So... I got crushed in an interview. How to proceed?

So... had an interview last Friday and got pretty crushed. Built no rapport with interviewer and stumbled through technicals. For the first or second question, the interviewer stepped in 3-5 times to help/guide me... ended up making it through without him/her directly giving answer. Another question had pretty hard mental math that I got stuck up on, but nailed the overarching idea. Other questions went alright. But I literally spent like 10-15min on 2-3 questions - meaning, I'm confident there were multiple questions that they didn't even have time to ask (which I later confirmed).

So.... probably won't get next round. But the question is: I networked pretty aggressively at the firm/group and had above average calls with AN and VP in addition to a VP and an MD+ pulling for me (to at least get the first round). I've heard that networking is really only important to get first round, but considering that I'm not confident that I'll make it to the next round, should I update them about how everything went?

My next step: send interviewer thank you note and ask for feedback. Do I leave it there or Do I update my contacts before I get what will likely be a rejection? If so, what do I say? Thought process being that maybe they'll push for me before I get rejected. Or should I wait until after I get the rejection to update contacts and just thank them for their help getting an interview?

Comments ( 8 )

  • Analyst 3+ in IB - Cov

You seem pretty self-ware, which is good, that you aren't moving forward with this firm.

I'd just thank the interviewer and sit tight until hearing a formal rejection, at which point can thank you contacts.

I think updating them may not actually net you any benefit, as if this is a large enough shop, the bankers will be far removed from the actual process.

  • 2
  • Intern in IB - Gen

  • 1
  • Associate 3 in IB-M&A

I personally don't think you need to follow up, if you want to you can thank them for their time and help, but if you bombed technicals they were already made aware and aren't going to fight for you at that point

You may never hear back so don't expect a formal rejection. I would not ask for feedback. You clearly know what you did wrong and legally firms won't provide feedback anyway.

Keep chugging, you will get it one of these days!

  • Intern in IB - Gen

Super helpful - thx. Re: feedback.. are you sure it's not best to ask for feedback? Would it show willingness to learn and awareness? It wouldn't be just asking for the right answer; moreso, how I handled dealing with a question that I didn't know / ways to approach.

Most Helpful
  • Associate 3 in IB-M&A

I would recommend not doing so. I see what you're trying to get at, but it puts the interviewer in an awkward spot because they are not allowed to answer it. Just thank them and move on. No interviewer is poring over your thank you notes or even doing more than a quick skim and deleting, both in this auto-ding situation or if you're getting an offer.

As long as you 1. send a thank you note and 2. it doesn't have any major grammatical errors/has the right names.. you've checked that box. Don't overthink this.

  • Associate 1 in IB - Gen

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