How to Get an Investment Banking Internship
With most applications released as early as January of a student’s sophomore year, early preparation is essential. You have only 3 semesters of college to showcase your qualifications, and learn the information required to master the technical interviews. Priority Candidates coaches strongly recommend the following steps to help our clients stand out in the candidate selection and hiring process:
- During freshman year, join the finance and/or investment clubs at your college or university to learn about the markets and investing, and to network with upper classmen in finance and guest speakers.
- Research and make a list of all the banks that have programs and apply to as many as possible. Some of the larger organizations will allow you to submit applications for up to 3 programs so consider taking advantage of the option to increase your chances of getting an offer. Review their company websites to see if there are any events, like webinars and insights days, that you can attend to learn more about their specific recruitment process and take advantage of the opportunity to network with the event organizers.
- Understanding financial accounting and valuation are strongly recommended, as well building advanced capabilities in Excel. We believe that this is so important that Excel training (beginner through advanced) is included in all our coaching programs, including investment banking.
- Buy one of the guides that teaches the material required to ace the technical interviews. These can be very comprehensive and requires significant time to master the material. Even those who are enrolled in a business program will not be far enough along in their finance coursework to succeed in the technical interviews without supplemental studying. Priority Candidates has a dedicated coach to conduct technical interview prep sessions, highlighting the most commonly asked questions and helping our clients develop a strong foundation for interviews.
- Networking is essential! We work with our clients to identify 4 or more connections at each firm they apply to. We target alum from their school and first or second connections identified on LinkedIn. Internal referrals greatly increase your chances of getting an interview.
- Once you submit your application, you will often receive an assessment. This can be a one-way video interview or a pre-employment skills test like Pymetrics. If selected to advance to Superday, the final round of interviews, you must thoroughly prepare for both technical and behavioral interview questions. During this round, you will meet and be evaluated by a number of bankers at all levels, who will ultimately decide if you are extended an offer.
Our best recommendation is to start early! In addition to all the work required to apply and prepare for the interview process, it is critical to maintain a high GPA and demonstrate your commitment to pursuing a career in finance. With approximately 70% of interns receiving return offers at the conclusion of their banking internship, you might be lucky enough to start your senior year of college knowing where you will be working after graduation.