To Kill a Superday

I've recently been through 4 superdays (3 rejections and one waitlist). Crazy because every time I feel like I killed it (get all the technicals, polished behaviorals), but something apparently went wrong. Typically I do a pretty good job on first rounds, second rounds and such, but when it comes to Superdays/chatting with MDs/VPs, seems like I just choke for some reason. The most frustrating thing is that your interviewers are rarely helpful when you ask them for specificity on what went wrong.

At this point, I'm convinced that I'm missing something very specifically pertaining to Superdays. If anyone who's been through the process has any tips on how to specifically kill a Superday/final round interview, please drop advice below. Thanks in advance.

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Comments (22)

  • Analyst 1 in CorpStrat
Jun 11, 2021 - 5:15pm

went through like 14 super days and got an offer from the last place i interviewed with - keep your head up and it seems like you're doing everything right.

not sure how you're coming across but maybe if you are coming across too vanilla that could be a bad thing - have a personality talk about your interests show you're an actual person. that's what worked for me in the end

  • Associate 1 in IB - Cov
Jun 11, 2021 - 8:25pm

You raise a key point here about being too vanilla. It's worth remembering that we see hundreds of resumes and then a good handful of candidates in the various rounds of interviews we do. By the time you're sitting at the superday, you're generally passed the point where your ability to do the job is in question. Hence, this is your chance to make your off-resume achievements and personality stand out.

Remember - everyone has a 4.0, everyone went to a great school, everyone was the President of this and that club, in short - everyone is a winner ... Boring. Boring. Boring. Stand out and demonstrate what makes you unique. Hope this helps.

Jun 11, 2021 - 9:04pm

This makes a lot of sense. Would you say it's preferred to craft your stories around situations where you're demonstrating that you know how to do the job (i.e., they ask you about a time you had a team conflict and you talk about a team conflict in your past PE internship, for example, vs. talking about a conflict you had in your soccer team/art project group that might be a little more interesting and add a bit more personality but has no relevance to the job)?

Jun 11, 2021 - 5:38pm

Took me around 4 superdays to finally get an offer on my 5th attempt. Don't give up, my biggest advice is convey a message in your behavioral stories of what you want then to think of you. For me, it was fixing my structure of simple answers using key words from the application. Before, I just focusing purely on the accomplishment rather than conveying a message through tailoring my answer to the question.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Jun 11, 2021 - 5:42pm

Do you remember how you crafted your behavioral answers the 5th time around, like there they more concise or did you come up with unique storeis that made you differentiated, like not just class projects and shit

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  • Intern in IB - Cov
Jun 11, 2021 - 7:09pm

Listen, you have to optimize for novelty. That means embellishing your stories while being as true to you as possible. You need to be remembered as the (oh kid who did two VC internships he was chill) or something. You need to be social and downright as interesting AND/OR fun to talk to as possible.

Also keep your story short and sweet and your stories short and sweet as well. Be descriptive but DONT FUCKING DRAG ON BECAUSE THE INTERVIEWERS DONT CARE.

Hope this helps and gl

Jun 13, 2021 - 3:50pm

Before, I focused so much on a unique story that actually would hurt my answer bc it would be too long and I was essentially boring the interviewer (I would think of a complex problem on how I found the solution rather than focusing on competencies). I essentially then recreated my stories again by focusing on simple projects or accomplishments and how I was a key player in that accomplishment. So I would put an emphasis on qualities that made that accomplishment happen rather than explaining the accomplishment of what I was doing before. So in the S.T.A.R method, I put a huge focus on my Actions: communication, analytical skills, teamwork, etc. and I would keep the rest very short and concise. Lastly, on the R: I would tie my actions to how that resulted the result. 

This may sound simple as it sounds, but you really have to take the time to come up with uniqueness of your stories bc essentially you want to be able to get these stories down and then be able to tailor then to the question, which is the hardest part I would say but a few tries you'll start to get the rhythm and kill the behaviorals.

