Monday, May 09, 2005

The Interview

I came back from the interview a few hours ago and it was a rather long one.
When I got back to my car I felt my chances of getting the job were under 30%.
Although on the phone it seemed the position was more admin than research, it looks like it was the other way around. It also seems, although they didn't come out and say it, that they are looking for a pre-MBA student (so someone who has graduated with a few years of experience already). I'm basing this on the fact that I met the other Research Assistant and he already worked at a mutual fund for a few years, finished the level 1 of the CFA, and is on level 2. It just seems like they want someone with more experience.

The Interview
I first met with the recruiter for about ten minutes and that went rather well. We got along, and she was friendly. I next interviewed with one of the research associates and he seemed like a really nice guy. He threw out some technical questions and I did okay, but I could have given better answers. I was nervous since this was my first big interview. I also screwed up on one technical question when my mind went blank- definitely got a good time!
We talked about stocks and I think I showed some of my stuff when I talked about Frontline (FRO) and LB.
Next I met with another associate and I stumbled through this interview. I answered his questions, but I wasn't too smooth. He threw me a few curveballs (name 3 weaknesses instead of one!), but I think I handled these fairly well.
Then, yes another interview, I interviewed with the other Research Assistant and this was okay. He was a friendly guy and we talked a little about books (he likes Damodaran, so we had something in common) and other types of books.
He answered some questions and I realized that the schedule of the job will be tough. Some of them get there at 4am, while the rest usually arrive at 5am. They are also sort of on call because, as one pointed out, if something big happens like an acquisition of one firm by another, they will go to the office (one was called in at 3am). It also seems like a job where some of them sleep there- I saw a few pillows! The days are usually 12 hours long. I definitely wouldn't mind this if it started later, but I think I can get used to an early schedule.
If they decide to continue the process, they will give me a call to go on another interview with the two senior research guys.

Lately, I haven't found too many decent jobs out there. The idea of moving to Chicago or NYC then look for a job has been entering my mind lately. It's risky, but life's about taking some risks.

Market: I'm not really sure what has happened today, I'll check it out in a bit- although I did notice LB was up another 4%, this stock is getting volatile!


JLP said...

Hey, good luck with the job search. You'll find one soon enough. Don't forget about all the mutual fund companies out there. They need assistants and researchers too! (Pardon me if I'm way off here. I haven't read your entire blog to know whether or not you covered this).

Anyway, best of luck to you.



Alpha said...


thanks for the comment! I'm definitely not going to forget about the mutual fund companies. There aren't too many in the bay area. I think Dodge & Cox has offices here, so I will try to get into there (they have a great reputation/records).

Anonymous said...

Blew my interview with Morgan Stanley. It hurt so bad cos I prepared 2 months and fantasized daily, even in my dreams. Good luck on attaining yours.