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Deez Nuts

Essay by   •  September 28, 2011  •  Case Study  •  1,885 Words (8 Pages)  •  1,888 Views

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Most candidates approaching finance interviews stress over the technical questions. However,

answering a behavioral question in a "less than desirable way" or fumbling around without a legitimate answer

can do even more damage than missing a technical question. Analysts will spend 80+ hours per week with their

co-workers, so proving you are someone they will enjoy being around is more important than proving you know

how to work your way through a discounted cash flow model. That does not mean that we suggest you not

thoroughly prepare for the technical aspect of the interview as well!

Once you get the job, your firm will put you through a rigorous training session. Your company will

assume you have little prior financial knowledge so they are not looking for the next finance wizard or CFO --

they are looking for someone they will be comfortable working with for the next two years and who will be able

to handle the demands of the job. First impressions are crucial so as you walk through the door and give your

interviewer a firm handshake, make sure to wear a friendly smile and relax if you are nervous. You won't die,

we promise. Try to turn any nervousness into positive energy that can be interpreted as enthusiasm for the

position. The person across the table could be sitting there for eight straight hours interviewing 16 kids in a row.

He/she will get bored if there is no passion in your voice and no conviction in your speech. This is not the time

to blend into the crowd.

Interviewers have 30 minutes to determine whether or not you are fit to work at their bank for the next

three months or two years. Technical skills are a bonus. But you could answer every technical question

perfectly, and that will still not guarantee you the job. In the same way, you could have the best personality in

the world, and connect with your interviewer on every level. But, if you don't know what DCF stands for, you

will not get the job. You need a combination of solid technical skills and appropriate answers to the behavioral

questions to land the job, especially in this tough economy. Within the answers to your behavioral questions,

there are a few main points you need to be sure to get across. According to the head of HR at a prominent

international investment bank, the three main traits you need to emphasize are the following:

1. You have a willingness and desire to learn -- The banker sitting across the table from you knows

more than you. Even if he or she is a first year analyst with only three months on the job, most likely he

has learned more in those three months than you did in your four years in undergraduate business

school. He is far more interested in hiring a non-business major who wants to learn everything possible

than hiring someone who went to Wharton and thinks they already know everything. No matter how

smart you are, you need to look at this job as a learning experience. Keep that in mind and try to let them

know that you "get it."

2. You possess a great attitude and personality -- Investment bankers spend countless hours together. If

you aren't going to maintain a positive attitude in the workplace, and be an enjoyable person to be

around, they are not going to want to hire and work with you. And last but not least...

Buyer: Kunlun Yao (

Transaction ID: 8YD1448328023124K

Page 4

3. You are an absolute workhorse -- 80, 90, 100+ hours per week. Back-to-back all nighters. These are

things you have heard about and they are not myths. In 30 minutes you must prove to your interviewer

that you are willing to work as long as it takes to get a task done, perform it perfectly in high pressure

situations, and do it all with a smile. Let them know you've done your homework and you understand

the physical and mental demands this job requires.

With those key points in mind, below is a list of the most common behavioral questions you may come

across in a finance interview. Unlike the technical guide, there are no definitive answers to any of these

questions. The answer to each and every question will be unique to you and should not sound rehearsed -- it

should sound natural. Make sure you don't tell your interviewers about your qualities. Anyone can say they are

a hard worker and that they are willing to do mindless tasks like reformatting pitchbooks until 3 a.m. for a week

straight. You must show your interviewer that you can perform similar jobs by using detailed examples from

your past. Maybe you are the editor of the newspaper at school? A new story broke two days before going to

print and you led your team through back-to-back all nighters to produce a perfect paper with no mistakes.

Every story you tell should show your interviewer that you have the skills needed to be a banker/trader.

Your examples do not always have to be related to business or finance. Many interviewers actually

prefer candidates who are more open about other parts of their lives. That said, be sure to push the conversation

where you want it to go and adapt the stories you are



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