Investment Banking Coffee Chat Questions

I’m starting to reach out to ppl and have secured a few coffee chats with BBs, IBD.

What are good things to ask in a coffee chat or networking session, with someone (say an analyst/associate) that you have no connection to? Aka not a warm connection.

I know a lot of these conversations just involve people skills, i.e appearing engaged in the conversation, etc, and it’s definitely an art. But question wise, this is something I can easily prepare. Any tips or good questions that you’ve found lead to more meaningful conversations? Also anything in general to put on a good impression at a coffee chat?

Mod Note (Andy): #TBT Throwback Thursday – this was originally posted on 10/08/14. To see all of our top content from the past, click here.

What to Ask in Phone Chat Informational Interview?

When going through an informational interview, whether in person or on the phone, it is important to spend time getting to know the firm your coffee date works for and their experience in the industry. However, you also want to make sure that you learn a bit about them personally in order to connect on a more human level.

Below you can find a list of boiler plate, standard questions you can ask during an informational interview:

  • Why did you choose to work for Morgan Stanley?
  • What led you to a career in investment banking?
  • What has been your favorite experience in investment banking thus far? / Favorite deal?
  • What surprised you the most about starting full time when compared to your intern experience (note: question to be asked to a junior employee)
  • What do you think makes Morgan Stanley unique?
  • Why did you choose to work in industrials at MS?
  • What advice do you have for someone going through the networking / interview process during college?
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Note: Make sure that you do not ask technical questions or ask a question that seems out of place simply for the purposes of sounding smart. It will come across as aggressive and showy and that will not be looked upon favorably.

Connecting with Professionals During an Informational Coffee Chat?

Once you have spent some time working through the above questions (or similar topics) you will want to steer the conversation into a more personal area. Try and find a way to connect with the professional on a personal level so that you will seem more human and you’ll be more memorable to the professional (and therefore they will be more willing to help you.)

You should do some pre-reading on the professional to see if they have any well-established hobbies or interests that can be found through some social media / LinkedIn stalking. You can then steer the conversation in that direction especially if they have any unique hobbies or interests that you can relate to. Do not fabricate an interest in something just because you know the professional has that interest.

You can learn more about coffee chats and networking with the below video.

Read More About Networking on WSO

  • How To Write Second Email To Request Informational Interview?
  • Who Is Supposed To Buy Coffee On Coffee Chats?
  • What Do You Even Do During Coffee Chats?

Preparing for Investment Banking Interviews?

The WSO investment banking interview course is designed by countless professionals with real world experience, tailored to people aspiring to break into the industry. This guide will help you learn how to answer these questions and many, many more.

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Investment Banking Interview Course Here