Summer Internship vs. Full-Time Investment Banking Interviews

121 Comments | Investment Banking - Interviews

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full_time_interviews“Help! How are full-time interviews different from summer internship interviews? How much do I need to study? Should I read 5 books or 10 books in the next 3 days?”

“If I didn’t do an investment banking internship, how can I prepare for full-time interviews? What’s the difference, anyway?

The short answer: not much.

There are some differences – but they’re not the ones you immediately think of.

More Technical?

The difficulty level of technical questions depends on your background and the bank/group you’re interviewing with – not on the type of interview.

A finance major who interned at Goldman Sachs TMT and who’s now interviewing with Blackstone now will get difficult technical questions – whether it’s a full-time or summer internship interview.

And if you had no finance experience before, did an investment banking internship, and are now interviewing for full-time jobs, then your interviews will be more technical – but that’s because you did the internship.

Less Technical?

This is even less likely. It might happen if you interview with more MDs rather than junior-level bankers, but otherwise the technical questions will be either the same or more difficult.

More Interviews?


But it’s still quite structured, and you finish your Superday in… a day.

Having multiple interviews over an extended period is more common for lateral hires or for anyone who’s recruiting “off-cycle.”

Models? Case Studies?

These are rare at large banks for summer or full-time interviews. They’re more common if:

  1. You’re interviewing at a boutique or middle-market firm.
  2. You’re more experienced – either an MBA-level candidate or you’re working full-time in another field.
  3. You’re in Europe, Asia, or another region that has assessment centers and where everyone does case studies.

If you’re in one of these categories, click here for case study and model guidance. It’s focused on PE interviews, but the same concepts apply to any type of case study / modeling exercise.

More Competitive?


The difficulty of the interviews themselves may not be dramatically different, but fewer offers are given out – banks can always just hire their summer interns.

They get even more competitive in a down market, when many banks do just stick to their summer interns.

So What’s the Real Difference?

It’s similar to the difference between 1st Round and Superday interviews:

“This takes us to a surprising conclusion: in terms of length, interviewers, and question types, there is not an obvious or consistent difference between 1st round and Superday interviews.”

It’s the same here: there are some differences, but you can’t say, “Aha! Full-time interviews have 20% more difficult technical questions!”

The real difference is that full-time interviews are more dependent on your background and work experience – and there’s a big divide between “former bankers” and “non-bankers.”

Former Bankers

Sometimes they’ll just skip the normal “fit” questions and focus strictly on technicals and what you did in your previous experience – so you better know your deals or quasi-deals really well.

If you can’t explain what you did in your internship and are clueless on basic accounting and valuation concepts, there’s no way you’ll get into a “long-term relationship” with the bank you’re interviewing with.


You’ll still get technical questions – but they won’t focus on your “deal experience” because you don’t have any.

If you have no finance experience and are now going for full-time positions, the key question will be “Why haven’t you done banking before? Why investment banking now?”

And they will spend a lot of time trying to figure out if you’ve done your homework and you “get it” – i.e. you’re not expecting to earn $100 million as a 1st Year Analyst.

Associate vs. Analyst

Associate and Analyst interviews are similar – but Associates are expected to know more about finance and have a much better “story” for why they want to do banking.

Also, anyone at the MBA-level is 10x better at spinning, schmoozing, and exaggerating, and bankers are aware of this – so they spend a lot of time discerning who’s bad at lying, who’s good at lying, and who’s being close to truthful.

Your Homework: How to Prepare

If you’ve done banking before, you need to know your internship(s) and deals really, really well. Spend a few hours outlining which 2-3 major projects you can talk about and what you did for each of them.

More on how to discuss deals.

Technical questions should not be that difficult if you’ve actually done real work – and if you haven’t, spend a few days reading up on finance and go through practice interviews with friends.

If you’re a “non-banker” then you need to come up with a really good response to “So why haven’t you had an internship before?” and spend more time thinking about your “story.”

80/20, Zen, and Avoiding Over-Preparation

Oh, and you still need to avoid over-preparation and spending time on minutiae. Outlining is fine, but practicing a few times trumps outlining any day of the week – and never script your answers.

This is something I’ve mentioned before many times. But I’m bringing it up again because you might feel tempted to “prepare twice as much” for full-time interviews – but outside of the recommendations above, it’s not necessary.

They’re just not that much different from summer interviews.

