What are Some Good Questions to Ask the Interviewer at the End of the Interview?

soontobe's picture
Rank: Monkey | banana points 49

I was just wondering what some good, intellectual questions would be to ask the interviewer at the end of the investment banking interview session?

I've seen in a lot of mock interviews that they always ask if we (the interviewee) have any questions for them. I heard that it is good to have at least 2-3 questions to ask.

Bank Specific Questions to Ask an Investment Banker Interviewer

  • I bet you were in my shoes a few years ago -- what initially attracted you to X bank?
  • How does your experience compare to your friends who work at other firms?
  • If it's associate who was a direct-promote: "What influenced your decision to stay with the firm for the longer term?"
  • Excluding the people you work with, tell me what you enjoy most about the job and the firm

Firm Culture Question at the End of an Interview

  • How would you describe the culture here?
  • What characteristics do you like to see in your co-workers?
  • Is there more of a team or autonomous atmosphere here?

Deal Related Questions

  • Can you talk about your role in the last [M&A, ECM, DCM] deal you worked in and what specifically you learned from it?
  • I saw the bank participated in [insert transaction.] If I was working on a similar transaction, what responsibilities would you expect me to take on, and what responsibilities would you like me to take on?

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Comments (180)

Oct 3, 2007

I would make questions specific to the position you are interviewing for or the firm you are interviewing for.

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Oct 3, 2007

I asked something along the lines of "How would you describe the culture of your group " and since I was applying for a summer analyst position...I asked how often are SA staffed on live deals as oppose to pitches

Oct 3, 2007

WOW,
thanks, those are some great suggestions.
I will definitely ask those types of questions when they ask me if i have any questions for them.
Thanks for the help,
J

    • 2
Oct 3, 2007

Don't ask anything you can find on the website.

Oct 3, 2007

I actually hate the live deal vs. pitch question. Its very canned, and in my opinion is not really a good way to split things up. You can be pitching for something and putting together a very complicated model. On the other hand, you can be on a live deal and just processing memos. It is also just a stock question that you can ask anyone so it's not really that impressive.

I like questions that ask about background, but ones that are specific like jackofalltrades is talking about. Don't just ask "Can you tell me about your background?" but show that you are paying attention.

I also think asking about the credit markets or specific events at that particular investment bank (ask them about recent loan write-offs, job cuts, etc.) show that you are well informed.

If you are stuck for questions and have to go to something canned, ask about an interesting deal your interviewer worked on. This is more specific than general background, shows that you are interested in deals, and bankers love to talk about their deals so they will go on for awhile and prevent you from having to think of more questions.

Oct 3, 2007

Ask them if they could have lunch with three people, dead or alive, who would it be???

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Oct 3, 2007

I always think trying to engage an interviewer during the process is a better way. IMO, you should have asked all the questions at the relevant points in the interview, while they are topical. It shows a level of maturity, being able to hold up the other side of a conversation in a very formal context.

If, at the end of the process, you have questions you actually want answered, go for it. But those canned/leading questions are worse than asking none at all.

Oct 3, 2007

Ask them where they go shopping. What shirts they buy? What colors? What cut? Is brooks brothers really that pertinent today? Or does it get beaten by Pink? Are they single? Who should you date, a brunette or a blonde. etc.

********"Babies don't cost money, they MAKE money." - Jerri Blank********

********"Babies don't cost money, they MAKE money." - Jerri Blank********

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Oct 4, 2007

I've always wanted to ask if there are any disadvantages or weaknesses at Company X. It's a genuine question, but maybe too forward?

Jan 4, 2008

A great question to ask if you are going for a sales & trading interview is...I know trading involves a lot of stree, how do people deal with that stress?

Best Response
Jan 4, 2008

Solid questions i've heard:

Was wearing a Rolex to this interview too flashy?
Do you hair test for drug usage?
What is your funniest interview story?
What was your last bonus?
What are your thoughts on these other banks (pull out a list of competing banks at this point)?
Will having a criminal record hurt my chances?

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Jan 4, 2008

While we're on this subject, anyone got any good Sales & Trading questions to ask?

