What Do You Do When You Interview at an Investment Bank and Never Hear Back?
“It was great meeting you – we’ll get back to you in a few days!”
The VP shakes your hand, and you turn around and leave the room.
You walk out of the interview on top of the world.
After studying technical questions for 143 hours and reciting your story so many times that you could walk through your resume in your sleep, you’re confident you knocked this one out of the park.
You get back home and watch some TV to unwind…
And then a day passes.
You hear nothing.
Another day passes.
And then it’s a week…
And before you know it, 2 weeks, 3 weeks, or even an entire month.
And you never hear back from that bank.
So what happened? Where did you go wrong?
Does it mean you got rejected and they’re not telling you? Or are they just disorganized?
And most importantly, what can you do to get a response?
Why You Get the Silent Treatment
Because you’re not the #1 candidate for the position.
The bank has already given an offer to someone else, or it has already given out the “targeted” number of offers, and it’s waiting for people to respond.
If candidates turn down their offers, the bank will approach candidates ranked lower on the list and start making offers to them.
So it’s not that you “failed” the interview – it’s just that other people were more impressive or fit in with the group better.
In some cases, this actually happens because the bank or group is so disorganized that they “forget” to notify you, which is why it’s critical to call back 2-3 days later AT MOST (and ideally before that).
It could even be something stupid, such as the bank losing your contact information or recording the incorrect email address or phone number.
But 90% of the time, it’s because you performed “on par” with other candidates – not poorly enough to receive an outright rejection, but not well enough to win an immediate offer.
So What Happens in Real Life?
Recruiting is at the bottom of the priority list for bankers – they are busy doing deals, winning clients, and otherwise making money.
Sometimes, it’s even at the bottom of the priority list for HR because they’re busy with… afternoon tea time each day? I have no idea, but it sure seems like that sometimes.
Let’s say you go in for Superday interviews with 10 other candidates, at a smaller, regional bank that’s looking to hire 2 interns for the summer.
Here’s what might happen behind the scenes:
- The VP, MD, Associate, and 2 Analysts all like the same person the most and they decide to give him an immediate offer the day after the interview.
- Meanwhile, they’re divided on other candidates: the VP and MD like 2 other candidates the most and can’t decide between them, while the Associate and Analysts like 2 different candidates the most and rank them equally.
- And they all agree that the remaining 5 candidates were not nearly as good.
The reason why one person was the “top candidate” could be completely irrational – he and the interviewers were in the same frat, they had a shared interest in whitewater rafting, or the bankers simply liked the socks he wore.
Or it could be a more legitimate reason, such as having superior technical skills or having the exact deal and client experience the bank is looking for.
In any case, though, HR gathers everyone after the interviews and they start debating who else should receive an internship offer…
But 5 minutes into that discussion, the MD is pulled away because of a client emergency – a deal is falling apart at the last-minute due to a hostile offer made by an activist hedge fund.
Then, the Analysts get yanked away by their VP to finish a pitch book for an IPO bake-off the next day.
So that leaves the VP and Associate, who go back and forth but don’t reach a conclusion – but they’re leaning toward giving offers to 2 of the “4 remaining impressive candidates.”
So, what happens next?
In many cases, nothing at all!
The bank would rather give out 1 internship offer and then sit around and wait on everyone else.
In fact, they may not even deliver rejections to the 5 “not nearly as good” candidates.
Bankers get distracted by fire drills so much that it’s hard to gather everyone together again, so HR has to run between different people to get their views… if they bother to do that at all.
Each group works differently, but many offices would much rather hire 1 great intern than hire 1 great intern and 4 “OK” ones.
Remember why companies hire you in the first place: to make money, save money, or make a process more efficient.
They may not be paying you much money as an intern, but if they have to spend a lot of time answering questions and “training” you, that costs them time, which is equivalent to money.
It takes them away from deals and clients, which is the last thing any senior banker wants.
Why Not Just Deliver a Blunt Rejection?
The reasons vary, but some banks believe – incorrectly? – that it may be a legal liability to give you a “no” answer upfront.
Meanwhile, other people don’t like to deliver “bad news.”
But the main reason is that it costs the bank nothing to put you on hold and wait for other candidates to respond.
After all, if they give you an outright rejection, that’s it.
But if they don’t get back to you, or they respond to your emails but don’t give you a direct answer, the doors are always open.
And if the Top Candidate unexpectedly turns down his offer and can’t be persuaded otherwise, they’ll need to come back to you and everyone else on their list.
Realistically, What Can You Do About This?
The worst thing to do is to sit around, do nothing, and wait on a response from them.
Undergrads are particularly terrible about this – 90% of our email volume on this question has come from university students asking, “So I interviewed 3 weeks ago but haven’t heard back yet. Should I do anything?”
Yes, and you should have “done something” 2.5 weeks ago.
If you don’t hear back within 2 days, email at least 1-2 of your interviewers to follow-up, thank them again, and express your continued interest in the firm (those exact words can almost be your email template). Send a similar note to HR.
If they respond and they’re still communicating with you, you’re still in the running… whereas radio silence almost always means “no.”
Once you’ve emailed everyone, there are only 3 things you can do to get a response from the bank (and ideally an offer):
1. Win Other, Exploding Offers and Let Them Know About Your Deadlines
Just like the high school social scene, the job search process is also a popularity contest.
The moment you get an offer from another bank, you immediately become more attractive to everyone else and you’re more likely to receive definitive responses.
