Investment Banking Interviews – No One Would Ever Tell You This
Interviewing for a job as an investment banker is a form of negotiation. The most successful negotiators are the usually the ones with the most information on the other side that helps them to prepare and to succeed at the negotiating table. If you want to stand out from the crowd of other potential applicants you have to be prepared for your interview. There is plenty of information written about the two types of questions you will be asked – fit and technical knowledge. Other information tells you how to dress. But there is some information that nobody will ever tell you, that, if you know, it would make all the difference in getting the job. I am going to share with you those secrets that will help you ace your investment banking interview. Here are 3 secrets that you will never be told.
Secret 1: Don’t claim you want to go into management
It is okay to have drive and ambition but do not set the expectation that you deserve to be in management shortly after graduating from university. Recent university graduates fail in job interviews when they flaunt their desire to join a firm and start making decisions right away. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to be a manager if you do not understand how the business operates. You must first understand the company’s policies, future directions and corporate goals before you can start making decisions. If you express a desire to be in management during your interview, you are showing your lack of knowledge of how a business operates. This is the best way to NOT get a job.
Secret 2: Don’t overstate your goals
A common question you might be asked is to state where you expect to be in five years with the company. A frequent response is to state that you expect to be a Vice President or running the company in five years. This would be a mistake. How can you know where you will be in five years if you have never worked a day for that company? A better answer to this question is to stress that you expect to be in a position that rewards you for your dedication and allows you to apply the skills that you have learned. This is a much more realistic answer to this type of question.
Secret 3: It is not the question; it is the answer that is the problem
It is not unusual for potential applicants to be asked quite a few trick questions during the interview. These are known as impossible questions. They are asked to gauge the resourcefulness or out-of-the-box thinking of the potential applicant. People are hired or not hired based on their answers to these types of questions. Employers are looking to see how well you can solve the question under stress because this determines how well you can survive it today’s hypercompetitive work environment. You are not expected to know the answer to the question. You are judged by how well you might arrive at the answer to the question.
Be aware of these three secrets as you prepare for your investment banking interview. How you handle these may determine if you are hired or not.