Employers do not interview candidates they do not feel are qualified, therefore once you have made it past the initial screening, it is your opportunity to convince an employer that you are the right person for the job. It is often all about “fit”. With fewer jobs out there, the interview process can be long and fiercely competitive, so you must prepare accordingly.
- Clarify the skills and abilities you have to offer an employer. Think of a concrete example for each skill you have.
- Know your resume. For everything listed on your resume, you should be able to explain what you learned and what you contributed.
- Develop a list of your five to seven strongest skills for a particular position.
- Focus on a simple message about what you can do for them and what you do better than anyone else they are going to see that day. Be convincing and compelling and have a story behind it.
Research the Organization
- Conduct thorough research on the organization beyond visiting the website. Find what has been written about the company from outside sources. Use Boston College Libraries Resources.
- Check out the Vault guides, you can set up a free account using your Boston College email address and download any of the guides.
- Use glassdoor.com for company research and interview prep.
- Prepare questions to ask about the organization during the interview.
Research the Position/Field
- WSO Guides
- Research the career field/position you are pursuing.
- Talk with personal contacts and alumni. This will show initiative and impress the employer that you are serious.
Prepare for Questions
- Review the Interview Questions and prepare answers in advance.
- The University of Pennsylvania has great interviewing resources on their website.
- Answer questions using specific examples to support your response. Think of the acronym SAR (situation/ action/ result), to focus on specific experiences to support your responses:
- Situation - describe a situation/conflict/assignment for which you had responsibility.
- Action - talk about the approach you took to deal with the situation, keep the focus on you.
- Result - discuss the outcome of your action, making sure to mention accomplishments or improvements resulting from your action.
- Highlight the skills that you have developed that are transferable to the potential employer.
- Speak in positive terms about previous experiences and employers.
- Assume that what you don’t tell an interviewer, she/he will not know.
- Do not assume that the interviewer has read your resume in depth.
- Here is a list of almost every behavioral question we could find related to skill areas. You don't need to know every question but the skills sought after would be helpful to prepare examples for.
- Attend an Interview Skills Workshop, they are offered regularly at the Career Center the schedule will be posted on the Career Center site.
- Utilize Interview Stream (a video practice interview service) You can find this on Eaglelink and then schedule an appointment at the Career Center to go over your interview
- Schedule a mock interview with one of our Peer Advisors
- Have a friend play the part of the interviewer to enable you to practice your responses; ask for constructive criticism.
Dress for Success
Reasons why most students don’t get the job.
- Lack of Self-Knowledge An interviewer cannot determine where you fit into the organization until you explain your career interests and applicable skills.
- Lack of Company Knowledge Most employers make information about themselves readily available, especially if they recruit on campus. Failure to review company information demonstrates a lack of interest and initiative.
- Lack of Questions When employers ask if you have any questions for them, a negative response is the kiss of death, you must have questions or you don’t seem interested.
- Lack of Enthusiasm Employers want to hire someone who is excited about the prospect of working with their organization. You must be excited about the opportunity and you also need to keep them awake during the interview. Be engaging. Much of the decision making will be emotional on their part.
- Lack of Confidence If you doubt your ability to do the job, an employer will also experience doubt.
- Poor Communication Skills The employer must be able to hear you, understand your words, and follow your train of thought. The inability to communicate necessary information indicates a lack of practice.
Types of Interviews
- Open-ended Interview: Tips from speedupcareer.com.
- Behavioral Interview: Tips from the Boston College Career Center resources on behavioral interviews.
- Phone Interview: Tips
- Skype Interview: helpful video
- Case Interview: video
For Investment Banking, Sales &Trading, Venture Capital, Private Equity, Fund Management, you will get technical questions. The following resources can help you prepare.
- WSO Guides-very comprehensive guides for success in banking including technical questions and the answers.
- The Vault guides are free to you. Just use your BC email address when you register.
- Video on Investment Banking from Vault.
- Wall Street Oasis: Guide to Finance Interviews
- A very helpful article on handling technical questions on the Investment Banking interviews.
Second Round or Site Interviews
- Read this article from CollegeGrad.com covering all the details.
Wall Street Oasis – The Premier Financial Career Resource
click on "interview guides" you will be prompted through checkout but once you create an account using your BC email address you will download for free.