Jan 4, 2008

Yeah, MadCatz for my Sales & Trading interview I asked: I know trading involves a lot of stress, how do people tend to manage that stress?

The response I got was people who do Sales & Trading want to be in that fast-paced, stressful environment in the first place, which is true. I also added at the end that I like that fast-paced atmosphere.

Jan 5, 2008

Is it OK to ask somewhat technical questions at the end of the interview.

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Jan 5, 2008

MB00,

I generally like to be helpful here, but if you really can't think of any questions regarding the industry or the bank's culture, you might want to rethink if this is the right place for you.

Jan 5, 2008
Alexey Kirilov:

MB00,

I generally like to be helpful here, but if you really can't think of any questions regarding the industry or the bank's culture, you might want to rethink if this is the right place for you.

haha What a fucking tool. Don't take yourself so seriously. Leave it to the russian nerd to post some sanctimonious bullshit like that.

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Jan 5, 2008

I didn't ask many questions in my interviews, but here are a few suggestions:

1) In your opinion, what is the most important characteristic of a successful analyst?

2) Why did you choose this bank?

3) Can you tell me something interesting that happened on a deal you worked on?

4) Ask a very specific bank-related question. But don't ask a question that an analyst wouldn't care about. For example, don't ask why MS plans to spin-off its Discover card unit, because that really doesn't affect you and shows that you just used the first news article you found on your google search.

The point is to have your questions answered, but it is also another opportunity to show genuine interest in the industry and the bank.

Jan 5, 2008

People enjoy talking about themselves.

Jan 5, 2008
gibranmeng:

People enjoy talking about themselves.

completely agree. my successful interviews have always ended with me asking questions about my interviewer's career path and how they enjoy their work. it won't necessarily give the best insight but if you can turn it into a more informal conversation they will walk away remembering that you're someone they can have a decent conversation with.

definitely don't be one of the jerk-offs who asks about the "global strategy of the firm in the next 10 years" or "recent divestiture". it may be a genuine question but it's something you could have found out at the info session or website.

Jan 5, 2008

Good comments - Thank you.

Jan 5, 2008

MB00, you're gonna rock em.

Jan 5, 2008

It has two parts...

1)Excluding the people you work with, tell me what you enjoy most about the job and the firm and 2)if you could change anything about the job or the firm, what would it be?

That question really helped me get at the heart of firms' cultures so I could figure out where I'd fit in the best. For me, it worked like a charm.

Jan 5, 2008

Honestly, these questions are pretty bad. You need to be much more specific and ask questions that make you standout as a candidate. These are all generic BS questions which will not get you the job.

Jan 5, 2008

research the bank anbd some recent deals they have brokered, "what would have been my role in the ##### acquistion/merger, etc.?"

Jan 5, 2008

ask about deal flow
ask about industry focus
let the associate talk about themselves (they like that) so ask about why did you come here, etc.
if they started at the firm as an analyst, ask about their progression making associate

Jan 5, 2008

Can you please elaborate on what to ask about ask about deal flow and
ask about industry focus? What would be good to ask ?

Jan 5, 2008

-Can you talk about your role in the last [M&A, ECM, DCM] deal you worked in and what specifically you learned from it?

-What do you think of the people in this group vs. those in other groups? Who do you enjoy working with?

-Standard "why this firm" question... usually people give generic answers so I don't like asking this one.

-Are you organized into product/industry groups and who does sourcing vs. execution here? What kind of deal flow have you seen over the past year? What is it looking like right now and what do you think next year will be like?

On a side note: the best question I've heard personally came this fall during recruiting. Someone asked, "For companies that make products, employees can be proud that customers are using their products or that someone is finding their work useful. Since investment banks provide services to select individuals instead, what are you proud of as a banker?"

Very thoughtful question and one I had not heard before (at least not phrased this way).

Jan 5, 2008

I am assuming ur working at good place

Jan 5, 2008

Are you organized into product/industry groups and who does sourcing vs. execution here? What kind of deal flow have you seen over the past year? What is it looking like right now and what do you think next year will be like?

Little Rookie here.. what do u mean by.. "sourcing vs. execution here"

Thanks,

Hope to hear more questions from you

Jan 5, 2008

Sourcing refers to bringing in a deal or client - developing a relationship, pitching the company on ideas, and finally getting them engaged as a client.

