1/21/08

Any advice on how to answer this question?

Comments (66)

1/21/08

Try the "Search" button.

Investment Banking Interview Course

1/21/08

i am usually quite impressed when people just respond "models and bottles."

trust me, it totally works.

1/21/08

Seriously, search. This is perhaps the most frequently asked question on this board.

- Capt K -
"Prestige is like a powerful magnet that warps even your beliefs about what you enjoy. If you want to make ambitious people waste their time on errands, bait the hook with prestige." - Paul Graham

1/22/08

I always say money, i have 10 offers.

3/6/17

dinner reimbursement

Observe. Learn. Share.

3/6/17
seedy underbelly:

I'm pursuing a career in Sales and Trading or Investment Banking because of my dynamic personality, hard working attitude and utmost for financial market research.

Have you taught yourself java in 27 days while managing to be able to bench double your body weight and do 35 pull-ups?

3/6/17

You can't just use one answer for "why S&T" as well as "why IBD" since both are very different from each other. That answer you gave is also just way too generic. You need answers that incorporate specifics about the job, and ideally, an anecdote which backs up your interest and makes your answer stand out as unique.

3/6/17

EDIT

3/6/17

Too vague. You could use that answer for any job.

3/6/17

Seeing as you've already got a sizable number of bananas, I'd wager you've read and participated in a fair bit of posts and would (or should) already know that answer is way too generic and vague and quite possibly 'dingable' given the lack of thought put behind (unless you do a great job with all the other interview questions).

Understandably, these days with the competition and uncertainty, students should cast a wider net and that could mean going for 'finance' in general. But for both S&T and ib interviews, you should craft a better answer (ideally one that is unique, memorable and that you can relate to your prior experience). Think about why and what you like about both roles specifically and how your prior exp/extra-currics best prepares you for the job vs. the next guy/girl.

3/6/17

answer points I would give for S&T

  • Want to understand the broader context of how financial markets really work by dealing with sales and trading aspects daily.
  • Want to be in an industry where your performance is very tangible IE the score is on the board every day.
  • Want to be in a dynamic environment that challenges you to think quickly, clearly and concise.
  • The entrepreneurial nature of the trading floor
  • exposure to a number of products across a number of asset classes (potentially)
  • working in a meritocratic environment
  • balling so hard motherfuckers want to fine you...

Here's the thing. If you can't spot the sucker in the first half hour at the table, you are the sucker.

3/6/17

"utmost for financial market research"

  • this is not proper english
  • this doesn't mean anything

but yea, get more detailed. a dynamic personality and hard working attitude are the same qualities that could make you a good best buy salesman...why banking?

3/6/17

Now that there are sufficient responses:

I'm surprised you guys didn't say how awful that was. A junior in my frat had this at the top of his resume. Got interviews at 4 BBs, an offer from one. And not BAML/UBS, in case you're wondering.

Made me wonder if we over-think some aspects of recruiting. I mean, if this reason can get you an interview, then aren't we?

3/6/17
seedy underbelly:

Now that there are sufficient responses:

I'm surprised you guys didn't say how awful that was. A junior in my frat had this at the top of his resume. Got interviews at 4 BBs, an offer from one. And not BAML/UBS, in case you're wondering.

Made me wonder if we over-think some aspects of recruiting. I mean, if this reason can get you an interview, then aren't we?

You should not have anything like that at the top of your resume. You should also not have an "objective". If you're applying to a job your objective is to get the job you don't need to string together a bunch of buzz words. Your friend got interviews in spite of not because of what he wrote.

3/6/17
  • Money
  • Network Opportunities
  • Exit Opportunities: PE/MBA...
3/6/17

just two things, glory and prestige

3/6/17

I second the last two points made by nori90.

3/6/17

To say you're in investment banking

3/6/17
tmur:

To say you're in investment banking

which only sounds cool to other people who are in finance.
but hey, as long as you're in manhattan and 'other people in finance' account for a shit ton of the population, i'll take it

Remember, once you're inside you're on your own.
Oh, you mean I can't count on you?
No.
Good!

3/6/17

Found this article...thought it was relevant...haha. Replace the "(dot)" with "."

idiotdigest(dot)tumblr(dot)com/post/39248652585/why-all-college-grads-should-pursue-a-career-in

3/6/17

1. you learn the most you can in the next 2 years than any other job opportunity
2. surrounded by the smartest people, encouraging you to perform better
3. provide a solid financial foundation and business acumen
4. make some shit up
5. even more shit

boom

Investment Banking Interview Course

3/6/17

"I'm a financial modeling and PowerPoint wizard with no outside interests like friends, family, or sleep that could interfere with my productivity'"

I would consider that an outstanding answer.

3/6/17

Joking, right?

3/6/17

DickFuld:

"I'm a financial modeling and PowerPoint wizard with no outside interests like friends, family, or sleep that could interfere with my productivity'"

I would consider that an outstanding answer.

Really solid answer...this has top bucket investment banking analyst written all over it.