To turn a “maybe” or “soft no” into a “yes,” though, you need to be certain this bank really is your first choice – and then send a message like the following:
Thanks again for taking the time to interview me last week. I enjoyed meeting everyone, and [Bank Name] is definitely my top choice.
I just wanted to let you know that I received an offer from [Other Bank Name], and it expires on [Imminent Date] – if I received an offer at your firm, I would accept it right away, but I must respond to the other offer by [Imminent Date].
It would be great if you could let me know my offer status at your firm and what else, if anything, you need from me in order to make a decision.
But this is easier said than done, and most likely you’re “on the fence” at a few firms.
2. Become a More Attractive Candidate So the Bank Reconsiders You
This one is tougher because you probably can’t go from “OK” to “spectacular” overnight – but if some time has passed and you’ve genuinely improved, it can work.
This works particularly well for lateral interviews, since there is no fixed timeline and the process tends to drag on and on and on and on.
Example: One customer last year applied to a bank as part of the lateral hiring process, and made it through several rounds of interviews. Then they asked her to submit a sample financial model she had worked on before.
She didn’t have any great examples due to lack of experience with integrated 3-statement projection models, so they gave her a “soft no” and said that they were some “concerns” over her technical skills.
She then signed up for one of our courses, went through the whole thing, and got much better templates and examples to use – which she then used for a different company.
She went back to the bank and said, “I know we spoke XX months ago and you felt my technical skills were not strong enough. Since then, however, I’ve taken several courses and sharpened my skills, and I’m attaching to this email an example of the work product I can produce.”
Then, they responded and re-started the process, bringing her back for additional interviews.
If they had concerns about something qualitative, like your communication or writing skills, you could attach a report, paper, or presentation you drafted recently.
This is trickier to pull off if they gave you a “soft no” due to “lack of cultural fit” or something else that you cannot easily fix.
But if it is something you can fix, and you’ve pinpointed exactly why they had reservations about you, it’s always worth a shot.
3. Keep Following Up to Ask Exactly Why They Said “No” Directly or Indirectly
HR often gives useless responses, so you should go directly to the bankers you spoke with – and the Analysts and Associates are sometimes more upfront about why you were put “on hold.”
This method also handles the case where something stupid or something beyond your control happened: they lost your contact information, they “forgot” to respond to you, there was a hiring freeze, or the group shut down.
So you need to follow-up anyway – but many people hesitate to ask exactly why they did not receive an offer.
Let’s say you email one of the Associates you spoke with and he says he doesn’t know what your status is… so you call him after another week passes.
Associate: “Hey, I’m just not sure yet… did you ask HR?”
You: “I did, and I’m aware I should go to them first, but I wanted to go directly to you and ask you for feedback since you interviewed me.”
Associate: “OK… what would you like to know?”
You: “I’m aware that I haven’t been officially rejected, but that other candidates probably performed better – I just wanted to know if you had any feedback on what I could do to improve, what would make me a more attractive candidate for your firm, and what would allow you to make a decision more quickly.”
I’ve seen some suggestions that this approach is “too aggressive,” but I completely disagree – if you don’t ask, you’ll never know.
And if it wasn’t an outright rejection, chances are they liked something about you.
Once you get a hint of what went wrong, you can get to work on method #2 above and start fixing the issue – whether it’s your technical skills, a lack of enthusiasm, your communication abilities, or anything else.
Overcoming the Silent Treatment
Let’s return to that story in the beginning.
Do you really want to spend 143+ hours preparing for interviews, and then fail to get an offer because you’re not aggressive enough with your follow-up afterward?
I hope not.
So right after that VP shakes your hand, don’t just meekly go home and wait weeks and weeks for a response.
Follow-up with him and everyone else within 2 days, AT MOST, if you don’t hear back.
And if they keep stringing you along even after several follow-ups, ask them directly what you can do to improve or what their specific concerns about you are – and then address them.
Maybe you won’t have the time or resources to win the offer this time around…
But you can always accept something else, fix those flaws in the meantime, and make another run at it next time around.
Silence: it may not be golden, but it is beatable.
For Further Reading
- Investment Banking Interview Questions and Answers
- Why You Didn’t Land an Offer in Your Final Round Interviews at Morgan Stanley
- “Unattractive, Poorly Dressed Applicants Need Not Apply”: Got Cultural Fit?
- You Didn’t Get Any Full-Time Investment Banking Offers. Now What Do You Do?
- You Didn’t Get Any Investment Banking Summer Internship Offers. Now What Do You Do?
Free Exclusive Report: 57-page guide with the action plan you need to break into investment banking - how to tell your story, network, craft a winning resume, and dominate your interviews
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I had a first round at an Elite Boutique on Monday afternoon. It is now Wednesday morning. I thought behavioral went very well, on technicals I I had the concepts down super well but made two embarrassingly simple math errors (24/8 = 4 and 20% of 100 is 2). I’m usually actually pretty good at mental math, much more complicated mental math, and I think I was just nervous. I have some friends at the firm pushing for me and they said the technical interviewer said I did great when she spoke to them. HR is aware I have an exploding offer from a BB that blows up on the coming Monday, and I’m getting a bit nervous since I haven’t heard about scheduling a super day. I thanked both interviewers immediately after but didn’t hear back from either one. Should I reach out again? I’m also not sure how to allocate time for the next few days, I have a lot of school work and exams but If I know I have the super day coming I’d prep for that over more calc problems.