Execution refers to actually doing the deal - developing marketing materials for the company, going out and presenting to buyers (if it's an M&A deal), and then selecting the winning buyer, going through diligence and negotiating an agreement.

You want to do as much execution as possible when you're an analyst. People claim that sourcing a.k.a. pitching is all gruntwork and that's what it makes it stupid; actually, in my experience both sourcing and execution require a lot of gruntwork.

The difference is that you can't talk about pitches in interviews for your next job - you have to talk about deals. You'll also learn more from doing deals compared to doing pitches.

Jan 5, 2008

Has anyone ever ask the interviewer if there are any areas about the candidate's profile that they have doubts about? was wondering if this would be a solid closure...

Jan 5, 2008

1) Solid 7 year thread revival

2) Absolutely not. Always keep the interview as positively focused as possible. Never VOLUNTARILY attract attention to negative qualities.

Jan 5, 2008

Ask about culture - what it's like to work with the people in the group.

Ask about what someone that does the rotational program usually will do afterward - ie. what is the career path

Remember, you'll likely already know the answer to all of these, but you ask just so they know you've been thinking about these things, and you look curious.

Jan 5, 2008

One question you can never go wrong with is - "what differentiates 'outstanding' summers from mediocre ones? demonstrates that you are more interested in doing the job well/performing at a high level than you are in wondering how to get the job. it's a positive message to send and it leaves you with useful info.

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Jan 5, 2008

great questions thanks!

Jan 5, 2008

Try this: Are you in Ops because you couldn't get into Front Office?

Jan 5, 2008
aachimp:

Try this: Are you in Ops because you couldn't get into Front Office?

Definitely on my mind, but not exactly helpful.

Jan 5, 2008

Will I have to work overtime?

So what do I have to do to get your position?

What is your policy on Columbus day?

This job sounds pretty cool, why did the last person leave?

Jan 5, 2008

Ask the interviewer what is the closest they have ever sat to a hermaphrodite was, not counting today's interview.

    • 1
Jan 5, 2008
two.N.twenty:

Ask the interviewer what is the closest they have ever sat to a hermaphrodite was, not counting today's interview.

The others were funny but this was very lame

Jan 5, 2008

hit too close to home, my bad.

there's an "lol" in your subject line, so i know you at least got a little girly giggle out of it.

Jan 5, 2008
two.N.twenty:

hit too close to home, my bad.

there's an "lol" in your subject line, so i know you at least got a little girly giggle out of it.

hahaha

Jan 5, 2008

lmao actually I though two.N.twenty was hilarious. the second post moreso.

Jan 5, 2008

"Want to get a beer tonight?"

This thread has to be a joke, do you seriously network with people you go to school with, and plan out the questions you'll ask them?

Jan 5, 2008

Drex, there is a senior at my school who is starting his analyst program in a month. He had interviews with all major BB and still has contacts. I give him same respect I give to alumni bankers. In 5 weeks he'll be making over $5,000 in salaries not including bonuses.

Kahlen, bankers LOVE talking about themselves and their accomplishments. Ask how they got into banking, what was their route, what was some remarkable achievements in college/high school, what do/don't they like about the industry. Make sure he/she does all the talking.

Jan 5, 2008

You've been going to school with them for years, don't you think it's a little strange to only want to know them now that they have an offer...

If you want to know someone and you go to school with them, it's not that tough

Jan 5, 2008

dexelalum11, there are 30,000 students at my school...

Jan 5, 2008
PussInBoots:

dexelalum11, there are 30,000 students at my school...

awww, that'll make a difference. Yeah, I suppose it's appropriate to network then - my school is about 5,000, which means I know a significant percent, and an even higher percent of those going in to finance. Suppose 30k would be different

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Jan 5, 2008

That was pretty good. Also the blog Experiglot has this article on the right questions to ask interviewers

Jan 5, 2008
  1. When is lunch?
Jan 5, 2008

Pretty good, couple of obvious ones, but generally it helps!

Nice looking out for the crew.

