Accelerated Recruiting - the Investment Banking Internship

Accelerated Recruiting is how investment banks hire full-time candidates very quickly after internships and without conducting formal on-campus recruitment. As the name suggest it is considered an "accelerated" process prior to the standard fall on-campus recruitment and is invite-only.

As investment banks strive to fill more and more seats from just their intern classes and remove the need for full-time recruitment, accelerated recruitment is becoming the only way to break into banking or lateral after the junior year internship. The days of on-campus interviews for full-time roles are disappearing at bulge brackets and elite boutiques.

Timing

Timing is a bit different for some of the elite boutiques (e.g. Moelis, Greenhill) who use a process that is far quicker than the majority. They will start having cocktails for candidates in early July, and wrap up hiring recruits before internships even end in August.

Most bulge brackets and elite boutiques (who haven't hired internally) will start sending out invitations for accelerated recruiting in-between Mid-July to Mid-August. Giving them some time to understand their hiring needs.

First rounds phone interviews are conducted through Mid-to-late August, and Superdays in the first couple weeks of September with offers out by the end of September.

The Invitation

Accelerated recruiting is an invite-only process. You cannot apply or look for a listing on how to be included in the process online. Although banks have to list online if they are hiring, the candidates who are sent the invite-only links are the only ones that are actually considered for the job.

Junior bankers are typically asked by HR to submit candidates they feel like would make a good fit at the bank who aren't in the intern class. Senior bankers can also submit their candidates, however because junior bankers know interns at other banks they are the ones who are asked by HR.

HR then sends out invitations to the candidates to submit some sort of basic contact information and a resume through a personalized link.

Typically the invitations go out during the few weeks after internships end in early August. However, increasingly banks are sending out invitations earlier and earlier even before internships end.

InterviewS

After the resumes have been collected, similar to any investment banking recruitment process, bankers will screen them for candidates they wish to interview. This will then be followed up with a first round call with a candidate. Some banks skip the call and push through straight to super-days.

The super-day process is the same as it would be for a standard investment banking interview except now the focus is on experiential topics:

  • How was you experience this summer (interning at xyz)?
  • Tell me about a deal / project you worked on? - followed up with very in-depth questions on that deal / project e.g. valuation multiples
  • Why do you not want to return to the bank you interned with?
  • Why us vs your internship?

You find out if you have been hired relatively soon after the interview, and similar to internship recruiting don't hold your breath if you haven't heard back in about 2 weeks.

How to get invited?

You have to know junior bankers across the street who would be willing to vouch for you, as well as know you are interested in their bank. This comes down to NETWORKING!

If you don't have friends across the street already then start reaching out in early to mid-July to express that you are interested in their bank. This needs to be well-timed because you need to express that you did give the bank you are interning with a chance. If you start networking too early bankers will feel that you haven't given enough time to know whether you will be a good fit or not.

Once you get the invite from HR, its on the people you networked with to push you through to the first round interview. So the more people you know who can vouch for you the better. Once you get the first round you are on your own.

Our next installment will focus on how to write a networking email for interns trying to lateral.