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Jun 11, 2021 - 5:52pm

7 superdays before getting an offer. Technicals was never a problem. What worked for me is guiding the conversation the way you want it to go. After hearing the same questions so many times i literally crafted the tail-end of my responses to naturally prompt a specific follow up i knew i could crush. Also I had to work on speaking more slowly and candidly so i stopped rehearsing after i figured being too practiced may have actually hurt me in earlier processes.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Jun 11, 2021 - 8:35pm

Had 4 and got offers from 2. What I felt/noticed was the biggest difference for me was being comfortable. On my first super day, I was nervous as fuck and it definitely showed with the one on one with the MD. On the two where I got offers, I was kind of in a relaxed more laid back mentality because I realized that is more who I am and at the end of the day, recruiting is a shitshow. You could have killed one super day and get rejected and then go into another super day and do shitty, but get an offer. Sometimes it really is luck. Keep grinding and it will pay off

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Jun 12, 2021 - 11:06am

I think the first poster it it on the nail. I got my offer on my 3rd superday and I think it's because I actually cracked a couple of jokes here and there and was super personable. I don't think I ever missed a technical in the first two superdays so had to have been the behavioral side. Also, make it a point to bring up ur interests at some point if they don't ask.

Jun 13, 2021 - 1:10am

I mentor kids for this through a non-profit and have a 100% rate of placing them into banking internships so I can offer some advice here.

What I usually tell them is that the superday will generally rely on technicals etc as a baseline requirement with fit and polish being #1 as long as the baseline is met. The superday is when your actual demeanor and mannerisms will show though so it is absolutely imperative that despite you being prepared for the questions, you need to be prepared to present and execute the answers in a way which is convincing to your interviewers that you are not just knowledgeable of the response but able to communicate it properly. Let me know if I need to expound as I know this is a very nuanced topic

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  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jun 14, 2021 - 3:48am

I have a couple of other buddies with Superdays coming up - do you mind sharing your more nuanced advice? A couple of them struck out on previous supers so I wanna make sure they improve. If you have the time, I'd love if you just threw up a ton of advice. 

Jun 18, 2021 - 4:14am

I'm happy to discuss more over PM. Each person I deal with has their own situation and unique upbringing so I'd rather have more context when providing advice as it isn't a one size fits all

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Jun 13, 2021 - 3:31am

went 3/3 on SDs and my biggest advice would be to smile and just be honestly happy to be there speaking with them. Think about it, you are a 20 yo speaking with senior people at huge banks, this is an amazing opportunity by itself, try to share this concept with them

Jun 13, 2021 - 12:17pm

I've gone 2/4 on superdays (in banking at least). The way I got comfortable with talking to seniors was by realizing that talking to them is just like talking to my friends parents (no my friends parents don't work in finance, but they're the same age).

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  • Intern in AM - Equities
Jun 13, 2021 - 1:13pm

I've only ever made it past the resume screen and Hirevues twice. Both times I passed the first round interviews, and the consequent superday for an offer.

I'd echo what others have said here and that's don't be too vanilla. In both my years of superdays I developed a connection with an MD by not acting cocky, not being vanilla, and just being genuine. The primary area to do so, in my opinion, is when its your turn to ask questions. I found an old reddit thread that had some good questions, and I've personally used a combination of these in all dozen or so of my interviews, and most of the time I get a stellar response:

1. What does success look like for an intern on the (team your interviewing for)?

2. What's been your favorite aspect of working for X company on Y team? Results in good followup convos

3. What advice do you have for someone in my position? Makes for a great segue into follow up convo and ultimately closing the interview.

4. Ballsiest- Besides a pay check, what keeps you coming back to work? I once asked this to an MD who I was quite comfortable with (although I knew him to be a hard ass from other interviewees), and he almost fell out of his chair and had to stop and think.

Additionally, SUPER important is having personalized thank you notes. My personal format is:

1. Thank them for taking time to discuss position X with you

2. Mention a part of the convo you had. If it was difficult, call it challenging and thought-provoking. Try to crack a joke here and keep it very personal. 

3. Thank them for their advice in a non bland way

I've personally heard from directors that thank you notes separate and distinguish candidates, so don't sleep on them.

Lastly, try to have a surprising amount of knowledge / expertise in a specific topic and make an effort to steer the conversation (naturally) to a topic where you can show this off. For me this was Options Greeks, market-making, and other derivative strategies and I would bring it up when asked what I'd invest in if given a sum of money.

Jun 14, 2021 - 3:54am

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