The Interview Process
Interviews at investment banks are all done by people who are working or have worked in
investment banking. Therefore, they know their stuff and expect the same of you (but not
quite at their level). The interviewers are looking for recruits who display healthy
aggressiveness for doing good work. They are searching for x number of recruits who are
the best "fits" for the firm.
A normal interview for an investment banking analyst position begins with meeting the
program coordinator or an assistant. This person will take you to your first interview.
Interviews often take place in the interviewer's office.
The first interview may be with one or two people. They will most likely be analysts
themselves, varying from first-years to third-years. Expect the first interviewers to
quickly get down to business. After the first interview, you will be taken to your next
interview with probably just one person. This person is usually more senior than the first
interviewers, such as an associate. After this interview, you will be shuttled to the next
interviewer's office and so on. Expect to have as many as two to four separate interviews
on your first on-site interview.
The process is tiring but remember that each interviewer is seeing you for the first time.
Also each of your questions and answers are new to him/her.
Finally, always close every interview with a "I want this job" statement, such
as, "I would be an excellent fit with Investment Bank ABC and I would enjoy working
here". It leaves a nice taste in the interviewer's mouth and emphasizes that you are
the best choice for the job.
It is essential that you send thank-you notes to interviewers as soon as possible after
the interview. Tell them you are the best fit for the firm and that you enjoyed meeting
them. Your thank-you notes can just be normal typed letters (Don't forget to sign them).
I will admit that by the time your thank-you note reaches your interviewer, decisions
about you will have long been made but the interviewer did spend a lot of their time with
you (in one way or another).
- Eat a light meal an hour or so before a dinner interview so you will not be wolfing down
your food at the interview. Besides, you will probably be conversing with people more than
eating. Dinner interviews are usually the second or third interview.
- After the interview meal, go to the restroom and chew a piece of gum to cleanse your
mouth and breath. Then dispose of the gum before you leave the restroom.
- It is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT that you physically find the building where your interview
will be held before your interview date. You might also want to find the lobby or
visitor's desk. Time your commute and add an hour to the time. It is better to wait in a
park or diner near the building than to be waited on by the interviewer.
Copyright 1998-2000 by Jonathan Sides
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