As placements season draws near, it’s always a scramble to figure out how exactly to prepare for your interviews. And when you are interviewing in a completely new field like Finance, it’s even harder.
Based on my experience working and interviewing with these firms, I made a list of resources and some interview tips to help students prepare for Quant and Finance interviews. Many prop trading (eg KCG, SIG), quant trading (Two Sigma, Jane Street, WorldQuant) and market-making focused firms (Optiver, IMC, Flow, Akuna) follow this pattern. Please note, the pattern of interviews may change with time, it’s recommended to do your due diligence about the companies you are interviewing with.
Many companies like Optiver, IMC, WorldQuant like to do math or logic tests as their first step. The pattern varies by company, but the idea is to test your logical abilities.
Here are some online resources to practice:
These intend to test your motivation to join the firm and switch to finance. Most questions will be based on your resume, your projects (non-technical), what are your ambitions and life goals etc. Expect questions like why do you want to be a trader/quant/researcher? Why will you be a good trader? Why this company? and other similar questions to check for your motivation and if you are a good fit for the company.
Do your research on the company to understand their business and decide if there is a mutual fit. Make sure you go through company website and glassdoor to have a good understanding of the company and their culture for this round. Try to speak to a few employees/alumni of the company to understand their work environment.
These rounds test your math, analytical skills and logical reasoning abilities, interest in finance and maybe coding skills if relevant to the job. You are not expected to have a background in finance or any prior experience, however if you mention something of the sort on your resume, expect questions on it.
Questions will involve probability puzzles similar, stats/maths questions, logic puzzles, possible a simple trading exercise to check how quickly you learn new concepts. (Read about market-making games, how to make markets and trading games)
Also expect questions on current finance news, levels of major world indices, forex, major events that moved markets over the last year, what trade would you make in such and such situation etc.
Brush up on prob stats from college and practice! There are a lot of lot of online resources on this, attaching some below.
A few Blogs and websites to help
If you are interviewing with a company that looking for algorithmic traders, also expect interviews on algorithms and data structures (you will most likely be asked to write pseudo code).
If you have made it this far, they already like you and are looking for final red flags. This is mostly a personal fit interview to see if you will fit well with company culture. They might also test how you deal with stress, react to high-pressure situations, collaborate within a team etc.