Why do you think you got the offer?

As someone who has tried every advice I've gotten, has a decent resume, high GPA, but no offer, I would like to know what you think made you stand out in your superday interviews.

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Comments (70)

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Sep 11, 2020 - 9:44pm

Diversity here + networked with more than half the office beforehand... when I got to the superday, my interviewers knew me already and knew I talked to so many people prior

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Most Helpful
Sep 11, 2020 - 9:58pm

Whether it be call or interview I tried hard to come off as calm, collected, well-prepared and as a result prone not to make mistakes aka what anyone would want in an analyst. As much as technicals and what not is important, what people really want is someone they can reasonably trust to do analyst work which really boils down to not fucking up. The kind of "vibe" is, I think, what it comes down to when bankers make their decision of "ok I should hire this kid". Balance that with trying to be likeable aka be able to hold a conversation about the type of non work stuff they're into. To be fair i've had some experience other than school that allowed me to present myself better + talk about my experiences I think. 

I think the above essentially describes the more granular details of what it means to "connect well" with people and "fit well with the culture". 

GPA etc. I think is what matters when it comes to getting the interview itself and what not, but once you're actually face to face, it's a in-person / vibe / feel decision. 

Currently an Analyst at an EB. Went to a top target but had bad GPA tbh, and I think that's what got me in.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Sep 12, 2020 - 1:29am

Not a target, average GPA, and no banking experience. I think it's always some luck & some networking. For me, I had an interviewer who cared more what kind of person you were and what interested you. Seems like one trait senior people want across industries and firms are junior people who speak up and don't wait for things to be handed to them. I also think it's fit. I'm guessing interviewers just have an idea of if they like the interviewee just as a person and that determines a lot of their ranking? Hope it works out for you!

Also happy to PM you and be of any help that I can. Obviously not the most qualified in terms of technicals though.

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Sep 16, 2020 - 9:01pm

Similar story here (non-target, average GPA at least for IB, didn't network a lot). I think, along with solid technicals, they want to see a positive attitude and the willingness to learn. And as cliché as it sounds being personable and humble works too- they've been listening to regurgitated responses and 'perfect candidates' all day. I'm just being presumptuous here, I don't see any other reasons I could have landed my summer gig lol

Hope it works out for you man!

Sep 12, 2020 - 6:04am

Same. keep a smile on your face, be humble, positive and don't bomb the technicals.

Also, do your researchers on the interviewers of possible. With the risk of sounding creepy af; look inte their social media, what teams to they like, where to they vacation, so you have any common connections?

  • Intern in PE - Other
Sep 12, 2020 - 1:58am

Had a very clear reason why I was there and not some where else. I'm lucky to be in an investing role and was able to communicate my past history and passion for it.

Sep 12, 2020 - 11:15am

Not coming off as a hardo during the interview and not having illusions at to what IB actually is. You have to assume that everyone who made it to the superday is going to nail the technical questions, so you have to shine through the behavioral questions (and obviously nail the technicals). The bank I'm at values cultural fit highly (every banks says this, not every banks means it though), so it was important that I don't hide my personality and act as if IB is life. You're not always going to share similarities with your interviewers, but as long as you come off as a chill person who would be enjoyable to work with, your chances of getting an offer improve significantly. At the end of the day, almost all other candidates will have good resumes and high GPA's, so the soft skills are really what set you apart in my opinion.

Sep 12, 2020 - 1:25pm

If I were asked to conduct interviews once I start, I would focus on the following for assessing fit:

  • Does the candidate have a decent understanding of what IB actually is?
  • Does the candidate have a life outside of finance? What do they do for fun? What are some of their hobbies and interests?
  • Is this someone I want to work with for 80+ hours a week? If you come off as snobby or entitled, probably not. If you come off as timid and overly reserved, probably not.

It's hard to specify exactly what an interviewer is looking for, but I think it can be simplified to "do I think this person is actually interested in IB and do I think this person is enjoyable to be around". I've never done an interview before, but this is my though process. Others may not agree, but I think this is a good starting point.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Sep 12, 2020 - 1:57pm

I interned at 2 BBs and am at one FT now. First BB was a sophomore internship (non-diversity but mid tier Ivy school), I got 3 months after I interviewed cause I think a kid reneged. This BB (GS/MS/JPM) I got off the waitlist again because someone else turned it down. I also got into my mid-tier ivy (Columbia/Penn) off the waitlist and was gonna go to a non-target otherwise.

