The Best Book on Investment Banking Careers

by Donna Khalife

What's in the book?

Donna Khalife, an experienced former JP Morgan investment banker, shares her strategies for landing prestigious investment banking jobs.

    • Insider experiences, tips, and advice on how to get an investment banking job
    • Interviewing tips for internships and jobs, including lists of interview questions
    • Examples of creating strong and direct resumes and cover letters
    • Detailed examination of an investment banking career path
    • Exclusive recruitment tips and secrets




Starting a career in investment banking is no easy feat. With intense competition, high pressure, and limited positions, this career option is often difficult to access. Fortunately, there are several concrete and structured processes that can help any candidate shine in their interview and land that investment banking job. Whether you’re an undergraduate prepping for your first internship, or seeking a new career in investment banking, knowing the ins and outs of the industry can help you make your big break. In this eBook, Donna Khalife shares an insider’s perspective to the investment banking industry and helps prepare readers for their chance at landing their dream job.


Donna Khalife is a natural teacher with formal experience in training, coaching, and mentoring. After reading a number of guides and speaking to admissions officers, she was accepted to her first choice business school. Harvard, and ranked top of her investment banking class four years in a row. After receiving her MBA, Donna went on to work on Wall Street for J.P. Morgan Chase, where she was promoted to Associate despite the economic crisis and the firm’s downsizing.

Currently, Donna acts as head and founder of Khalife consulting, specializing in business school and college admissions as well as career counseling. Her services include application help, essay critique, resume evaluation and editing, interview prep and counseling on choice of school. In addition, Donna interviews candidates applying to Harvard, and is thus familiar with the way admissions committees think. Donna’s vast experience helps her to provide advice on:

  • Getting a job in Finance: Investment Banking / Private Equity / Hedge Funds
  • Getting into your dream school (business school or undergraduate)
  • Getting top ranking in your Investment Banking internship or job
  • Making the right career decisions and transitions
  • Business writing and effective communication skills (taught a training class on Wall Street)
  • Making your busy job work for you (time management, work/life balance, team dynamics, difficult managers, seeking/giving feedback)

Many of the above topics will be covered in this very book.


When it comes to the interview, you can expect at least two rounds. First, there is a campus interview, for 12 to 25 students over a day or two. They are usually conducted by alumni on campus, and you may likely be interviewed by two recruiters at the same time for this first round. Come to an interview prepared for the questions you know they will ask, and be sure to include personal information you would like to impart to them. Act the part, both in attire and mannerisms. Most of all, take control of the interview, and show them that you are a perfect fit for the job.

From the initial pool, the recruiters will then select as little as one candidate or as many as five—depending on their need and the quality of the candidates. When I recruited for analyst positions, I once had to make 16 rejection calls and only one invitation for a second round. (The Vice President got to make the invitation and I was stuck with all the rejections!) It was an unpleasant task, but I learned that a bank will never extend second round invitations to students who do not meet the necessary quality standards. A bank can always find qualified candidates elsewhere. Don’t simply compare yourself to your peers; compare yourself to the entire pool of applicants.

Students who are invited to a second round will typically attend a “Superday” at the company’s headquarters. The superday interview determines whether you can get the work done and how you stack up against candidates from other schools. The day consists of a morning or afternoon where you will meet one-on-one with four interviewers and enjoy a breakfast or lunch with the other candidates and some bankers. During the downtime before your interview, you will have the opportunity to talk with other candidates and young alumni. This is your last chance to ask any pressing questions you may have before you show off your expertise in finance, banking, and management.

Letter From The Author

Dear Reader, I wrote this guide as a way to share the inside scoop and give you the real deal (pun intended!) about getting a job in investment banking. When I was preparing my application years ago, I remember having to scour a number of conflicting sources and wishing that someone would just be brutally honest about the job and how to break in. Other books on the subject are written from the viewpoint of career advisors who have never been on the inside. As someone who has applied to the analyst position from a non-traditional school, advised peers at the post-MBA level, and formally recruited both analysts and associates from various backgrounds, I have been on all sides of the fence. I know the struggles of being a student and desperately wanting to launch your career with a desirable and highly competitive position. I also know the tactics that investment bankers employ to make sure they are hiring the best and the brightest. In this book, you will learn the truth about what goes on inside the recruiting process. You will get actionable and honest advice about how to land a job in this rewarding field. I will also share stories from the battleground to help you decide if this is the right path for you and help you become a star performer once you get the offer and join the team. Please feel free to contact me with comments or to schedule a private coaching session at I wish you all the best, and hope you carry some piece of this advice with you on your journey wherever it takes you. Best of luck, Donna Khalife

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