by Girl Banker
Listen to the iTunes podcast instead.
Competency-based questions are designed to elicit your key qualities, e.g. your experience with working with others (team work), being a leader, taking initiative, overcoming obstacles, making quick decisions and so on. Here are some common questions:
1. What do investment banks do? How are investment banks different to commercial or retail banks?
2. Why do you want to work in corporate finance / sales / trading / asset management? Why do you think you would be good at corporate finance / sales / trading / asset management?
3. Why do you want to work for this bank?
4. Why should this bank hire you? What do you think distinguishes you from other candidates that have applied for this position?
5. Do you know this bank’s key competitors? What do you know about other investment banks?
6. Run me through the key aspects of your résumé/CV?
7. Describe yourself
This is a very open-ended question so you should ask if there is anything the interviewer particularly wants you to talk about, e.g. your work experience or your ambitions, your degree and why you chose it, your university and why you landed there, your extracurricular activities etc.
8. You’re currently doing a non-financial course in university. Given this fact, what attracted you to investment banking? With so little financial knowledge, how would you be useful to us?
9. Would you describe yourself as hard-working?
10. What are your key strengths?
11. How would someone that knows you well describe you?
12. What do you like the most about yourself?
13. What is your biggest achievement?
14. Do you have any weaknesses? What would you classify as your key weaknesses?
15. Have you ever failed? Have your plans ever not worked out? Tell me about a time when something went wrong. How did you resolve it?
16. What is the biggest failure you have ever had?
17. The grades on your résumé/CV are not the best I have seen today. Why should I hire you over someone with a better academic profile?
18. Which other firms have you applied to? Which other firms are you interviewing with?
Have you received any internship / job offers yet?
19. Are you only applying for positions in investment banks or are there other sectors you are considering?
20. How did you prepare for this interview?
21. Are there any questions you would like to ask me?
If you can fully prepare just the above questions for your competency based interview, you will be more than prepared. To Become an Investment Banker provides guidance on how to answer each one of these questions effectively.
Book a mock interview to ace that interview!
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.