Category Archives: investment banking job interview

How to Get Multiple Job Offers From Top Investment Banks This Season

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he investment banking industry is regarded as one of the most notoriously challenging fields where only the best of the best fresh grads have the potential to succeed. According to Careers-in-Finance, recent stats show that less than 200,000 entry level job opportunities are open for fresh graduates worldwide every year.

This no longer seems impressive as soon as you realize that the applicant pool is 10 times larger than the number of jobs available. Don’t get disappointed just yet; it may be tough to break into the investment banking field, but not impossible. With the right set of skills, academic background and determination, you can start off your career in investment banking as an analyst.

Read on to know what it takes to get multiple job offers from top investment banks like JP Morgan, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Royal Bank of Scotland, Merrill Lynch, BNP Paribas, etc.

Figure Out What You Want To Do Before Searching

Nail down the target job and audience before anything else. By this, we mean, search for the kind of job you want and determine if it has the most career capital. Before applying, do an in-depth search on the industry focus, size, personality, core values and management style of the organization.

This will not only help you determine if you are a good fit for the job but it will also provide you will deep insights that may come in handy during the interview. Some other points that you must also consider when applying for an entry level job at any top investment banks are – the salary, the people and the perks.

If possible, also try to find out more about the work environment and the organizational culture as it will help you create a resume that is tailor made for the job.

Know What to Expect When You Venture Into Investment Banking

Here are some hard facts that you must consider before applying for an entry level job at top investment banks like Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank, etc.

  • The field of investment banking is very demanding; 12-hour working days are not uncommon.
  • However, as far as entry level jobs are concerned, an analyst can earn as much as £50,000 on starting with bonuses.
  • You can choose to work in one of the many different areas of work an investment bank including private wealth management, operations, corporate banking, technology, risk management, specialist markets, structured finance, investment management, investment banking, specialist markets, markets, etc. Research each of these work areas carefully prior to filling in the application form and developing a resume.

The 4 Key Skills You Need To Develop

If you’re aiming to develop the competencies that investment banks want to see when you apply for an entry level job, these are the 4 key skills you need to develop instead of just having good teamwork and communication skills. According to Barclays Capital head of campus recruitment Jane Clark, investment banking recruiters want to see what more you can bring to the table other than your excellent academic grades alone.

Intellect

Top investment banks are always in search of candidates who are quick learners; ones who can grasp and learn new concepts easily. Recruiters working for top investment banks feel that these individuals are highly sought-after because they are quick thinkers. They thrive in challenging and difficult situations rather than folding under pressure.

Keen learners with an insatiable hunger for dealing with challenging situations are the perfect fit for working in the investment banking industry because new opportunities, deals, markets and products continually emerge in this field.

Meanwhile, Baillie Gifford stresses upon the importance of intellectual curiosity – the ability to think rationally without jumping straight to conclusions, asking the right questions and picking the right leads during research.

During the interview, come up with a short anecdote on how you used your intellectual skills to handle a difficult situation to impress the interviewer.

Innovation

The ability to indentify or create new profitable opportunities for developing a business is another highly prized skill. For instance, Morgan Stanley values entrepreneurial skills the most. Recruiters at Morgan Stanley look for individuals who can come up with innovative ideas and spot new areas for development.

Also, one of the key competencies that Mitsubishi UFJ Securities seeks in a candidate is the ability to ‘think of creative ideas and approaches’. Prepare a short anecdote to support your answer if the interviewer asks you to give an example of a time when you were innovative. Focus on the new idea or approach you came up with and how it helped.

Resilience

Investment banking recruiters want a resilient individual who can easily adapt to the highly pressured working environment instead of breaking under strain. For instance, management and leadership competency of Barclays Capital includes the ‘ability to work under pressure’; meaning you must be able to meet short deadlines and deal with highly demanding prominent clients.

M&G Investments’ key competencies include ‘resilience under intense pressure’ referring to the capability to manage working with changing deadlines and deal with new information effectively.

Remember, a resilient person is one who sees a setback as a challenge. So woo the interviewer by coming up with an example in which you dealt with criticism positively by working towards improvement despite your disappointment.

Global Outlook

Top investment banks seek candidates who are capable of operating in an international context effectively. Merrill Lynch is known for recruiting individuals with a global outlook while Goldman Sachs requires job candidates to have strong linguistic skills for more than 50% of graduate job roles. Recently for Goldman Sachs, Turkish seems to be the new language of interest.

In order to impress the interviewer, focus on researching new growing markets in the world or a socio economic trend or key event that will affect markets in other countries of the world.

Other Highly Sought-After Competencies

Credit Suisse lists ‘loyalty’ among other key competencies while Rothschild includes ‘authority’ as one of its key competencies. On the other hand, HSBC plc – Global Businesses seeks individuals who have an outgoing nature and possess the ability to maintain a good level of diplomacy. Meanwhile, Citigroup recruiters feel that having a solid academic background and understanding of the industry is useless is you lack enthusiasm.