Jan 5, 2008

These questions will result in auto-ding:

What exactly would my day-to-day responsibilities be?
What is the biggest challenge facing the organization today?
How do you feel that I measure up to your requirements for this position?

Might as well not show up for an interview.

Jan 5, 2008
  1. Is this interview over yet?
Jan 5, 2008
  1. Are you guys bulge bracket or not? I read on WSO that your mid-BB. Comment.
Jan 5, 2008

don't forget- "how much can i expect my bonus to be?"

Jan 5, 2008

I would suggest asking about their ranking in the current league tables.

Jan 5, 2008

I don't get this, it's not THAT hard to come up with good questions if you listen carefully during the interview and have some interest in the team you're interviewing for. Most of the seven proposed questions above you are supposed to know before you even apply for the position in the first place.

Jan 5, 2008

The best question is "tell me something about your career" and then start a normal conversation from there.

I ding people when they ask me 5 questions that are not related.

Jan 5, 2008

Here are some of the basic questions to ask:

Can you please describe how the the confluence of financial deepening and acceleration in cross-border capital flows ultimately led to multiple equilibria in the global financial system? And how is export-lead growth supposed to overcome sovereign debt intolerance when pre-crisis peak demand was artificially high, and now severe deleveraging is threatening the cripple worldwide consumption? In addition, while it is clear that the global economy is on life support, aka indefinite stimulus, and each new dollar of debt spent is having a marginally lower impact on world growth, why are multinational financial institutions still relying on excessive accumulation of debt to jump start the economy, especially considering this is only having a negative impact on global imbalances... if you would be so kind as to explain this to me I would really appreciate it. Thank you.

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    • 1
Jan 5, 2008

Jesus, you have too much free time on your hands.

Jan 5, 2008

man, I think you just need to step up your game

Jan 5, 2008

Ask them what you care about. Ask them what characteristics they like to see in their associates. Ask them about the responsibility split of the associates and the analysts. Interaction / culture of the group. You've got an MBA, so I'm assuming you've been employed before. You should know what you want out of a job by now.

Jan 5, 2008

Can you give me an offer I can't refuse?

Do what you want not what you can!

Jan 5, 2008

"where'd you get that tie?"

Jan 5, 2008

Instead of asking direct and boring "culture" questions, I have asked a couple "what do you wish you had more (or less) of at work?" definitely gets them thinking a little more about the question and i've gotten more insightful responses that way

Jan 5, 2008

For anyone that's been there for more than a few years, I always ask them why they've stayed with the company. This question opens up a lot of ways for them to answer, and generally gives very good insight into the person and company you're dealing with.

For newer people, I ask them why they chose this company. You'll typically get some bullshit answer but it gives you a good idea of what people in that company want to hear, so you walk in on the first day able to toe the party line. Very few people will say things like "I needed a job", "this was my only offer", or "I have bills to pay", so you're also allowing them to reinvent their own story and thus they will tend to be comfortable around you with the illusion that they have pulled the wool over your eyes.....which is fine because you already got much more important info out of them, so it's a two-for-one

If clear you're not getting the job, or you're practice interviewing for the hell of it, definitely feel free to ask things like, "so how long until I get my first raise", "is the boss a dick", and "how does this firm feel about swingers parties after hours in the office?" They will remember you for the rest of their life.

Jan 5, 2008
UFOinsider:

If clear you're not getting the job, or you're practice interviewing for the hell of it, definitely feel free to ask things like, "so how long until I get my first raise", "is the boss a dick", and "how does this firm feel about swingers parties after hours in the office?" They will remember you for the rest of their life.

Haha. Still, please don't do this.

"Rage, rage against the dying of the light." - DT

Jan 5, 2008

I think the best approach is to really listen to what the interviewer says when they introduce themselves. Then, ask a question that specifically is about something they already said. Obviously you can't come up with the question beforehand, but I think it shows that you are really paying attention and are able to think on your feet.

Jan 5, 2008
dshack:

I think the best approach is to really listen to what the interviewer says when they introduce themselves. Then, ask a question that specifically is about something they already said. Obviously you can't come up with the question beforehand, but I think it shows that you are really paying attention and are able to think on your feet.

