Sunday, March 15, 2015

Investment Banking Phone Interview - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

First of all we'll say it up front - we hate the phone interview. We think it's to be avoided if you can possibly help it. Treat it like you would an offer from Billy Bumford in Back Office for a Resume Pass - "thanks, I guess".

The formal investment banking phone interview (not to be confused with investment banking informational interviews) can take place during formal recruiting if you don't go to a target school or you didn't quite make the cut for a face-face interview; or if you have taken up the Uzbekistan Sachs option (applying from abroad)! Whether it's conducted by investment banking HR (6/10) or a junior banker who went to your school (4/10) it's bad.

With half of communication gone (non-verbal) it's stupendously harder to build rapport and yet this is the #1 key to interview success - in our opinion. Plus there's all the misunderstandings, pregnant pauses and other bitter tasting side effects of phone conversations to deal with.

But the efficiency is beautiful for both the bank and you, and the chance of getting an 'interview' consequently higher - i.e. a 5 minute phone interview is 10 times easier to secure than a 30 minute in-person chat.

Plus you can cheat with notes, which will allow you to deliver a 10/10 story, answer questions about the bank and market with nous, and destroy any technical questions that come your way - you can have a freaking computer and calculator on standby if you want. Although you should be able to do all of this without crib notes, because eventually you will have to do a face to face interview!!

Regardless of whether you like it or not, you need to practice for the investment banking phone interview, because it is a different beast to in-person interviews in terms of content, format and style. I know this may sound extreme to many of you - and feel a little stupid - but you should arrange a mock interview with a friend over the phone to practice.

Or try out BankonBanking's mock investment banking interview service if you want a more authentic experience.

How would we sum up the phone interview?

It will be a shortened version of normal first round interviews - so prepare as normal, but expect the bad boy questions like "Tell me about yourself", "Can you explain this part of your resume", "Why investment banking", and "Why us" to pop up. As with ordinary first round interviews there shouldn't be a huge technical focus - but prepare for the basics.

Final thoughts? Stand up, smile like a douchebag, get passionate, pump & dump, shout RECO and do all that other stuff you saw in Boiler Room and you'll be fine.

Richard is the head writer for Inside Investment Banking - a one-stop shop of advice for students just like you who want to know how to get into investment banking without a 4.0 GPA from Harvard or nepotistic connections on Wall Street.

Created by a team of 5 young bankers, Inside Investment Banking contains all the real insider advice you need to write killer banking resumes, answer tough interview questions, network with bankers and much more.

You can read more Free Tutorials on Investment Banking Recruiting just like the one above by visiting now.

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