Investment Banking Superday Explained in Plain English
You are likely to come across a diverse range of bankers from analyst to MD level. But given that you’re within striking distance of a $100,000+ offer, the interviewer sheet will be stacked toward the senior side, which means less first-round junior bankers and definitely no HR reps.
As far as numbers go, you can face any number of interviews from at least 3 to 7 or more.
As you can imagine, a real banking superday can last anywhere from 3 hours to most of the day. And sometimes they can even spill into the night.
But fear not. Banks tend to err on the side of less is more because it’s an insane logistical task to arrange more than 5 interviews per student, and it’s generally a surprisingly draining use of bank resources.
Of course, we mean the time of senior bankers – not the $20-an-hour analysts! Note the sliding scale in terms of scope, interviews, and length; the bigger the bank and the recruitment drive, the bigger the range/interviews/length. No wonder BB (bulging brackets) are the source of outrageous Superday war stories, unlike mid-market i-banks and lower-end boutique investment banks.
Why is the focus of each superday bank interview different?
There will be different interviewers working to test you on different things. This is often decided based on their level.
Therefore, students can experience 40 minutes of technical questions when interviewing analyst Chuck Chuckford and 40 minutes of “Tell me about yourself” mind-blowing questions during Dr. Larry Larrison’s Power Hour.
However, let’s break it down very clearly…
The younger monkeys (analysts and contributors) will throw down the gauntlet of technical questions while trying to objectively evaluate you for brains. Consider McGee NCIS. If you have some training in finance and accounting, or worse, a banking internship, expect to be pushed a lot more than someone with a liberal arts major.
While technical finance questions can hurt, investment banking accounting interview questions don’t – they’re relatively easy.
Meanwhile, the grizzled monkeys (MD Larryson and the other BSDs) will go crazy and you will go crazy as they try to answer the question “Will Richard be a strong team member and do I want to work with him?”. For that, consider Gibbs NCIS. But remember, Larry will also be happy to ask you (with a deadpan look) “How many 128-slide presentation books would fit on a charter Lear Jet to Greenland?”*. In other words, gray monkey interviews often include both technical and relevant questions. Masters of the Universe will give you a taste of everything!
Finally, it is worth noting that several interviews at one bank may also overlap both in terms of topic and specific questions asked. This is done on purpose. Just like a computer-administered personality test, this repetition process allows bankers to notice inconsistencies in your answers over time when they share notes at the end of the day.
Did you actually lie about your leadership experience at Chucky Cheese? They’ll find out anyway.
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