- OCD's list of interview questions (sales & trading at the bottom).
- A list of Brainteasers. (Link will be updates over 2011 Summer)
- The Do's and Don'ts of Recruiting. (Link will be updates over 2011 Summer)
- Also, visit the Books & Reading List section.
Interviewing for a sales and trading position is different than interviewing for a position in any other industry. In Liar's Poker, Michael Lewis tells a story where traders would ask interviewees to open a window, which had been previously nailed shut. One interviewee was so exasperated that he tossed a chair through the window which was on the 43rd floor.
Things have changed since then -- somewhat. Interviewers will still test you to see how you handle stress, how well you understand the markets, why you want to work for their firm and why you want to work in sales and trading. Some interviews will be light and casual, while others could involve brainteasers or complex options questions.
The way to handle interviews is to prepare. Preparing includes:
- Subscribing to the Wall Street Journal and Barron's months before the interview and reading them every single day. Keep track of economic indicators and what they mean for the economy and the markets.
- Take the questions from the link above and form mock interview groups and GRILL each other. You should start doing this several weeks before your interview dates. You should spend several days doing these mock interviews for several hours at a time. Your final round of interviews could be all day, 5-7 interviews in a row.
- Meet and talk to people who work at the firm where you are interviewing. They can give you valuable insight into a firm.
- Think about why you want to be in this business. Know how to articulate that desire.
- You must know everything about that firm. What is its market cap? Stock price? Dividend rate? Who is the CEO/Chairman? What are its strengths?
- Being flexible. Many sales and trading programs are rotational, which means you'll be expected to have an open mind to different types of positions, markets and products.
- Don't pretend to be anything. Interviewers will have no patience for someone who attempting to deceive them, either in person or on their resume.
- Don't put anything on your resume that you can not actively discuss. For instance, if you ran convexity reports in a previous job, but really have no clue what convexity is, do not put it on your resume.
- Do not get discouraged. The recruiting and interviewing process is a roller coaster ride. Keeping your emotions on the sidelines will benefit you. Luck often plays a role in this process. You may meet someone with a similar background or from your hometown and that may get you into the second round. However, at other times, another interviewee may benefit from the same circumstances. Many times it is the luck of the draw. Just accept that for what it is.
- Be personal, but professional. Be your best self.