3/6/17

honestly that's a terrible answer
woudln't be surprised if you got no 2nd round interviews

happy to give advice; no asking for referrals please

3/6/17

matayo:

honestly that's a terrible answer

woudln't be surprised if you got no 2nd round interviews

Dude Dick Fuld was the CEO of an Investment Bank, I think he knows what hes talking about.

3/6/17

I always tell a quick story. I was working on such and such with so and so and the experience made me realize how much I liked working on transactions blah blah, so IB seemed like a natural fit.

3/6/17

I heard this one kid from Quebec told the MDs at a BB `something like drugs, money cash and sex.
Got the offer but rejected it for PE out of undergrad .. (Serious story)

3/6/17

In before models and bottles.

I'm just a huge finance nerd and I like to work on challenging projects with a talented team to create value.

No frills there but I'd probably polish it up for an interview. That's just the truth.

3/6/17

I love the smell of spreadsheets in the morning

3/6/17

Wow, lazy much? There are hundreds of web sites devoted to this.

3/6/17

The best response would likely be...why you want to do IB.

3/6/17

agree with above.., but you're gonna have to be really convincing as a person coming from audit though

3/6/17

Military, you probably have the best username I have seen on this website. It's just so full of win

3/6/17

I told them that banking would make me a millionaire in the low-digits with little risk. I also added that I understood that my fortune would be capped but was willing to lower my expectations given the lower risk. I made them understand that I was kind of joking but at the same was serious about the answer and they knew it. I was about to jump to the serious standard BS answer afterwards, but the interviewer changed to a new question. BTW, got an offer.

3/6/17

I watched Wolf of Wall Street and I want to do blow off hookers all day and have a lot of money.

3/6/17

Best opportunity I had and I love working. What else would you be doing?

3/6/17
mbavsmfin:

I don't wear watches bro. Because it's always MBA BALLER time!

3/6/17

B4SH:


^this
3/6/17

That video's funny but true. No one goes into the industry because of some complex, altruistic higher calling if that's what you're wondering.

The most honest senior people I've spoken to have bluntly said that they went into the business because it paid the most.

3/6/17

this.

let's not make finance seem like a social mission. I think interest in capital markets is important to doing well, but let's not be coy about this, you're in it for the money. I think there are some fields where there's that higher calling but mostly a career choice in finance is someone realizing they have the interest and the aptitude for this and are simply making the utilitarian decision (because of my skills, I can do this. I'm also kinda interested in this. and hey, it pays really well!).

"The four most dangerous words in investing are: 'this time it's different.'" - Sir John Templeton

"The investor's chief problem - and even his worst enemy - is likely to be himself." - Benjamin Graham

3/6/17

Work hard, play hard

3/6/17
3/6/17
3/6/17

Money is the answer. But the acceptable one is that you love finance.

3/6/17

I JUST WANNA WORK ON BIG DEALS MAN

3/6/17

see my signature ----> to get fucking paid man

Get busy living

3/6/17

No, you shouldn't say that. Say that you like the work, and that it'll provide you a lot of valuable skills

Best Response
3/6/17

Do not talk about the exit opportunities of a job you are interviewing for!!!!
1. "I am a finance geek that likes to work on difficult projects with a dedicated, and intelligent team."
2. "I did xyz and this made me realize that I would fit and excel in xyz at your firm."
3. "Interacted with people at your firm and I was impressed and I feel I could ft in your team."
4. "You are doing x, y, and z deals that demonstrates how much I could learn at this amazing firm."

3/6/17

Theres many different ways to answer this question. But my best advice to you is to set up your answer in sections:

Example: There are two reasons why I want to get into investment banking: 1)_________ 2)_______. That way your interviewer won't lost sight or attention of you when you are speaking.

The best way to make a lasting impression is instead of saying you are more interested in corporate finance or want to learn about the world of finance...I would dig deep, look at your past experience, and try to find a short anecdote or two so that you sound genuine.

XX

3/6/17

Are you supposed to combine tell me about yourself and Why IB all into one answer?

3/6/17

Because you despise sleep and excess free time...

'We're bigger than U.S. Steel"

3/6/17
Wasserstag526:

Because you despise sleep and excess free time...

Add to that you are bored of all the time spent doing extra-curricular activities at university and what a pointless thing a social life is that you don't need one anymore.

And you enjoy getting a torrent of abuse from peers.

3/6/17

The single most important question and also the most pointless hot air question at the same time. Oh the irony. You want the money, the exit opps, the prestige. You can't say any of that. The learning experience, the challenge, working with the best, real responsibility....those are all unmemorable cookie cutter answers that everyone says and therefore you can't stand out with. And any other answer you give is 99/100 times just plain bull shit. Good luck.

But in all truthfulness, here are some guidelines:

give 3 solid reasons--avoiding selfish reasons, show your passion, mention friends in IB, mention past experiences that are relevant to showing your journey to IB, briefly acknowledge downsides, and then finish on a positive note.

3/6/17
3/6/17
3/6/17

'We're bigger than U.S. Steel"

3/6/17

When one man, for whatever reason, has an opportunity to lead an extraordinary life, he has no right to keep it to himself.

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