So your preparation shouldn’t be much different, either.

About the Author

is the Founder of Mergers & Inquisitions and Breaking Into Wall Street. In his spare time, he enjoys learning obscure Excel functions, editing resumes, obsessing over TV shows, and traveling so much that he's forced to add additional pages to his passport on a regular basis.

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121 Comments to “Summer Internship vs. Full-Time Investment Banking Interviews”


  1. al says


    what should expect from an interview for equity research position a software engineer with a recent master in finance and no banking experience.

    I would expect a good number of technical questions on valuation and modeling right?
    And of course the story about why banking now.

    In your view which one will weights more?

    Thanks and congrat for the great site,


    • says

      You need to have a really good reason why you just decided to do finance, and be able to point to specific companies/stocks/industries you have invested in or find interesting. Equity research cares a lot about that.

      You won’t get as in-depth technical questions, but you still need to know the basics about accounting/valuation.

      • al says

        In your opinion, is the following a good reason for equity research

        I reached the point where my passion to learn and delve into complex issues was not employed at the levels required by my intellectual curiosity and I decided to follow my keen interest in finance that grew during these years and enrolled in a master’s degree program.

        Or is better to build a story about some growing interest in business like strategy and competitive aspects?

        Thanks again for you time,

        • says

          I would not focus on education as much. Talk more about how you were interested in stocks, companies, and industry developments and saw the Master’s Program + Equity Research as a way to further those interests and build a more fulfilling career.

  2. zack says

    A little off-topic from you current article but do I-Banks look at SAT/ACT scores? I live in the Midwest and only took the ACT and received a 23/36. I am now a Sophomore in college so should I just take the SAT so I could list that score on my resume, or would the ACT be sufficient? I will probably retake the ACT, so I could list a higher score to list.

    Thanks for you continued assistance!

    • says

      I would re-take the ACT or take the SAT to get a higher score. They do care somewhat about SAT/ACT scores, though they are less important than GPA.

          • Aileen says

            just to follow up on this topics. So If I were a MBA school looking for summer internship, you would recommend putting the GMAT score in the MBA school section? what score is considered good to put on? I got 710.

          • M&I - Nicole says

            Yes you could put it in there. I don’t think there’s a need for it unless they ask though

  3. remo says

    What if you have wanted to do banking but didn’t get a summer analyst position? Instead worked in equity research briefly and fund of hedge funds – but no “deals.” How do you answer why banking NOW? Admit that you didn’t get banking earlier, or spin it that you wanted exposure to the buy-side but are now SURE that you want banking because you want more strategic work on deals as opposed to following the market daily? Thanks as always.

    • says

      Go for the spin. Say you thought the buy-side would be more interesting, but realized you didn’t like it because ______. Just inflate their egos and they will fall for it.

      • Sofi says

        I just give an honest response. Here’s how I explained it:

        When you’re doing ER or FOF work, you’re analyzing potential investments, and at the end of the day, you’re playing a very passive role This is especially true in ER when some bit of news comes out, and you’re adding two sentences to your report that 50,000 other people following the stock are also adding. In a sense, the market happens to you.

        However, in IB, you’re a more active participant in the markets, and from my current boutique IB experience, there’s a different sense of energy than in a FOF or ER environment. Although I enjoyed my last experiences and learned quite a lot from them, at the end of the day, I thrive in a high-energy IB environment.

    • says

      Not too much different, but yes I would expect more of a market focus. They will ask more questions about that, see if you’ve been following recent events / IPOs, have favorite stocks, and for DCM they might ask more debt-related questions.

    • says

      Most math in economics is very simple, at least compared to engineering/science… you need to be good with numbers but not a math genius.

  4. John says

    You’ve mentioned that ibanks normally do background checks right before you start working FT. Does this mean that your sign on bonus comes before the background check? Is there a chance that the background check will be before the end of the fall semester?

    • says

      Yes, bonus usually comes before. I guess there’s always a chance they could conduct the background check whenever, but usually it’s right before you start.

  5. oo says

    if i worked in m&a during the summer and now want to try mid, credit risk, will the interview technical questions focus more on m&a or the division i want to apply to?
    thanks a lot!

