How to Prepare for an Investment Banking Interview

Landing an investment banking interview is an achievement in itself, and you should applaud yourself for making it that far. If you’re looking to nail the interview and impress your potential employers, there are a few tips to keep in mind.

If you are newly graduated and looking to make a career move in the world of finance, there are ways that you can prepare yourself for your interview with the investment banking firm of your dreams. This goes beyond just knowing how to sit, dress, or act; knowing the fundamentals of the job you want and understanding what the firm has to offer can be incredible insights.

Consider the following preparation tips so you can feel more secure about your future.

1. Know Your Technical Concepts

It may be worthwhile to brush up on your fundamental knowledge before entering your interview. While a lot of the key concepts you’ve learned in school may still be fresh in your head, don’t act overconfident. Your interviewers will certainly ask a number of technical questions that refer to the fundamentals of investment banking.

Make sure to refresh yourself on key statements such as:

  • Profit and loss
  • Cash flow
  • Balance sheet
  • Financial ratio analysis

It’s important to remember the important formulas so you can calculate ratios on the spot. In some cases, an interviewer may even ask you to calculate some statements right then and there.

2. Prepare Personal Answers Ahead of Time

It is not uncommon for a financial investment firm to ask you the simple question, “Can you tell me more about yourself?”. This is a tried and true strategy employed by many interviewers to get a true sense of who you are. In a lot of ways, this is the question that can make or break your chances of success with the entire interview. Use this as an opportunity to impress them. This is your turn to do the talking. Mention your education, work experience, networks you’re connected with, your ideal traits, and your ultimate goals.

It may even be beneficial to ask questions to your potential employers as well. Research the company ahead of time and ask specific questions about your job role and team values.

3. Stay Up to Date on Economic News

The financial world is constantly evolving and updating. It is critical that you keep up with the latest economic happenings so you can be equipped with the best tools to propel your career forward. Knowing what’s happening around you is the only way to be best prepared for your interview.

Take note of what’s happening on the news. Sign up for financial updates and think about what this news means to you. It’s possible that your interviewers will ask about certain current events, and what your opinions and proposed solutions are. The Wall Street Journal and The Financial Times are great places to start.

Prepare for Your Future in Investment Banking!

Job interviews can be daunting, especially when you aren’t sure what your potential employers are going to ask. That’s why it is important to brush up on your interviewing skills as well as your knowledge of the investment banking world. Coming prepared is the best thing you can do for yourself and for the job interviewers. You don’t ‘need to know everything, but you do need to know some crucial key fundamentals. When you are prepared and confident, it can make a world of difference. 

6 Weaknesses to Say in an Interview

“What is your greatest weakness”, is one of the most loathed questions of all time by interviewees. No one really wants to focus on the negative side of who they really are, which is why most people lie just to do away with this question.

When answering this question, however, you simply don’t want to give an answer that will depict you as being dishonest. On the other hand, you also want to avoid giving an answer that will automatically disqualify you from being considered for the role at hand.

So, how then should you answer this highly feared question? Here are 6 approved weaknesses to mention in an interview.

1. I’m not so patient when working with a team

You can tell the interviewer that you experience some difficulty relying on others to complete your work. Be sure to mention that you’ve been working on improving by engaging in team-building workshops.

Tell them that even if you mostly prefer to work independently, you also appreciate the importance of trusting co-workers and asking for help when absolutely necessary. However, you should avoid giving this answer in a role that requires teamwork to achieve the objectives of the organization.

2. I find it hard to just let go of a project

After spending a lot of time and effort on a project, you really want it to be perfect, before submitting the results. If that describes one of your characters, don’t be afraid to let the interviewer know that you like spending time on whatever you are working on till you are sure that it’s complete.

Tell them that you are the greatest critic of your work and that you always hope to find something that can be changed or improved. While this might sound like a threat to time-sensitive projects, we all know that last-minute reviews often save the day and make it possible to deliver the expected results.

3. I could use a little bit more experience in…

Every candidate has some areas they could improve on in their expertise. Maybe it something specific like using a certain feature in Excel, or just a general skill like public speaking or writing. In any case, letting the interviewer know that there is something you really want to improve on assures them of your self-awareness and a great desire to be a better version of who you are at the moment.

Just be sure not to list an area that is vital to the role as one of the areas that you are working to improve on. Some of the areas that you could mention include:

• Team leadership

• Using specific programs effectively, e.g. PowerPoint Presentation Skills

• Written communication

• Interpreting analytics

• Giving constructive criticism

• Verbal communication

• Interpreting analytics

4. I, at times, have trouble asking for help

While asking for help when feeling burned out with your workload or when you are lacking in a certain field is vital for personal and organizational success, you might have a challenge doing so at times. If you have trouble asking for help sometimes maybe because you are independent when working, let the interviewer know so.

