As those of you who’ve spent the last 4-5 months in a hermetically sealed bubble of test prep books know, tomorrow is the CFA exam for levels I, II, and III. Read more »

Yesterday, at approximately 10:30AM, scores of financial services employees breathed a collective sigh of relief. Relief that months of studying had paid off in the form of a passing score on the Level I and II CFA exams. Relief that, even though months of studying had been a total waste of time with nothing to show for it, they could get on with their lives and stop wondering. One guy was less lucky. He’s in a CFA holding cell right now pending an investigation, thanks to some supposedly suspect fidgeting and a couple proctors with itchy trigger fingers, possibly hoping to impress their superiors. Read more »

  • 29 Feb 2012 at 3:31 PM

The Interview Shame Thread

We, elderly Second-Year Sages, like to offer recruiting advice as if we know how it’s done. Truth is, we have no idea what these firms, who shop for new blood annually, are really looking for. Like giving birth and swimming, it’s something you just have to try yourself to find your best approach. Still, we’ve got a few thoughts on what not to do.

This time last year, I sent my worst interview flubs to some friends also beaten down by internship recruiting. Then unexpectedly and immediately, they all piped in with gems of their own. Highlights of the (continuing) shame thread below should reassure you that: i) it’s okay if you’re not perfect every time, and ii) someone else somewhere is botching it far worse than you ever thought you could. So you might as well just laugh off (and record) those special moments …

When your interviewer is an idiot, an ass, or both:

Interviewer: Two companies, A and B. A is 50/50 debt/equity, B is 100% equity. EBITDA doubles, multiple stays flat. Whose share price moves more?
Candidate: (fumbles, gets it wrong)
Interviewer: What does “applied math,” your undergrad major, mean?
Candidate: Ha. Well, I’m pretty good at long division

Interviewer: So how many people today have asked you about being an Eagle Scout?
Candidate: You’re the first one actually. Were you an Eagle Scout?
Interviewer: No.
Candidate: My parents wouldn’t let me [quit]. You get to high school, everyone is out on dates, and you’re at a Camporee. But we all looked back at it and realized it taught us an appreciation of the outdoors and good respect for your elders.
Interviewer: Elders. You guys are all about that, aren’t you? The elders.
Interviewer & Candidate: (extended awkward silence) Read more »