Monday, March 3, 2008

How To Use This Blog

As you prepare for your investment banking interviews, whether now or in the fall, you will quickly realize that there is a lot you need to do to be prepared. You need to know all about investment banking, ie. What does a investment banker do? What is their lifestyle like? What type of transactions and products are there? etc...

You also must know the basic information about each bank you are interviewing with ie. Who is the CEO? What did their stock close at yesterday? What is a recent deal they have worked on? The history of the bank? etc... When you are interviewing with ten different banks, this adds up!

In addition, your resume and cover letters, typically one cover letter for each bank, has to be exceptional and formatted with 100% accuracy and contain no mistakes. You also have to be actively following the market. What was on the cover of the Wall Street Journal today? What did the DJIA, NASDAQ, S&P 500, Gold, Oil, company stock price, all close at yesterday? What is the Fed Funds rate at? 10 year treasury?

On top of all that you also have to practice and prepare for all of the interview questions you could get. You don't want your first time answering these questions to be in the interview. As a good interviewer you should practice dropping hints so the interviewers will ask you the questions you want. To do this you have to know and understand what objectives or points they want to find out about you. These objectives include are you quantitative, analytical, team player, hard worker, understand valuation, understand banking, etc... For example, they all are going to want to know if you can walk through a DCF. (refer to my blog post First Things First: The Big 5) First, make sure you know how to do this and practice walking your friends through it multiple times. Then in your interviews, drop a hint by mentioning DCF somehow. You can do this a million different ways, ie. mention your exposure to it in class or through a prior job and internship.

You also have to practice telling your initial story, making it sharp and crisp, etc.... Make sure you practice saying all of it aloud, from beginning to end, by telling it to other people and then get them to give you feedback. The reason you want to practice saying it out loud is because you will struggle at times to decide how you want to say something. You need to choose the words and the way you are going to say it. How are you going to transition between jobs and sections of your resume? When you just say it in your head, your brain skips over these issues and they don't come up until you actually say it aloud. You definitely do not want to have these issues in your interviews.

One of the reasons I put this blog together is because as I went through this same process and know the hard work it takes to be prepared. I collected a lot of information and resources and want to pass it all on to you! My goal is to help make your life a little easier as you go through this process. This blog is meant to act like a "Dashboard" for all your investment banking preparation needs! So how should you use this blog to prepare for your interviews?

  1. "First Things First: The Big 5"

  2. Use this post from the blog as your starting point. Memorize your resume so you can walk someone through it and know your story!!! That means you need to understand, in your own mind, why you want to do investment banking. How have your prior experiences helped you to prepare and led you specifically to do investment banking? Connect the dots (each of your prior experiences), for the people you interview with and show how these experiences have prepared you to be an investment banker starting next year with XYZ bank.

  3. Google Alerts

  4. Use the advantages of Google to stay on top of the banks you are interviewing with by having Google send you updates everyday. How do I do this you ask? Go to Google News and look on the left hand side of the page for the link that says "News Alerts". Click on this link and it will take you to a new page that will ask you to enter specific search criteria. Enter the name of the bank you want updates on, select if you want web, news, blog, etc... search results, how often you want them emailed to you, and specify the email address you want the updates to be sent to. Now you will get updates everyday on the bank and what articles are being written about them. This will make your job of staying up-to-date on each bank 10x easier!

  5. Bank Profiles

  6. I have put together these bank profiles to help you gain a better understanding of each bank and make it extremely easy to keep on top of all the information you need to know. In my opinion, the must read out of all of this information in the bank's annual report. This will help you gain the best understanding of the bank. There is so much great information in here to speak to in your interview. It is also a great place to get specific questions to ask each bank. Also, use the Yahoo! Finance link to follow the stock price. Use the other sections to answer Why our bank? and to assist you in coming up with bank culture questions.

    I have also created a Bank Profile Template, which you can print out. This way you can fill it out and take it with you to your interviews or wherever.

  7. Banking Resources

  8. These are a collection of links and resources I have found over the past year and a half. In my opinion they are all extremely helpful in preparing for investment banking. I also have links to different companies who can teach you valuation: Wall Street Prep, Wall Street Training, Training the Street, and Investment Banking Institute. There are also links to summer programs: Tuck Business Bridge Program, Swiss Finance Academy, and University of Dreams. Using one of these services might be a good approach to take if you are coming from a non-core school. I have not used any of them but I have a friend who did get an I-banking summer internship from University of Dreams. He strongly recommends the program. Most importantly, I just want to make people aware of other avenues and opportunities that are available.


In closing, remember the 7 P's:

Prior
Proper
Planning
Prevents
Piss
Poor
Performance

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey dude, this is a really good site...thanks for the advice

Anonymous said...

This is a great site! It is the best site I have found online! Love it! Thanks for all of the work you have done to put this together! I really feel confident I can get a job in banking!

Zander said...

It's all about the 7 p's!!!