  6. Daanish says

    Hi Brian,

    I have an interview with a merchant bank tomorrow and its a summer position that is part-time (strange I know). It will basically be helping out their M&A division with models, presentations etc. What kind of interview questions do you think I can expect given that it is part time. I spoke to a past intern and she said the questions werent particularly technical (but shes a genious so I’m not sure whether I believe her).



    • says

      I would expect the same questions as any other banking interview – part-time vs. full-time doesn’t affect things that much.

  7. k says

    Hi M&I

    I just finished my sophmore year an I am working at a emerging markets Investment Bank (i guess you could say it is MM/boutique). I was hoping to leverege this of course to get a BB internship after my junior year. Since i am a sophmore im not doing too much in the way of quantitative and technical things. considering that i now have banking experience on my resume, would my next summer internship interview now be more technical. What kind of technical questions would they ask as an example and if I dont learn that at my internship, where else can I read up on it.

    p.s. this site rocks

    • says

      Yes, you will get more technical questions with banking experience. See the interview guide and interview-related articles below for guidance on what to expect.

  8. IW says

    Hi M&I

    I recently had a UBS Equity research internship over the summer but I realised that I am more into IB. I therefore am seeking to apply for winter internship in HK but the problem is that I am from a small country in New Zealand. Will that work against me and if so how do I explain myself?


    • says

      Not really, where you’re from is where you’re from. You can’t change that, so I would just make it part of your story and explain what effect growing up there had on you.

  9. JW says

    Hi, would the banks ask for references when they do their background checks as my previous work experiences have been voluntary internships in foreign countries and the company has either closed down or doesnt speak english well at all and they may think that I am lying in my work experience?

    • says

      No, that scenario is actually quite common and nothing to be worried about… if they don’t speak English or can’t be reached, it’s not your fault.

  10. Lar says

    Hi Brian, thank you very much for this great website.

    I am in my final year (masters degree) at a target, 3 banking internships including 2 in IB at MM/boutique and would like to secure a full-time at a BB.
    Is it really hard to break into a BB without having done an internship there?
    What is the ratio graduates ex interns/new graduates?
    If I can’t secure a grad program, can I get a summer internship instead then -hopefully, a graduate program the same year?

    What is the best option in my situation?

  11. Pe says

    Brian, thanks for your work and the awesome guide offers!

    I don’t know when you made this post, so this question may be late, bur I wondered if banks do background checks for Summer Internships? Cause I had work experience in Armenia, and I’ve already talked to my boss and other employees – they don’t speak English! Do you think that might be a problem for me?

    • says

      They do conduct background checks, but if the company does not speak English they will just skip over it and not attempt to find out more… same thing happened when they tried to find info. on me when I worked in Japan.

  12. glaznieks says

    Absolutely great site!!!

    I have a degree in Electronics (Grad 2007) and going to start at Cambridge next month. I can either stay at Cambridge for one or two years.

    One year:- I get a Post Graduate Diploma in Economics (Equivalent to a Bachelors).
    Two years:- I get a Masters in Economics.

    I am 26 with 10 years experience in engineering and no finance experience.

    I am unsure whether to :-

    A) Apply for Summer Analyst Internships and do twos years at Cambridge and then apply for full time roles


    B) Apply for full time roles and just do the one year?

    My age is the concern.

    Thanks for your time

  13. daniel says

    Hi Brian,

    I got interviewed from GS equity research for summer intern last winter. I failed to extend summer internship offer tough. But I interned at one of the BUY side firms in NY.

    I am just wondering whether I would get disadvantaged when applying for full-time at GS this fall, because I was screened out at phone interview level for summer intern. I had no idea what I am applying for and screwed up with answering horribly.

    But I am prepared now.

  14. Mark says

    Hello Brian,

    First of all, I really appreciate all the info on this website as well as materials you prepared at breaking into Wall Street. Indeed, I believe they are worth way more than I paid for.
    (I am already used to your voice from the videos btw :) )

    Jumping in, I am graduating from one of the state universities in mid-west this December and have been applying to some investment banking positions at BB/Non BB firms in Asia Pacific region since this September. I also did a non-offer base internship at the investment banking division of one of the BB firms over the last summer. Unfortunately, I have not heard a single interview invitation so far and do not even expect to get one, though I keep preparing for interviews with your lectures. Actually, firms from Asia do not come to my college for campus recruiting, so all I could do was submitting online applications.

