Interview Type 1 – Character Fit/Qualitative (CF/Q)

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    • #1049

      INTERVIEW TYPE 1: Character Fit/Qualitative (CF/Q)

      These sorts of interviews are vastly different as compared to technical questions. They focus mainly on your character, personality and way of thinking. Interviewers want to know more about you, your past experiences and your goals. They want to see if you are the type of the person they want in their company.

      2 Key Focuses we want to bring across to you are:
      – Use your experiences and stories to bring across your point
      – Have a structured answer and make it make sense!

      Greater elaboration on CF/Q Interviews are down below!

    • #1052

      1 – Background/ Personal Questions

      “Tell me about your resume”

        – Give your Story!
        – Go according to Time and Tell them about your Experience.
        – How did this experience bring you into the world of IB and ultimately how you ended up here
        Tips: Be structured and share your story! Don’t see it as a checklist of things you need to go through with them.

      “Why did you choose to attend XXX School to study Business?”

        – It’s “strong” business program is a great way to kick it off. It indicates that Business has been an interest for you since the beginning.
        – Make sure it sounds thoughtful (even if it wasn’t). It shows that you are a rational and driven person.
        Tips: Emphasise the academic reasons behind it and how it “propels” you into the world of Investment Banking

      “What do you do for fun”/”Tell me one thing that you do which isn’t stated in your resume.”

        – Be honest. Please don’t make a fool of yourself by saying “Reading Self-Help books which boost my financial knowledge”.
        – Avoid anything illegal (obviously). Use something which gives you character and shows that your life is more than just work and books and studying and stock markets and… You get the idea.
        Tips: “Do for fun” not “Do to impress me (the interviewer)”

      Overall, they want to get to know you better and see your character. Be as truthful as you can be and manage yourself well! If they wanted a robot to work for them they could have invested in AI instead.

    • #1053

      2 – Commitment Questions

      “Are you only interested in Investment Banking? How about working as a Venture Capitalist or Consulting?”

        – Investment banking and investment banking only. Even if you don’t feel that way.
        Tips: Tell them that you aren’t keen on any others because this is what you want, nothing else.

      “Are your eyes mainly on large banks like ours or do you mind going for smaller ones?”

        – The same kind of bank that your interviewing at is your best answer.
        – At the same time, be honest and you can name-drop other banks if they really are in your sights.
        Tips: This bank is your first choice though!

      “Some of our early-career workers have decided to quit early and head over to other industries (eg. hedge funds/private equity. Would you?”

        – You’ve studied the different industries open to you but this firm is where your decision has a lasting impact.
        – Investment banking is Execution heavy (which you love) as compared to other industries which have lots of research.
        Tips: Tell them why IB is better suited to your tastes than others.

      “When did you fail to honour a commitment?”

        – Be brief about your failure and detailed about how you overcame that and became better
        Tips: Did you change? How?

      “If i gave you an offer now would you take it?”

        – YES YES YES
        Tips: Say Yes even if you don’t mean it. For your sake, please just say yes.

      Overall, They want to know if you are going to stay with them and be loyal to them in the Long-Run. Give them what they want to hear!

    • #1054

      3 – Culture Questions

      “You’ve been working at XXX Company for your Internship. Why would you decide on us instead, especially since we are so much smaller?”

        – Focus on the remarks of the people you’ve spoken to (you really should) and why this firm appeals to you more than the other.
        – Tell them how you prefer the more tightly-knit working environment and being able to work closely with clients.
        Tips: Why do you love the small firms!

      “Since you say you enjoy working in smaller firms, why us since we are so big?”

        – Explain that you want to enter the next step of your career by experiencing new things.
        – Your main focus is learning and how you believe that this firm is the best way to do that.
        Tips: Your goals are achievable by learning under XXX firm

      “Why would you want to work in XXX Market considering the low market activity over the past few months?”