However, be quick to mention that you’ve realized the benefits of asking for help when you need it and that even though you’re still working on improvements, you’ve been able to achieve great results after asking for help.

5. I feel that it’s quite challenging to maintain a healthy work/life balance at times

Having a healthy work/life balance is one of the most important things as far as staying motivated while working is concerned. If you’ve decided to mention this as a weakness, let the interviewer know that your ambition and love for your work have made it difficult to have a healthy work/life balance at times. Let them understand that ignoring your personal needs has often had a negative impact on your motivation at work.

As such, you have been trying your best to improve on creating some space in your schedule to focus on your personal life. Mention that small actions such as having your phone on silent mode during dinner go a long way in improving your personal life experience. In the end, you have realized that trying to maintain a healthy work/life balance has a positive impact and that it allows you to have better quality output.

Let them know that you can get more work done and that you’re excited to report to work every morning just as a result of having a better work/life balance.

6. I have found it a little bit challenging for me to get along perfectly with certain personalities

It’s no doubt that even the most flexible individuals still find it a little bit hard to work with persons with specific personality traits. If you have had such a challenge in the past be sure to specify the personality traits that have been quite difficult for you to put up with, and why that is the case.

However, ensure that you have been working on handling this challenge in the best way possible. Mention that you have been spending more time with people with such character traits so that you can learn more about them. That way, it has become easier to collaborate with such personality types while combining your strengths and skills.

In summary

The above are some of the best answers to the question, “Tell me more about your weaknesses”. Of course, you should make an effort to learn more about the company so that you can tweak your answer in favor of the role you are interested in. Avoid giving exaggerated answers as most interviewers are quick to identify the slightest hints of dishonesty.

6 Reasons Why Investment Banking is a Great Field for Recent Graduates

Calling all finance and business majors! Looking to get a jumpstart on your future career in the finance industry? Investment banking is one of the best jobs that you can have on your radar. It is already quite a popular place to start for recent graduates, although it can be very competitive and tough. This is because there is an incredibly high salary waiting for those who are cut out for the job. If you want to be the lucky graduate who makes six figures before the end of their 20s, definitely keep investment banking in mind.

Investment banking offers a lot of opportunity to recent graduates because:

1. You Have Incredible Earning Potential

You can start out making $100,000 or more with any entry-level position in investment banking. Plus, you can always earn bonuses throughout the year. After a couple of years in your starting position, you can move up to $150,000 – $250,000, and that number will only increase with time. By the time you are at an upper management level, you can be earning over $650,000 per year.

2. You will Grow A Career-Making Network

Even when it comes to entry-level jobs, it’s all about networking. Of course, making professional connections just becomes more and more important as you rise up the corporate ladder. Getting started with investment banking can boost your ability to connect with influential people who will ultimately help you reach your goals.

3. You’ll Develop Useful Skills

If you someday decide to leave the world of investment banking and move on to other positions in the financial field, you will find that all of the skills you learned as an investment banker are transferrable. No matter what career path you follow, the experiences you develop in investment banking can offer you a smooth transition into the new professional field of your choice.

4. You Learn Fast

Investment banking is very fast-paced. Everything has a deadline and everything is urgent. With multi-billion dollar corporations serving as your clients, it’s up to you to understand how to best work your financial magic. A lot of experience comes from on-the-job learning, which you will certainly get a lot of even in a starting position.

5. You’ll Build Stamina

Investment banking will work you to the bone and beyond. You face 100-hour work weeks, so you can say goodbye to your social life. But after years of experiencing this kind of intensity and exhaustion, you’ll feel like you can face just about anything. If you transition into another job or field, your new hours and freed-up weekends will seem like a dream come true.

6. You’ll Become Attentive to Every Detail

Attention to detail is a coveted skill that not many can claim to be good at. But if you weren’t already born with a great knack for noticing things, the investment banking field will push you into it. True attention to detail includes noticing every little thing. Correcting notes, editing texts, and, most importantly, making sure all of the number-crunching has been done right. You even need to notice if a statement accidentally has two different font sizes. You will learn to be a perfectionist.  

