Opportunities and application process

1st Year Student (3 Year Course)/ 2nd Year Student (4 Year Course)

The majority of Investment Banks offer Spring Internships to students either in their 1st Year of a three year course or 2nd year in a four year course. The duration of these programs ranges from a few days to two weeks over the Easter holiday, depending on the bank. Securing a Spring Internship may also provide an opportunity to be fast tracked to an assessment centre at the firm for a Summer Internship the following year or could even be directly converted into a Summer Internship offer, once again depending on the bank.

Penultimate Year Student

Students in their penultimate year (2nd year of a three year course or 3rd year of a four year course) have the opportunity to apply to Summer Internships. These internships usually last for 8-10 weeks on average at a specific area within the Investment Bank and depending on your performance, could be converted to a full-time graduate role.

Graduating Student

Final year students can apply to be a full-time analyst at an Investment Bank. Graduate jobs are available across most if not all areas of the Investment Bank.

Application process

Spring Weeks

Recruitment for spring weeks starts around September and ends at the beginning of January. However, they are looked at on a rolling basis hence it is essential that one applies early. It is recommended to submit the majority of your applications by the end of October or beginning of November.

STAGE 1 (ONLINE APPLICATIONS/ PSYCHOMETRIC TESTING)

  • CV
  • Cover letter or motivational questions
  • Online psychometric tests (typically numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning and situational judgement)

STAGE 2 (INTERVIEWS)

  • Video Interview via Hirevue
  • Telephone Interview
  • Face-to-face interview

The majority of first round interviews are competency based and last around 30 mins. This means the firm will ask the applicant a set of questions where they are looking for important attributes such as teamwork, problem solving and communication. In these questions the firms will expect applicants to draw from past experiences to demonstrate these attributes. The firms tend to ask applicants why they would be interested in working in that particular firm, therefore, it is important to do some background research on the firm beforehand.

If there are second round interviews, they usually tend to be more technical. In order to do well, applicants need to be up to date with current news and have more in depth knowledge about the department he or she is applying for. Sign up for a free subscription of the Financial Times (FT) through the University of Manchester and start reading.

Summer Internships

Recruitment season normally starts in mid to end August and ends in January or February. Securing a Summer Internship is more competitive than Spring Internships.

STAGE 1 (ONLINE APPLICATIONS/ PSYCHOMETRIC TESTING)

  • CV
  • Cover letter or motivational questions
  • Online psychometric tests (typically numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning and situational judgement)

Most firms open their applications in September for summer roles and it is imperative to get them in as soon as possible, as most banks look at applications on a rolling basis. As the actual psychometric tests are done online, it may be tempting to cheat on these tests. However, it is completely unadvisable to do so because in most cases, these tests have to be completed once again at the assessment centres and if the applicant attains a score which is too far off from his/her original score, the application will be voided.

STAGE 2 (INTERVIEWS)

  • Video Interview via Hirevue
  • Telephone Interview
  • Face-to-face interview

STAGE 3 (ASSESSMENT CENTERS)

The format of each individual AC may differ from one firm to another, making it hard to definitively point to a one-size-fits-all method of preparing for an AC. However, most ACs have a case study. Case studies allow the firm to see how applicants can apply their knowledge in a business scenario. A good way to prepare is by practicing case study like scenarios that can be found online and watching videos that provide an in depth knowledge at how to prepare for case interviews.

ACs may also require an applicant to undergo technical interviews or even behavioural fit interviews again and there is no limit as to how many interviews one may have to undergo in one day. IT is likely that there will be a group task, assessing the applicant’s teamwork capabilities.

Applicants should be prepared for anything at this stage and come in fully prepared with additional supplementary knowledge on the day itself such as the firms current stock price, its P/E ratio and even the name of its CEO. ACs provide applicants with the best opportunity to “put a face” behind their CV so it is important to be as open and friendly as possible.

Projected recruitment timeline

Graduate Roles

The recruitment process for graduate roles in Investment Banking is similar to that of the process for the summer internship program. In summary, the recruitment process starts with the online application and psychometric tests followed by 1st and 2nd round interviews and finally ending with the assessment centre. It should be noted that this is not a fixed recruitment process for all firms. Some firms may have slight variations in their recruitment process, and it is always advisable to check with the firm to fully understand their entire recruitment process.