TMT is the best place to be in banking, but it’s also both the most competitive and misunderstood…
It’s no secret that the most popular coverage group among banking candidates for the past decade has been TMT.
This is for good reason, of course. TMT groups are now almost universally the largest coverage group within major investment banks, and they usually bring in both the most deal flow and (importantly) the most deal fees.
However, as the popularity of TMT has grown over the past decade, so too has the difficulty of breaking in as a summer analyst, summer associate, or full-time analyst.
Whether you’re applying specifically to a TMT role or have a generalist offer and are looking to be placed into a TMT group, the bar will unequivocally be set higher for you than for those looking to get into other coverage groups.
Here’s what will really be expected of you…
Because TMT is by far the most popular coverage group in banking, there needs to be a way to differentiate between all the candidates that are being looked at.
...This is particularly an issue for those interviewing for summer analyst roles. As recruiting now takes place so early that candidates often have few experiences to really speak about on their resumes.
So, the two ways that interviewers try to differentiate between candidates and choose who to give offers to is by:
1. Asking TMT-specific questions to figure out if the interviewee is really interested in TMT, or if they just want to join the most popular coverage group, or...
2. Asking advanced technical interview questions that go beyond what is contained in the "traditional" banking prep guides that everyone uses to prepare.
The rationale behind the first point above is quite obvious: the world of TMT is unbelievably diverse. You’ll be covering everything from semiconductor companies to IT services companies to radio broadcasters to tower operators and beyond.
Those interviewing you want to ensure that you understand and appreciate this diversity. Because if you’re just interested in TechCrunch-featured SaaS companies then you may be a bit disgruntled or jaded when you’re working 90-hours a week on a large convergent telecom deal.
The rationale behind the second point above is also quite obvious: since almost all interviewees have prepared from the same IB prep guides, they all know how to answer the classic technical questions.
Because of this, the technical accounting and valuation questions asked in interviews have needed to become quite a bit harder over the past few years to ensure that not all candidates are answering all of the questions correctly.
The reality is that TMT interviews have begun to emphasize TMT-specific questions and harder technicals out of necessity.
...Because at the end of the day the best way to differentiate between candidates is by saying, “This candidate answered all the answers correctly, and all the other candidates got at least a few questions wrong”. This gets around the messy arguments that can occur after a superday about who really has the best fit.
When we went through our summer analyst interviews a few years ago, this trend toward asking tougher questions was beginning to accelerate.
…Luckily we got through our banking interviews. But we always thought that there should be some kind of interview guide that gave a practical (but not overwhelming) introduction to TMT M&A, and that would go over the toughest technicals you could possibly be asked. Because we both went through a lot of unnecessary stress wondering what we didn’t know, instead of focusing on just studying for our interviews and gaining confidence.
So, we decided to create proper interview-style TMT guides that would teach candidates everything they needed to know…
When we were brainstorming how best to get folks who were interested in TMT M&A up-to-speed, we wanted to ensure that we gave the contextual understanding needed without overwhelming folks with details that would never possibly come up in any kind of interview setting.
We wanted to create something that you could get through in a reasonable amount of time, but that would also give you a level of understanding that would make interviewers wonder how you knew so much.
So, we decided to create three dedicated guides for the three areas that make up TMT banking: tech, media, and telecom. Instead of just writing some generic 10- or 20-page primers on these areas, we decided to break everything down in an interview-style Q&A format (partly because some of the questions we go over are actually routinely asked in interviews).
However, as we mentioned earlier, TMT interviews also tend to include some of the hardest technical interview questions that aren’t found in the traditional guides that everyone uses to prepare for interviews.
We decided that if we are going to try to prepare people specifically interested in the most competitive group in banking, we better go over some of these more advanced technical questions too.
So, that’s exactly what we did. We put together over 130 of some of the hardest technical interview questions you could possibly be asked. And because these are more “advanced” questions, we really tried to take time to explain the concepts behind them and not just give you the answer (as a result, almost all of the answers are half-a-page or more).
Note: We skip over most of the basic technical interview questions that you could still be asked in an interview, because those are all covered in the traditional IB interview guides out there. So, if you do not already have a solid foundation in banking technicals, some of these more advanced technicals that we cover may be a bit overwhelming.
Here’s exactly what we’ve put together…
When we first decided to create something specifically for those looking to break into TMT, we figured maybe we’d put together a little guide with fifty or sixty questions and answers in total.
...But when it was all said and done, we ended up with just over 300 questions and answers spanning across five separate guides.
However, we aren’t too many years removed from when we interviewed ourselves. So, we ruthlessly cut out things that you didn’t really need to know for interview purposes and instead kept just what we thought would really impress your interviewer and make you stand out from the rest of the candidates.