Yeah I've gotten pretty lucky with waitlists but i'm an asian male so chances are I woulda gotten all of these regular if I was white.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Sep 13, 2020 - 3:58pm

It's funny you say that because I know white people on this forum love to complain about being white even though there's an entire race of male kids who have it 1000x worse. I've spoken to white friends who had the same interviewer as me and they got asked questions that were way easier. You might think being white is the reason you might not get into IB but you'd be 10x farther away as an asian male.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Sep 12, 2020 - 2:03pm

Not being weird as fuck. Seriously, so many weirdos out there 

  • Intern in IB - Restr
Sep 12, 2020 - 2:26pm

I go to a target but not like HYPW or anything. I got an EB offer without networking probably with 80% luck and 20% actual work ethic. I didn't network that hard there because I honestly thought I wouldn't get it- I was surprised when I got the interview but approached it as more so a practice opportunity for the other firms I was taking more seriously. I was definitely more relaxed than I would have been, and I also had experience working in regular companies in a certain industry that I could speak about very well (and knew more than I would have just reading about it in the wsj). First and second-round interviews were fine- was relaxed and conversational and knew my technicals. In my superday, I ended up interviewing with an MD who covered that industry, and we ended up hitting it off and discussing that industry a lot, so I think that was something that helped me stand out in that stage. But the fact that I had that particular MD was completely by chance. So overall, being professional but human, understanding an industry really well and talking about it well, and having a lucky interviewer were the three things that got me the offer. 

Ironically, I was interviewing at like 4 other firms while I was interviewing there- I networked super hard at those other places but the only offer I got was that EB

Sep 12, 2020 - 2:47pm

I'm non-target, but have some decent connections at a few firms so I applied and got a pair of superdays. In the networking calls, I felt that it was pretty good practice for superdays as far as just displaying a few qualities you'd want to show. Based on the conversations I had, interviewers are looking for people who are eager to work hard, learn quickly, and are generally fun/normal. A lot of it just comes down to maintaining a good conversation, and although obviously professional, still being personable.

During a superday you sit down with people across the hierarchy, which presents the opportunity to have a different goal when speaking to different levels of employees. Analysts tend to want to know that you're not going to be a weak link, so a good mix of technical knowledge and personality fit are important. For me, the associate interviewers were the most focused on technical knowledge and didn't seem that interested in personality questions. VPs and higher didn't ask about technicals and instead asked a lot of personality/background questions.

Anyways, it was valuable to remember who would be peers and who would be supervisors, and showing the peers that I'd be a good person to work alongside was important, while separately showing supervisors I'd be a good employee. Obviously there is some crossover in those two roles, but at the same time it was helpful to come in with that perspective (peer vs employee) depending on who was interviewing. Best of luck.

  • Intern in Other
Sep 12, 2020 - 3:20pm

I'd say it was a combination of preparation and luck. 

I went to a target and was a good student there, which helped at least a little in terms of traction with alumni. Maybe more importantly, I had a really unique and extensive background in something totally unrelated to finance. While I initially thought this would be a detriment, it actually ended up being a huge boost for two reasons; 1) people I spoke to remembered me, and 2) interviewers immediately had lower expectations for me technically- which I had no problems exceeding- relative to kids who had a finance-heavy resumes. 

However, the biggest factor was absolutely luck. At two different firms, I happened to randomly cold email non-alumni analysts who were the most helpful people you could have possibly emailed, happened to get paired with interviewers who I really got along with, etc etc. The success of my early recruiting process was essentially me getting opportunities due to mostly sheer luck, and then getting somewhere because I was prepared to make the most of them. I was rejected from some firms before the superday stage, but I got an offer from every single superday I went to, and I would honestly attribute most of that to luck too. I got one offer really early on, then leveraged that to get another, and another...the more offers I got, the easier it became to receive, well, more offers. I ended up somewhere I originally thought I had no chance of ever getting, and while I worked hard, I'm no better than many of my peers who ended up with much less- I'm just luckier. 

