Let’s be honest, investment banking is one of those industries that allures almost every person that graduates out of business school. Everybody imagines having that six figure salary and being immersed into the Wall Street culture – that’s the dream. That’s what they watched in their favorite TV shows like Suits, etc. (Sure, Suits revolves around lawyers, but they all look like Wall Street guys, and that’s really cool).
So, now that you are actually trying to achieve that dream in real life, you want to know how you can get an advantage over your competitors that are going for the same job as you.
That’s what this article is all about.
Here’s 2 techniques/tips you can use to get yourself a leg up to get an investment banking job:
- Start Networking
Most people think that by just following the traditional path of applying to a bunch of companies, sending your resumes, you will get an interview. And those of you that have graduated from Ivy League and have very high GPAs, you will get that interview by doing this.
But for the majority of the population, you will need more than that to get that interview.
Think about it from the employer’s perspective – if there are people from the Ivy League with 4.0 GPA applying to work at your company, why would you have an interview with a candidate that does not have that?
You will have to start networking to show these companies that you’ll be a better employee that the applicants from the Ivy league.
Here’s how you go about networking to get an investment banking interview:
- If the school you graduated from is a target school (a school from which the investment banks directly recruit students from), then you don’t have to worry at all about networking. In fact, you’ll be able to choose which company you’d like to work with. But if you are from a non-target school, then you should talk to your career center and ask if they can introduce you to an alumni that works at an investment bank.
- LinkedIn is your friend. Start connecting with people you think will be able to introduce you to the bankers that work at the bank you want to work at. Now, before you start sending hundreds of connection requests, make sure you frame your request in a way that says that you’re curious about the banking industry and want to learn more. Don’t be direct about the fact that you’re trying to land an interview. People don’t like to feel like someone used them.
- Attend the NIBC – National Investment Banking Competition. It’s a competition in which hundreds of schools from around the world compete against each other in a live investment banking case. It is fun, and you can also mingle with investment bankers there.
- Understand how the interview process works
This is incredibly important. You do not want to appear as if you have no clue what you are getting yourself into. You want to make sure that you are the ideal candidate and that these companies can imagine you working at their offices exactly how they want you to from day 1.
So how do you give them a glimpse of that? You prepare yourself and know about the interview process inside out.
Here’s what you should expect in the first round of interview
If you’re at a target school, the first round interview will most probably be done on campus. If not, then yours will likely be done on a phone call. You will need to make sure that you network connection is on point. Not only that, you also need to make sure that your tonality is perfect the whole time. This means, showing your enthusiasm and excitement for getting that phone interview. Companies like https://wallstmastermind.com teach you how to master that.
You will be asked questions that will fall into one of these categories: behavioral, problem solving and technical. They will focus more on technical questions because they want to know that you can walk the talk.
Your goal for this interview should be to show them that you are what you say in the resume. That’s what they are trying to find out, and they want to do it quickly. So don’t waste their time.
What should you expect in the final round of the interview?
The final interview is also called the Super Day because this is the day when most banks will decide whether they will hire you or not.
So, all the candidates that reached this round of interviews are flown into the bank’s offices and the interview is held on site. Here’s one thing you should notice and calibrate your answers for them –
If the person interviewing you is in a junior position, their questions will be more technical. You don’t have to worry about how you come across, as long as you answer those questions correctly.
And if the person interviewing you is more senior, then your questions will be behavioral. So make sure you answer them accordingly.
Make sure you dress accordingly. You’d want to wear a black/blue or grey suit that is well fitted. Don’t wear anything bold. And definitely don’t wear jeans.
Once the interview is over, most companies will let you know whether they will be hiring you or not within 24-48 hours. If not, then all companies will let you know within a week.
The good thing about IB (Investment Banking) interviews is that they are well structured. So you know what you should expect out of them. Not only that, it also gives you a well defined framework which you can work on.
The key here is to understand how you will be performing in each of the phases of these interviews and to make sure that you are not making any fatal mistakes. That means, your resume shouldn’t be more than one page, have a high GPA and have relevant work experience.
Lastly, you should be able to demonstrate your ability to answer the technical and behavioral questions in a manner that pleases the interviewer. Remember, they are the ones that decide whether you are going to work at that company or not.