Remembering the priceless advice on posturing you were given, you decide that it’s time to take the game up by a notch or two. This is something that a Mont Blanc pen and a good suit alone cannot solve. This calls for creativity, out of the box thinking, and the use of your entire investment banking skill set. This will be where your financial modelling skills will come into play. All those hours spent sitting in front of your computer screen, negotiating with your excel spreadsheet in order to make a lemon look like a peach. All those hours are finally about to pay off, as you run through your genus plan.
Much like the fact that selling a company has very little to do with the crap shape it may be in today, but the promise of a wonder once the lucky buyer has acquired it (and gets stuck with it), your progressing up the investment banking ladder has nothing to do with you being a good banker. It actually has more to do with the perception that you are a good banker. And good bankers are in strong demand, so you must demonstrate that you, being the great banker that you are, are fighting offers for employment left, right and centre.
Now this has nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that you have none of these wonderful offers, nor are you close to getting one. However, just like a guy in a good suit is automatically an investment banker, a guy in a good suit coming late to the office on a regular basis, must be interviewing left right and centre. By the same token, if said banker is interviewing left right and centre, there must be people calling him for interviews and thus he must be in demand.
And if said banker is so highly sought after by the competition, well, the firm must do everything in their power to retain him and make him happy. The fact that the firm has not really found the said individual to be of such exceptional superstar fabric is of little relevance, as what is more frightening to any investment bank than making the wrong call, is if their competition makes the right call at their expense.
So, cutting a long story short, pretending to interview, and subtly dropping hints in the right place, at the right time, will get you junior support, an early promotion and the ability to cherry pick the deals you work on. All that, courtesy of the firm’s fear of erroneously having thought that you aren’t really that good.
To make it even better, the fact that you won’t really be interviewing, but still will be showing up late to work as if you had been interviewing, will mean that you will have reduced the amount of hours spent in the office! Bonus.
You smile quietly, amazed at the sheer genius of your plan. You also think yourself rather silly for having entertained the thought that you may not exactly be top tier banker material, for anyone devious enough to concoct a deception of this magnitude, was born to be an investment banker.