7 Interview Mistakes Investment Banking Industry Aspirants Commit

Investment banking is a competitive job market and the interview performances matter a lot when you are competing for an entry-level role as there are hundreds of candidates shortlisted for in-person interview for a specific job role. Banking skills play a vital role during such interviews, but then, there are other kind of questions being asked which candidates don’t focus much upon, and these constitute behavioural and problem-solving questions. As a financial engineering graduate, before appearing for an interview, you must be prepared for every facet associated with an interview for an investment banking role. 

Why do Aspirants Fail in an In-Person Employment Discussion?

Strength of the global workforce in the investment banking sector amid 2015-2020 (in thousands)

Source: Statista

The primary reason young aspirants fail, is that they don’t prepare well for different legs associated with a banking interview. An employment discussion at a top bank would comprise multiple legs or rounds, starting from industry overview and traversing to varied other aspects of a banking interview that comprises resume-specific questions, employment/internship history (if any), problem-solving and behavioural questions, and technical knowledge interrogation. Preparing for just one leg of an interview would not make you emerge as a winner, and that’s what makes candidates unable to bag jobs that are highly coveted in the investment banking industry

Noteworthy Fact: US is the largest financial industry globally. Financial market revenue in 2019 in the US was reported to be a whopping $2,070 billion.  

7 Interview Blunders Banking Aspirants Commit

#1. Insufficient Preparation

It is among the most common mistakes candidates commit before appearing for a banking interview. Most aspirants fall short in the technical round as they lack the requisite skills and knowledge when it comes to technical questions related to banking. Mind you, your performance in the technical questioning round serves paramount to your candidacy, and majorly decides whether you will get shortlisted or not. So, do prepare well for the same. If you are lacking technical abilities, go enrol in a short-term investment banking certification online that teaches and nurture technical skills in banking. 

#2. Mugged up Replies

This is another blunder candidates commit while interviewing for an investment banking job role. This usually happens when the interviewees are too-prepared for the in-person meeting with the interviewer. They already have their answers mugged up in their minds to each question that interviewer asks, in advance. 

Some candidates are just too-prepared and nervous about the opportunity that have memorized answers to almost every question of the interviewing panel which makes them look uncertain and self-conscious. Remember, you need to have a lively conversation with the interviewers, and it should not look like some kind of an acting workshop from your side. 

#3. Long and Time-Consuming Answers 

Many candidates tell long stories to answer a simple question asked by the interviewers, which is totally not asked for. In fact, you must answer as specific as possible. To-the-point answer would be much appreciated by any interviewer across industry domains. In fact, interviewers get put off by long stories being told to them as answers to simple and straight-forward questions. So, do keep in mind to provide crisp answers, thereby respecting your, as well as interviewer’s time. 

#4. Body Language & Mannerisms

If you seem like uninterested to the interviewers at any point in time during the interview process, which, in fact, is taxing, your candidature will not be taken forward. Your body language and gestures speak a lot about you, and your interest in the concerned opportunity. Look energetic, be energetic, and show enthusiasm towards the opportunity provided in the first place. Be confident and self-inspired. 

#5. Lack of Professionalism 

Your first impression is always the last impression. Do keep that in mind while appearing for a job interview. You will never get a second chance to make your first impression. And therefore, wear professional attire, and reach the venue of interview on time, or rather 10-15 minutes before the interview commencement time. 

#6. Mundane and Uninteresting Answers

A large percentage of candidates shortlisted for the in-person interview give the similar answers to similar questions, which becomes excessively boring for interviewers to find an interest into you. Have some unique answers and thought-process under your belt. Do a good research about the industry and the relevant topics surrounding it. It will help devise interesting and unique answers. 

#7. Not Performing Comprehensive Research on the Target Firm

This specific mistake will leave a bad impression of you on the interviewers. If you are interviewing for an investment banking firm and are not aware of it and its market position, you are calling yourself some serious trouble. This is the least a bank would expect from you if you have appeared for a job role at their firm. Moreover, it will seem like you are just there to get a job, and are least interested in what all the company deals with in the financial markets, and what it intends to do in the near future. 

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