Saturday, March 31, 2007

Investment Banking Interview X

Investment Banking Interview - Post Interview Follow Up

I am going to wrap up my investment banking interview session today. Anything you consider important in life, you must do some follow up work in order to make your desired result happen.

Investment banking jobs require the best candidates out of the best. So you need to prove yourself even in the post interview stage. This extra step can give you a significant advantage over less-proactive candidates.

How to follow up on an investment banking interview?

Frankly, you don’t have to follow up on every interview. I would only recommend following up on these occasions:

  • An interview that you feel comfortable with
  • An interview that you’ve done well and that you have a chance of getting an offer
  • An interview that you thought you’ll be happy to join the firm if you were given an offer

Investment banking interview is well known to be stressful. Even so, employers have to treat you reasonably well and make you feel comfortable and friendly throughout the process. If they don’t care to, they won’t care to treat you well when you join the firm.

If you don’t feel happy joining the firm, why bother to follow up?

When to follow up?

Is the sooner the better? No. You are telling the employer that you are desperate. Allow a reasonable timing. If you were told that the next round of interviews is going to take place in two weeks and that nothing happens after one week, it’s time to do something. If you were told that a decision is to be made in a week’s time, do something two days after the interview, like follow up on Wednesday if you had your last interview on Monday.

Take my recent career change as an example. My prospective employer showed urgency during the initial interview. As promised, they arranged the second round of interviews the next day, so I didn’t have to follow up. After the second round of interviews, I thought I am comfortable with the people, the firm and I am happy to join the firm, but I didn’t follow up immediately.

As I said, even if you dearly want the job, don’t let the employer feel that you are desperate. Choose an appropriate timing which indicates your interest as well as allowing some time for the employer to proceed with their internal hiring procedure.

Write a thank you letter?

Nothing is more efficient than a thank you email as it reaches your reader immediately.

As a headhunter, I receive a lot of thank you notes, in which candidates express how they enjoy and appreciate the meetings, which I doubt. Don’t over express yourself. Make it a well-worded polite note to thank them for taking the time out from their busy schedules to meet and speak to you.

Though a thank you note is an important indicator that you really want the job, but investment bankers are extremely busy people, they won’t care to read long thank you letters. Remember the golden rule: short and precise. Limit to 20 seconds, just like writing your resume cover letter.

Sample of a 20-second thank you letter

Consider these when writing a thank you letter or thank you note.

  • Appreciate the time they spend on you
  • State clearly that you are interested in the job
  • Indicate briefly why you like that particular job

I had my first interview on Wednesday. Next round of interviews were on Thursday. I sent out this thank you note on Friday afternoon to Henry, the hiring manager.

Dear Henry

Thank you very much for seeing me the other day out of your busy schedule. I am delighted to learn about HH’s unique culture and work style. I have finished the follow-up meetings with Peter, Paul and Mary, and appreciated that they gave me further insights about HH. I am definitely interested in this opportunity and am happy to continue with the process. I look forward to hearing from you. Please feel free to contact me on my mobile or email.

Best Regards

Anna Maria D’Souza

Tips from Bank of America

An e-mail thank you to the person who interviewed you is appropriate but not required. If you do choose to send a thank-you note, make sure to tailor the message for the person you met with. It is not appropriate to send the same e-mail to multiple interviewers.

Informational Interview – to be continued

Recommended reading: IB Interview Guide

Investment Banking Interview

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