6 Questions you’ll be asked in a Hospitality Interview

If you are looking to secure a job in the hospitality industry, you should be well prepared for an interview. While most job interviews follow a similar format, they stand out from each other in specific ways. For a hotel interview, there is a specific set of questions that you should expect. Make sure you’re prepared for the following:

1. Why are you interested in This Job?

The interviewer here seeks to know why you applied for that specific position. In most cases, the interviewer will be searching for a long-term employee. For that reason, your answer should be a reflection of your desire for long-term employment. This question gives the interviewer an idea of whether or not you are serious about the opportunity.

2. What Roles and Responsibilities do you Think Come with This Job?

This is another expected question that tells the interviewer whether or not you really know what the job entails. It further reveals whether you’ve read the advert or were just interested in the pay. The advert always has a layout of the roles and responsibilities of a job–so you should always look over it before you get to your interview. Click here to check out some of the best interview tips out there in audio format.

3. Why Did You Leave Your Previous Job?

This question is tricky. The terms by which you leave a job are not always pleasant. You might have been sacked or resigned on account of salary or conflicts with leadership. While honesty is a quality they could be looking for, stay positive. Claim you need new challenges or that you wish to make bigger advances in your career.

4. Why do you think you are the Best Candidate for this vacancy?

The interviewer will want to hear more about what edge you have over other candidates. Let them know what other life skills you have that may come in handy while on the job.

You can state your versatility and compatibility within different facets of the job. Being multidimensional is considered a skill.

5. Why do you want to work in this hotel?

Here the employer will want to know why you chose to apply for a vacancy in that specific hotel. This question will let the interviewer know whether your interest in the job is purely based on pay or not. As such, you can only answer it if you have done your homework and researched the hotel. 

Before the interview, visit the hotel’s website or search for any information about the hotel on the internet. Know their mission, vision, and culture. Armed with that information, you can always claim the hotel’s culture and mission are things to be revered, and that you would like to be part of it.

6. How long do You Expect to Work with Us?

Hospitality employers are only interested in employees who will give them long-term commitments. There is a lot of training before you are fully incorporated into the team, and they might not be willing to waste their resources on you if you will not be around for long.

Before you walk into a hotel interview, be well prepared. Ensure that you do extensive research and can answer these questions when it finally comes time to meet the hiring manager.

5 Tips for Writing the Best Investment Banking Resume

In today’s market, standing out amongst the crowd is more important than ever. This is especially true in the world of investment banking.

Having the best resume can set you miles apart from all of the other applicants at the bank of your dreams. You’ve worked hard to establish a career in this field, and you are looking forward to accelerating your success. One of the best ways to guarantee this career for yourself is to start out with a stellar resume.

The first step is to understand who’s going to be looking at your resume. On average, recruiters spend 6 seconds reading resumes. That means you only have a short amount of time to make an outstanding first impression.

Is this possible?

Yes, it is!

Here are the top 5 tips for making the best investment banking resume ever.

1. Give Bankers the Info They Want

Every industry has its own set of requirements and qualifications that they value the most in a new employee. In the world of investment banking, they are looking for four things in particular:

  • Your GPA
  • The name of your school
  • Any relevant work experience
  • The special trait that makes you unique

These four points must be placed prominently on your resume, so it’s the first thing the recruiter sees.

2. Ask for Insider Input

Before you submit your resume to the bank of your dreams, get ahold of someone who is already in the industry and ask them to take a look at it. Many investment bankers landed their first positions in real investment banking careers because they had some friends in banking. Email your resume to professionals you can trust, and ask them for guidance. If you don’t know anybody in banking, you can always get in touch with someone who interned or taught in the field.

3. Write for a Junior Banker

Write with a junior banker in mind. This is an individual who runs a busy schedule and is involved in many stressful situations. You know they may only have a few minutes to review your resume. Make their jobs easier for them with a single-page resume that only highlights your most important, impressive, and relevant features. Making it easy for the banker will definitely work in your favor.

4. Hand In Your Resume in Person

It’s all-too-easy nowadays for a company to accept resumes online, preventing you from having to walk into the building to apply. And while some larger corporations gate all hiring activity behind a website, this is not always the case with investment banks. Whether they also use a website, it will make a bigger impression to hand in your resume in person. Find a banker that you know through your connections or even someone you’ve only heard of by name, and hand-deliver your application.

5. Check and Re-check Your Work

The most successful resumes are those that have been thoroughly edited and proofread. Nobody gets everything perfect on the first try. Give yourself plenty of time to read your resume over and over again to make sure everything looks right. A helpful tip is to print out your resume while you make edits, instead of just reading it on your computer screen. It’s easier to catch mistakes that way. Read aloud if you must, making sure it sounds like a winner.

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