by Girl Banker
Knowing details about the investment bank and then appropriately dropping that knowledge into an interview shows that you are very interested in the role, that you have done your homework and it will boost your chances of getting hired.
Before you head out, make sure you know the following:
1) Size of the bank by market cap. If you’re looking at a boutique investment bank this is not so relevant. Other metrics, such as the bank’s sector focus or client-focus, may be more meaningful to you.
2) Number of countries the bank is located in.
3) Number of employees.
4) The location of the head office of the bank.
5) The CEO of the bank and other important or well known employees.
6) The bank’s mission statement and guiding principles.
7) Read the careers section very thoroughly for any hints and tips; you may be surprised by how much info they give away.
8) In the careers section, do they have people profiles? What do employees say about the bank and why they like working there. If the pros they mention appeal to you, try to mention them in your interview.
9) Interesting bank policies e.g. their environmental policy?
10) The bank’s pet projects, e.g. are they supporting a big environmental restoration project or something to support a specific group of dispossessed people?
11) Recent news involving the bank: deals they are working on, regulatory rulings affecting them, earnings announcements.
I really charmed the pants off my interviewers at my first Goldman interviews because I had memorized their 14 business principles and I knew everything that Goldman was doing for the environment and so forth. I came up with this strategy because, as I perused the firm’s website, I noticed how frequently they referred to their business principles.
Some of my responses went like the following: “According to business principle number 7 which states that ... and I follow exactly the same mantra as exemplified by the time that I did...” – yep, it’s official, I’m a suck up and proud of it. A little flattery won’t hurt you but don’t overdo it.
I created my investment banking blog in 2012 as soon as I resigned from i-banking & published my book, To Become An Investment Banker.
Initially published at girlbanker.com, all posts were later subsumed into my personal website under katsonga.com/GirlBanker.
With 7 years of front office i-banking experience from Goldman Sachs and HSBC, in both classic IBD (corporate finance) and Derivatives (DCM / FICC), the aim of GirlBanker.com was to make it as straight-forward as possible to get into a top tier investment bank.
I'm also a CFA survivor having passed all three levels on the first attempt within 18 months - the shortest time possible.