What's the difference between Superday investment banking interviews and normal final round interviews?
Both are final round interviews, but that's where the similarities end.
Some banks will do the simple second round interview which involves a panel of 2-3 bankers grilling you with all the common investment banking interview questions. i.e. an MD, associate and analyst squaring up against you non-stop for 45 minutes to an hour in a small dimly lit room! It's an hour of hell, but then it's over.
By contrast other banks like to do a series of 1-1 and 2-1 interviews in one day...hello, investment banking Superday.
The questions are the same, but the interview format is different and the day longer...much longer! Plus there can be all sorts of add ons like group lunches, aptitude tests and slight electric shock therapy. Oh and superday dinner!
It's hard for me to advise you on which type of final round interview you will get, because it differs from bank to bank, and from country to country.
But generally speaking, Superdays are the norm and simple second round IB interviews the exception. For those of you outside the major IB regions, we've been seeing a shift towards Superdays there too (e.g. SE Asia) as more and more banks adopt the American approach to IB recruiting.
What are banks trying to work out about you during final rounds?
Whilst first round interviews help them decide whether you are 'normal' and in possession of half a brain, final round interviews are more about figuring out whether you can match wits with an MD and whether you will get along with the team.
ie during final rounds the bank is not simply trying to flush out the Ben Stillers (basic smarts), instead it's trying to identify the Neos...the Chosen Ones (MD-level smarts and team fit). Because final rounds are the last line of defense between your inexperienced ass and a fat paying job, expect the rearguard to put up a helluva bigger fight here than they did during first rounds.
Said differently, final rounds are going to be tough! They'll make first round banking interviews look like easy street.
At the end of the day though, you might only experience subtle differences in the types of questions bankers ask during final rounds as compared to first rounds - but don't forget the standards and follow-up questions will always contrast starkly.
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.