    For future plan, I am currently planning to apply for a one year master’s program at one of the prestigious universities in east cost. And the application decisions won’t be made until spring I suppose. Before getting a chance to apply for full-time positions once again next fall, I would also like to try applying for summer analyst programs commencing in 2011 summer. My question is HOW I COULD EXPLAIN MY CURRENT ACADEMIC PLAN WHICH WOULD PLACE ME IN A PENULTIMATE YEAR OF ACADEMIC STUDY so that I am qualified to apply for summer internship. Some companies do not have specific sections for me to elaborate on it in their online application forms. Should I include it in my resume? If so, how could I do that? The Application for summer internship in Asia is still open now.

    I am not sure if the applications for summer internship would be worth it but I just can’t stay doing nothing and miss out on the opportunities. Please lend me your thoughts, and thank you very much for your help in advance.

    • says

      I would just write that you’re planning to graduate whenever the Master’s program finishes – then in your cover letter / interviews you can explain that you’re finishing undergrad this December but are going for further study after that, which is why you’re applying for internships.

  15. Sam says

    Hey Brian,
    I will be doing an intern during the winter break through January. As now I am also applying for summer interns, is it possible to include the winter intern on my resume even though I havent started doing it yet?
    Thank you in advance.

  16. CN says

    Hi Brian,

    Roughly how long after I pass my online tests for buldge bracket banks will they call me for a phone interview? Do they usually call you in advance to make a booking for the interview?


  17. WM says

    Hi, first off, great site! It helps me alot!

    Btw, I am not a finance major but I have recently applied for an IB summer intern position at a bulge bracket bank.

    I went through the phone interview and I would say that I have done above average, though not sure if I have done exceptionally well.

    I am now preparing in anticipation of the second round face-to-face interview. I’ve asked several questions about what qualities they look for in a sumemr analyst. They mentioned almost the same as what your site mentioned – attitude, willingness to learn, ability to take ownership and I would suppose one of the interviewer gave me a hint by saying that I should show how different am I from the rest.

    In preparation for that, I thought I could show my distinctiveness through the way I have come from a road less travelled, learning stuff about IB (finance related, valuation, etc) on my own and how I have built on past working experience to reach my goal.

    What other ways do you think I can make myself different from the rest?

    Many thanks!

  18. MIchelle says

    Hello Brian,
    THanks for sharing all the great tips!

    I am very interested in working at an iBank but I heard they usually hired students from the top 25 universities in the states, is that true?

    I am currently a junior in college and is planning on majoring in Economics. Are the questions they are going to ask me in an interview would be the same as the rest with financial background or finance major?
    Will is be better for me to go for an interview after I actually took some finance class and wait until I am a senior in college?

    Thank you!

  19. Tom says

    Hi Brian,

    I’m in the final year of my undergrad study and will do an IBD internship in emerging market Investment Bank this summer. Now I’m provided with 2 options for the final project.

    1) Work with an asset management firm interested in sustainable fund. Will do literature review and analysis in terms of corporate policy to define the criteria for assessing the sustainability of firms. The work is qualitative and will not involve financial valuation. My understanding is that we only set up possible criteria, and fund manager use the criteria to evaluate the firms they are interested in.

    2) Work with AT&T to research the cloud computing market. Will build economic models to value the major market players, e.g. Google and Amazon, and see how their business models may be extended to AT&T. Identify potential opportunities AT&T may explore and perform a cost-benefit analysis to assess whether AT&T should foray into the cloud computing market.

    Either work will be finished in university, not in company. Which one do you think will be more helpful and relevant if I’m interested in getting a full-time position in IBD or trader after the internship? I personally think the asset management firm may be better to have on the CV, but probably AT&T’s work sounds more interesting.


      • Tom says

        Thanks Brian,

        I prefer #2 as well but some people said to work with an asset management firm is better than a telecom barrier, because banks may only consider the former as “relevant experience”. They value less for experiences in other industry. Is it the case in graduate recruitment?

        Thanks again.

  20. Jay says


    I just finished recruiting and I did not get a summer internship offer (I am currently at a core business school). What is my chances to get into investment banking next year, and what should I do for this summer?

  21. Alex says


    I have a 1st round phone interview for a summer internship coming up and they have already informed me that if they like what they hear, selected candidates will be moved onto 2nd round phone interviews. I’ve been preparing for this for quite some time but am wondering what the difference will be between the two interviews. Will they save technical/quant questions for 2nd interview? Will first interview be the normal tell me your story, strengths/weaknesses etc.? Your insight is greatly appreciated. Great site!

