How to Nail the Interview of Big Four and Investment Banks – Part 2

Investment Banks

Investment banks have a really different style of interview compared with Big Four though it is really structured. However, you would barely hear the classic sentence of ¨behavior¨ questions in ¨Big Four¨ (Interview Tips for Big Four) and only some of investment banks would ask specially questions about ¨teamwork¨.


  • Tell Me About Yourself – Broadcast Yourself with Story

It is still a very classic introduction in every kind of interviews but a very impressive beginning could strongly influenced the interviewers in investment banks because for them the following questions in the interview are only used to endorse your story.

The story should be well organized by the following parts;

  1. The ¨beginning¨ – Where are you from? University? Business School?
  2. Your Finance ¨Spark¨ – Person? Event? Club? Program?
  3. Your Growing Interest – Which 2-3 jobs / Interships / Activities Will You Mention?
  4. Why You are Here Today – Why This Bank, and Why Now?
  5. Your Future – What do you want to be when you grow up?

(More information please check How to Tell Your “Story” in Investment Banking Interviews in 5 Simple Steps)

  • Technical Questions

It is quite easy to prepare this type of questions because normally candidates all use Vault Guide as the Bible. However, it is still really risky if you only focus on memorize all the information in one book. Sometimes, interviewers would change the questions so that it is very necessary to understand why and how comes out the answer of each question. For example, a very common question would be ¨What is the formula for enterprise value?¨ Everyone knows the simplest version of answer is ¨ net debt + equity value + minority interest + preferred stock¨ if he or she read the guide book before. However, interviewers would probably ask a follow-up question like ¨Why do you need to add minority interest in calculating EV? ¨ Besides technical questions will be related to your back ground.

  • ¨Fit¨ Questions – ¨Tell me about your experience with XXX Company¨

¨Fit¨ Questions are those related to your work experience and the purpose is to know what you have done in the professional life and evaluate your ability of expression. Due to the different experience of each person, it is very hard to conclude a universal format in this part. The most important preparation here is to get familiar with your CV. It would be better to review your CV and for each point make sure yourself have something to talk about for 3 minutes. Sometimes, it is very possible for interviewers to ask your experience from long time (3 or 4 years) ago, so that make sure you have a clear points for those experiences.

To Sum Up

No matter for Big Four or investment banks, there are something else you could do better in the interview.

  • Body Language

Control your nervous and be confident. You have to know, your breath, your voice, the way you put your hands and legs could all transmit information to the interviewer.  Keep smiling could be a good solution.

  • Why Our Firm

This question definitely will come up, especially in the 2nd interview. The best way is to talk with people inside and learn how the company is.

  • Questions for the Interviewer

It would be better to prepare ahead because it could be the ¨knock-out¨ of the whole interview.

(To know more about how to prepare these questions, please check the following links; Do you have any questions for me? Part 1, Do you have any questions for me? Part 2)

  • Thank-you Letter

Remember to ask for a business card after the whole interview and then send an thank-you letter to the interviewer to express your appreciation.

Edited by Simeng Zhang

The Team

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