Telecom Interview Guide (52 Q&A)
Telecom is a fascinating and highly underrated area of banking. In this 34-page guide we cover everything from valuing towers, how to think about WACC vs. ROIC, and recent deals that have shaped the industry.
Tech Interview Guide (76 Q&A)
At most banks, there will be more tech deal flow than telecom or media. In this 42-page guide we get into the weeds on everything from SaaS-metrics to wafer size trends in the semiconductor industry.
Media Interview Guide (42 Q&A)
Media M&A activity has skyrocketed in recent years. In this 26-page guide we cover everything from how streaming services are competing through acquisitions to novel EBITDA addbacks.
Advanced Accounting Guide (41 Q&A)
In this 22-page guide, we cover some of the most difficult accounting technicals in painstaking detail. From how deferred revenue and DTAs intersect to the mechanics of spinning off divisions.
Advanced Valuation Guide (90 Q&A)
In this 52-page guide, we cover the trickiest valuation questions (including paper LBOs). Questions are broken down into six sections: DCFs, Enterprise Value, Merger Models, General Valuation, and LBOs.
Pitch Decks and Other Fun Stuff
Finally, we've also put together a few dozen files relating to various TMT deals. Included are old decks from Evercore, PJT, etc. so you can see how things are presented practically, along with some activist hedge fund presentations.
Needless to say, these guides aren’t for everyone…
All the guides were created with a singular goal in mind: to help you break into TMT banking by making you truly stand out in interviews.
Everything that we’ve put into the guides revolves around preparing you for interviews. Either by providing you questions that you’ll be directly asked in interviews, or providing you questions that will help build your contextual understanding of TMT so that you can casually show off your broader industry knowledge in an interview.
In interviews we have always found that you can somehow just tell when someone understands the coverage group their professing to have an interest in. Absolutely no one expects an interviewee to be an expert, but having a general level of understanding somehow just bleeds through in an interview.
So, these guides were specifically created for:
• Those preparing for summer analyst interviews who want to land in TMT.
• Those preparing for summer associate interviews who want to land in TMT.
• Those preparing for full-time interviews without any prior experience in TMT.
• Those just looking for more advanced IB technical questions (because the 130+ technical IB questions we provide are mostly industry agnostic).
But there are some groups who these guides may not be right for:
• Those looking for in-depth coverage of specific areas of TMT. Because the reality is that with TMT being so vast, we couldn't create dozens of questions dedicated to every TMT sub-sector (as that would require creating thousands of questions and would take you weeks to get through).
• Those looking for detailed sub-sector models. Because while we touch a bit on what models are used and the key multiples you need to know, more in-depth modeling knowledge is simply never going to come up in interviews so we don’t digress into that.
Of course, part of the reason why we created this site is to share content freely with those interested in TMT banking.
So, if you want a feel for the type of questions contained in the guides, you can just poke around all the TMT interview questions we’ve covered elsewhere on this site as they are all similar to those contained in the guides themselves.
If you’re interested in TMT banking, here’s how to get access to the guides…
To be honest, there’s a reason why no one has ever created something like this before: TMT interview guides are such a niche product that you can’t possibly make a meaningful amount of money from selling them unless you charge hundreds of dollars.
...However, we aren’t interested in trying to make much money from these guides or in trying to turn this all into an actual business of some kind.
We created this all for fun. We’ve loved putting this all together and it’s been incredibly rewarding to see how what we’ve created has helped people.
The price we charge is purely to compensate us a bit for all the time we’ve put into creating these guides, keeping them relatively updated, and paying for web hosting costs.
...Which should be pretty obvious because you can get immediate access to all of these guides for less than most books cost (and for just a fraction of what traditional IB guides are sold for).
We’re incredibly proud of what we’ve created here. These are the exact set of guides we wish we had before our own banking interviews.
...In retrospect, if we had guides like these it would have made the entire process much less stressful and given us much more confidence in our interviews (because we both were incredibly paranoid about being asked about some area of TMT we didn’t even know existed during our interviews).
Further, over the past few years we’ve seen a number of promising interviewees get caught off guard by being asked more advanced technical questions that are outside of the traditional guides they’ve studied from. Through the 130+ advanced technicals we've created, hopefully we can fill in the gaps that may exist in your technical knowledge.
Anyway, there’s no big sales pitch here. We aren’t charging hundreds of dollars and making bold promises. We just put this all together because we found it fun (which is somewhat embarrassing to admit), and because we think it’ll be helpful.
If you’re at all interested in TMT, or even if you just enjoy going through more advanced banking technicals, we think you’ll love what we’ve created.
Ryan & Zach
P.S. – If you order the guides and end up not finding value in them then we’ll refund your order with no questions asked. Fortunately, everyone seems to love and appreciate what we’ve put together here. But if you don’t, that’s no problem at all.
P.P.S – After ordering you’ll immediately be e-mailed a password to the members area where you can read all the guides and look over the other content we put in there.
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