How to Interview with a Broken Leg, Picking Offers, Grades and Why I Won’t Do Your Homework: Reader Q&A
Economic doom-and-gloom has not been on peoples’ minds quite as much lately, at least according to the questions I received this week.
Like what to do in an interview with a broken leg, and why I won’t do your homework for you.
Getting Hired, Getting Fired & Getting Paid
1. I broke my leg – should I wear take crutches to the interview or try to wear normal shoes?
Depends how well you can walk. If this was an injury from awhile back and you don’t need crutches as much anymore, I would try to look as normal as possible.
On the other hand if you’re nervous about falling down stairs or otherwise injuring yourself, I would do what you have to do and joke about it, “Look, I wanted this so badly I crawled here with a broken leg!”
They will be closer than normal this year, but I think at worst they might be equal. IT people tend to get higher base salaries but in this kind of environment they are looking at $0 bonuses… even if things get worse, bankers should at least get $10-20K (like in 2001-2003).
3. I’ve heard there is a 90% “firing rate” at each level – for example, 90% of Analysts will not make it to Associate and 90% of Associates will not make it to VP. Is this true?
This is probably accurate, at least from Analyst to Associate. Associate to VP might be better than that. I wouldn’t call it a “firing rate” though – it’s more like people switching industries / dropping out / going back to school.
Models & Bottles (Lifestyle Q&A)
4. Is there a lot of pressure in banking to spend money recklessly just to “fit in?”
Depends on your office. In mine there was not, though some people liked to flaunt new cars etc. In this economy, I think there’s more “pressure” to keep your job rather than spend money recklessly.
5. Can you have a good family life if you’re in banking?
No, not really. Even as an MD, you work at least 60 hours a week and are often traveling. At smaller places it’s a little better but you’ll never be home to watch your kids getting off the bus every day.
6. Despite the poor economy, I managed to get a full-time offer. How should I prepare for work?
Have you considered becoming a ski bum? One of my friends took a drunken 3-month trip through Europe before he started, that’s another good alternative.
How to Pick Offers
7. I have offers from 2 private equity firms, but one offers a much better training program than the other. Is this a good way to decide?
No, this is a poor way to decide on offers. Training programs are mostly irrelevant; you will learn everything once you start anyway.
8. I have an offer from a bulge bracket bank in San Francisco and a middle market bank in New York. I’m tempted to the New York offer just because it’s in New York.
Come to your senses! Haven’t we already been over why you should pick bulge brackets if given the opportunity? And today I would argue that being in New York might actually be a bad idea…
9. For part-time internships, what matters more – whether the company has a good name or whether you learn something valuable?
Skills matter more than name.
Grades, Grades & More Grades…
10. I had a family emergency my freshman year and my GPA suffered as a result. When I send out networking emails, should I explain the reason for my bad grades?
No, this just makes you look desperate.
11. I have a 3.7 GPA, is that good enough to get into banking or should I try to boost it to 3.9?
Anything over a 3.5 is fine, don’t spend time on this.
12. Is it ok if I round my GPA from 3.44 to 3.5 on my resume?
How NOT to Get a Response from Me
13. help i really want to get into investment banking and i will do whatever it takes
What was your question again?
14. Could you help me with my homework assignment? I need to write a 20-page paper on cross-border M&A in Thailand.
Sure, but this will count as 20 resume edits. Please submit your payment.
15. What are my chances of getting into banking with a GPA of [xx] and [xx] work experience and [xx] other accomplishments?
If so, then your chances are good.
If not, have you considered the back office?
Rant: I hate these types of questions because they encourage analysis paralysis.
You should know something before you get started, but emailing 30 alumni right now will help you way more than spending the same time asking me 5-page long questions.
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