Agreed. Your not going to be able to ask an interviewer anything out of the ordinary or expect that you are going to get some great answer. If there is a question you would like to know the answer to, whether it be about culture, pay, hours, or any other item that would be a bad idea to ask about you can find out online. Most of the other questions are going to be opinions and are going to vary greatly on the person, their mood that day, etc.

Play a little psychology. If the guy looks like he thinks he is a big shot, ask him what he thinks about the economy or the future of The US. If he played sports in college, ask him about that. Ask them something that they will enjoy answering, something that will make them feel important.

That is the best way to play questions in my opinion. One of the best tips I ever got for interviews was don't be afraid to ask 5 guys the same exact question. If you are interviewing with a firm and the culture is very strong and you think a certain question will resonate with the each guy, don't be afraid to ask each guy the same exact question. I never thought about this, but its a good point. It is not like they are going to sit down after and compare which kids asked which questions.

Jan 5, 2008

What made you choose XX company?
What do you like most about working at XX company?

If you could have sex with Halle Berry, Beyonce, or Angelina Jolie, which one would you choose?
Follow this up by asking them in what way their race impacted their decision.

Ask them about their views on affirmative action.

Ask them what their favorite animal is.
Pretend as if the question you actually just asked was about their sexual preference and ask follow up questions/ make comments as if their response was in response to this. Keep this up until you're absolutely positive they've caught on. Keep bringing their answer up throughout the duration of the interview... (ex: ask you would really fuck a horse or whatever animal it was they indicated?)

Jan 5, 2008

One question that I always got a good response from as well as made the interviewer thing was:

If there was one thing you could change about your bank/firm/company/group, what would it be and why. I got some great honest answers there and usually some praise for it.

Always good to ask about their personal background.

Jan 5, 2008

What is the size of the team?
What is the structure of the group/office/firm?
Is there more of a team or autonomous atmosphere here?
How would you describe the culture here?
What are you looking for in the ideal candidate?
What do you like most about working here?
How long have you been at this firm?
Can you describe a typical day here for you?

Just be genuine with what ever it is you ask.

Jan 5, 2008

Ask why the person has stayed with the company.

    • 1
Jan 5, 2008

I usually look over their website and ask questions about their most recent deals, are those deals commensurate with average deal size, is the industry those deals are in the norm, ask questions about the people interviewing me if their backgrounds were on the website, etc.

Just show that you took the time to look at their website and they are not just another X, Y or Z in the long line of companies you are interviewing at. People are egotistical by nature and like talking about themselves/the deals they worked on.

My name is Nicky, but you can call me Dre.

Jan 5, 2008

many interviewers actually tell their stories at the beginning and leave me fewer questions to ask at the end...

Jan 5, 2008
thejoker:

many interviewers actually tell their stories at the beginning and leave me fewer questions to ask at the end...

Is this serious?
You can always ask more detailed questions, ask them to elaborate or ask about something they don't mention.

Jan 5, 2008
FreezePops:
thejoker:

many interviewers actually tell their stories at the beginning and leave me fewer questions to ask at the end...

Is this serious?
You can always ask more detailed questions, ask them to elaborate or ask about something they don't mention.

well, despite that i'd always create conversations (as you said above) and ultimately landed SA and FT offers ;) but it is also true that sometimes interviewers are so boring that i didn't come up with any real questions and instead talked about my retriever puppy.

Jan 5, 2008

People love talking about themselves.

Jan 5, 2008
upod01:

People love talking about themselves.

If I had a banana I'd give it to you (pause)

This really is all it comes down to though. Ask open ended questions. Listen.

Jan 5, 2008

Engagements they've recently been on and places they've traveled. The more personal you can get, the better. As upod01 said, people love talking about themselves.

Everything else about the company can basically be researched, and should be researched before any interview.

Jan 5, 2008

Thanks for chiming in. I know I'l just be speaking to someone from HR, so I'm not sure if they're in a position to answer some questions I had like how much leeway I might have in choosing a project? What's a newcomer's day like? etc....

Jan 5, 2008

Asking questions should demonstrate that you're seriously interested in the job and that you did your homework.

