Think your interview went well? Think again

So I'm interested in seeing what other people's experiences have been like. After you interview for a position, if you think you did well, do you usually end up getting the offer? Or does the opposite happen? And vice versa. If you thought you did poorly, do you actually end up getting the job?

For me, in the past, I usually know that I did poorly, so I don't end up getting the position. But for recent interviews, I think I do well, but I'm always still on the fence as to whether I did well ENOUGH in comparison to the other candidates. For my SA position, I thought the interview went well, and I guess it did since I ended up getting the position. For a recent interview I had for FT, I thought I did well, but I'm still doubting myself with the thought that other people did better than me. And I haven't heard back yet, so, I'm a little worried.

What about the rest of you?

Comments (26)

Feb 16, 2014

The problem is that when they are interviewing 20+ people for ~2 positions, doing well simply isn't good enough a lot of the time.

Competition is a sin.

-John D. Rockefeller

Feb 16, 2014
Hooked on LEAPS:

The problem is that when they are interviewing 20+ people for ~2 positions, doing well simply isn't good enough a lot of the time.

Then that begs the question of how do you beat the odds? Does it really just come down to pure luck? No wonder we all stress so much over interviews. So much of it is out of our hands, no matter how well you think you did.

Feb 16, 2014

If you did the best you could, I would not worry about it. As for my experience, I had several instances where I thought did terribly but still got offers. Despite bombing technicals, I still got offers. This was probably because I connected very well with the MDs and VPs that I spoke with who focused more on behavioral and case study questions.

All in all, there is no point in trying to figure out what their decision will be. You did your part so its a matter of waiting for the response. Until then, keep looking for additional opportunities or just relax and hope for the best. Good luck to ya!

Feb 16, 2014

I'm pretty good at converting interviews to offers, but twice in my SA recruiting I went through an interview and thought I murdered it but didn't advance. It's a strange and uncomfortable feeling.

Feb 16, 2014

I know the feeling your talking about, weird how that stuff works out.

Thought I bombed a phone interview in the fall, ended up getting a superday...thought I killed the superday and was very confident, ended up getting put on an alternate list and did not get an offer

"I must create a system or be enslaved by another man's." William Blake

Feb 16, 2014

Personally I was pretty certain about the interviews in which I got offers. But in both cases the interviews were almost 100% technical so it was pretty cut and dry that I nailed it. I'd imagine for interviews which are more fit based it's much harder to tell.

Feb 17, 2014

I've gotten the offer or moved onto the next round every single time I thought I'd done well. For me, it was always very easy to tell, but I still wasn't always completely confident about securing an offer since there are always other candidates who could have done just as well or better.

Feb 17, 2014

I think it is usually pretty clear when your interview sucks and when you ace it, it is when it falls in between when you start to confuse yourself

Feb 17, 2014

When I went through interviewer training, we were told that we should aim to leave the candidate uncertain on how the interview went.

A completely separate observation - in some interviews, I've had really good rapport with the candidate, but have considered them not the best candidate and not advanced them. Don't confuse good rapport with interview going well.

Feb 17, 2014

What is the reason for aiming to leave the candidate uncertain? Would you say thats fairly common in BBs?

"I must create a system or be enslaved by another man's." William Blake

Feb 24, 2014

Yeah, this is a good point - good rapport does not necessarily equate to being a good fit for the position at stake. I had a co-worker who had just come back from interviewing a job candidate and said that they had a lot in common, knew a few of the same people, and had some coincidental connections so had a good conversation. He then went on to add something along the lines of "that guy is definitely walking out of here thinking he killed the interview and got the job because we chatted it up and had xyz in common, but I've already ruled him out."

Feb 17, 2014

@"SSits" Yeah I don't understand that mentality either. The interviewees already spend countless hours prepping, put massive amounts of stress upon themselves to make it through the interview process, which can take more than 2 months, and interviewers want to make them uncertain of the outcome? Don't you think that's a little cruel? And to make things even more confusing, you say don't confuse good rapport with the interview going well, so what ARE we supposed to feel?

The whole point of a college career is to secure internships, and in turn, to secure full-time positions. Playing games with an interviewee's mind is just too much, especially when everyone knows how competitive these positions are, the slim odds of landing that role, and when this whole process already depends so much on luck.

    • 2
Feb 17, 2014
newyorkstateofmind:

@SSits Yeah I don't understand that mentality either. The interviewees already spend countless hours prepping, put massive amounts of stress upon themselves to make it through the interview process, which can take more than 2 months, and interviewers want to make them uncertain of the outcome? Don't you think that's a little cruel? And to make things even more confusing, you say don't confuse good rapport with the interview going well, so what ARE we supposed to feel?
...
Playing games with an interviewee's mind is just too much, especially when everyone knows how competitive these positions are, the slim odds of landing that role, and when this whole process already depends so much on luck.

It's not playing games. It's about maximising optionality for the hiring firm.

If you think that one side of a deal needs not just to have empathy for how the other side feels, but must actually limit its own options out of charity and pity for the other side's feelings, then investment banking may not be the profession for you.