  22. JW says

    Dear MI

    I am looking to apply for a sales and trading full time role in HK at the BBs. Do you know the recruiting cycle begin and end for them? Are they the same as US and UK ie begin in September and end in OCtober?

  23. quantdave says

    Dear Brian,

    I was doing some research on interview questions and formats used by a highly competitive boutique. In the technical aspects section of the interview the surveyed person said the questions fell into three main groups.

    1.) Business Judgment.
    2.) M&A Tactics
    3.) Corporate Finance Valuation Fundamentals.

    To answer #3, I’m currently studying several books (included the one by Pearl) since I have a quantitative background but no IB internship experience. However, I’m clueless as to what the first two mean. Are these industry specific terms? Can you give me advice/assistance on where to locate sources so that I can inform myself about these topics?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.



    • says

      I have no idea what he means either, actually. I really don’t think they’d ask a potential intern or new hire how to actually advise companies in an M&A scenario – but maybe look at some kind of book on M&A negotiations? I think that may just be a red herring though.

  24. budding banker says

    As a non-banker rising senior, I missed out this summer for an internship. To maximize my chances / be competitive with those with internships, I am reading a valuation/training book that’s nearly 800 pages… after reading your article, this might not be necessary for interviews. While I enjoy learning from the book, are my efforts better spent networking? Maybe reading certain parts and keeping an 80/20 ratio on training myself/networking?

    Many thanks as usual

  25. Josh says

    Hey Brian,

    I recently finished an investment banking summer internship, but I was mostly jumping from deal to deal working on different things so I never really got to know 1 deal very well. Can you go over the exactly what types of deal-related questions full-time recruiters will ask? (structure of deal, etc.?)

    • M&I - Nicole says

      don’t think full time recruiters will ask too much re deal-related questions and if they do there isn’t much you can say because you have been doing various deals rather than focusing on one particular one. when people asked me re my previous ECM deal experiences, they asked general questions like which deals have you been on, were you on IPOs/FOs etc but I rarely encountered questions on the details of each deals I did. Some interviewers were curious as to the role I played in each deal and what I learned from my deal experiences. Usually if I have to get into the details of my deals its usually because I choose to elaborate on them, and I usually focus on the general stuff and if the specific stuff comes up I usually just say I don’t remember since I’ve been working on too many deals at the same time.

  26. Jim says


    I worked at a strong boutique in NYC this past summer after graduating. Unfortunately, they do not really have an analyst program. Therefore, I’m trying to join another bank but it appears I’ve missed the 2012 analyst class recruiting cycle. I’ve trained myself as much as possible and can now build numerous models from scratch. Do you know if bulge bracket banks hire off-cycle?
    Do you have any suggestions for how I can land one of these jobs?

    Thank you.

  27. Imtiaz says


    Thanks a lot for all this valuable information! I am currently doing a PhD in corporate finance from the UK and want to break into IB here. I have corporate banking internships before in Pakistan, but I don’t think they count much here.

    I’m hopefully getting done with my PhD in October 2012. Should I apply for an IB internship in the summers and hope for a full-time offer at the end, or should I go straight for a full-time analyst position (& try to finish my PhD earlier)?

    Thank you!

    • M&I - Nicole says

      It might be easier to land yourself a job after an internship. Have you been networking already? If not, you should be.

  28. Ragas says

    Hello M&I,

    I must begin by saying, a very nice website – something like this, with honest opinions was much needed for us IB aspirants!

    I am a final year Master student at a European target school, majoring in Finance. I did my bachelor in Engineering, again from an elite, target school (my selling points) and am currently looking to break into IB.

    I understand that internships in Banking are quite crucial to landing full time positions, however due to personal reasons I have had to accelerate my degree and thus leaving no scope for banking internships during Masters. Nevertheless, I have 2-3 technical internships in renowned companies. Also, and I know you will hate it, a CFA level 2 under my belt.

    I am applying to EMEA region (London) but my confusion is whether to apply for Summer INTERNSHIP or GRADUATE program? As far as the Graduate program is concerned my intuition says, it has lesser number of positions, stronger applicants (with more banking internships) hence more difficult to get in, while for summer internships, I fear my resume might be out of place with some banks requiring only penultimate year students.

