Here is a complete guide on how to make the most of the unavoidable Spring Weeks organized in London by the Finance industry!
Congratulations, you now have a global idea of what to expect from Spring Weeks, and why applying is a good idea for Valuation aficionados and complete beginners alike. Here are some last minute tips to really get you going:
- There’s nothing wrong with some online lurking: check out forums like WSO or The Student Room (more UK focused) to stay up to date with what students in the same situation as you are doing;
- You might have online tests to complete after submitting your resume or passing the screening. Try to find out which type (SHL, Kenexa, custom-made) before clicking on the link, as the question format might be extremely different from one firm to another. Some good online resources to practice are: https://www.jobtestprep.co.uk/free-pdf-guides or https://www.practiceaptitudetests.com/numerical-reasoning-tests/;
- HEC has a support system to help you out in all stages of your application. Drop by the Career Center for a friendly chat and a quick CV review, or ask online for some Alumni support; there’s nothing wrong with making use of all the resources you can, and people are usually glad to help;
- Form a group of like-minded individuals: it’s okay to get by with a little help of your friends. And it really is great to have someone to share insights, tips, or just complain once finals week is rolling and you have three scheduled interviews on the day of your Law exam.
“Unexpected” questions and how to dodge that bullet
Some interviewers enjoy asking tricky questions, and no, ‘sadistic glee’, is not the reason they do so (hopefully). You might have been a tad too over-prepared (read: bland) or you have just answered the last three questions exactly like the other 15 candidates they heard this week, so they want to give you a second chance. And what better way to do so than ask you about the ‘one thing not on your resume that makes you the best candidate’ for a coveted spot on their Spring Week, or give you an ethical dilemma that will have you running for the hills.
The only piece of advice I have to give here is… expect the worse, and you’ll be quite happy to hear that “what historical figure most represents the word integrity for you?”. The thing is, even those “how many tennis balls can fit in a 747?” questions are finite, and a quick google search will give you quite the exhaustive list. You don’t have to prepare them, because talk about a waste of time and energy, but know that your recruiter will probably spend no more than 2 minutes trying to prepare ‘tricky’ questions before hands. Know a couple well known brainteasers and how to structure your answer in a convincing way, and this should go just fine.
Worst case scenario, you forgot the angle between the hours and the minutes’ hands on a clock showing 3:15. I seriously doubt your recruiter will dismiss your application for this if you have managed to show in the 15 to 20mn the interview lasts that you genuinely want to be there. Most people only ask for that: basic preparation, solid prepared examples and an enthusiastic smile!
One last thing, I read online on TSR that “Spring Week interviews are not summer interviews, so don’t turn them into one”. What this means is that you’ll most likely be facing other candidates fresh out of high school, who genuinely want to get a first taste of Finance and who don’t have any relevant previous experience. Don’t overcomplicate things and try to show off your technical skills, as the interviewer will jump on the opportunity to go down that convoluted road. Keep it simple, keep it friendly and you will do just fine.