7 Tips To Acing Your Investment Banking Interview
Interviewing for a job in investment banking is a truly unique and nerve-racking experience. While some of the general tips and advice on interviewing do apply–be on time, dress the part, etc.– the investment banking job interview is often more about preparation, presentation and stamina.
Here are seven tips to help you not only survive the I-banker interview, but also stand out in the process.
- Show That You’ll Be Easy To Work With
On Wall Street, the hours and very, very long and you’re going to be around your peers all the time. It’s important to show that you have the right attitude and a positive personality. You need to show that’d you’d be a good fit with a team.
- Know Your Stuff
Second only to showing you have a positive attitude are technical skills. You need to know your answers and their rationales backward and forward. Be honest in your answers and say what you think. In addition to the technical questions, be prepared for left-field brainteasers. The more you practice with these kinds of questions beforehand, the better.
- But Be Respectful & Reserved
Even if you do know your answers backward and forward, you still show humility throughout the interview. Not appearing overconfident or self-important will help to communicate that you would be a good fit for the broader team. Do this by waiting for the interviewer to finish his/her question and keeping your answers clear and concise.
- Bring Your Elevator Pitch
The fit interview is essentially your sales pitch. Do your best to organize a short story that explains why you want to work in investment banking, why you want to work for this particular firm and why you’d be a good fit for the firm. Get your pitch down to three or four minutes as the most.
- Show You Are Eager To Learn
Despite all your education and preparation, you really aren’t going to bring much to your first job. It will be an arduous, hands-on learning experience. You need to demonstrate that you’re ready for the challenge and ready to learn.
- Lay Some Groundwork Beforehand
Investment banking is a people business. Reach out to people working at your target firm beforehand with questions and to seek advice. One great way to do this is through your school’s alumni network. (NOTE: Please, no cold calling!) You might be able to pick up some valuable intelligence on the firm and its practices before your interview. And dropping a few names during your interviews certainly can’t hurt.
- Get Your Financial Statements Right
The technical interview is definitely make-or-break for most candidates. In addition to valuations, you should be thoroughly prepared to demonstrate your knowledge of accountancy principles and how financial statements interact.