I'd probably not ask what's a newcomer's day like, but instead something like how to excel as a newcomer. Here are a couple of tips, too:

(not allowed to post links, google this:) 6-questions-to-ask-during-your-interview-that-will-make-an-employer-want-to-hire-you

I'd probably rephrase #5, and #6 is definitely pushing it... but I'm sure it can work.

Jan 5, 2008

That's a good post. I don't know if six would be my choice, I couldn't stand to hear the interviewer badmouth me lol

Jan 5, 2008

What is the most important skill for a new analyst? What is the one thing you wish you had known when you started? Why did you choose [bank]?

Jan 5, 2008

One I always ask is "How does the culture at your firm differ from others", it is very generic and basic but it gets the interviewee talking and shows your interest.

Recent College Graduate

Jan 5, 2008

"did i get the job?"

Jan 5, 2008

Is it with the same people or new people? If the interviewers are different - ask the same questions. You knowing the answer isn't the point.

Jan 5, 2008

(I suspect you won't need it at this point because you've probably already had the interview)

Ask questions that pertain to how you can help out, or the future of the firm. If you can add specific details, it'll show you've done your research on the firm. For example: I saw the bank participated in [insert transaction.] If I was working on a similar transaction, what responsibilities would you expect me to take on, and what responsibilities would you like me to take on? Or, I see the size of the transactions have been mainly in [insert range]. Does the bank plan to stay in this range because of [insert reasons you can think of], or would you prefer to move [bigger, smaller]?

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Jan 5, 2008

You probably don't want to ask a question just for the sake of asking it.

Jan 5, 2008

So you asked a forum for questions to ask to demonstrate your knowledge?

Jan 5, 2008

True. But my resume sucks, and I want to demonstrate value somehow so I can maybe lead him to agree to a meetup (and thereby solidify the connection/chances of a future internship). I don't want to just ask a few generic questions and never talk again. How would I go about reaching that goal?

Jan 5, 2008

ask bt
- culture, firm ops, team background
- candidate expectations and responsibilities
- specific strategies if any
- problem the firm faces
- interviewers experiences and his/her career

Jan 5, 2008

What would I find in your refrigerator right now?

Jan 5, 2008

Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?

Jan 5, 2008

What is the most amount of times you've jerked it in one day?

I eat success for breakfast...with skim milk

Jan 5, 2008

When I played hardcore WoW, the top guild on our server asked, "What happens when an unstoppable force comes in contact with an immovable object?"

Stumped me.

Jan 5, 2008

Using only a four-minute hourglass and a seven-minute hourglass, measure exactly nine minutes--without the process taking longer than nine minutes.

I saw this on the WSJ and it took me a while to figure it out.

Jan 5, 2008

If they were in a frat ask them to pretend you are a freshman and rush you on the spot.

Jan 5, 2008

confident, enthusiastic, but not arrogant

Jan 5, 2008

You know how come people have a louder conversational voice and some people have a softer conversational voice. I'm assuming the louder is preferred?

Obviously not yelling...

Jan 5, 2008

if it's a phone interview, and its a chic interviewer.... ask her what's she's wearing Wink

Jan 5, 2008

yeah that's really helpful.. that way you don't walk in over/underdressed on your first day.

Jan 5, 2008

How can you tell over the phone if an interviewer is chic or not?

Jan 5, 2008

What should I ask because it is bad not ask questions right?

Ling~

Ling~

Jan 5, 2008

Well, what do you want to know?

Jan 5, 2008

I always get them talking about themselves and their bank. I love when I ask a question and they talk for 20 minutes and I get to sit and listen after 3 hours of interviewing. Get them talking about why they chose the location, the bank, etc.

Jan 5, 2008

Wow. What a stupid answer.

Banalyst:

I always get them talking about themselves and their bank. I love when I ask a question and they talk for 20 minutes and I get to sit and listen after 3 hours of interviewing. Get them talking about why they chose the location, the bank, etc.

Jan 5, 2008
Jan 5, 2008

It depends on the structure of the interview. You want your interview to flow like a conversation, even if more than one person is interviewing you. However I would maintain the focus on myself during an interview and ask questions that show my eagerness to help my interviewee. Digest information that they give you about the position and company and generate questions that demonstrate that you're goal oriented and driven.