Technical Interview Guide - This 80+ page guide is a compilation of the most common technical questions encountered in Wall Street interviews (investment banking, private equity, sales & trading and more). This guide was created to provide prospective financiers a thorough review in a format that allows the reader to start at the most basic technical questions and gradually build to the most advanced.
Behavioral Interview Guide - This guide is a compilation of over 100 of the most common behavioral / fit questions encountered in Wall Street interviews with detailed advice and examples. This guide was created to provide prospective financiers a quick review and includes advice on asking the interviewer questions (with over 30 sample questions to ask).
Networking Guide - This 27 page guide is a thorough introduction into the fine art of networking. Worried you aren't sending the right Thank You note? This guide can help with specific examples. Wondering how to broaden your search and improve your chances of landing that coveted interview? Then again, this guide is for you.
Breaking into Private Equity & Venture Capital - This guide can help you land your dream job in private equity or venture capital by demystifying the notoriously opaque private equity and venture capital recruiting process. The key to breaking into private equity is to plan ahead because private equity recruiting is both highly competitive and formulaic. It can be virtually impossible to break into this industry without having first accessed the right recruiting channels. Private equity firms are often very lean, which means that new hires must be able to hit the ground running with minimal training. The good news is that there are many different paths into private equity from all sorts of disparate backgrounds if you are willing to be tenacious and plan ahead. This guide can help you make the right decisions in order to chart your personal course toward you dream job.
Make Your Case: Master Consulting Interviews - This 133 page guide includes 10 original practice cases and is the only tool you will need to master the consulting case interview. This guide was created to provide prospective management consultants a thorough review of the consulting interview process so they can successfully land that competitive position at McKinsey, Bain, BCG and other top consulting firms.
Hedge Fund Career Guide - Want a competitive advantage in the hedge fund job market? The Hedge Fund Careers Guide gives you an inside look at the hedge fund industry to give you that advantage. This guide will walk you through all aspects of the industry and better prepare you for your job search process.
A Look Behind the Wall -WallStreetOasis.com has collaborated with its most knowledgeable users to provide one of the most detailed, entertaining and insightful publications to hit Wall Street in years. Each of our contributors has offered a personal and candid look into their work lives: how they got there, what it's like, and the traits and skills that have been necessary for them to succeed. Your mileage may vary, of course; details will differ between firms, years, and geographic areas. However, our contributors' stories provide data points that should be helpful as you do your own analysis. Included in the guide are chapters on investment banking, private equity, venture capital, private wealth management, hedge funds and management consulting.
The Guide to Understanding TARP - Want to impress your colleagues and interviewers with how much you know about this $700 Billion behemoth of legislation? Curious where all your tax dollars are going? Then this guide is for you. In order to foster intelligent debate on the relative merits of TARP, it is first necessary to present an unbiased overview of the plan in plain English. To that end, we have endeavored to present the facts in an orderly, understandable format. This guide is a primer on the genesis and execution of the Troubled Assets Relief Program as it is set forth in Public Law 110-343 approved on October 3, 2008.
The Business School Bible - This guide gives you over 500 pages of practical, hands-on advice that answers six fundamental questions: 1. Which top business school should I apply to? 2. What do admissions officers look for in applicants? 3. How competitive am I compared to other applicants? 4. How do I put together the best possible application? 5. What is life like as a business school student? 6. What kinds of career paths are available to MBA graduates?
The Guide to Trading Stocks & Options - The Guide to Trading Stocks and Options will provide you much more than the strategies needed to take advantage of bullish and bearish trends. You will learn how to combine the necessary elements of strategy selection and market timing in the context of risk management, due diligence and exit strategies to form a complete system of trading.
The Finance Internship Guide - This is a complete guide to getting through your summer internship in finance or consulting. Whether you are wondering what to wear, how to do your work, or how to manage your money, this 30-page guide has it all. Following this guide will make getting through the summer as painless as possible, so that you can have the exciting, rewarding experience you deserve. The sections of this guide include: 1. Introduction: Why this Guide Exists, 2. Preliminaries: Before the Internship, 3. Clothing: Principles and Guidelines, 4. Training Week, 5. On the Job: Succeeding at Work, 6. Networking and Relationship Management, 7. Procedural: Performance Attribution, HR, and Expense Accounts, 8. After Work: Making Money and Having Fun.