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GRADUATE CAREERS COACH: Help! I have had several graduate interviews with investment banks, but still no offer

©istockphoto/frender

©istockphoto/frender

As part of a new series on eFinancialCareers, an experienced graduate recruiter is willing to answer some of your careers-related questions

Nadia Capy-Osgood is a seasoned graduate recruiter who’s worked at various investment banks and is now a project manager for Graduate Solutions, an independent firm which operates graduate recruitment programmes for different firms in the City.

If you have a graduate career issue, send it to us at editor@efinancialcareers.com, with ‘Graduate careers query’ in the subject line. We’ll forward two of your queries a month to Nadia, who will respond with advice that we’ll publish on the site. Your identity will remain anonymous throughout.

Here’s the first student query, and Nadia’s first responses.

I’ve had a few interviews with banks, but never seem to get an offer. Now the summer’s approaching and I don’t have an internship!! What do you suggest?

NADIA SAYS:

“I would be interested to know how many interviews you had and if they were either face to face or telephone interviews?

Did you receive any feedback from your interviews and if not (as I realise that extracting feedback from first round is often not given) do you have any sense of what went wrong?  It is likely that your qualifications match the role as otherwise you would not have been invited for an interview in the first place.

From experience, the majority of candidates are rejected for lack of depth of knowledge in a given area or in the economic environment in general.  I would keep on looking.

You will be surprised that there are still some finance-related opportunities out there, even if they are not formal internships.  It is important to try to get some experience in thE city over the summer.  Use your networks and online sites to trawl any opportunities.  If you don¹t succeed try to think of something innovative and resourceful that you can do over the summer – raise money, come up with a business idea – getting together with others will help – this is how you can show that you will not be defeated and are able to turn a setback into an opportunity.

Recruiters realise that it a tough market and all you need to do is find something that will attract them to look at your cv next time round.  Good luck!”

Hi Nadia. Thank you for helping. I’ve been to a few actual face to face interviews, but I never seem to get anywhere. I’ve never been to an assessment centre, for example. It’s annoying. Do you have any tips?

NADIA SAYS:

How do you feel the interviews went?  If you break them down – try to think about each section.

There would have been a “general opener section – where you would have been asked why you were there, why you wanted to work for the firm and what prep you had done / how many other interviews you have had and if they were for similar roles”.

Then you would have probably been probed more on your prep and views on the current economic environment. You may have been asked some specific info about the company – typically current news.

Did you feel you had a two way exchange experience or did your experience feel more uncomfortable as if you were being tested / were out of your comfort zone?

Did you ask any interesting questions at the end which resulted in a further debate?

Did you ask for feedback at the end of the interview?  This is quite brave but it often puts the interviewer on the spot – particularly if it’s face to face and you would have had a good chance of getting an honest answer.

Hope this helps.

Comments (1)

Comments
  1. Hi Nadia, I have been trying all over the place, the summer internship, long-term internships.
    I did get 1 or 2 interviews, assessment days from sales postions at other financial institutions and pwc, but none from investment banks. Could you give me any suggestions to improve ?

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