I usually do not prepare more than two questions but that's because I think on my feet well.

This probably isn't the best strategy for everyone, but I am well versed in body language and conversation dynamics so interviews come naturally to me.

Jan 5, 2008

"How did I do?" and variations thereof.

a. you get interesting info b. you're asking the guy for his opinion - people like you when you ask them for their opinion on something.

Avoid if the guy looks very stuck up. Some people especially on the banking side and EM and higher in consulting LOVE their hierarchy and formality.

Jan 5, 2008

.

Jan 5, 2008

Don't ask for feedback during the interview, but it is normal to follow up with your interviewer after the interview via e-mail and ask for feedback. If he/she wants to give it, they will.

In most cases if they have the time and you were not a douchbag they will likely help you out. Most people are pretty reasonable and remember what it was like to be in your shoes.

It is all just a question of timing.

Jan 5, 2008

Yeah, don't ask during the interview. Some places have very specific guidelines about what interviewers can and can't say to you, and you don't want to make them feel awkward when they have to say "uh, sorry, I'm not allowed to tell you anything." (You didn't specify industry, and this happens at a lot of big consulting firms.) At places that do allow feedback, you can ask for it in an email, either as part of your thank-you note or in a separate one.

Jan 5, 2008

would it be awkward if you phrased it something like along the lines of "having looked at my resume and gotten a sense of my experiences; what do you think my biggest challenge will be in performing this role?"

Jan 5, 2008
papeete:

would it be awkward if you phrased it something like along the lines of "having looked at my resume and gotten a sense of my experiences; what do you think my biggest challenge will be in performing this role?"

Yes.

Jan 5, 2008

I've read an answer in the similar context like this before; "it's like asking you to hire or fire you right on the spot"

Jan 5, 2008
Walkerr:

I've read an answer in the similar context like this before; "it's like asking you to hire or fire you right on the spot"

haha yea exactly!

.

Jan 5, 2008

haha thanks!!!

Jan 5, 2008

That's like asking a girl if it feels good....shows weakness and significant lack of confidence.

Jan 5, 2008
HFFBALLfan123:

That's like asking a girl if it feels good....shows weakness and significant lack of confidence.

hehe, very clever

Jan 5, 2008

Ask them questions about themselves. It really shows engagement and links you with your interviewers. People like to talk about themselves and like to get asked their opinions on things. Try to use open ended questions as well. I always liked it when interviewees showed real interest. So things like, what brought you to XYZ from where you were before, what do you like the best about working at XYZ, how is john doe to work for, do you feel like you're more autonomous or is it really a group/team effort, etc.

Obviously the role, group, firm, person you're meeting with will impact the specific questions, but basically show interest in the person and their opinion and ask them about themselves and their view on the company. Since you are asking them specific questions about them and their opinions, those questions would have not been answered at the previous round.

After their answer, I would try to tie it in to yourself and create a "link" with them so that they feel a connection with you. "Oh, that's really interesting, I used to...I also...I hope/want to...etc." It won't be as strong of a bond as going to the same school, knowing the same people, etc, but it's better than not having any kind of perceived commonality.

Good luck, and remember this mindset when the questions swing around to you: You are also interviewing them. That's helped me immensely in the past b/c it forces you into a more confident mindset, and people are generally drawn to confidence.

Jan 5, 2008

Hi Something Creative,

Thank you very much for this detailed answer.

Very much appreciated and I would definitely apply the techniques/mindset there in my interviews.

I totally agree that when the interview becomes a two-way conversation, it's when things really flow. That's the kind of exchange I'll try to create.

Thanks again!

Jan 5, 2008

NO.

Jan 5, 2008

Thanks, horatio

Jan 5, 2008

Just wow.

You should probably also ask to see the group heads tax returns for the last 3 years.

Jan 5, 2008

gonna go against the grain and say YES

Jan 5, 2008

You don't have to say "show me a Word doc with your recent mandates and high-probability pitches," but you can ask questions that tiptoe around it.