Feb 17, 2014

Hiring decisions usually don't get made in the interview. Even if the two interviewers make the decision without anyone else's input (not typical), they won't be able to confer and agree until after the interview is over.

Leaving the candidate uncertain is better than making them believe the deal is clinched, as the latter only leads to more disappointed expectations if the candidate doesn't make the final cut, whether because the two interviewers don't agree or because later candidates look even better. That maximises the flexibility for the hiring firm while minimising the downside.

On the other hand, there's no advantage to making it clear to a failed candidate that he or she has clearly failed in the interview.

    • 1
Feb 17, 2014

How do discussions tend to go when interviewers disagree about someone, specifically during superdays where a candidate goes through multiple interviews in a row with many different employees, and likely face different sets of questions.

I had a superday recently with 4 back to back interviews where I am confident with 2 and not so sure about the others. At that point do you just look at other candidates that all members agree on, or do you look back at qualifications/answers during the interviews?

This might sound like a dumb question but would appreciate any insight into the decision process

"I must create a system or be enslaved by another man's." William Blake

    • 1
    • 1
Feb 19, 2014

I recently had a on campus interview with Morgan Stanley for a summer internship position. Thought I had a great connection with the interviewer, who was female, alot of laughs and a very fluid conversation.

Ended up not being called for secon round interviews. Fml

WallStreetOasis Contributing Author - Intern

Check out my Blog

Check out my Twitter

Feb 19, 2014
Goldf1nger:

I recently had a on campus interview with Morgan Stanley for a summer internship position. Thought I had a great connection with the interviewer, who was female, alot of laughs and a very fluid conversation.

Ended up not being called for secon round interviews. Fml

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I had an interview for a IB SA spot. I thought it went well I connected with interviewer and the interviewer actually started talking about the details/logistics of the superday. Ended up not getting invited to superday.

~High GPA Crew~
~Firms Reach Out to Me Crew~
~Round Down My GPA to Look Modest Crew~
~Never Use 'Incoming' on LinkedIn Crew~

    • 2
Best Response
Feb 23, 2014
MyronGPA:
Goldf1nger:

I recently had a on campus interview with Morgan Stanley for a summer internship position. Thought I had a great connection with the interviewer, who was female, alot of laughs and a very fluid conversation.

Ended up not being called for secon round interviews. Fml

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I had an interview for a IB SA spot. I thought it went well I connected with interviewer and the interviewer actually started talking about the details/logistics of the superday. Ended up not getting invited to superday.

love seeing other miscers here. aware

    • 3
Feb 22, 2014

Question: I went through a final round with a very well-respected Asset Management firm. Sent thank-you notes to all the interviewers. I made a typo in the first one to a PM/MD. He emails me back, and asks me to fix the typo and re-send it to him in a new email.

Does this mean he might share the thank-you with his colleagues? I connected with him very well and remembered a lot of personal things from our discussion. He replied to my new email with a positive vibe hoping that we will cross again. Good sign?

Also, I received replies to all of my thank-you notes after my superday. In banking, I usually never get a reply. Does this mean anything?

Feb 23, 2014

If you think the interview went badly you almost never get it in my experience. At this level the competition is just too high..if you feel it did not go well there is some reason for that...even if it did not go as badly as you think that's prob still not good enough.

I have had countless interviews where I absolutely nailed it..every technical perfect, connected with interviewer, really good rapport with the whole team, highly relevant experience, impressed them with my story and did not get it.

After a number of heartbreaking processes (felt in my bones I had it but did not get it) I have come to the conclusion that you simply cannot put too much faith in the process....never get emotionally tied up in it (I know, easier said than done).

Interviewing is a lot like fishing. You can prepare as well as possible, have all the best gear, freshest bait and put yourself right in the spot where all the fish are feeding...but at the end of the day it does not really matter what you do...it is ultimately up to the fish to come up and take the bait.

Feb 23, 2014
Maherj1:

Interviewing is a lot like fishing. You can prepare as well as possible, have all the best gear, freshest bait and put yourself right in the spot where all the fish are feeding...but at the end of the day it does not really matter what you do...it is ultimately up to the fish to come up and take the bait.

I like that analogy. Sometimes the fish are just not hungry, are on a diet, or don't like the smell of your particular bait. I guess you just have to move on and keep on fishing.

Feb 23, 2014

I've interviewed for six FO jobs in the past five years and gotten six offers. (Admittedly some of this was luck) You just have to do extremely well (not perfectly) on the technicals and people have to like you.

If you're a genuinely nice person, it's a skill and you get better at it.

Feb 23, 2014

I think it's an added benefit if you have some Mandarin. After all, if you're in IB and need to meet Mandarin-speaking clients face to face they're a lot more likely to trust you if you speak the language.

Feb 24, 2014

If you're a non-Chinese person who speaks Chinese, my experience is you'll be treated little better than a talking dog ie a spectacle which mainly evokes condescension. The exception would be where your Mandarin is so fluent, you're practically a native.

If you're ethnically Han and don't speak fluent Chinese (regardless of your family's history), then instead you risk evoking contempt.

Feb 24, 2014
Comment
Feb 23, 2014