Why Investment Banking? How To ACE This Interview Question

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“ I looked at all the articles on your web site but nothing told me WHY I want to get into this industry.

Can YOU tell me why I want to be an investment banker?

It ’ s a motion you ’ ll grow in EVERY interview. But it ’ s besides a question where 90 % of interviewees give frightful answers, no matter what their backdrop is. I can ’ t distinguish you exactly why you want to do investment banking… but I can tell you what to say in interviews. so, why investment banking?

The Conventional “Wisdom” – Saying the Generic

Most websites, books, and other resources recommend generic answers :

  • You want to learn a lot.
  • You’re interested in corporate finance.
  • You like a fast-paced environment.
  • You’ve always done well in finance/accounting classes.
  • You want to work with smart and motivated people.

These answers aren ’ t “ wrong. ” But there is a problem : interviewers have heard them thousands of times and will start dozing off if yours resembles one of the above. A ally at a bulge bracket bank in Asia said one recent interviewee gave the comply answer for his “ Why investment trust ? ” interview : “ I… just want to learn. Nowhere else would give me the learning opportunity, and I want to learn so much… I ’ m actually concern in learning and investment banking is the best place to learn. ” Uh, thus why don ’ triiodothyronine you fair stay in school then ?

The Real Way to Answer the Why Investment Banking Question

It ’ south not about “ honesty. ” It ’ second about being personal. You can include some of the “ generic ” points above in your answer, but you shouldn ’ thyroxine limit your answer to those. alternatively, you need to mention something from your background or interests that NOT everyone else can precisely look up on-line and regurgitate in interviews. We ’ rhenium going to look at 2 ways you can do this : the “Big Picture” method and the “Slice of Life” method .

Method 1: “The Big Picture”

With The Big Picture Method, you answer the Why Investment trust wonder by talking about how you started out on another path but shifted your sake to finance over prison term. This one works best if you ’ re :

  • A Career Changer (at any level).
  • A Non-Finance/Accounting Major.
  • Interviewing with an Industry Group.
  • Struggling to think of a specific incident that made you interested.

The convention is simple : Background in One Field +Experience in Finance = Long-Term Success. This is not the “ Tell me about yourself ” motion, so you need to get your points across cursorily – take any longer than 30 seconds and you ’ ll bore the interviewer .course-1course-1

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Model Answer: How An MBA-Level Career Changer Could Respond To Why Investment Banking:

Let ’ s say you worked at a healthcare policy think tank, started to learn more about the business of healthcare, and then decided to go to business school to re-brand yourself and get into finance. You would start by mentioning how you were matter to in biology/medicine/healthcare originally, and enjoyed the work at the institute at first. But then you had to do a batch of research into healthcare M & A deals, you learned more about business/finance, met a batch of bankers, and you realized you were more matter to in that side – in the future you want to advise healthcare companies on business decisions, so healthcare investment bank is the perfect match.

Model Answer: How a Former Engineer at Undergraduate Level Could Respond To Why Investment Banking:

Let ’ s say you ’ re coming from a technical background, did a few internships, but then realized you were more interest in business. speak about how you did well in your internships, but became more interested in clientele after speaking with friends in different departments, and how you started following startup news, technology M & A news, and late deals. You ’ ra interested in being an investor in technical school companies one day, so combining your former background with banking experience would let you do this. I used a similar history in multiple interviews and it always worked. You need to modify these examples based on what you ’ ve done, but the basic rule is simple : Background in One Field + Finance Experience = Success in Achieving Long-Term Goals. If you don ’ thyroxine know what your “ long-run goals ” are, barely make them up to fit the situation .

Method 2: “The Slice of Life”

With this method, you answer the Why Investment deposit question by explaining how an earlier life consequence made you concerned in business/finance and how your interest developed after that experience. This one works best if you ’ re :

  • A Finance/Accounting/Business Major.
  • Coming in with previous finance/banking full-time or internship experience.
  • A “Career Changer” but you can point to something specific that prompted the change.

so let ’ s say you ’ ve been a finance major since you started university and you don ’ t have a “ career change ” to point to. In that case, you need to think about your class, experiences growing up, school, summer camps, and anything else you can think of that can explain how you became matter to :

  • You saw your parents day-trading when you were younger and started following the markets.
  • You went to an event for women in business and met some MDs at banks there, which got you interested.
  • Your friend started working at a bank and you toured his office one day and met lots of people there.
  • You were in an investment club and won 1st place in a competition by picking stocks no one else even considered.

It doesn ’ t need to be a alone report : it good needs to be something that not everyone else will say. And don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate overestimate the competition : I know from interviewing people at “ top ” schools that 99% of interviewees don’t even get the basics right. once you figure out what your “ consequence that made you concern in finance ” is, start your answer by stating what it is and then how it led you into your major, internships, and jobs, and how you see banking as your next mistreat to achieve whatever you ’ re thinking about doing in the long-run, which is hopefully related to business. There ’ randomness nothing “ incorrect ” with saying you want to learn or that you ’ rhenium concern in corporate finance – but you shouldn’t stop there. You need to set yourself apart by thinking about your Slice of Life or your Big Picture .

And Not Just for “Why Investment Banking”

You need to use this answer for more than merely the “ Why investment trust ? ” questions : you have to use it in your “story” and besides when you ’ re networking, because anyone you contact will ask why you ’ ra interest. specially if you ’ rhenium coming from a non-finance background, figuring out your “ rationality why ” is critical because most peoples ’ rationale consists of “ I want to make more money ! ”

The Hybrid Approach

You can combine these two methods a well – just make sure your answer is short, because there ’ mho nothing worse than asking this interview and having person ramble on for 5 minutes after you ’ ve lost interest within 30 seconds. Keep it to a few sentences and explain how your own background or some specific experience makes you a good couple for the group you ’ rhenium interview with. Whatever you do, avoid stating the generic and talking about how you “ want to learn. ” You need to tie your “ argue why ” to what you ’ ve done in the by and what you want to do in the future .

Dealing With “Complications”

There are a few situations where responding to Why Investment bank international relations and security network ’ t straightforward. For model :

  1. You’re coming in from an extremely non-traditional background and have changed your career so many times you don’t know where to start.
  2. You interviewed for banking positions before, but didn’t get any offers and ended up at a bank in a non-investment-banking position – and now you’re interviewing again.
  3. You did an internship but didn’t get a return offer and now you’re interviewing for full-time positions.

For # 1, avoid the enticement to make your story “ complicated. ” Skip less relevant details and simplify your background so that it ’ south apprehensible in 30 seconds. For # 2, if you ’ ra speak with a bank you ’ ve interviewed at earlier, you should emphasize how you ’ ve learned / improved a set since your initial interviews and have realized you ’ re even more interest now after completing your internship. If it ’ s a bank you haven ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate interviewed with ahead, say that you only became seriously concern over the summer and don’t mention your previous interviews. For # 3, say that you did well but didn ’ t like your group and didn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate fit in with the culture. You can ’ metric ton lie about receiving an offer – but you can stead it as being a “ miss of cultural fit ” rather than you not performing well.

So… Why Investment Banking?

That ’ s your homework : go and spend 30 minutes planning out what you ’ re going to say and which approach you ’ ll use. And whatever you do, please preceptor ’ t habit the word “ learn ” 10 times in your answer.

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Category : interview

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