HireVue has grown in popularity in investment banking due to its efficiency and ability to assess a candidate’s skills.
But what is a HireVue interview, and how do you nail it?
Our comprehensive guide explains what a HireVue interview is, how it is used in the investment banking hiring process, and offers tips and sample questions to help you ace your next HireVue interview for investment banking.
What Is a HireVue Interview?
The HireVue interview in its most basic form is a “video interview”. Investment banking firms create an interview with a range of questions. You then answer the questions in a recorded video format.
Once the recording is done with your answer, artificial intelligence (AI) gets to work. It takes your recordings and analyzes the data you provide based on a set of algorithms. It looks for key indicators that can to some degree predict your future job performance.
The technology is created by leading industrial-organizational psychologists and techies that know what to identify during the interview process and how.
The video interview monitors your non-verbal cues like eye movements, nuances of voice, clothing, facial expressions, and body movements.
While the HireVue video interview doesn’t replace the need for traditional interviews. It does make things a lot easier for investment banks that have a long queue of candidates to get through.
That’s why HireVue interviews are generally used at the start of the hiring process in more introductory roles like years one and two internships.
When you start looking at MBA-level associate positions you’re unlikely to do a HireVue interview. Firstly, the candidate list is a lot shorter and secondly, you need to meet face-to-face to look at assessments like technical concepts or modeling.
How Is HireVue Used in Investment Banking Interviews?
Now, onto how it’s used specifically in investment banking.
We all know that landing an internship in investment banking is tough. There are more candidates than ever before and sometimes it can feel like everyone and their grandma holds similar qualifications and it’s hard to stand out.
Don’t fret, you’ll get there.
The thing is, in a fast-paced environment like investment banking, the time needed to interview everyone personally simply isn’t there (unlike a Superday interview, which involves several human interviewers). Previously, this would leave a huge chunk of candidates without a fighting chance of even making it in the door. Kind of like, you better hope your resume sits somewhere near the top.
HireVue has enabled investment banks to screen more candidates, rather than fewer, in a cost effective way. Rather than holding your breath on the whole resume position thing, the video interview allows you to at least show what you’ve got. It gives you a real chance.
Additionally, some investment banks allow for multiple tries on a question. So, if you’re a little nervous you get a second chance, something you don’t get with an in-person interview.
I get it, if you’re just getting into the industry the first interview can feel like one heck of a mountain to climb.
Some feel that the HireVue interview doesn’t work and that it’s a disadvantage to investment banks because they don’t meet the candidates in person.
I can see both sides of the argument. What I do know is that HireVue can open the door for a lot more people and it looks like it’s here to stay. Some of the top financial institutions use this form of interview, so we can either hop on board or be left at the station.
Personally, I’ve stamped my ticket and look forward to seeing how HireVue can improve the investment banking recruiting process (and possibly other industries as well).
How to Succeed in a HireVue Interview
Since you’re not talking to a human in a live interview, there are things you need to do to succeed in the HireVue interview:
- Speak directly to your camera: If you don’t maintain eye contact it looks like you’re distracted. So, it’s best to remove any type of self-view option on your video software.
- Ensure your equipment is working: You need a stable internet connection. Also, a quality camera and microphone are essential.
- Don’t read from a script: This might work if you’re in a phone interview, but for a recording, you need to be in the moment looking at the camera (eye contact).
- Speak clearly: You should enunciate your words and speak slowly.
- Dress for the part: You wouldn’t go to a real interview in a t-shirt and shorts, so don’t do it for your HireVue interview. Dress in business attire (suit pants or skirt, shirt, and blazer). Don’t wear anything distracting like a big watch, flashy nail colors, or too much makeup.
- Get your environment set up: You should be in a well-lit space that is clean and quiet. Remove any possible distractions like pets and cell phones.
- Practice, practice, practice: The only way to truly prepare for any real interview is to practice. We’ll go through practice questions shortly, but you need to have somewhat of an answer for the basics. You don’t want to slip up on something simple that you could have prepared for.
