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Process Overview
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While in NYC
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Wrapping It Up

Phone Calls


OK, do you know why most people don't get a specific job? The typical job hunter will dutifully mail resumes to the human resources departments of investment banks. Then he/she will do nothing.

This approach is damaging because you don't have control of the process and your resume will get lost in the thousands of other resumes.  There is absolutely ZERO CHANCE of you getting an investment banking position using the typical lazy job search approach.   I'll repeat it for emphasis, it doesn't matter if you're a 4.0 GPA National Merit Scholar with two plus years of financial work experience - sending only a resume is a waste of time!


Your job search process is much better, though. You have already sent a polished, professional resume and a custom-made, informative cover letter to the recruiter in charge of the analyst program. Now, you will call this recruiter and tell him/her that you will be in New York on so-and-so dates and you would like to arrange an interview. You will continue to call to ask for an interview roughly about every eight business days.

The beauty of making phone calls to recruiters is that you are in a win-win situation. The worst that the recruiter or his/her assistant could do is to tell you, "Sorry, we select our resumes and then arrange all interviews". The best that the recruiter could do is to set up an interview.

I know that this sounds like a win-lose situation but you are really trying to both set up an interview now and ease the way for setting up interviews when you are in New York. By calling the recruiter while still in Tuscaloosa you are establishing some familiarity. Honestly, some recruiters will remember that you are the student from the University of Alabama who has called persistently (not pain-in-the-neck, though).

When you are in New York, after all those calls to the recruiter, and the recruiter hears you say, "I am here in Manhattan interviewing (or arranging interviews) for a couple of investment banking analyst programs", a few thoughts will occur in the recruiter's head. The recruiter will think, "This kid must be something special", "She's already here, I might as well interview her", and "If I let people like her slip off to Goldman Sachs then we're sunk".

Carefully exploit the recruiter's fears in your phone calls while you are in New York. Tell the recruiter about one of your really spectacular skills or accomplishments if the recruiter is teetering on whether to interview you. Remind the recruiter that you can interview anytime during the week, you just need an hour to get downtown by the subway.

Just remember that recruiters hate to lose to the competition, don't want to pay for first interviews, and need encouragement before interviewing you. Note encouragement means coaxing not begging nor demanding ;-)


If you are trying to find a recruiter's number in a large investment bank, follow these five easy steps:

  1. Find any number in the company, for example,
    (212) 555-3127.

  2. Replace the last three digits with zeros, like
    (212) 555-3000.

  3. Dial this number and you should be greeted with "Hello, Goldman Sachs" or "John at Goldman Sachs". In 99% of the case, this person should be the main switchboard operator and can direct your call. If it is obviously not the right person then apologize and ask for their main switchboard number. If, for some reason, the person does not direct you to the main switchboard operator then try going up or down on the fourth digit like (212) 555-4000 or (212) 555-2000. Just remember that large investment banks receive tens of thousands of calls a day, so no one will catch on to your technique.

  4. Once you have the main switchboard operator, ask for so-and-so's number. If you ask for the number, sometimes the operator will give you it but most of the time he/she will dial it for you. Be sure to write down the phone number, if given, for your contact cards system.

  5. You will most likely talk to an assistant. Very rarely do you ever get the privilege of speaking with the person you are trying to reach.


It is a given that you will speak to anyone but the person you are trying to reach. Now remember that your goal is "setting an interview date"; nothing more or less. Since you will probably end up calling the contact's office many times over the course of your job searching process, you will also become vaguely familiar to the assistants. Therefore, remember when trying to set up an interview date always, always, always, be very polite. Job searching is a process, sort of a game. You must follow the rules.

It is important that when you are calling or interviewing with investment banks that you repeat over and over to the recruiter - maybe not verbatim but in spirit - "I want this job" and "I have always wanted to work in so-and-so (Goldman Sachs, Salomon Brothers, etc.)" regardless of how you actually feel. Gather your job offers first then make decisions about your future.


I referred to the following script whenever I got tongue-tied. It is better to sound rehearsed then to sound incompetent ;-) Actually, you may find yourself dreaming about calls to recruiters. That just means you're putting all you have into the process!

In fact, visualizing success with phone calls and interviews is a very important part of your job process. Do it before calls and interviews and during free time.

Note that this script gets to the point very quickly: you have already sent a resume, you will be in New York on so-and-so dates, and you would like to set up an interview.

Hi Ms. Brown. My name is Bob Jones and I recently mailed you a resume in regards to a position as an investment banking analyst at Goldman Sachs. I am calling because I would like to set up a 20 minute interview with you in October or early November. I will already be in New York during these months.


Would you like me to call to confirm our appointment?


Thank you, Ms. Brown, for your time. I am looking forward to our meeting on ~~~~~.


Be sure to record the following details during every conversation that results in an interview date.

Interview with Ms. Brown? Or someone else?

Date:        Time:






You should use to look up phone numbers. You may not find the recruiter's number, but you can find it by using the method above and any number in the New York office.

According to the phone books in New York, you can order NYC Manhattan White and Yellow Pages by calling 1-800-544-4988 (or 1-800-719-5656). You will pay for the phone book and shipping, but it may be handy to have the phone book at your home.

Actually, at one time, Gorgas Library had a Manhattan phone book in addition to phone books for most major cities in the U.S. and the world. When they reorganized the ground floor, the phone books moved to a new location in the library and I lost track of them.


Most of your work in the contact cycle up until you leave for NYC will merely set the stage of familiarity between you and the firms. There is actually a good chance that you won't have an interview date with any firms UNTIL you get to New York. Once in New York, though, it is much easier to convince the investment banks that you are serious.

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