    I would appreciate if you could clarify this query asap as application deadlines are approaching.

    Thanks you.

    • M&I - Nicole says

      I would apply for the graduate program; not sure if you qualify for the summer internship programs — you might want to speak to HR re your situation. And I would want a full time job over an internship. I think you should just try to network w as many people as you can and spin your story right

  29. Sara says


    I’m currently finishing my last year in a bachelor’s degree in banking and finance, with my exams in May and collecting my certificate probably next year. I personally think that taking internships and continuing to sign on with the company would be easier than trying to send resumes for a full-time jobs. I’m planning to look for a job or internship after May. Will firms or banks still take me in internships if I am no longer a student?


  30. Chandler says

    Dear M & I,

    When is the latest a firm will do a background check? Would they start one a few days after your first day? That just seems kind of weird. I received an offer about two months ago and start in about a month but haven’t heard anything from the firm in regards to a background check. My offer letter said that I would have to pass a background check, but I still haven’t heard anything about it. I am a junior in college and this is for an investment banking summer analyst position. Thanks for your help.

    • M&I - Nicole says

      I had my background check after I started my job so there is a chance that they might do that after or a few days etc before

      • Chandler says

        Thank you Nicole. That is very helpful. Why do some firms do this, do you know? Isn’t it better to do it before the intern starts so that the firm knows he or she is in the clear? Isn’t it more of a nuisance if something is found after someone starts working? The order just seems a little strange.

  31. Charles says


    I’m currently a junior and will be starting an SA this summer. I will be doing levfin, but would ideally move to an industry group in a different bank. I have a low gpa (3.3), which definitely hindered getting many first rounds, so I was wondering if it’s generally easier/harder to get first rounds during full-time recruiting? Just to give some stats, i’ve done BB pwm, mm ibd in m&a, boutique ibd, and worked at a pe firm with the SA coming up.

    • M&I - Nicole says

      Great work experience! I think there may be less spots for FT recruitment though I may be wrong because this does depend on the bank’s hiring needs and the economy. Your low GPA will hinder you from getting 1st rounds even for FT recruitment, but if you network enough and have impressed people who have the hiring power, you may be able to pass the “resume-cutoff” round

      • Charles says

        Also, could you elaborate on how accelerated recruiting works for FT. I go to a target school, but I’m not sure if this is something I would do through OCR or not. Thank you.

        • M&I - Nicole says

          The deadlines for accelerated recruiting are earlier (i.e around Oct) but you’re only allowed to submit your application once for the recruiting year and not allowed to make additional changes to your application once submitted. You may have the opportunity to secure internship positions in the fall once the bank’s summer internship recruiting begins. If you are not selected to interview, your application will remain active and be considered at your school’s application deadline. I think you’d apply directly on the firm’s website and you might still go through OCR

  32. LonghornDan says

    I have a question that was somewhat addressed in a comment above. I’m just curious as the importance of SAT scores. That’s the one weakness on my resume (I have previous boutique M&A experience, HF experience, high GPA, president of student org, and am in an integrated masters program that is #1 in the country and sends plenty of people to BB banks). I was curious if it is advisable to retake it? I slacked off in HS and scored a 1720… I have worked hard to make up for that, but not sure if it’s worth my time/effort to retake it.

    • M&I - Nicole says

      Not sure if its necessary if your GPA is high enough (above 3.6) Some firms care about it but it depends on your overall package.

  33. Malcolm says

    Hi, my internship last summer was in public finance and it was considered “IBD” at the firm. However, I am in a peculiar situation because it seems that I should know technicals but at the same time no interviewer really knows what goes on at a public finance firm. How can I really convince them I want to go from Public Finance to IBD? Thanks

  34. Frank says

    Hi, I have a internship with a middle market investment bank for the summer. If I want to be prepared to get a full time offer at a bulge bracket, what do you suggest I start doing?

  35. Jack says

    Hi, If I have been working as Capital Market Advisor in a Consulting Firm for the past 7 months and I am having an interview with boutique/ middle market investment bank in the coming week, Should I be focusing more on the technical questions or my past work experience.

    • M&I - Nicole says

      Yes, I’d also focus on your valuation skills. If you’ve done any sort of valuation work in your previous role, I’d talk about that. also talk about why you want to move into IBD and why middle market deals appeal to you.