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Sep 12, 2020 - 3:29pm

Luck and confidence (the fake it till you make it kind)

regional target (big public school), had a 3.6 while recruiting

Sep 12, 2020 - 3:32pm

Two best pieces of advice given to me.

1- Be yourself.
Look at the interview as if you're having a conversation with someone. Be calm and cool. Don't have a stick up your ass. And be personable, don't be afraid of talking about things you enjoy doing. Hell one of my interviewers was a soccer player and half the interview we were talking about soccer. If you know your technicals your behaviorals are a way to shine.

2- Enjoy the process.
You have a legit shot at something big when you interview with a firm. Be happy, be excited this is your shot. Trust me this will show. If you're nervous as fuck then more likely than not your interview will be awkward and will lead to mistakes. If you go in there excited, pumped up and just grateful to be there you'll feel better and as a result you'll perform better. It's fine to feel nervous but you gotta realize it's just a natural reaction to the situation you're in. In fact if you're nervous that's a good thing to an extent. Shows that you care.

Another quick tip. Try to take a shit before. Nothing worse than having a turtle head in the middle of an interview haha

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Sep 12, 2020 - 4:16pm

Had an exploding offer at a BB (GS/JPM/MS) in s&t, got an SD in banking and was easy bc of the other offer I had. If I could do it again, I would interview for IB, s&t, research, and PWM bc HR really came through once I had an offer. Never heard how helpful it is even to have an offer from another division.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Sep 16, 2020 - 8:29pm

How did you do this tactfully? Did you just email HR at a bank you wanted to go to and tell them you have an offer with XYZ firm but left out that it was in S&T?

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Sep 17, 2020 - 6:14pm

Yeah, so I had an offer with bank B. I got a hirevue for bank A and submitted it. Right after I emailed a contact on HR and said I had an exploding offer but that I would accept an offer at bank A. I didn't mention which firm, but they asked and I told them. I actually never got asked what division it was in until after I got the offer. I probably would not mention it, but I don't think it hurts you to as long as you say you just networked across divisions at first and that you would rather do IB for xyz reason. 

  • Analyst 1 in PE - LBOs
Sep 12, 2020 - 7:08pm

Non-Target background. FT offer in PE.

1) Polish. Don't really know how else to describe it but I think this just comes with practice. Being kind, courteous, respectful and keeping a cool head throughout conversations, networking and interview.

2) Authentic (and demonstrated) interest in Finance / Capital markets and investing. I consider myself a more technical candidate and this usually is apparent through conversation, technical questions, stellar reviews from good internship experience in IB/PE.

3) I think another differentiator was my academic background which came up a lot and sparked good conversation. The first 2 way more than the 3rd though.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - DCM
Sep 13, 2020 - 11:08am

Non target, high GPA, no summer internship experience. Got rejected in the final round for a group in E&P. Asked for a referral from one of the associates I connected well with during the interview process and was directed to a job in DCM. Made it through the interview process and got an offer. 

  • Analyst 1 in S&T - FI
Sep 13, 2020 - 2:08pm

A bit of luck. Right place, right time. I was interning at an asset management firm (Doing data analytics for client portfolios) where they had a bit of a shit show during my summer internship. I was basically thrust into the deep end and was able to contribute to response and damage limitation for the firms assets/reputation. Was able to talk about it during my next S&T internship applications and it made me stand out, which the bank told me during my offer call.

Also a funny one, managed to find out this one interviewer and I share the same favourite DJ so my technical interview turned into a chat about the music we both like. At the end he basically guaranteed he was going to vouge for me to get an offer. 

  • Intern in Other
Sep 13, 2020 - 3:08pm

Long story. Interviews were taking place in a hotel. I was caught in a drug deal and ended up in the interview lobby by accident and told the secretary I was trying to ditch the cops as she was calling out a candidates name. She lets me into the interview room where I met the director and my briefcase of weed split open in front of him. I told the director how I evaded they cops and showed off my photographic memory skills. He decided to take a chance on me even though I didn't graduate from a school and had a criminal background. The rest is history.