I would follow up again on Thursday. It should only take a few minutes to send the interviewers a message. All you can do is contact them, remind them of your exploding offer, and see if they can schedule you for the next few days. If not, you don’t really lose much since you already have another good offer.
Great article, Brian! Recently, I, like many others, was put on hold for a BB SA 2023 position — after following up after my superday, I received a call about my status. It’s now been almost two weeks since when I presume they gave out offers to top-choice candidates. I’ve sent follow ups to interviewers, HR, and actually received an offer from a different bank not too long ago that I want to try and leverage for this position. I sent an inquiry to HR about it two days, which they haven’t responded to and so my question is, should I let my interviewers know that I have an offer as well? Seeing as they already made a decision about me (and didn’t respond to my follow-ups), I’m not sure how to approach this — I don’t want to jeopardize my other offer by letting them know which bank I received it from either. Any input would be much appreciated!
It sounds like they are just not hiring anyone else. So I would not push too hard in this situation because you do actually have an alternate offer. Maybe just send one final email to one of your interviewers (whoever you connected with the best) and let them know about the offer and see if you can get an update. I wouldn’t even name the bank or say much else. And if they don’t respond or tell you anything, well, you still have the other offer to fall back on.
I have been informed that I passed the first round and was told to choose the dates I am available for the next interview. However, after a few back and forth of scheduling for the 2nd interview, due to the interviewer being on annual leave, I was sent an official rejection email. Can I ask what do you think had happened?
It sounds like the bank maybe changed its hiring plans or the interviewer was fired or left the firm or something like that. But it was probably something completely outside of your control.
Hope all is well.
I just had a second interview with a principal and co-founder at a boutique firm (less than 50 people). The interview went well and told me he was going to follow with a associate to make a decision. It’s been over 48 hours and I emailed the associate two days ago to know the time-frame when they will make a decision. I still haven’t hear anything yet. Should I email the principal to get an update of my status. Please let me know at your earliest convenience.
The rule with interviews is to follow up after a few days… and then if you still hear nothing, follow up in a few days again… and keep checking back each week or so.
Hey Brian, would it make any sense to request for another superday? Essentially this BB had an unorthodox process with 2/3 of the interviewers not from the office I was applying to and whose native tongue was not English. There was no video for 2/3 interviews cos of technical issues, the technical interview question didn’t show properly on the online hosting platform and audio was nil for first 5 minutes of each interview so the interviewers had to make an international call. Kind of confused right now to be honest. Any suggestions would be helpful, thanks!
If the interviews were that bad, yes, it’s worthwhile to request another set of interviews or another Superday.
Hey Brian, was just wondering how this advice would apply to the current situation where Super Days are online. Just followed the advice to keep Grad Rec and interviewers warm – got a reply from an interviewer saying they enjoyed the interview, but genuinely doesn’t know the process. Grad Rec also says they don’t know the exact timeline of decisions. Was wondering what your take on this situation is?
Not much really changes. All you can do is follow up periodically or win an offer from another bank and use that to make them hurry up. The main difference is that they’re more likely to “ghost you” now because online Superdays mean much less of a personal connection with the interviewer.
Got it thanks!
Hey Brian – Id like your advice please regarding following up with an investment bank that ghosted me .I was in a process with an elite bank late last year that I was super keen on and was progressing well (everything was being done over the phone) until I was ghosted by them.
Context: I was supposed to meet the bank’s team for dinner in late Dec 2019 (cue final round) when I flew into the city. I, unfortunately, ran into last MINUTE unforeseen immigration issue: my passport was lost / stolen or something happened as the US embassy never got it. This delayed my travel plans by 2 months even though I’d been approved for my US permanent residence and shouldn’t have faced this issue. I had reached out to the investment bank when I found out to inform them about this development, but all my emails (2 to an SVP and 4 to a VP) over a span of next 3 months went unanswered.
Reflection: understand why they ghosted me (maybe they thought I was being dishonest or playing around), but I had a genuine issue that came at me from nowhere. When I’d wrote to them, I had mentioned that I got hit by an immigration issue (without going into the details).
Now: It’s been almost 6 months since i last tried to contact the team (and 8/9 months when I had first started the process) and I am keen to try my luck again. I had really enjoyed speaking with the firm and can see myself in a good company there. Will it look bad (desperate?) on my part to try and get in touch again when my last emails went unanswered? I thought I could try the SVP one more time as he and I are originally from the same country (where I ran into this issue). If it’s alright, should I email him / call him / or LinkedIn-message him? How would you suggest I phrase my request? I am hoping to catch up, give an update on myself, what has really happened, and just reiterate my interest.
I don’t know, it sounds like you just had terrible luck and may have to write off this bank because it’s hard to overcome that, even if it was completely outside your control. Maybe try to contact the SVP one more time since you’re from the same country and just say that you enjoyed speaking and interviewing with them last year and wanted to see if any roles at the firm remain available. I would try email first and then call if he doesn’t respond within a week.
Brian — Thank you so much for sharing your views and empathizing with me. I have a quick follow up. If I end up calling him and he doesn’t pick up (which isn’t the most unusual situation since most people don’t pick calls from numbers they don’t recognize), would you suggest I leave a voice mail or keep on trying until he picks up?
I would not leave a voicemail. Try again in another few days.
