Monday, June 20, 2005

Recap on the first interview

I left early so I can get there in time and hopefully not have to deal with too much traffic. Well, there wasn't any traffic at all and I ended up getting there at 10am when my interview was at 11:30am! I ended up walking around downtown Oakland a bit and went up fifteen minutes early.
Just to recap: this was for the Junior Trader role. Basically the majority of the portfolio management duties are outsourced to other big firms. The PM's give their trade allocation and the traders go through with the trades. Then they also have to deal with new accounts, deposits, withdrawals, fixing any account problems, and other general things.

I meet with the first guy, the head trader, and he was nice. He talked to me about the firm in a general manner and then went through the details about the position. Next, I talked about my resume and the various internships I've had. He asked me if I had any questions, so I asked a few.

Then I met with two traders and they were really nice and friendly. We had a nice chat, basically about what they do and then they asked if I had any questions. I asked a few and so far I thought things were going pretty well.

I next met with the Vice President of one of the divisions and he talked to me about the firm and then went through my resume. The he also asked if I had any questions and I asked a few. Then I noticed he had a CFA designation, so I asked him a few questions about the test. He gave me some tips that I will definitely use.

The last guy I met was another senior guy and he was also really friendly. He talked to me about what the job is not about as well as more about the firm. He went over the resume and talked about the CFA (the company pays/reimburses for many of the CFA expenses). He then asked if I had any questions.

The running theme: they all asked if I had any questions. By the third guy I was running out of questions to ask! I knew about the position from the HR department (who answered some of my questions). Towards the end I was racing through all the types of questions I could ask. I also didn't want to ask the same questions, just in case they talked later on.

Overall, I think the interview went okay. The only problem I had is that I wish I asked more questions! I'm going to email the three main guys and the HR lady probably tonight (or tomorrow) to thank them.

Tomorrow I have the interview for the research assistant position.
Looking back, I think I do want to go more into trading first (then research later). There's a job in NYC that I'm going to apply for tonight.

If you have any suggestions about my questions problem, please leave a comment!


FMF said...

A few questions you can ask every person you meet with:

*What do you like about working here?

*What don't you like about working here?

*What do you see as the key qualities needed for someone to succeed in this position? (After they answer, tell them (using examples) that you have these qualities.)

Alpha said...


thanks for the suggestions. I actually used the first and third one (I just phrased it a bit differently).
I think just meeting with so many people threw me off a bit. I think next time I'll be more prepared. I'll search online for some typical questions to ask.