ask this one; ask me my answer!)
* Explain all the Option Greeks (Technical, not one or two but all!)
* What happened to the Treasury yields and the USD when Ben Bernanke first mentioned tapering in May? (Technical)
* What is your view on the USDCAD and why? (Technical)
* Why do you want to be in S&T? (Behavioral)
Okay, so after doing those 4 interviews, I thought we could only pray to God and wait for the results. But there was more excitement awaiting me. Two weeks after those 4 interviews, I got a call from my HR manager and she said that I need to do 3 more interviews - 2 technical interviews and 1 excel quiz. Now that sounded intense, but I stayed till 9 pm in the office that day doing one last brush up on my technical. And it sure was an intense experience the following day. (But in retrospect I feel it was an incredible learning experience as it highlighted the vast ocean of learning opportunities available). Okay, so I thought that this would be it!
But hold on - I got one more phone call from my HR manager the next day, and she said that there was one last interview to be done. On one hand, I thought that it's great that I am still in the process, and on the other hand, I felt this unbeatable anxiety and pressure. But I continued my perseverance and my prayers to God, and next day sat for the phone interview.
Personally, I am very interactive and enjoy conversations - and luckily the two leaders interviewing me for the final interview shared similar personalities. So while it was a phone interview, it actually didn't feel like that at all. We had a candid conversation and they said that were having a really hard time choosing between me and the other candidate. And so at the end of the interview, it was more like tossing of a coin.
So the result was going to be out the next day and my heart was racing like the racecar that Michael Schumacher drives. But all that wait and anxiety ended at 2:08 pm when I got a call from my HR manager, and she said she had an offer for me!!
All is well that ends well!