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Preparing for an interview

Congratulations! Your application has been reviewed and you have been invited for an interview.

Remember that every interview is a two-way process: it's an opportunity for us to get to know more about you and your achievements and is an excellent chance for you to find out more about the firm and our culture. Make the most of the experience by ensuring that you are fully prepared.

Before the interview

Make sure you walk into the interview knowing as much about the firm as possible. Prepare by going to the on-campus presentations and talking to as many J.P. Morgan people as you can. It's a good idea to study our website, our programs and our culture as well. If you know people who work at J.P. Morgan, particularly within the business area for which you are interviewing, contact them and ask questions.

During the interview

On the day of the interview, be ready to articulate why you want the job and more specifically, why this particular job at J.P. Morgan. What do you bring to the mix? If you've done your homework, you should have a pretty convincing answer.

Most of our interviews are based on competency, so be prepared to think on your feet. Also, be prepared to answer questions about previous jobs and your experience solving problems and leading teams. Take the time to think before you answer.

If you haven't had much interview experience, enroll in practice sessions at your university career services center, or videotape yourself to see how you come across to interviewers. J.P. Morgan also offers sessions on several campuses that will help you construct your candidacy. Check our campus schedule to view dates for your school. Remember that however prepared you are, you will still need to show that you can think on your feet.

For undergraduate and MBA candidates, here are some additional tips from our recruiters and employees who just went through the process:

  • You have exactly five seconds to make a great first impression, so dress for the part. Usually, this means professional, formal business attire.
  • The way you interact with interviewers gives them an indication as to how you might behave with clients.
  • Stay friendly and professional. If there are two interviewers, be sure and include both in your conversation with equal eye contact, even if one dominates the proceedings.
  • Be prepared to discuss topical business issues.
  • If you're asked for your opinions, be prepared to state them tactfully and support the thought process you put into them.
  • Phrase your answers using the Problem-Actions-Results (PAR) approach wherever possible to demonstrate your problem-solving skills. State a problem you encountered at work or school, the actions you took to solve it and the beneficial outcome — quantified, if possible.
  • Follow up after the interview. Ask for a business card and send a timely thank-you email.
  • It's easier said than done, but relax and be yourself; your interviewers are only human.
  • Demonstrate your interest by having some questions for us. "What distinguishes a great Analyst/Associate from a good Analyst/Associate?" is a good way to elicit information that can be invaluable in your next interview. Interviewers may interpret a lack of questions as a lack of genuine interest.
  • Make sure your cell phone is switched off.

For PhD candidates, the following provides some guidance on the interview process:

  • Be ready to articulate why you want to work in investment banking, and more specifically, for J.P. Morgan. What do you bring to the mix? If you've done your homework, you should have a pretty convincing answer.
  • Most of our interviews are based on competency, so be prepared to think on your feet.
  • Be ready for questions about your experience solving problems and leading teams.
  • Stay cool, and think before you answer; keep your answers concise and make sure you're answering the question asked. Remember, this is no worse than your dissertation defense.
  • Ask a career advisor or friend to conduct a mock interview with you to help you prepare for your visit.
  • Be prepared to discuss topical issues relating to your field. Have opinions without being opinionated.
  • It's easier said than done, but relax and be yourself.
  • Demonstrate your interest by having some questions for us.
Sample interview questions for Analysts:
 
  • What differentiates J.P. Morgan from other firms you are considering?
  • What most interests you about Investment Banking/Asset Management/Treasury Services & Investor Services?
  • What industry or product groups interest you, and why?
  • Provide an example of a situation in which you had multiple competing deadlines – how did you prioritize?
  • Were the deadlines met? What did you or would you have done if you were unable to meet the deadlines?
  • You're taking pitchbooks to an important client meeting that starts in five minutes and you find a critical typo. There is no time to reprint. What would you do?
Sample interview questions for Associates:
 
  • Your client is a domestic U.S. manufacturer who wants to open a plant in a country with low labor costs. He's considering Mexico, Brazil and China. How would you advise him? What issues would you consider?
  • Tell me about a time or a project when you faced a crisis late on a Friday night and there was no one you could contact for help or advice. What did you do?
  • Your client is a large, privately owned company that needs to raise capital to expand. The CFO has asked you about an IPO. What other options are there, and what are the pros and cons of each?