Why Investment Banking?

Why do you want to work in investment banking? is a common interview question, and you must make it clear that you are only interested in working in investment banking (even if you have an interest in other jobs in other industries). Your interviewers are only looking for people focused on a career in investment banking. You should also be prepared for questions asking why you have applied for the position you have applied for, rather than others. You should not say you are interested in multiple positions - just the role you have applied for. You must also have a great explanation of how and why you became interested in investment banking (not financial motives, and not because it is an interesting sector - you must be more specific than this).

Answering the Question

The most successful candidates will be able to construct a unique and developed answer to this question with little thought. To get to this level, consider the following:

  • The growth and development opportunities available to graduates in investment banking
  • Learning about structuring M&A deals
  • Finding out about Strategic Advisory services, and other aspects of investment banking
  • The transactional nature of the business
  • Working with some of the world's smartest people, and how that will help you to learn faster and better
  • The educational experience and world-class training
  • Developing a fuller, more well-rounded business acumen
  • The extremely challenging nature of Analyst and Associate positions, and how you thrive on new challenges
  • How your previous hobbies and past activities demonstrate your interest in finance
  • Working in what you believe is the pinnacle of the financial system

At interview, be prepared to explain why you are interested in these things. For example, by explaining a long-term interest in finance, the city, economics and mathematics. If you have done any relevant internships, definitely mention them and be able to explain your experience in detail and where you thrived. If you have friends or family members who work in investment banking and have inspired you to join the profession, mention that and be specific about what kindles your interest.

Emphasize that you know investment banking is what you want to do as a career and that you are ready for this opportunity. Enthusiasm, passion and career motivation is really important during your investment banking interviews.

When answering this question, try to drive home your main points from your initial "Tell me about yourself?" response. Explain that you want to work hard, work in a strong team, and be involved in analytical and quantitative problems on a daily basis. Always be concise and try to make your points as quickly and as intelligently as possible.

Want an advantage over other candidates in your investment banking interview? Check out the most comprehensive interview guide available and help yourself to get a great job in investment banking.