For example, "what types of deals have you worked on recently/now?" Not really a harmful question. Asked this in interviews, bankers liked to thump their chests and glorify the deals. Doesn't seem like a big deal to ask (no pun intended).

Jan 5, 2008

You probably don't ask for the pipeline but it is perfectly fine to talk about credentials. These days there are plenty of teams that will thump their chests about "strong pipelines" but let's face it - a pipeline alone is meaningless unless its probability weighted. No one can take creds away - but at the same time don't take everything at face value. Take note of the deals they tell you about / show you that they did and then go and do your own research. Just because a bank gets league table credit doesn't mean it actually was involved or active. The difference between the left bookrunner / glo-co vs. the passive bookrunners is tremendous in IPOs or equity deals. At the same time, in the realm of M&A - there are banks that get thrown on last minute a few days before announcement and all they did was a fairness opinion or in some cases bridge financing.

Jan 5, 2008

I'd avoid it, as I would personally be annoyed if someone asked me that question. The question part is more for you to know and understand the firm. Some questions you can ask:

  1. What separates a good analyst from a great analyst? (understand your expectations at the firm)
  2. What is something you wish you knew when you first started your career that you know now (a different spin to ask for tips they expect of you, and also learn something interesting about the interviewer)
  3. How/why the interviewer choose firm x (usually applicable to seniors, you can see what attracted them to firm x, or if they stayed here long-term, you can have a good understanding of the culture)
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Jan 5, 2008

Thx for advise and the great answers

Jan 5, 2008

Questions have to come accross as sincere.#1 & #3 aove seem canned and generic. #2 is the sort of question you want to ask that gets the interviewer talking about themselves. Also, I like your original question but might frame it different. I'd frame it in the context of, "I'm really excited abotthis opportunity above all the others I'm considering, and I'm wondering if you have any feedback for me on the topics we just discussed, things I might need to highlight or clarify better. " This shows you respect their opinion, kind of gets them rooting for you, and if done will will garner a bit of sympathy / empathy and can yield a positive impression.

Jan 5, 2008

I'm assuming you interviewed at Penn this past week. I got a call at 5:30 today (fridayO.

Jan 5, 2008

sdg

Jan 5, 2008

superday on friday. are you by any chance in econ236 haha i recognize your last name...

Jan 5, 2008

gdf

Jan 5, 2008

search function, discussed here before... a lot

Jan 5, 2008

Ask about their experiences with recent deals (or projects), the training program, next steps in the process, etc. Try to ask about something related to what you discussed in the interview. Your answers to their questions are more important.

Jan 5, 2008

did you do it on campus or on phone? :>

hmm i can see that as being odd that you said one thing but wrote another but maybe in your thank you letter to the interviewer you can clear that up

Jan 5, 2008

Yeah I don't see how a clarification in a thank you letter would hurt at all...

If your dreams don't scare you, then they are not big enough.

"There are two types of people in this world: People who say they pee in the shower, and dirty fucking liars."-Louis C.K.

Jan 5, 2008

always ask something, it shows you're interested in the position/firm
if you really have nothing just ask about their background or why they like working at x firm

Jan 5, 2008

I always prepare something specific to their firm. An old deal that is not recent shows you researched them well. Works like a charm. If not firm specific I ask them about something about themselves, e.g. why did you choose to go into bonds etc. If all else fails get them talking about themselves. You want to use every moment to connect without being obvious about kissing arse.

Jan 5, 2008

Ask about their background, why they decided to work there (over other banks). or if they could start their position over again, whats something they would do differently, etc... just try to start a conversation with them by asking questions tailored to their background

Jan 5, 2008

if all else fails just ask about his buddy with shrapnel in his ass

Jan 5, 2008

Always prepare questions in advance. Check the bios of those you will be meeting, recent deals of the group and firm, rankings, and recent news about the company. In addition to your questions about the firm, individuals you are meeting, anticipated growth, etc, never leave the interview without asking "Do you have any additional questions for me?" Always make your interest in the position crystal clear prior to exiting the interview.

Individual thank you notes need to be sent to all the people you met with within 24 hours of the interview. Try to include a point specifically relevant to the discussion with the interviewer in the note to him/her.

Susan

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