Friday, March 23, 2007

Investment Banking Interview VIII

Investment Banking Interview – Preparation Guide II

In an investment banking interview, what are employers’ expectations?

Deutsche Bank is a leading European Investment Bank. Let’s see their expectations from candidates during an interview. I have cropped a few questions from their FAQs section for your quick reading. To read the full article, click the link toward bottom of this page.

Please understand these are not only guidelines for preparing an interview with Deutsche Bank. Employers’ expectations are generally similar. You should take these into consideration while preparing for interviews with any investment bank.

How to prepare for the interview?
You’ve secured the interview, read the brochures, surfed the Web and talked to alums working in Deutsche Bank. How do you ensure a successful interview? The same way you’d go about doing the job once you’re there: With careful preparation, research and attention to detail.

The first step in any successful job search is research. Not only do you need to know about the position and division you’ll be interviewing for, you also need to know about who we are as a company, our characteristics, some of our history and what differentiates Deutsche Bank from the other institutions in our industry. Why? Because you need to convince your interviewer that you are the perfect person for Deutsche Bank as well as that particular role. It is as important for you to feel comfortable with Deutsche Bank, as it is for us to feel comfortable with you.

If you haven’t done so already, try to get a hold of our annual report and read it. We’re not going to ask you about the details, but you should have a general understanding of how we performed last year. A lot of companies claim to be "global" but we really are. Deutsche Bank operates in 76 countries. You can get all the basic facts and figures from our annual report and impress your interviewer with your knowledge of the company’s business mix.

Check out what the press has to say about us and review our press releases on the website, particularly for your division. Press releases and articles will tell you about our most recent initiatives, organizational changes, deals and other successes. You will get a good idea of the areas of our business that we are looking to expand and an insight into our growth strategy.

What should a candidate expect in a typical interview?
Be prepared to tell us why you are right for Deutsche Bank and why Deutsche Bank is right for you. If you are serious about an investment banking career, we understand that you will be talking to a lot of firms. But you should understand how Deutsche Bank differs from other financial institutions, and why the particular division to which you are applying is more suitable for you than another, similar job in the industry.

We will also expect you to have done your homework about Deutsche Bank and the investment banking industry. Your willingness to do your homework now is a good indicator for us of the type of employee you will be in the future.

We will expect you to demonstrate an understanding of the role you are applying to and the work you would undertake. You won’t be expected to perform quantitative Olympics at a derivatives trader level, but you should be familiar with the basic concepts of valuation. For a role in sales and trading, demonstrate your ability to persuade. For a position in corporate finance or research, you will need to understand financial markets and have a grasp of the basic tools of financial analysis. If you are applying to a role in a non-finance oriented division, tell us why you want to work in the financial services industry versus other industries.

What’s the biggest mistake a candidate can make in an interview?
A lack of drive and a lack of preparation. The first interview is not the time to ask about our vacation policies or get an education about the difference between "buy-side" versus "sell-side"; you should know this already. Instead, show us you’ve got fire in your belly to work with us. Sell yourself without reservation. The financial services industry is not for the faint of heart. Rapid change is the norm and you have to show us that you’ve got the persona and the intelligence to keep up.

Make sure you understand the question that was asked. If you don’t understand a question, ask for clarification. We’d rather repeat a question than get a completely irrelevant answer. We also encourage candidates to be prepared to back up claims about their abilities with real life examples.

Source: Deutsche Bank

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

Recommended reading: IB Interview Guide

Investment Banking Interview

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