Thanks for the post Brian! I had a final-round interview with an ib firm in early March. I wrote a thank-you email immediately after the interview (got a reply saying received with thanks), followed up after one week (got a reply saying they are still reviewing), and then followed up again a few days after I got that email (got a reply saying that they are still in the midst of reviewing my application and will send me an email notification if there are any updates). It has been three weeks since I got the last email from hr and I didn’t follow up after that since they said they will send me the email when there are any updates. I could only contact hr because all interviews were conducted via zoom (due to the coronavirus) so that I couldn’t get any name cards nor email addresses (thank-you email was sent to hr and delivered by them). Should I contact hr again about the status? Or should I just wait since they might be very busy due to the current situation?
You can follow up with HR again, but my guess is that all hiring is on hold right now, even if you’re in a region that isn’t as badly affected. So there isn’t much to do until hiring resumes.
Hi Brian – I had a virtual superday two weeks ago for a summer 2021 position for Real Estate PE (accelerated diversity recruiting). The following Tuesday, all interviewees got an email asking if we’d be interested in newer funds still within the overall group, and it said they would be in touch by the end of the week for individual processes. Didn’t hear back last week, so I sent a follow up email on Monday – still haven’t heard back. I am not sure whether to take the lack of responses as a hard no, or whether they are super busy due to the Coronavirus. Do you have any tips? Should I follow up again?
I would assume they are super busy due to the crisis. Maybe follow up again next week. Firms are scrambling and changing around internship/full-time plans currently.
Hi Brian, Thanks for your sharing, really insightful.
Just one question, my Goldman Sachs hr told me last week that they will make a decision early this week. However, till now I still haven’t received any update. When I sent a follow up email to the hr, he simply said that they will update me soon but no specific time. Do you think I can contact one of the VPs who interviewed me and who seemed to like me a lot? Will it be appropriate? Many thanks
Yes, always follow up if you haven’t heard back after a week.
Thanks for giving such great advice! However, I’m wondering how I can get the contact information of the interviewers since all previous emails were only b/w the HR and me and during the interview process, it seems that there is no proper opportunity to ask for interviewers’ email addresses.
You should have asked for their business cards during the interviews. If you didn’t, then maybe contact HR and see if they can put you in touch (say you just have a follow-up question or something like that).
I had an interview for a large investment bank on Friday for a full time analyst position. I have heard nothing back since and wondering if this is normal?
Not hearing back by Monday is normal, yes. If it gets to be a week, then you should follow up.
I met with an Elite Boutique recently and the HR rep got back to me and said although the team enjoyed the connect with me, they felt I didn’t have enough experience for what they need right now. I informed her that I accepted an internship position for three months to gain more experience. Do you think this would be considered a soft no?
I’m not sure how that’s a soft no because they pretty much told you why they did not offer you a job right now. Stay in touch, complete the internship, and then come back to them when you have more experience… things change quickly, and turnover rates in banking are extremely high.
Thanks, I was referring to the soft no in your example to where the client worked on financial statements. I also should have stated it was a lateral associate role after completing my MBA and having a PE internship and not IB internship. I am thinking of applying for next summer associate roles and lateral roles after my internship with super small no name boutique. Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
OK. I don’t think they would ever hire you in a lateral role without prior IB experience, and usually more than an internship. I would just try to get as much IB experience as you can and leverage the internship into a bigger firm, maybe not an EB, but even a middle-market bank would be a step up over a regional boutique.
I had a super day at IB firm a month ago. After superday, I received an email that says “Thanks again for applying to ___ position. After reviewing your application, we like what we see, and would love to get to know you better.
Before we can schedule your interview, we need some additional information from you. First, you will need to create a Candidate Home Account. After creating your Candidate Home Account, you will see the application(s) for which you applied. Click into your application to access the Pre-Interview Questionnaire. Once you’ve submitted the questionnaire, we will reach out to set up your interview. We look forward to meeting you!”
That was weird since I already had a superday. I still did what they said and I haven’t heard back from them for more than a month. I emailed to HR twice and I didn’t got any reply. Does that mean I got rejected from them?
I don’t know, that sounds really strange. Maybe try calling or emailing someone you interviewed with that day to see what happened? It sounds like they just made a mistake and don’t know your current status.
Brian, I am 30 yrs and recently interviewed with a MIddle East based small pe fund. Interview process that lasted 2.5 months went well, and I was flown in 6 business days ago to meet up with CIO and CEO of the firm. Got good vibes from them: ceo personally escorted me to the office entrance when the interview ended, and the cio and I spoke about some common interests. One of the principals also gave me his biz card and asked me to call him / shoot him a text if I had any questions.
It’s been some time and I am yet to hear back. Followed up with HR 2 biz days ago but no response. In the past rounds, I had to chase them for an update and I was moved forward. Also, strangely, six days after my “final round” one of the other principal also responded to my thank you email saying pleasure meeting you, and wishing good luck for rest of the process. Not sure why he’d wish me good luck…
Should I just send the principal a text message asking for an update? Should I also offer to share references from the senior folks of my prior firms – when requesting update – or would it come across as presumptuous? I have been unemployed for some time and this process is important so sorry for the long message but wanted to share context. Would be most grateful for your advice!
I would just ask the Principal for an update in a few days. It would look odd to thank him and then offer up references from your prior firms.
Thanks, Brian. I know this is too specific a situation and should move on (which I have). But one quick question -would it make sense for interviewers to email back something like what I have received, “Pleasure meeting me, good luck with rest of process” if one hadn’t been successful? This interviewer is one of the decision-makers. My conversations went well with everyone.
I think you are now officially over-thinking this. Just follow up in a few days.
