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What questions should I ask in an informational interview about investment banking? (6 Common Questions Answered)

Discover the Surprising Questions You Need to Ask in an Informational Interview About Investment Banking.

  1. What career paths are available in investment banking?
  2. What job duties are typically associated with investment banking?
  3. How competitive is the market for investment banking jobs?
  4. What skills are required to be successful in investment banking?
  5. How long are the hours typically associated with investment banking jobs?
  6. What salary range can I expect in investment banking?
  7. Who are the typical clients of investment banking firms?
  8. What networking opportunities are available in the investment banking industry?
  9. What challenges do investment bankers typically face?


  1. What Career Paths Are Available in Investment Banking?
  2. How Competitive Is the Market for Investment Banking Jobs?
  3. How Long Are the Hours for an Investment Banker?
  4. Who are the Clients of an Investment Banker?
  5. What Challenges Do Newcomers Face When Entering the World of Investment Banking?
  6. Common Mistakes And Misconceptions

What Career Paths Are Available in Investment Banking?

Investment banking offers a variety of career paths, including entry-level positions such as investment banking analyst roles, corporate finance and capital markets, mergers and acquisitions (M&A), equity research and sales & trading, leveraged finance and private equity, structured products, derivatives, and commodities, hedge funds, venture capital, and private wealth management. Additionally, there are roles in regulatory compliance/legal/compliance risk management, operations/technology/project management, and Investment Banking Division (IBD) vs Sales & Trading Division (S&T). Career progression within the industry is possible, and there are networking opportunities for aspiring bankers.

How Competitive Is the Market for Investment Banking Jobs?

The market for investment banking jobs is highly competitive. Entry-level positions require a high level of qualifications and skills, and employers are looking for candidates with strong networking opportunities and professional development resources. It is important to stay up to date on industry outlooks and salary expectations, as well as to understand the career advancement prospects and recruiting strategies for the field. Additionally, job search tips, industry contacts and connections, and advice from experienced professionals can help you stand out in the competitive market.

How Long Are the Hours for an Investment Banker?

Investment banking hours can vary greatly depending on the job and the company. Generally, investment bankers can expect to work long hours, with shifts that can last up to 12 hours or more. Overtime is often expected, and weekend work is not uncommon. However, some companies may offer flexible hours or shift patterns to accommodate their employees. It is important to ask about the time commitment and workload expected of an investment banker to get a better understanding of the hours they will be expected to work. Additionally, it is important to ask about holidays off, vacation time, stress levels, burnout rate, job satisfaction, and quality of life to get a better understanding of the overall work environment.

Who are the Clients of an Investment Banker?

An investment banker typically serves a wide range of clients, including corporate clients, institutional investors, private equity firms, hedge funds, venture capital firms, governments and government agencies, high net worth individuals, financial sponsors, and other entities. They provide services such as mergers and acquisitions advisory services, capital raising services, equity research and analysis services, and debt financing solutions.

What Challenges Do Newcomers Face When Entering the World of Investment Banking?

Newcomers to the world of investment banking face a number of challenges, including keeping up with market trends, learning complex financial models and concepts, competing for positions in a highly competitive field, understanding regulations and compliance requirements, acquiring specialized skillsets, navigating corporate culture, building relationships with clients, working long hours under pressure, adapting to changing markets quickly, developing an understanding of different asset classes, managing risk effectively, staying current on technology advancements, maintaining professional standards of conduct, and navigating ethical dilemmas.

Common Mistakes And Misconceptions

  1. Mistake: Thinking that investment banking is only about buying and selling stocks.

    Correct Viewpoint: Investment banking involves a wide range of activities, including advising companies on mergers and acquisitions, raising capital for businesses, providing financial advice to clients, and managing investments.
  2. Mistake: Believing that all investment bankers are wealthy or successful.

    Correct Viewpoint: While some investment bankers may be wealthy or successful, this is not always the case as it requires hard work and dedication to succeed in the field.
  3. Mistake: Assuming that an informational interview will lead directly to a job offer from an investment bank.

    Correct Viewpoint: An informational interview should be used as an opportunity to learn more about the industry and gain insight into what it takes to become successful in the field; however, it does not guarantee a job offer from an investment bank afterwards.