  36. koala says

    Hi, I recently got an offer for summer internship with a very big investment bank. However, on my resume I said I got “XXX scholarship (top 1%)”, I didn’t mean to cheat but now I suddenly realized it should be for more than top 1% of students, I mean more students got the scholarship than I thought. Will I be considered as cheating? What should I do now? The school does not have an official statistics for that percent though. Thanks!

    • M&I - Nicole says

      I wouldn’t worry about it at this point. There isn’t much you can do now. If they ask you after your background check, then you can just explain that later. I doubt it though.

  37. J. Undrla says

    Hi. So I have an interesting situation:

    I am entering my 4th year of school. I do not have an investment banking internship, but 4 internships in insurance, financial advisory, investment operations, institutional asset management (gaining DCF modeling, bloomberg modeling, advanced excel skills), and studied abroad. I go to a non target school, but just made a rare alumni contact who is in a high position in MA at a BB.

    I am considering double majoring to stay 5 years and get an internship in IB next summer. So I am thinking I should apply to both summer analyst positions, and full time analyst positions for next year.

    This can only liken my chances right?

    • M&I - Nicole says

      I’m not sure if you can apply to both summer and full time roles at the same firm. I’d suggest you figure out how long you’re staying at school and apply to roles accordingly. You may also want to speak with banks’ HR to understand their policies. This applies to more structured, larger banks. For smaller firms, I’d just reach out to them and see if they have any opportunity, be it internship or full time offer. You just need to get your foot in the door

  38. Michael says


    When is the deadline for full-time IB analyst programs this year? I saw that some firms already posted them on their web-sites, but couldn’t find the deadlines.


    • Michael says

      Also, if a contact of mine sent my resume to HR to get me an interview do I need to apply online immediately, or is it fine to apply later as long as I apply before deadline?

      In general, is there any difference in applying early vs applying later?

      • says

        You should still apply as early as you can, and yes, applying early can help especially in regions such as EMEA where tons of people from all over the world are applying.

    • says

      It changes from year to year, but you should apply as soon as possible, especially in regions like Europe where you actually get an advantage by applying early.

      • Michael says

        What about in the US, would you also recommend to apply as early as possible?

        I understand that it varies, but is there a general timeline i.e. which month usually are most of the deadlines? I am a little confused with the timeline, since some banks have recently posted positions and some banks do not have anything yet at all.


        • says

          Yes still apply early. Most banks start full-time recruiting in September, sometimes before that for accelerated processes. But in general, the deadlines don’t even matter because your success in getting interviews comes down to networking with people at the bank and pushing to join their recruiting process, whenever it takes place…. applying online does not really get you much unless you get lucky.

  39. Sam says

    Hi, I am looking to apply to bulge brackets for 2015 full-time analyst positions from a non core school. For many BB, I have not found applications open. When will they be opening their applications?

    • M&I - Nicole says

      I’d say around late August, though I’d be sure to check their sites at least twice a week in the next few weeks to be updated with changes/schedule etc

      • Sam says

        thanks. Do you know any specific resource that can help me find this? I’ve asked my friends at BB, Directors at BBs, searched through WSO, and there are no really precise timetables for the FT application process.

        • M&I - Nicole says

          Yes, call up HR at the BBs. Their website and your school’s career center should also have the dates. You may have to wait for a few weeks which is why I suggest checking their website regularly

  40. Peter says

    Hi, I am currently a final year student at a semi target in the UK and I am on track for a 1st class (GPA>3.8). . I am applying for IBD and I am struggling to decide whether I should apply for Summer Internships of FT roles in the UK. I did a consulting internship at a big 4 this summer, in my home country, and another two finance related internships but in my home country and not at any international well-known bank. The thing is none of them were directly related to IBD. Therefore, I was thinking that I should apply for SA roles to have a higher chance to get a FT eventually. I have heard this is common practice in the UK. What do you think? Would it be a problem that I am starting my final year now? btw I am considering doing masters, but getting a job is priority.

  41. Concerned Senior says


    I’m currently a senior at a non-core/target university , and I have a few interviews for different full time positions(surprisingly even though it so late) in S&T and IB. Profile wise I have a strong background, good grades, lots of work experience and worked in IB last summer but a question I’ve gotten a few times when networking and applying has been why I am applying so late and didn’t last Fall with all other interns or at least earlier. The reasons are a mix of bad stories: I sat for the CFA and failed(dumb idea in hindsight) which also led to having a very hectic class schedule and not going through the whole application process(only submitted my CV online, didn’t do all the networking you should) and finally had a passing in the family which was really tough to cope with.
    Any advice on how I can spin why I applied so late ?

