Behavioral Interviews: Why Investment Banking? (Motivation)
The economy is making interviewing for Wall Street positions harder. The lower demand puts pressure on interviewees to prepare harder. Convincing the interviewer of the reasons why you want to work 80 to 100 hours a weeks with an hourly salary of a McDonald’s manager is crucial to landing an offer. I try to introduce the answer when telling my story (section 5), however, there is always a chance for more detailed followup questions.
Before you can answer this question, it is important to understand what an investment banker does. I like to think of i-bankers as agents. However unlike Hollywood agents like Ari Gould, they advise companies on transactions and connect them with the appropriate buyer, seller, or investor. Senior level bankers are more involved in client relationships, while middle and junior level bankers work on executing the deal.
On a day-to-day basis, analyst’s responsibilities include creating presentations, financial models, conducting research, and compiling any other marketing materials needed to complete the transaction. With all of that work, they will probably be the first one in the office and the last one to head home. Therefore, working well in teams, being hardworking, and paying attention to details are a few of the strengths required to earn and keep the job.
Now that we have established what a banker does, here is one possible way to answer the motivation question. Personally, after speaking with many people in the industry (cite them by name) and conducting my own research, I found that banking was a great chance for me to learn more about the business-side of technology. The significant amount of responsibility and exposure to management provide a practical way to understand the industry from the inside. I confirmed these points during my summer internship and realize that I want to work in banking for the foreseeable future.
Additionally, talking about a specific group that interests you can add credibility to your answer. Personally, I would like to be apart of the media, telecommunication, and technology product group since it gels with my story. Of course, I am flexible when it comes to groups and office locations, but having a specific purpose separates prepared candidates from unprepared ones.
To summarize: showing you are aware of what banking entails; demonstrating you are capable of handling the work; connecting your passion for finance with your story; and explaining how you are into banking for the long-haul should provide you with a great answer to “why banking”. Also, and this goes without saying, don’t mention money as a motivator.