Interview Tips: Wow The Interviewer With Self-Introduction (Junior Investment Analyst Roles)
How do you introduce yourself during interviews? Have you ever wondered about the traps during your introduction? In our recent meet the mentor session, I shared with our students how you can introduce yourself and quickly relate critical skillsets (financial modelling, market research, industry research) and the relevant investment research experiences to impress the hiring managers.
Having interviewed many juniors in my career, most of their self-introductions are sadly unimpressive, or even dull. You might just do it like the answer below after being asked to introduce yourself:
I am a third-year student at NUS/NTU/SMU’s Business School/Finance Degree Program. I am interested in investment research and looking for a job as an investment analyst.
What have you done?
Basically, you *described* your academic background, and what you are looking for. Some of you may add one more line to intro your current career.
What is wrong? Nothing is technically wrong. But it is not impressive, and not good. You sound like a mediocre candidate. This is the norm for a fresh grad looking for a job as an investment analyst. Some Springboard graduates who did not attend our Interviewing Prep speak in this unpolished manner as well.
What can I do better?
First, put yourself in the shoe of your interviewers. What do you think they are looking for?
They are looking for a *great* and *fit* candidate that can help them with their daily work. Look, they are giving you an opportunity to *sell* yourself to them and convince them you are relevant.
The hiring manager posted in the job description clearly that they are looking for specific skill sets but you seem to shy away from telling them that you are solid with those skill sets. Typically the key skill sets include but are not limited to: financial modelling, market research, industry research.
But have you achieved your objective of selling yourself? Absolutely not. Studying in the business school or an undergraduate in a finance program does not necessarily mean that your skills are relevant. Stop thinking like a mediocre candidate.
The Springboard’s Wow Way
Here I am sharing with you the Springboard way of introducing yourself, with a similar beginning but a much higher level of relevance, and association of yourself with the investment job:
I graduated from A school two years ago with a degree in chemical engineering and joined an MNC B as a corporate strategy analyst. During my course of work, I am fascinated with financial analysis and I happened to be introduced to Springboard by my friend C who works in the finance industry.
I signed up their mentorship program and learnt to build integrated financial models from my mentor Valerie, who is a *CFA charterholder* and has worked as a senior analyst at top tier investment banks like *Standard Chartered and HSBC*.
After I graduated from my mentorship, I spent *three months* helping her with her investment research into the China education sector. I complied sector data and company data from various sources, and also help her write sector research note. I really like what I am doing as a part-time research associate, although I do it during my after-office hours at home. Hence I look forward to joining the industry as soon as possible.
The Wow Effect
- In the first paragraph, you quickly introduce your background and lead the conversation into how chance upon a learning opportunity from industry veterans and demonstrated how you grab the personal learning opportunity, which indirectly tells the interviewer that *you are very interested in learning investment skills and join the investment industry*.
- In the second paragraph, you associate yourself with our mentor, who has a reputation in the industry but be sure that you did a good job for your mentor as it is very easy for the interviewer to call him/her for reference. If your mentor can back up the quality of your work, you add credibility in front of the interviewer. (Also refer to these two article on how to build your credibility Part 1, Part 2)
- In the third paragraph, you demonstrate that despite a full-time job, you still work hard for your mentor *because you have a strong interest*.
Your interview doesn’t end here. In the next step, you might need to pitch one (or a few) stock idea(s). Following paragraph three, there is a perfect opportunity for you to talk about some interesting stocks that you have researched for your mentor!
Frankly speaking and put yourself in the shoe of the hiring manager. If you listen to the self-intro till the third paragraph, will you find it interested to find out more from the candidate, or just think he is another unexciting candidate?
We would like to thank AKY for his contribution. The author has more than seven years of experience working in institutional research. He is the founder and Co-Head of Research at Aequitas Research, an top ranked independent research house focusing on liquidity events research. His clients include hedge funds, long-only funds as well as sovereign wealth funds. He loves coaching aspiring junior analysts. If you wish to get in touch with the author, you can email info AT springboardtm.com.sg.
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Insights related to joining the investment career
- How to find an investment job after your CFA exam?
- Which has better payoff – CFA or FRM? Here is my experience
- How to build credibility before a junior investment job? (Part 1)
- How to build credibility before a junior investment job? (Part 2)