        – Tell them your long-term view of the market and how things can change for the better
        – Highlight your optimism that the market will correct itself and things would take a turn for the best. If you can, give examples of the past when markets did turn around. (Don’t fake it though)
        Tips: If it helps, tell them how you’ve always been intrigued by how this particular market works and how you’ve been drawn to certain aspects of it.

      “What do you think our bank’s greatest weaknesses are?”

        – Slightly different from if the question were directed at you.
        – Point out the weakness of the bank eg. in Asia vs the Americas and why you think it is so.
        – What’s key is that you say that it does not bother you and that your research shows that the bank is taking steps to bridge that gap .
        Tips: Prior research is never a bad thing for an interviewee.

      “Which of our competitors do you admire the most?”

        – They want to test your knowledge of the industry now.
        – Briefly mention a company and a well-known attribute of theirs, followed by how that trait is amplified in the interviewers bank.
        Tips: These qualities which you admire are better in the bank your interviewing at.

      Overall, this is about the interviewing trying to gauge how well you know the firm and the industry you are in. What makes them special?

    • #1055

      4 – Future-related Questions

      “Have you thought of your long-term plans? How are you sure that you’re going to be in IB for the long haul?”

        – As an Analyst, you can admit that you are uncertain and unsure, but IB is what excites you and gets you going the most out of everything else. It also gives you the skills that you are looking for.
        Tips: As a newbie, it’s okay to be unsure! Just assure the interviewer that this is where you want to be.

      “What are your goals?”

        – You probably want to achieve a high level of success in IB and (only if you really do) want to be part of this bank/team.
        – Be honest.
        Tips: Again, it’s expected of a starting analyst to be uncertain.

      Overall, honesty trumps all! Remember to assur the interviewer of your want to continue in this bank.

    • #1056

      5 – Strength & Weakness Questions

      “What feedback were you given upon the completion of your last internship?”

        – State what they liked about you and what they felt could be improved on.
        – Be real and tell the interviewer on how you’ve tried to implement change in your character to become better.
        Tips: Don’t be vague and ambiguous. They want to know how well you can deal with negative feedback and how big your ego is.

      “What were certain areas that your team said you should improve on?”

        – Two main points. Give a real weakness eg. Being critical of others or judging others too quickly, followed by how you’ve been making an active change in that habit.
        – Give something honest, but not something that turns them off eg. “I feel smarter than everyone and they just are not the same as me”.
        Tips: Focus on how you changed and tried to become a better person. Humility is attractive.

      “If your last colleague/ friend could describe you in 3 words, what would they say?”

        – See it from the perspective of your colleague/friend.
        – If possible, think of stories with that colleague which can back up what you said.
        Tips: Speak not from your perspective, but that of others (Eg. Work hard, never leaves anyone behind – good. Driven, team player – sounds like self praise.)

      “If there was someone from your past who you didn’t get along well with, what would that person say about you?”

        – Weaknesses related to working with others are the most logical as compared to those regarding private disagreemtns.
        – Anything along the lines of “Sometimes he/she (you) would be overly focused on work and forego social time with the rest of us.”
        Tips: Be realistic and as always, honesty is the best policy.

      “Why would we NOT give you an offer today?”

        – You could be cheeky and joke around saying “If you suddenly don’t need workers”
        – Instead, tell them why they wouldn’t, instead focusing on your strengths and how you can benefit the company.
        Tips: Why wouldn’t they vote for you?

      “What is your greatest failure?”

        – Storytime. Tell them something which grew you and moulded you into what you are now.
        – A challenge which pushed you to your limits but ended up giving you more than you every thought.
        Tips: Nothing hits better than a well-told story.

      “Why do you deserve this job. Tell me in 3 sentences.”

        – Utilise the vast bank of experience that you’ve gained over the years.
        – I have technical expertise because of XXX, I have grown in experience due to YYY and I fit into this culture and firm because of ZZZ.
        Tips: No set answer at all. Base it off your life and what you think fits best!

      Overall, it’s all about being open about your wins and fails. How did you overcome them and become a better person in the process?

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