Hi Brian! I had a superday last Friday with a BB and I thought it went really well. On Sunday, my main contact in the office said he heard good things about me and he is sure I will get more info soon, but, still no word from HR. Last time he said he heard good things about me I received this superday a couple weeks later. Should I reach out again and ask specifically when I should expect to hear back?
Maybe wait 7-10 days and then follow up to ask about your status or if there are any updates. It sounds like they just take a while to respond to people in that office.
Hi Brian. Apparently the BB’s office held their final 2 superdays earlier this week. Is it typical to contact all the accepted candidates at once the recruiting cycle is over? Still no word from HR yet!
It depends on how the office is run, but it’s unusual to contact everyone at once. Usually they contact the top candidates first and then move onto the rest. But practices vary widely. I think you are probably over-thinking this. Keep applying elsewhere, follow up periodically, and make it a system rather than a goal.
Have made it past final round for a lateral IBD associate position at a top bank for M&A. The team and HR was aware I had an exploding offer at another bank but that the “top bank” was my first choice. Post final round, I was told by HR I received positive feedback and that I was a top candidate. HR followed up to say team was busy but should have an answer soon. A week later and it has been radio silent. I’ve followed up with HR and I have received no response. Is this normal? Is there anything more I can do? Prior to final round, HR has been very communicative.
That is strange. Maybe they suddenly changed their plans or realized they didn’t need to make an additional hire. Something could have also come up in a background check, but it sounds like something just came up to delay or alter their hiring plans.
I had a super day with a BB on Tuesday. The HR and her boss also talked to me on that day and both said I’ll hear back from then either that afternoon or the next day, but 2.5 days passed and it’s Friday now, and I haven’t heard anything from them. I sent the HR a follow up email in the morning, and she didn’t reply – which is no good news because she usually reply really fast. I read your article but not sure if I sent anither email to other team members, would that looks too desperate?
sorry it’s a superday with a MM* bank
I would not email the other team members. Wait a week and see if you hear anything. You don’t want to come across as *too* enthusiastic, especially if you’ve already sent them thank-you emails. Sometimes the process is just slower and more random when you’re already working full-time and you interview for lateral roles.
Thank you Brian. I sent the HR with a follow-up email and didn’t get the offer. I just want to know that if I emailed the team member or showed that I’m too enthusiastic in the process, will that actually influence the interview result?
We replied separately on BIWS, but let us know if you have any additional questions here.
Hi Brian, I recently did a SA’20 superday as part of an accelerated recruitment event for a BB. After my superday, HR emailed me the next day saying I would need to speak to one more member over the phone. That interviewer proceeded to grill me on kind of technicals that weren’t asked in the formal superday.
He asked me to pitch two current deals (I was prepared for one), which two companies should merge, and hypothetical questions on valuation if I owned a business. I come from a non-target and at the end of the interview, he said “its harder to break in from non-target but good luck”. My other friends from the event (target kids) who got the offer didn’t have to do an extra interview and were mostly asked behaviorals and standard technicals. My question is if doing extra interviews is something common and why was I singled out? What do these extra interviews mean? I had a similar situation with Goldman’s back office internship last cycle and the extra interview was also anything but guide book technicals.
That sounds very strange. I don’t know why they singled you out – it could have been literally anything (did you say something that made them doubt your knowledge? Did an interviewer say something about you? Did you give off the impression you knew a lot on the technical side?). But if this happened in two rounds of interviews at different firms now, it must have been based on something you said or feedback from someone both groups knew. My guess is that something happened to make them doubt you at the last minute, resulting in these extra/difficult interviews.
Hi Brian, I was told that I would be informed “during this week” (final interview was Friday) and it’s Tuesday now. Should I email my interviewer on Wednesday (per your “after 2 days at most” rule)? They probably will answer on Friday at the latest though, but I’m super anxious (they obviously don’t like me enough to send me an offer on Monday). I don’t want to come off as too aggressive or not “hungry” enough. Thanks in advance!
Yes, I think it’s fine to follow up on Wednesday.
In the end I decided to wait until Friday morning but then I heard back from them on Thursday (today). Thanks anyway!
Should the “interviewees” be “interviewers” in this paragraph “If you don’t hear back within 2 days, email at least 1-2 of your interviewees to follow-up, thank them again, and express your continued interest in the firm (those exact words can almost be your email template). Send a similar note to HR.”?
I had an interview with a boutique bank across the country that is successful for there small size. I have no work experience at all, besides tutoring and other jobs in college. What got me the interview was your cover letter template I used and my ability to sell how hard working and how bad I wanted the job, thats what the firm said. Come interview day I did pretty well on the technical side of it, but no where near perfect as it was clear I did not have a lot of experience, and I thought I absolutely killed the rest of the interview because I am really good at selling my story, my social skills, and my desire for investment banking. It’s been a week now, I have no idea what to expect. There was only one other person interviewing that day and they went to a highly prestigious school. I went to a low ranking BIG XII school lol.
I’m being specific here. But IDK what to expect/ what they are thinking maybe / what to do next?
Do you have any thoughts?
I would just follow up with them if you haven’t heard back within 1-2 weeks. You can’t do much else since you’ve already interviewed there and put your best foot forward.
Hi Brian great article.
I have had 4 interviews on the phone and then a final Video conference with the head and VP (as they were diff country) and the head of EMEA. I thought the process went smoothly and the head asked me my remenuration expectations and I was also told that I would hear back from the HR who contacted me all throughout the process. it as has been nearly 2 weeks. I emailed hr and one of the vps a weeko ago but also no reply. Im guessing i dont have it.