Conclusion  

Develop the above key competencies to get a job offer from top notch investment banks like JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Barclays Capital, Royal Bank of Scotland, Citigroup, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, UBS, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, BNP Paribas, Mitsubishi, etc. Log on to www.graduatemonkey.com for SHL aptitude test tutorial packs today!

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What it takes to get a job with Investment Bank?

The true reality of bagging an investment banking job in the extremely competitive world is different and difficult.  Working with an investment bank is not like working in a technology startup wherein anyone can work and acquire skills over a period of time. These banks are traditional and conservative organizations thriving on values, passion and hunger for more money. Most top Wall Street investment banks want to recruit an intelligent, proactive, entrepreneurial and disciplined graduate. Excellent analytical and personal skills are a prerequisite for starting a prosperous career in a high paying investment banking job.

At investment banks, the candidate selection is a meticulously planned process. It includes application screening, online aptitude tests, initial telephone interview, assessment centre with further tests and even a senior partner interview. The whole selection process may last for several months. Practicing and preparing for aptitude tests such as SHL and Kenexa numerical reasoning tests will help you gain a better test score and pass the initial phase of the job recruitment process. Note that top academic degree is not enough. You should have an optimal combination of soft and technical skills. For example, significant programming background and experience will definitely help in securing your dream job at one of the top investment banks. Remember, you will be working in an extremely dynamic environment, with highly intelligent colleagues, high salary and commensurate responsibilities. Here are a few steps you can follow to get hired by an investment bank.

  1. Understand the industry

A majority of banks are inflexible when it comes to hiring graduates and they usually prefer candidates from top schools or universities because if you are not from the elite schools, you will have to show something extra about you that should make up for the “shortcoming”. Note that you will have to sacrifice your social and personal life to work long late night hours (close to 100 hours per week) for the bank, especially during the first three years. Therefore, understanding the investment banking industry before facing the job recruitment process is essential. The industry requires you to put in extremely long working hours that should lead to strong results. Banks also look out for people who engage in extra-curricular activities to relieve stress and get a new perspective about problems and tasks. Strong logical reasoning, abstract reasoning and verbal reasoning are also required to work efficiently in a bank.

  1. Prepare for the initial phase

The initial phase is usually in the form of online aptitude test – an effort to filter out “undeserving” applicants at a minimal cost. The throttling trouble faced by applicants is the difficulty to clear the verbal reasoning, logical reasoning and numerical reasoning tests. These aptitude tests determine the analytical and logical ability of the candidate under high time pressure. The HR managers believe that a high score in these tests reflects the candidate ability to quickly learn and adapt to challenging conditions as one will have to use his analytical and logical skills to deal with real life problems. And, whether or not you have a mathematical background, make sure to prepare for the SHL, Kenexa reasoning tests to help you prepare better for the upcoming assessment day.

  1. Tell your story

A plethora of graduates wants to enter the investment banking field because of money. However, this cannot be explicitly told during an interview, even if it is the truth. Displaying the finance spark is essential to win an offer. Tell them why you want to enter the tough field of investment banking and how you are a good fit for the job. Craft your story in a way it is authentic. Start from the beginning and entail how you developed an interest in this field. And, once you have understood what the banks are looking for, you need to persuade them that you possess all the desired skills and quality. In the end, you should be able to communicate the message that you possess all the skills to excel in such a profile. The story should be genuine and not filled with unrealistic stuff such as “it was my childhood dream” because investment banking is not everyone’s cup of tea.

  1. Build your resume

Investment banks require a different kind of resume and if you apply using a resume meant for a marketing job, you are sure to get rejected within seconds. Never bank upon the resumes or cover letters available online. Craft your resume in a way it reflects the financial and numerical ability instead of simple words.

For example, a candidate applied with the following line:

Developed a software which reduced the manual hours of employees at an organization

These lines sound as if the person is tech nerd. You can change it to:

Reduced the manual hours of employees by 25% resulting in a 10% increase in the ROI.

Giving specific number and analyzing the financial returns will help you create an impression as the same is done in the real world. You only need to sound ‘finance savvy’ and you will be successful in leaving an impression.

  1. Crack the technical round

One of the most difficult parts of the recruitment process is clearing the technical round wherein you are bombarded with finance terminologies which tests your financial aptitude. Technical questions are tough and can be answered if the concepts are clear. Additionally, if you vomit whatever you have read in a book, the interviewer will know it within seconds. Therefore, it is essential to inject some flavor to every answer you give during the interview. While preparing focus on accounting, modeling and valuation as these three areas are often tested. Apart from the technical questions, you need to stay at par with the recent deals completed in the industry as an interviewer may want to know your passion and enthusiasm about this field.

Whether you land up with an offer or not, leave no stone unturned while preparing for the interview process because you never know which stone will lead to a lucrative job profile at an investment bank. Portray your strengths, spin your resume, show your passion and increase your enthusiasm to grab a job offer.