Screen Shot 2022 01 22 at 23.20.11 - ourGen - Taha Naveed

Meet 👋

Taha Naveed

Spring Intern at Lazard

Whilst studying BSc Chemistry with Mathematics Taha, secured a spring week at Lazard in the London office. He found that attending firm-hosted talks helped secure the position.

ourPodcast

Applying for finance internship, dos and don'ts

Taha recommends you listen to this podcast where we look into how you can stand out in your finance interviews.

Application process

1 Online Application
2 Situational Judgement Test
3 HireVue Video Interview
4 Final Video Interview
Online Application

Online Application

This stage of the application just requires a CV. There are no cover questions required and the rest of the application form is standard admin-related questions.

How to respond for success
My CV was fairly generic and didn't need altering to specific firms; I think the inclusion of varied interests and hobbies such as mountaineering and music helped me stand out from the deluge of applications. It just made me slightly more memorable to those reading my CV.

Expect a 1 to 2-hours wait before progressing to the next stage.

Situational Judgement Test

Situational Judgement Test

This stage involves just one SJT of standard length (probably around 10-15 minutes). I didn't explicitly prepare for this as I think following your general judgment is the best way to approach them; I found previously that overthinking would result in lower scores. Reading and taking note of the company's ethos and principles can be handy - a small section of the SJT is a 30 minute written answer to a question.

Example Task 
The bulk of the standard questions were asking you to rank the best and worst outcome for a given situation. The written question was: What skills and experiences have you developed which will be useful for a career in financial advisory?

How to respond for success
Don't overthink it! SJTs are relatively straightforward and designed to try to make you overthink your answers. Go with your gut and follow what you think you would actually do in the situation.

Expect an immediate response before progressing to the next stage.

HireVue Video Interview

HireVue Video Interview

This was roughly 20-30 minutes long with 3-5 questions. I did this an hour or so after my SJT and looked over some materials I had on Lazard and ensured I had a news story ready as this normally comes up. I attended some SEO London talks hosted by Lazard and used these in my answers. I wore a shirt with a sweater over it.

Example Task 
"Why Lazard" was asked and they asked me to talk about a recent news article I found interesting.

How to respond for success
I am very convinced that rehearsed answers are clearly identifiable in HireVue's, and true success comes from pretending there is someone on the other side. To clarify, when I am doing a HireVue, I don't force myself to keep speaking, in a natural conversation I might slow down or speed up and maybe stop for a few seconds to structure what I'm going to say next and I think coming across as organic is essential. Smiling and body language is very important too.

Expect a 1-week before progressing to the next stage.

Final Video Interview

Final Video Interview

This was around 20 minutes and I was in a Webex call with a member of the HR team and an associate investment banker who alternated asking questions. To prepare I ensured I read up on recent M&A trends and had a Lazard deal to talk about.(Although in my interview, commercial awareness never came up).

Example Task 
Lazard definitely asked the more unusual set of questions compared to other firms. Initially, I was asked why Lazard again and then how I would describe Lazard to someone who doesn't know what investment banking is. I was also asked competency questions such as a time I displayed x quality. Some notable questions were also: If money wasn't an issue, what would you do for a living? If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would you pick and what would you ask them?

How to respond for success
I wore the same outfit as I did for my HireVue; a white formal shirt with a black cotton sweatshirt on top. I'd suggest treating it as a conversation and not an interrogation, laugh, smile and be expressive as you would normally do so. Additionally, structuring your answers is very important to keep them clear and understandable.

Also, these conversations are quite malleable just as a day-to-day one would be; when I was asked who I would want to get dinner with I paused and asked if it had to be someone I had a shared language with. They didn't expect me to ask this and thought for a while but eventually said why not and that led to the conversation being more interesting and they took an active interest in my answer; they made a notable effort to understand my point of view by asking follow up questions to ensure they have understood what I am saying.

Expect a 3 to 4-day wait before receiving your offer.

Taha also secured his position at Goldman Sachs as a Spring Intern

Focus points

This is an overview of the industry knowledge, soft and hard skills this successful candidate has for the role they applied for in this insight. The longer the bar, the more developed the applicant is in that skill.

Soft skills 🗣

Communication
Teamwork
Problem Solving

Hard skills 👨‍💻

Python
Excel
PowerPoint

Knowledge 🧠

Asset Management
Trading
Global Markets

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