There are no general rules for interviews. However you should be ready for all kinds of questions – from behavioral to technical.
The day has come. A week ago you got invited to a Superday, and now you’re finally to the last step in the recruitment process. However, it is the first time you’re doing this and you don’t quite know what to expect. Who will welcome me? How many interviews I’m going to have? Who am I going to interview with? Will a meal be offered? All sorts of questions might be going through your head. Here is a general outline of what you can expect.
When you show up for your interview, you will be invited in a conference room with all other interviewees. Before the HR representative addresses you all, you will probably have some time to eat breakfast or lunch (if the firm is offering) and to meet and small talk with the other candidates. Remember, it is important to be respectful and social with the other candidates, you never know who might be watching.
After talking to the other interviewees, you can expect your HR contact will come in and give you all the information about the interview process. You will find out who you are interviewing with, how many interviews you’re going to have, and what rooms you’re going to interview in. Most firms will have 3 – 5 interviews taking place in various conference rooms across the office, and interviewers can range across various levels of seniority. In general, it is a safe assumption to expect to meet with at least one person from each level of seniority (analyst, associate, VP, MD).
When you enter the conference room, your interviewer is either waiting there for you or he / she will come in shortly after you. You start off with some small talk and then you both get to the real stuff. This first impression is usually the most important part of the interview. Remember to smile, be confident, and look your interviewer in the eyes.
The interviewer will most likely introduce him/her self and then give you the overview of how the interview will go. Most interviews are broken into two pieces, a technical portion and a behavioral portion. In the behavioral portion, you will be asked to tell the interviewer about yourself. Get ready to tell stories about yourself that exemplify whatever you’re being asked about (leadership, teamwork, etc.). After the behavioral part, you will be asked specific technical questions regarding the division/bank you are interviewing for. Refer to Q&A examples for some examples of technical questions that you might see.
Once finishing both the behavioral and technical parts of the interview, it’s your turn to ask questions. The interviewer will make sure you have some time left to ask him/her whatever you might be interested in. This is your opportunity to ask questions that you did not know about the company and could not find via the company’s website or through other research. Asking thoughtful and contextual questions can really set you apart as a candidate and leave a good impression with your interviewer. You should come prepared with pre-written questions as backups, but the best questions are those taken from your conversation with the interviewer. Once you’re done with asking your questions, the interviewer will point you to your next conference room and you should get ready for the same procedure all over again.