How to ace an investment banking interview, courtesy of UBS

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Beecher Tuttle | E-financial Careers
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Scouring the bowels of the Internet for other research, we came across an old gem. Someone has uploaded UBS’s 2010 investment banking recruiting guide for MBAs. While it was first put together four years ago, the interview advice that’s included is timeless. It’s rather long – almost 100 pages – so we put together a few notes that we found most interesting.

Things to mention during the interview

  • Mention the names of other bankers whom you have met and done informationals
  • Know the names of all other banks with which you are in final rounds or have gotten offers
  • Tell your story of why you want to do investment banking
  • Drop names of prominent deals the bank has done
  • Show you have done your homework and know the bank’s strengths

The first two pieces of advice are rather interesting. Is it really to your benefit to have banks know where else you are looking and whom else you’ve spoken to, or is simply helpful for UBS? I’d venture to say the latter.

Telling your story

This is something MBAs are trained to do. Come in with a story about why you want to work in investment banking that highlights previous experience that would make you a suitable candidate. Here are a few bits of advice on how to pull that off, courtesy of UBS.

  • Pick relevant time frames.
  • Have different length versions of your story, but be sure to include the most im portant points or themes in each version
  • Your story should flow with your resume, but you should not be re-hashing your resume.
  • Don’t read off of your resume or pause to refer to it when interviewing.
  • Keep your story consistent.
  • Your story should always answer “why banking?”
  • If you mention it or list it on your resume, it’s fair game.
  • Practice, practice, practice!

Skills to showcase

This section can be helpful for interviews as well as when putting your resume together. Here are the soft skills investment banks want you to showcase.

  • Academic excellence
  • Relevant business experience
  • Demonstrated leadership experience
  • Demonstrated work ethic
  • Interviewing skills
  • Computer competency
  • Analytical skills
  • Problem solving/modeling
  • Perceived client relationship skills
  • Know why you want to be a banker (story)
  • Know why you want to be at that bank

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