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5 Shocking Questions Asked During an Investment Banking Interview

Written by Fmi.Online

Investment banking interviews are highly craved by aspirants. However, once you do get the interview call, you must begin the preparation process. IB interviews can be intense and without practice, you may find yourself scrambling for answers. To help you prepare better, here are 5 shocking investment banking interview questions you may not have necessarily thought about:

1. Are you smart?

Yes! They do sometimes ask this question in investment banking interviews. It is mainly designed to understand your personality on a deeper level. 

Through this question, the interviewer is trying to gauge how mature you are and if you have the required behavioural skills, confidence, and qualities for a high-stakes job such as investment banking. Talk about how well you can work in a team, your emotional intelligence, and your adaptability skills. Make sure you use examples of situations where you have demonstrated acuity and smart thinking. 

2. What feedback did you receive from your most recent internship or job?

This question is mainly asked to assess how well you know your strengths and weaknesses. It will also evaluate how well you were able to assimilate your previous team and respond to their feedback. 

There is no need to tell your feedback word-for-word. It is important to touch upon one’s strengths and weaknesses and how you perceived and applied the feedback you got. For example, you can mention how you were able to find an innovative solution to a problem your team was facing. However, you could’ve been better at asking for help and not taking the entire burden on yourself.

3. The person next door has outstanding academic scores from Harvard. You had lower grades and went to a public school. Why should I hire you over them?

Investment banking recruiters get right to the point! This question can come as a shock during your interview. To make sure you give your best answer, firstly, do not panic. This question is designed to throw you off. Regain your focus and answer calmly. You can start by pointing out that the degree and scores won’t work for the company, you will. You likely had to put in a lot more effort and hard work to secure this interview than someone from an elite school.

You should stick to highlighting your main reason for applying to the position and company. It can be that IB is your long-term plan, you value the company’s vision and values, you like working in a high-pressure environment, etc. The reason will differ for everyone and that is what will help you stand out!

4. What is one concern you have about investment banking?

This is another uncommon investment banking interview question. To answer this question well, you can mention one or two problems that exist within the investment banking ecosystem. Remember, this is not an invitation to rant! Keep it concise.

You can talk about how the work-life balance is skewed in the IB world. This is a predominant problem so mentioning this will not get you in trouble but do mention how you will navigate it. You can talk about your ability to handle stress, carve out time for yourself, and stay organised.

5. Did you receive an offer from your internship?

This is a more personal question compared to what is usually asked during IB interviews. The key here is to be truthful. If you received an offer, then tell the recruiter the same. She/he may ask more about why you did not pursue it, etc. However, if you did not receive an offer, do not lie. Not getting an offer is not always because your work was not up to the mark. It could have been other reasons like no vacancies, the company was not hiring an entry-level employee, among others.

Conclusion

While preparing for IB interviews, it is common to prepare for technical and behavioral questions. Without those, you’ll definitely be lost. But at times, despite your best preparation, you can be thrown off by questions you didn’t plan for. The first trick is to stay calm. Your confidence matters the most to the interviewer as well. The above five questions can further help you navigate this challenge. Since these questions are somewhat broad, even if you’re asked another form of a tricky question, you can always work tailor your answer accordingly. All the best! 

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