- Record yourself: Before doing the HireVue interview, record yourself as if you’re in the interview. You can pick up on anything that doesn’t look or sound right when you watch it back.
It’s normal to feel nervous about any interview. But you can reduce your anxiety by practicing and getting yourself set up properly ahead of time. Rushing around looking for cables and a lamp at the last minute isn’t going to cut it.
HireVue Interview Questions for Investment Banking
There are four types of interview questions that you are likely to be asked. Let’s break each of them down with a few examples.
Standard fit questions
Fit questions are the basics to help a financial firm see if you are quite literally a good fit for the company. This is an important part of any interview for a junior role because you are likely to be on the frontline representing the company. The firm needs to ensure you can handle yourself in any given situation.
Additionally, obtaining investment does to a certain degree depend on people liking you. Getting investment when you are standoffish or unapproachable is extremely difficult. So, the firm needs people that can engage with investors on a human level. Remember HireVue interviews look at your body language and facial expressions.
It’s a good idea to look at the job description to identify things the firm is looking for.
Here are some fit sample questions you should prepare for:
- Why do you want to work in investment banking?
- Why our firm?
- Why should we pick you?
- Are you a team player?
Behavioral questions make up a big chunk of financial firm HireVue interviews. Don’t be surprised by quite a few “tell me about a time” questions.
You’ll have to draw on your past work experiences to answer questions like this. So, think of about 5 stories that you can draw on for these questions. It’s best to pick stories that are somewhat flexible to make them work for the specific question.
Don’t be afraid to mention a time when you failed, as long as you show you’ve learned something from the experience and there was a resolution.
Also, you don’t always have to make the story one about a deal or transaction. It’s perfectly fine and might be interesting to the interviewer. For example, a time when you’ve shown leadership. This doesn’t necessarily have to be in a work setting. Maybe you led your friends to the top of a mountain or led a group while you were in college.
Some common HireVue interview questions include:
- Tell me about a time you’ve taken initiative.
- Tell me about a time you’ve failed.
- Tell me about a sales or entrepreneurship experience.
Your stories should be able to cover these basic points. But again, they should be flexible.
Resume and deals questions
Resume and deal questions allow the interviewer to get to know you on a deeper level through your past experiences.
This is how the interviewer sees that your previous experiences have led you to this role and how you might use what you’ve learned in this new position.
Side note, this is a great area to bring up any areas you’ve excelled in like first in class or top student awards.
Some questions you can expect:
- Walk me through your resume.
- Tell me about your undergrad experience.
- Walk me through some of your deals (usually from internships).
- What was your role in X deal on your resume?
- Would you have invested in X deal on your resume?
These questions are there to see if you have the basic technical knowledge for the job. They won’t go as in-depth as a case study but you’ll need to know the basics.
Here are some questions they might ask:
- Explain the three types of financial statements.
- When might a company issue debt instead of equity?
- How would you value a company?
- What aspects make up a good financial model?
- Is equity of debt cheaper?
The list can go on, these are just a few suggestions. But, it’s also not unlikely for the investment firm to give you a scenario. They then ask what you might do in the situation or how you would come to a conclusion on investment.
Is a HireVue interview easier than an in-person interview?
This is difficult to say. Some prefer it because it takes the pressure off of trying to think of an answer in front of a physical person. While others thrive under this type of pressure. It’s all down to your personal experience. However, the questions remain the same.
How long does a HireVue interview typically last?
This depends on the firm. Some prefer shorter HireVue interviews of around 10-15 minutes. Others can last over an hour. The important thing is to follow the instructions. If you get three minutes, don’t give a drawn-out answer, keep it short and sweet.
Will my HireVue interview be evaluated by a human or a machine?
It depends on the financial institution. Some only use AI to get through the first round of candidates before having them reviewed. Others prefer to use a human from the get-go, but this takes more time.
The HireVue interview has become an essential component of the hiring process, particularly in investment banking.
To be successful in this interview, you must first understand what it is, how it is used in investment banking interviews, and how to prepare for it.
Keep this comprehensive guide so you can ace your next HireVue interview and land your dream job in investment banking.