Thursday, March 22, 2007

Investment Banking Interview VII

Investment Banking Interview – Preparation Guide I

Never go to any investment banking interview without preparation.

A smart guy from a reputable college, with good grades, outstanding in anything he does, might not get the job. A regular guy with sufficient preparation to answer the toughest investment banking interview questions will be granted an offer.

Seven days is good enough for your first interview. As you gather experiences along the way, you might spend less time in preparing for interviews with other banks.

Allow an hour or two a day and that will add up to 10-14 hours of focused preparation and you will be totally ready for your investment banking interview!

Three basic things to start with:

1. Know the firm
Browse the website of the bank that you are going for an interview. As a quick reference, I have listed the top investment banks’ career sites on the right hand margin of my blog. Take a look at the careers section, the profiles, the history of the firm, how its grown, where its going in the future, what deals or business its involved in, the training program offered, the organizational structure, the people and most importantly, its unique culture (if any).

This is time sensitive - Make sure you are aware of the bank’s stock close as of yesterday (the day before your interview).

2. Know the job
It will gain you extra credit if you actually know about the role and the situations that you might be faced with. If you don't know how to answer questions on these, your perceived value to the interviewer goes down and you will most likely not get the job. Find out from the bank’s website or whoever you know working in a similar capacity and ask them about their day-to-day role.

Write down examples that showcase your skills i.e. 'This is why I'm right for this role.'

3. Know the person you are talking to
When you are invited to an interview, ask for the name of the interviewer and confirm his or her title. If you have only the name, call up the investment bank and find out.

On the internet, search for that person and jot down anything of interest, for example if the interviewer had won an award, recently had a promotion or involved in an important deal.

The interviewer will definitely appreciate the time you put into your research. How serious you are doing your preparation work reflects how serious you’ll be in your future work. It does worth spending a few minutes to convince the interviewer how serious you are.

Golden rule: Know exactly what to say, how to say it and when to say it. Proper preparation would make the toughest investment banking interview a lot easier.

How to Prepare for an Investment Banking Interview – to be continued

Recommended reading: IB Interview Guide

Investment Banking Interview

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