All you can really do is follow up and check again. It’s not a good sign if you don’t hear back within 2 weeks, but the industry is very random… they could easily contact you again in the future when something opens up.
Happy New Year, Brian. This is an odd situation so hope you can shed some light on this: had a superday with BB for a lateral analyst IB position in early December. I was told that I’m one of 3 final candidates and they might hire 1-2 candidates. 3 weeks after, I reached out to HR who told me they would let me know around New Year; 2 weeks after New Year, I reached out again and HR said he actually didn’t know what the status of the group is and will check in. I then talked with the analyst who isn’t sure either and said will get back to me after checking with group. The process seems fairly unstructured and unorganized. Any idea what is going on? If an offer is given out to another candidate, HR should know, which doesn’t seem to be the case. Thoughts on me reaching out to the MD/group head? I spoke with the analyst one week ago. Thank you in advance, Brian.
It sounds like they either changed plans and decided not to hire someone for now, or they picked someone else and don’t want to tell you. You could ask the MD/Group Head, but he/she may not necessarily tell you anything more useful.
Brian, I had a superday for a lateral analyst position at a BB 3 months ago. After a few follow-ups and silent treatment, they called me last week and said the group was very impressed but is still figuring out their headcount nationwide to see if they can get a spot in another location (the group spans multiple locations). I was told that the group head is pushing hard for an additional analyst position. The caller mentioned “Welcome to [BB bank name]”, but urge me to not stop looking around at other places. Is this common from your personal experience? Just trying to see if there is something to read between the lines here.
Yes, that happens a lot. I would just take her advice and keep looking at other roles as well.
Did 3 rounds of interviews with a megafund in London (9 interviews) in total. I was down to the final 3 and thought the interviews went well. I finished up about 4 weeks ago, sent my thank you note and one interviewer replied that I should hear from HR in a few days.
HR has essentially reached out twice to apologise for the delay/thank me for my patience and gauge my interest levels. She reached out last Monday and said they hope to get back to me in a couple of weeks. I’m not sure how to take this, am I backup for #1 candidate or is something going on behind the scenes which is preventing them from making an offer. I would be shocked if they were still interviewing considering how long the process took from round 1 to 3..
Would it be appropriate to reach out to one of the interviewers?
Yes. But you are most likely on hold, or they have slowed down or paused the process for some reason.
So I had a superday at a company and their HR told the candidates that we’ll hear back within a month. It has been a week so far and I haven’t heard back. Have I been put on hold or did they not send out any offers yet? Thanks!
Hard to say since they usually respond more quickly than a month. I would follow up and ask for your status.
I wanted to know, if you are rejected by a group, is it okay to email them later on (say a couple of months or so down the road) to do informational interviews and keep in touch with them?
Had a 2nd round interview with a bank in sf on Friday. It was like a superday but over Skype. I know the firm has been interviewing over the past couple of months and I might be the last person they interviewed. After the interview, hr said they’d get back to candidates early this week. When I didn’t hear anything, I emailed yesterday for an update and hr replied “*Bankers name* will be in touch with an update” and she copied the banker. I haven’t heard from the banker 24hours later. What does this mean? Cos if it’s a no, why didn’t hr just tell me??
You were probably on hold, or the bank stopped its process for whatever reason. You can’t really do much aside from continuing to follow up and checking back in a few weeks/months.
I really like your articles.
Please I have questions regarding follow up.
I met one senior Associate who promise to assist me out for an offer in his company.
So he asked for samples of my work and also gave me assignment to build a M&A model using one of their portfolio. So as that he will discuss internally with management and get back to me.
It been 2 weeks now and I have not heard from him. I tried to follow up with call and he said he has not gone through yet, so I should give him chance to do that and get back to me. Today’s Marks the 2nd week .
Please, should I follow up or wait till he get back to me…?
Thank you and hoping to get your kind response.
Generally, you want to follow up each week… so email him again and ask.
I was told I would hear back about whether or not I made final round at a boutique by today, so I emailed them to follow up on my status this morning. I just received an offer from a firm that while isnt IB, is still finance related, a few hours ago with a deadline of mid next week. The boutique has not replied yet, should I re-email them with the news or wait until they respond?
If you don’t hear back by the weekend, email them with the news.
Thanks Brian, I also interviewed for an ER position and had an initial in-person screening yesterday. Does the same apply? Or should I email them now.
Thanks Brian, I have a call with the MD today, but I learned there is still another in-person interview. I also had an initial in-person ER interview yesterday, should I email them with the news? I still have another round of interviews with these firms, so it’s a little tricky.
I can’t express how much help your site has been, it has made all the difference for me.
We can’t really offer play-by-play advice on these situations, but in general, you should follow up with firms if you haven’t heard back in a week or if you have another offer or final-round interview that could easily lead to an offer.
Hi Brian, I finished my superday interview with Citigroup last Friday. One of my friends got the offer and one got a rejection letter. I didn’t get any of those, not did I get any replies to my thank-you letter. What should I do Brian? This is my final BB interview.
Thanks a lot!! btw BIWS videos are really really helpful!!
All you can really do is follow up with 1 or 2 of your interviewers and see what they say. If you don’t hear back initially, wait a few days and follow up again.
Hey Brian, absolutely love this site, thank you for everything.
I had a 2-day (they took us to dinner, paid for hotel even though I live only 1 hr away, and then had a full day interview the next day) superday interview at a bank for a corporate strategy position.
