Cover Letter Investment Banking London

*** Write-up on interview questions and detailed answers from a Cover Letter Library member’s experiences. This is based on Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Corporate and Investment Banking final interview for Spring Internship position in London in 2016. There may be some variations depending on the offices or other new updates to the recruitment practice – so please use this for reference / preparation purposes only ***

Some first bits on the logistics

    • Who’s the lucky company?
      Bank of America Merrill Lynch

 

    • For which division at Bank of America Merrill Lynch?
      Global Corporate and Investment Banking

 

    • And for which office?
      London

 

    • Which year was this Bank of America Merrill Lynch interview?
      2016

 

    • What’s the formal title of the position you interviewed for?
      Spring Insight Week

 

    • How were you informed of this Bank of America Merrill Lynch interview?
      HR emailed

 

    • Were you able to choose the time slot yourself?
      Yes

 

    • And this interview was therefore…
      In the afternoon

 

    • Was this a … ?
      phone interview

 

    • Which stage was this Bank of America Merrill Lynch interview?
      final round interview

 

Let’s talk about this final round interview in some details

    • How many separate interviews were in this final round interview ?
      Only one

 

    • How long was each interview?
      N/A – One

 

    • How many interviewers were in this final round interview in total and each interview ?
      One

 

    • How long was this final round interview in total?
      Around 15-20 minutes

 

    • Were there any personal / CV-based questions? If yes, what were they?
      No but I references my CV in these questions.

 

    • Were there any competencies questions? If yes, what were they?
      Yes; your basic skills: tell me about a time when you have demonstrated: leadership, teamwork, problem-solving, handling different types of people to achieve a goal

 

    • Were there any technical questions? If yes, what were they?
      No, apart from what has interested you in the news.

 

    • Any other weird questions we haven’t covered?
      Why BAML and what you can do for us?

 

    • What was the most difficult / unusual question among these? How did you deal with it?
      The questions were all simple, but I guess that was the hard bit. Being all simple questions, you had to find ways of making sure your answers were not simple and showed you had potential. I did this by constantly drawing up examples to back up what I said.

 

    • What was the most unexpected thing about this final round interview ?
      That there was only a telephone interview, and no technical questions at all!

 

    • Did you progress to the next stage?
      Yes

 

    • How long roughly did it take for you to hear back about this outcome?
      One weel

 

    • Via what means did you hear back about this outcome?
      Phone

 

    • Is there anything you wish you should have known or prepared for prior to this final round interview at Bank of America Merrill Lynch?
      No, but I recommend over preparing rather than under preparing.

 

    • Overall, out of 10, how would you evaluate your experience of this final round interview with Bank of America Merrill Lynch?
      8

 

  • Before you go, is there anything else you think will help other candidates ace this final round interview at Bank of America Merrill Lynch?
    Even if others say that there will not be technical questions, prepare anyway because there is no harm and you can prove you know your stuff.

Related

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Hello everyone! It’s that time of the year again when all LSE kids are rushing for Goldman Sachs openings.

Not to worry, not all of us want to work in GS or sell our souls to Investment Banks. However, Cover Letter writing skills are an important skill to have and it might prove to be an asset sometime when you actually do need to apply for jobs in the future.

Cover Letter structure

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am currently in my second year reading BSc XXX at the London School of Economics (LSE) and would like to apply for the XXX internship at [name of firm].

[Company specific paragraph/ Paragraph stating why you want to join the firm]

XXX is notable as one of the leading [industry] firms and constantly sets the bar for innovation and performance … The strength of XXX in the XXX sectors will provide an optimal training ground for interns in [division] and ample opportunities to develop my career. Furthermore, I would like to work at a firm that has a strong customer focus and I believe that my skills and abilities would be well suited for work in this division.

You can also include:
–       Awards/ Recognition
–       Areas of specialisation (Hence your application to this firm)
–       The values they uphold
–       Company events you attended; who you met, and what you learnt
–       Current affairs (related to the division you’re applying to)
–       Other firm-related details (Example: Corporate Social Responsibility)

[Selling yourself/ Paragraph stating how you are perfect for the role]

I am able to work effectively in a fast-paced environment with a steep learning curve. As the [Position] of LSE SUXXX I organised … [what you did]. Through this, I improved my time management skills and developed essential public speaking skills, which would be beneficial while working in [division] as [mould the skills you learnt to the role you’re applying for].

You normally include:
–       A maximum of 3-4 different examples/roles
–       Skills/ attributes you’ve learned or possess
–       How those skills/ attributes can add value to the firm
–       Participation in societies
–       Work experience
–       Volunteering work
–       Others (Example: Hobbies)

This internship programme would be a fantastic learning opportunity. I hope my qualities and skill sets can be of value to [name of firm].

Yours faithfully,

XXX

Notes:

  1. There is no one-way of writing a cover letter- the above is just an example of how you can go about writing it.
  2. Emphasise why you are perfect for the job throughout the entire cover letter- not just in the second paragraph.
  3. Never state – always elaborate your points. It is better to write 1 or 2 points really well than to write 5 points fleetingly.
  4. Remember to address the cover letter to the correct firm consistently throughout the entire cover letter– it will be really awkward it you wrote how much you want to work for JP Morgan in the second paragraph, end with saying you’ll be an ideal fit for Goldman Sachs, and send the cover letter to Morgan Stanley! Not a good way to make first impressions.
  5. Keep it under one page– HR doesn’t want a dissertation!

Before I end this post, did you know that LSE Careers provides:

–       Career-related guides such as: How to write a cover letter
(You can pick them up in their office or read it online)
–       CV checking services: 15 minute, face-to-face session with a CV consultant
–       Practice interviews:  One to one, 30 minute mock interview sessions

Find out more about the services LSE Career provides and how to book an appointment here.

Signing off,

Clarissa

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