Investment banking is the most financially lucrative position for any university graduate. There are many people vying for the few openings each year in this industry. Graduates who are able to land one of the prime positions have mastered their investment banking interview. Successful candidates are the ones who prepare for their interview and anticipate the questions they might be asked and how to best answer them.
Questions that you will be asked will be either fit questions or technical questions. Technical questions are either right or wrong just like two plus two will always equal four. Investment banking companies ask technical questions to see how well you know the formulas and whether or not you are paying attention in class.
The fit questions are what separates the potential hires form those that are rejected. Companies ask fit questions to make sure you will be a good addition to their company. Fit questions are sometimes referred to as “the airport test.” This tells whether or not an investment banker would feel comfortable spending several hours in the departure lounge of an airport with you.
The fit questions give you an opportunity to be charming and personable and appeal to the interviewer so they will select you for an open position. How you answer a fit question is the ultimate key as to whether or not you will be hired by the company.
The answer to a fit question will show your motivation and desire to work in the investment banking industry which is well known for its 80+ hour work weeks. Companies want to hire employees who show they are willing to do whatever it takes to succeed in this highly competitive industry.
Fit questions give you an opportunity to accentuate your strengths and experiences that will be valuable to the company. Everyone has had many experiences in their lives and answering these questions is the chance to show how your life experiences would benefit the company.
The purpose of fit questions is to put you on the spot and see how well you can think on your feet. It also prevents you from being able to spout out memorized responses to potential questions. Some of the questions that you will be asked assumes that there is no possible way for you to know the answer. What the company is evaluating is how well you can think of a way to solve the question without already knowing the answer. In most cases the interviewer will not know the answer to the question either.
Now that you understand the fit questions will be the major decision factor during your interview, you should focus the majority of your preparation on these forms of questions.
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