Investment Banking Behavioral Questions: Quick Prep (14:11)
In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to prepare for investment banking behavioral questions efficiently and how to use the “Rule of 3” to develop short anecdotes and responses that you can re-use to answer the most common questions.
The WORST way to approach investment banking behavioral questions is to memorize dozens or hundreds of questions and answers.
Instead, you should develop a few stories that you can use and re-use for the most common qualitative questions.
Your 3 “Short Stories” should include a Success Story, a Failure Story, and a Leadership Story that demonstrate the qualities bankers are looking for: Analytical skills, ability to work in a team, ability to work long hours, attention to detail, communication skills, and a demonstrated interest in finance.
For example, you could discuss an internship where you made several corporate finance processes more efficient, a Treasury internship where you worked with other departments to help the company avoid breaching a Debt covenant, and a math tutoring business you started but ultimately had to shut down.
Your 3 Strengths should be easy because you already know the qualities bankers are seeking.
Your 3 Weaknesses are tougher because they must be real, but not too real, they can’t be overly personal, and they must be things you could conceivably fix (e.g., don’t say you’re “too short”).
You could say that you take too long to make decisions or second-guess yourself, that you’re not always good about speaking up, or that you don’t always follow up on tasks and assignments.
For your 3 “Real Weaknesses,” compare yourself to the *ideal* candidate for IB roles (Ivy League school, perfect grades and test scores, accounting/finance major, multiple languages, multiple finance internships, sports, study abroad, and international recognition in some area), and assess how you’re different.
Maybe you went to a non-target school or you have low grades; maybe you don’t have much finance experience or you became interested in banking too late; or maybe you haven’t taken any accounting or finance classes.
Find your top 3 weaknesses and develop ways to address them.
For example, you could say that your family couldn’t afford an Ivy League school or that you attended your university because of a generous scholarship.
Or you could explain that you’ve been moving in the direction of finance ever since you became interested in it, despite a late start that precluded you from winning internships.
Or you could point to self-study, the CFA, or other courses to explain your accounting/finance skills and how you’ve learned the requirements independently.