    Thanks in advance for any advice.

    • M&I - Nicole says

      Just say that you had a hectic class schedule, were dealing with family issues, and decided to pursue banking *after* you have dealt with those issues.

  42. Jolly says


    I am currently a junior attending a school in US. I will intern at a BB in HK this summer. I am thinking about full time recruiting in U.S. and would like to know when the full time recruitment generally starts. Also, would it be more challenging for an international student who has an IBD internship in Asia to recruit for the analyst position in the US? Do you have any advice on what I should do to prepare?
    Thanks a lot.

    • M&I - Nicole says

      Full time recruitment generally starts around September though I’d network a lot during your internship to secure offers first. Yes it can be challenging but I think you’d still get interviews with the BB name. In terms of preparation try to network with your colleagues in US while you’re in HK if possible

  43. Perry says


    I am currently an incoming college senior. I applied for a S&T position at MS this summer and got through to a superday but was not offered the position. I instead took an internship in Investor Relations for an insurance company but my dream is still to work at a BB bank like MS. I was wondering if you could give me some insight as to the next steps I need to take to get there, and/or how to get recruited for a full time position?


  44. Matt says

    I have an advice question.

    My background:

    2015 May Graduate
    Finance major
    Non-target school
    3.5 GPA
    2 Internships (financial compensation consulting, corporate financial analyst (non-investment work)

    As you know most major banks and some financial service firms have recent graduate, full time analyst programs (They usually hire a rising senior in September and start them upon graduation in the following June). During my senior year, I applied (last September 2014) at BMO and JP Morgan for their recent graduate programs in IB, Sales and Trading. That would have taken place last June (June 2015). Unfortunately, due to a lack of internship work in investments, IB and most likely the fact that my school was not a “target school” and received no recruitment, I was not accepted into the program. Speaking to the lack of internship work, I did apply each summer (of sophomore and junior year) although I was not accepted. Currently the 2016 program applications are being released for submission (some firms allow the public to apply and some only limit it to the schools that they recruit at). I was thinking to apply for the 2016 programs which start their selection process in a few days, hire at the end of September and those that are hired start in June of 2016. Word is however that they only allow entry to their 2016 programs to 2016 expected graduates (which is goofy that they limit entry based off of graduation year even if you are a relatively recent graduate).

  45. Matt says


    ). I have not confirmed that this is so across all firms but some firm’s (BMO Harris) HR people (who are total scum and could care a less about helping a recent graduate especially from a less well known college) just tell me to look online for regular, full time positons off the general career search engine. So all I have been able to do is apply for positions on their site that all require 3-5 years of experience. Since most recent graduates (I guess the lucky ones) get their start of full time experience from the full time analyst programs, they get right in. So as you can see this is the dilemma that I am faced with. How can I apply for regular experienced jobs without the program but then how can I get into the program without being a 2016 grad? Sort of a catch 22.. Logically I would say that I should shoot for an intern but again, most firms will not hire a graduate for internship work.. What advice would you give someone in my position? Should I say to hell with larger firms for now? Should I be concentrating on smaller firms or boutique investment research and IB firms? I know sometimes a smaller firm is willing to take on a graduate for internship work or contractual work. I only found one contractual position at BMO in all my time searching. Perhaps smaller firms are also willing to hire and train a recent graduate for a full time position if I got really lucky? Any feedback would be appreciated. Thank you and good website!

  46. Matt says

    Thanks for the reply. I know now that it is September, most banks are recruiting for their full-time analyst positions . Do you know if since I am a current graduate, would that disqualify me from applying? Would you recommend that I still apply to these full-time program positions? It is also hard to apply to these positions when your school doesn’t receive recruiting from them. Also, why do bigger firms exclusively take current students? What is the reason as to why most firms do not allow current graduates for intern work when they are trying to get additional experience ?

    • M&I - Nicole says

      I’d suggest that you speak with HR re. your case, but I suspect that you may have to apply for experienced professional roles since you’ve already graduated. I am not 100% sure regarding your last 2 questions, perhaps they are trying to limit the number of students who work in such banks to ensure quality.

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