Sep 14, 2020 - 11:38pm

Relatable. Wasn't hell bent on asking finance questions but rather "Who's your team?" (showed a interest in their interests) "Saw the game last night? They fucking suck bro." (friendly bullying) "Drinks tonight?" (it's hard to turn down a good time) "You banged her or what?" (a better follow up than "did you see TSLA's post-market volatility?") I always asked for help (its the best way to kiss a little ass), it was warranted since I didn't know shit anyways. Took pride in my tasks. Even if it was just coffee/food runs, I groomed the art of my memory and satisfied the team, win-win. Stayed late, not because I contributed to the team in any valuable way but because its just culture. My firm's fratty so my approach came natural. Moral of the story, get a sense of your team-firm and adjust accordingly. 

"Full speed ahead, damn the torpedoes." -U.S. Navy General Farragut
  • 1
  • 1
Sep 15, 2020 - 3:09pm

Combination of 4 things I think (background: non-target from Canada):

1. Story: I come from a small town where no-one knows what banking was - I think that helped me along the way because I wasn't like every other kid that lived around Toronto (from Canada) and that was kinda memorable/interesting to talk about if someone actually knew the area where I was from

2. Networking: actually just getting on the phone and talking to people - I really undervalued this and really hammered home on it once I knew. Being a genuine person on the call and trying to learn more about them was really fun. This is what got me every interview I had - every firm I interviewed with/had one lined up for is a firm I had spoken to at minimum 3 people from - the firm I got hired at someone had to go to bat for me hard to get me into the process, without that contact who I'd spoken to for ~8 months prior, I wouldn't;t have the job

3. Actual Interview: my interviewer went way off on a tangent about bonds, interest rate movement, and government policy, instead of asking the normal technical questions - I had studied some of this but it's kind glazed over in the interview guides - had taken a financial systems course which saved my ass. Actually told my first interviewer I was nervous (being super genuine) and ended up getting almost every technical - the ones I didn't I walked through and came pretty close. I came top of the interview group for the firm I'm at now... (same on that someone really had to push for me to be in the process for)

4. Grades/GPA, School, Past Experiences: I'm putting these down here because I think everything else above this is much more important - in short: this will not win you the job, only lose it for you. To explain - the way I see it is that these elements may help get you into the interview process but none of them will actually get you the job. If the non-target kid and target kid both get into the interview process, it does not matter whose from what school at that point - as long as they both go to school who cares. If a kid with a 3.7 and a 4.0 can both get into the interview process then who cares about the 0.3 difference - no-one. Again, these above can help with applications and get you on their radar but I think that you can get quickly overlooked if you don't have everything above down tight.

Sorry for the ramble - also didn't review so mb for the grammar/spelling

  • Prospect in PE - LBOs
Sep 18, 2020 - 2:44pm

How did you know you can get 1s tround when you are preparing

Oct 23, 2020 - 10:11pm

I have been asking myself this question everyday since I got the offer in september.

Semi-target, average GPA, unrelated corporate internship, varsity athlete.

I connected with my first round interviewers in the following ways:

First interview was technicals, didn't nail it by any means but really went above and beyond on a bond question and a macro risk question which seemed to impress him/ make him forget that i messed up a gimme.

Second interviewer was behavioural and instantly connected because he was varsity athlete and I brought up his past achievement (all conference team) which he liked a lot (this was a risk, can come off as creepy/hardo). Then I nailed a consulting type case question on valuation/market sizing

They put me through to the SD and immediately made themselves available to me as a resource. I was able to prepare for the SD much better and they even setup coffee chats with seniors for me (not seniors who did my SD obv) I was stunned as they seemed to genuinely want me to secure the offer.

Night before the SD I got the list of interviewers and found one thing from all of their backgrounds including some incredibly lucky mutual connections/knowledge again this was luck meeting preparation. Coming across as prepared but still chill was easily the most important thing I did IMO.

The last side note is I had done so many online interviews that i really had the etiquette down. Look straight into the lens of the webcam, speak like you would in person (no ums between words, this seems to creep in more when you feel like you're on the phone)

All of these things combined and are the reason I think I got the offer but I'm still really surprised as my app was by no means a standout. Hope this can help someone else

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Oct 24, 2020 - 4:26am

Applied to every bank on the street. Struck out with OCR, even after getting a few supers. During the summer, I was able to land an EB, because I realized I was getting a return offer at my summer internship (consulting), and I leveraged that.

  • Intern in PropTrad
Oct 24, 2020 - 5:47am

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