Sunday, March 21, 2010

Screwing up an Investment Banking interview

Goo'day mate!

Earlier this month, I won an interview with Credit Suisse. Yeah, that's wierd, how do you win an interview?

Well here goes, first, join in the efinancialcareers stock trading challenge. Then, without any prior knowledge, build up your portfolio and trade shares online. Spend like 8 hours a day surveying the market, reading company profiles and analysing stock, 2 hours when you are visiting Sydney on your iPhone 3G. Next, you have to make a 70% return in two months and end up at the top of the score board.

The most important part of this is to make sure you read the prize section before you join. I did not know what was the prize until the last day!

One of the prizes was an interview with Credit Suisse. Right. I joined because I was interested in share trading. That was in October. But oh well, some months later in March, Credit Suisse decided to give me a call. What terrible timing! I was in Melbourne getting an interview for London! Great I thought to my self. What more, I just landed in Melbourne after my summer holidays (We know what that does to you) Moreover, I was doing taxation in Malaysia! I had a gut feeling that I was going to screw it up. So, I brought my camera to take some pictures!!

Here is where the interview was held: 101 Collins Street, Melbourne CBD!This interior is a majestic looking place, suitable for the big people who sit up in its 50 odd stories.
Every step was paved in tiles and there was this huge picture on the front desk.
On both side of the front desk, huge columns supporting air decorated the lobby.
When I got to the 42nd floor,
Wow, the view was stunning. It is like standing amongst giants.
Only the people working for huge firms have the luxury of the good view.

Standing next to not far away from Collins 101 is the tallest building in Melboure, the Eureka Skydeck! Hold on a sec, no its not, this is some other tall building. I digress. The interview started at 8.00pm Melbourne time. That is 9.00am in London!

Here, when I entered the interview room,
Don't worry, the people are not there because, this was scheduled as a video conference! Wow, first time screwing up a video conference. If you want a clearer picture, here it is,
It was just like a normal interview, except you are sitting in this room with the chair empty. You speak to this microphone on the table and look into the camera on top! There were four parts to the interview, two for soft skills, two for technical. Oh well, here is how the interview went:

Part 1 Soft Skills
Interview Person: Managing Director
Question: Describe yourself and tell us why are you here and more about yourself.

Approach: Remain calm, don't talk too fast, and THINK before you speak. Be honest about yourself and smile!

Part 2 Soft Skills
Interview Person: Vice Chairperson
Question: Tell me what is your plans for the future and how will this help you achieve it

Part 3 Technical Skills
Interview Person: Vice Chairperson (French)
Question: How would you value a company?

At this point I was beginning to feel the pinch. Great, I have not even picked up a book on how to value a company, which I should have. So I was embarrassing myself the whole half hour! Also, the answer was really simple and you should REALLY THINK before you speak of GIVE UP!

Part 4 Technical Skills
Interview Person: Analyst
Questions: Financial Ratios, options pricing, M&A

Everything I knew nuts about.

Moral of the story:
1. When you go for an interview, make sure you don't come back from a holiday!
2. If you really want a good impression, practice. Never let a good interview come first. After like 10 interviews maybe and 1000 pages of corporate finance, then you would be ready!
3. Don't take my word for it. Try it!

Anyway, when all hell i went through was over, it was already 11pm.
The streets were empty and the pace was slow. When I got back, and turned on my computer, Silent Night was playing. Ghey.. Until next time...

Anyways, the other prize from the trading game was an iPod touch 16GB which CS was kind enough to courier over from UK to Penang! I gave to BB as her present!!
Happy birthday BB!


Anonymous said...

Sorry for my bad english. Thank you so much for your good post. Your post helped me in my college assignment, If you can provide me more details please email me.

Anonymous said...

Aw, this was an extremely good post. Taking the time and
actual effort to create a superb article… but what can I say… I procrastinate a whole lot and never seem to get anything done.

Here is my blog post: Teen Porn Video

Popular Posts