They said they would reach out to us by today to tell us if we received/did not receive an offer. I received an email from HR stating that they are still evaluating candidates and will be in touch soon. They told me they are in no rush to hire candidates, and do not have a set number of spots available (they would take all of us if we are all qualified, or none of us if we did not fit). Would the #1 email be inappropriate (given I do not have another exploding offers at banks, but I do have another superday interview coming up for an investment firm)? I would definitely accept an offer from this bank on the spot.
At this point, maybe just follow up and reiterate your interest. it’s not that strong a message if you just tell them that you have an interview with another firm – it’s stronger if you can go back and tell them you have an actual offer elsewhere.
Hello, I have gone through my very first phone interview with one of BB in last week. Now..it has been 4 working days after the interview, but still no response from the bank. I have no available contact of interviewers…Do you think it is worth to contact even HR to get any update?
I applied for Frost bank Network position and havent’ heard back. I sent a follow up next day. a week later left a voice message to HR. Then 2 week send a follow up email to hiring manager. Still no response. Looks like it’s over.
It’s always worth checking back in 1-2 months just to see if anything has changed. You can’t have a defeatist attitude.
Thanks for the article! I do need advice on my situation:
My story: I am making a little career switch from buy-side quant research to sell-side equity research, and recently interviewed for equity research associate position at a boutique investment bank.
It was a 15-min pre-screening phone call with an MD. He seemed to like me and mentioned at the end of the conversation that he will have someone set up other calls/interviews and get the process moving along. It sounded like a good sign. But now I haven’t heard back from them for 2-3 days, I am starting to feel nervous.
I already sent a thank-you note after the interview, and am thinking about calling MD if I don’t hear back in a week. Would that be a good move on my part?
Yes I’d call the MD in a week if you don’t hear from him then. I’d wait a few more days first.
Great read! I am looking for your opinion on 2 offers I have received. Just as some background, I go to a non-target school and can graduate in either May 2016 or December 2016, depending on how hard I want to push myself this semester. That being said the 2 offers are:
1) A full-time offer doing Corporate Banking at a large bank, MM.
2) Summer internship doing Investment Banking at a bulge bracket (think CS)
Is there any scenario where you would accept a summer internship over a full-time offer. It seems crazy to me, but I am giving it some real thought due to the internship firm’s greater prestige, experience, and exit opportunities. Have you ever heard of someone doing this before?
I believe people have done so before. It depends on how risk averse you are. Having the CS name will most definitely help, but if you want stability and like corporate banking I’d choose 1. If you want IB, I’d choose 2.
Hey great read thanks! I recently applied and went through 2 rounds of interviews at a boutique, both which I think I completely aced. Second round was just before the Xmas break so I expected a late response but still nothing. When I emailed HR, no response, so I rang HR and they said “we haven’t received any feedback yet probably due to the regional and London office distance” what are your thoughts on this?
I’d just wait for a week and follow-up with them again. I’d look at other opportunities in the meantime.
Will do thanks. This is the first time I’ve heard of regional-to-London office delays; it took 6 working days to hear my success after the first interview. Do you reckon this is more of a ‘you’re not the #1 choice’ or there could be some sort of regional office delay. Cheers!
Hi Brian and Nicole,
I just finished my final round interviews for an IBD summer analyst at a BB and sent thank you notes to all my interviewers.
I am planning to follow up with the HR in 2 days if I have not heard back.
However, to ask for honest feedback, it is mentioned that I should follow up directly with my interviewers. I never get any reply for my thank you note (since the first round) – are there any other methods available for me to ask for feedbacks? I don’t have their number though… Is it possible to get the feedback from HR since I’m pretty close with him/her?
Thank you so much!
Thank you for the great article. I wish I had seen it sooner.
I had the super day interview at Morgan Stanley 10 days ago and they said they’d get back to me within 2 weeks. So I have been waiting until now and thought maybe there’s something I can do. Is a followup email at the point still appropriate? They asked me if I had any deadlines that I needed to respond and I said no. This really is my first super day interview.
Any suggestion is much appreciated!
Yes, email them to follow up and ask for an update. If you did not hear back within a week you should have followed up by then.
I’ve had a number of superdays, and in some cases after I send a thank you email, I get a reply along the lines of “best of luck in the recruiting process” or “let’s definitely stay in touch”. I’m rather confused about the implications of the response–while it’s better than silence, it already seems like 1) I was not ultimately chosen for an offer and 2) despite that, they liked me enough as a person to want to stay in touch. Generally, how should I make of these messages, and should I continue emailing in hopes of turning the “soft no” to a “yes”? This happened twice after two of my superdays (both of which I’m pretty sure I did not get offers for), and today, after my superday yesterday. In the future, should I almost always interpret these emails as “we liked you, but you weren’t good enough?” Would love to hear some insight. Thanks.
In those cases, you should probably email back and see if they can provide direct feedback on why you were not selected for the next round. There are for a few examples here:
It is definitely worthwhile to stay in touch even if you didn’t win an offer, because things might change in the future, positions may open up, or your profile might become more appealing to them.
I applied to Morgan Stanley through my schools career center about a week ago. How does the process work in terms of them reaching out to you when you apply through your University. Should I try contacting them or keep on waiting a few more weeks.
Thanks for the help in advanced
I think you can reach out to your alumni though I’m not sure if reaching out them is too useful at this stage especially with a bulge bracket like Morgan Stanley. If you do reach out to them, I’d do that in early Jan when people are back from holidays.
just for clarification what do you mean by at this stage? is it too late in the recruiting process for bulge bracket banks? because on this site I read somewhere that banks typically dont start interviews till the last minute and I applied and got my resume in before the deadline.
