The process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Citi in November 2011.
Interview Details – As I am a student in America, but was interviewing for a Tokyo position, most of the interviews were over the phone. They were very simple "fit" interviews asking about my experiences at school and on teams.
I then visited reps at a job fair who worked in the Tokyo office. They took all of the candidates, both interns and full-time, out to a fancy dinner. I suppose the dinner was again to see how we interacted with each other and with the reps...again, "fit" stuff.
Last interview was a pretty formal interview with the same guys I had had dinner with the night before. There were no real technical questions. They formatted the interview in such a way that went along with my major at school. I am an economics/poli-sci major, so they asked me a lot of questions about what I thought of the Asian market. It was VERY wide-open stuff like, "What do you think of China's political system? How does it affect its economic system?"
All in all, I felt that a lot of the process was more of a fit issue.
In terms of advice: if you are applying to an overseas position, your interest in the job and interest in the region will be far more important than your technical skills. Even if you have a 4.0 from Harvard in finance or whatever, you won't get a position in Tokyo or Hong Kong if you have no real interest in working in that environment.
I speak Japanese and go to an okay school (UCBerkeley), but was not chosen. My assumption is that it simply came down to "fit" as that was the main focus of the process. On the other hand, it could very well have been that they weren't actually hiring interns this year because of the bad economy. Some firms are still interviewing people without any real positions being there.
Interview Question – What do you think about China's economy?....ok, now tell me everything you just said in Japanese :D Answer Question
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