Interviewing with any Wall Street bank is not going to be easy. But there’s one type of firm that may be even tougher than the others.
Business Insider spoke with a Wall Street intern who interviewed with a ton of banks, including Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, and Jefferies Group.
The toughest wasn’t any of the bulge brackets, but Jefferies, a boutique bank.
That was by far the most technical interview, the intern said.
“I think it’s a general consensus that smaller firms tend to be a lot more technical,” the intern said, because those firms have fewer resources for training.
“So they expect people to have a decent amount of technical knowledge before they go in.”
Meanwhile, the bigger banks asked behavioural questions in addition to a few “standard” accounting questions — nothing that you wouldn’t be expecting if you consult guides like Wall Street Oasis or Mergers and Inquisitions, according to the intern.
Those banks can afford to be more focused on fit, the intern said, because “if you’re not good at modelling or financial accounting, or have never touched it, that’s something they can teach you because they have the resources to.”
(From what we’ve heard about training at the bulge brackets taking place this month, there are actually quite a few incoming interns who have no background in accounting or finance. They tend to come from prestigious universities and are expected to learn quickly on the job.)
As for the smaller and mid-size banks, it wasn’t just the one intern who found them to be tough: “For Jefferies, when I talked to my friends, literally all of my friends were like, ‘I bombed that interview. If banking is anything like this, I can’t do banking,'” the intern said.
Have you been through the Wall Street interview process? Which did you find toughest? Send us an email at [email protected] We can keep you anonymous.