Since you’ve already applied then yes I think you’re fine. In terms of networking, it’s most effective to network a few months or even a year before the deadline so you establish a solid connection with people at the firms/industry. So if you’re just networking to improve the chances of your application, then yes the networking efforts can be done a bit earlier but it is better you network now than never.
I just finished my super day with a bank last Friday and I am doing lateral hiring. I am referred by a VP in the team, skipped the phone interview and went directly to the super day. After the interview (which was in the morning), I immediately sent out thank you notes to all interviewers in the afternoon, and one director who interviewed me got back saying “Thanks. Pleasure meeting you as well. Keep in touch”. I also asked the “next steps after the interview” in the thank you note to the VP that referred me, but never heard back from him.
Now it’s Tuesday and I haven’t heard anything from the bank. My original plan was to follow up next Monday if I still hear nothing from them. Now after I read this article, I was wondering whether I should follow up now? Or since it’s lateral hiring (whose process I assume is slower?), should I follow up after a week?
Thanks for the help in advance.
Yes I’d follow up after a week.
Thanks for this great article! I’m from the Philippines and I just quit my back office job. I just finished all the rounds of interviews and examinations for one of the leading banks here. When I followed up with the officer in charge for IB regarding my application, he told me that they have endorsed my application to their HR group for processing to be part of IB. So I follow up with the HR and ask about it and she states that they’ll coordinate with the IB group regarding the status of my application. Is this a good sign? It’s been 2 days now since my conversation with the HR and I was wondering how long should I wait until I can follow up again.
I’d wait till next week and follow up again then.
I just finished an interview with the Head and the VP of the investment banking of a middle market investment bank and they said that i will hear back from them within 1 or 2 weeks. Should I be worried and that should still follow up after 2 days???
I’d send them both a thank you note reiterating your interest in the firm. I’ll then follow up again in a week or so if you don’t hear back
This is probably too general of a question… But, how difficult is it to transition from a client facing operations(corporate) finance role, to a job at an independent investment management firm? Or perhaps just a transition into the financial services side of the industry.
You could do it, but it really depends on your skill set and past experience… you’ll need to have really good stock pitches prepared to make that kind of move, plus be prepared to network extensively if you don’t already have industry contacts on that side. It also depends on what area of CF you are in right now.
You’ll have to demonstrate your knowledge and passion of the markets. If you’re looking for a buy-side role, or role involving analyzing stocks and the market, a CFA would help
Hey thanks for the great article! It came in right on time as I am facing a similar issue.
I had a bulge bracket bank Super day last Thursday, followed up that night and haven’t heard anything yet. Based on the fit, etc., this is indeed my first choice. However, I am from a non-target school, so getting those first rounds and offers in time is not as easy (and it’s already a bit late in the process?).
1) Would you still suggest sending “you are my #1 email”, or would you consider it pathetic and off-putting?
2) I am getting in touch with HR really soon. When should I be getting back to the interviewers? (I did send them emails the night after the interview — a week ago)
Thanks for everything you guys are doing! This blog took me from non-target, non-relevant background to a super day at bulge bracket. Thank you for that!
1) I would only send an email like that if you already had another exploding offer from a different bank – otherwise, it’s better just to follow-up and ask about your status as recommended here. And if they give a vague answer, dig into it more and see what the real story is. This tends to be better to do over the phone rather than via email.
2) I would follow-up with the interviewers as soon as possible and ask about your status with them as well. Even if you contact HR at the same time it’s fine – you just want to get to an answer as quickly as you can.
Thank you once again for the insights! I am wondering how different the process would be for experienced/lateral hire? I would imagine banks handing out offers shortly after the Superday as they have pretty much seen all the candidates they need to see, but lateral hire is a bit tricky as individual interviews are conducted.
Yes the process can be longer because people tend to be “slower” for lateral hires.
Hey Brian I am at cross roads with regards to what I can do over the summer.
I have a chance to work with a new small private equity company over the summer.
Ultimately I want to end up in Investment banking. I Understand it is extremely difficult to get PE experience at undergraduate and so will this put me in much better stead then a internship at a mm investment bank to work at a bulge bracket bank?
They’re probably about the same, though some people would argue that working at a bank of any type is better since it’s technically more relevant.
Hey Brian we always hear on all the finance sites about how much people hate Investment banking and how they are just in it for private equity etc…
It would be great to hear from someone who is quite high up in Investment banking or maybe just starting out and actually enjoys their job.
I apologize if an interview like this has already been done before.
Its just it would be nice to hear about someone who has had a positive experience an an investment banker and gets proper satisfaction.
Thanks for your note and I agree with you. I will keep your suggestion in mind and draft an article on that when I meet an interviewer who is extremely passionate about his job in banking.
Thank you. I look forward :)
Thanks for this Brian. My problem is, I got a referral to a local bank, the position perfectly fits me. But it has been 1 week and I heard nothing from them. The referral went thru someone very high-up so I think there has to be some response (even the bad one). What’s going on there and what should I do
Just ask again and follow-up via the phone and try something similar – say you understand if they’re not hiring or if you have to go through official channels etc. but you just wanted to find out your status directly from them so you cna proceed accordingly.
I’d reach out to your contact and follow-up via phone call. If you can’t get a hold of him/her, I’d email. Phone call, however, is the preferable option