I was interviewed on-campus
Resume Shortlist Group Discussion Technical Interview HR Interview
The company followed a resume based shortlisting and as far as I remember, the criteria they followed was to shortlist everybody with a CPI of > 8.5 . Also, they had shortlisted some candidates based on any background in finance (intern/projects). Many Maths and Economics students were shortlisted for this reason. (This was their first time in IIT Kanpur. So, I won’t be surprised if they vary their shortlisting methods).
Group Discussion Topic
Hangman’s Justice : Is it fair?
1. There were 14 people in total and 5 were selected from my group.
2. Evident from the number 14, the size of the discussion was too huge. It was going too haywire and some really good ELS people were a part of the discussion.
3. The only reason I got selected was maybe because I was the only person who was stating points in favor of Capital Punishment whereas everyone else was against it or maybe because of my resume.
(A thing to point out is that there were only 2 GDs and many people were stuck in some other companies. So, later many shortlisted people (who missed the GD) approached the Credit Suisse HR with the resumes, and were allowed to appear for the interviews.)
- Question 1: Introduce yourself?
- Question 2: Intern-based questions
- Question 3: Draw the payoff curves of a Call Option and Put Option
- Question 4: Simple questions on arbitrage opportunities in Futures and Options
1. Panel was of 2 Senior managers from Prime Services, Mumbai and lasted for 25 minutes.
2. It was my first proper finance interview of the day, and was a bit nervous. Entered the room, was greeted by 2 young people who introduced themselves and started with ‘Is Kanpur always so cold ? ’. They made me comfortable by asking about the campus and stuff, and then asked me to introduce myself.
3. At the end of the description, I was asked about Antaragni, how big it is and where it stands next to Moodi (they were IITB alums you see).
4. Then they asked me to describe my work at Morgan Stanley in detail. The good thing was that one of them was from Credits (deals with credit instruments – CDS, Bonds), which was exactly my group in MS. So, I could easily get into the technicalities of my paper, and they really seemed impressed and asked more and more.
5. This went on for around 15 minutes. After this one saw one of them whispering in the other person’s ear (and I understood that they are strongly in for me ).
6. I was asked which companies I was interviewing with and what my preference was, and I seemed to convince them about my interest in Credit Suisse citing it was the second company I was interviewing with in the day :P.
7. Finally they asked me if I have any knowledge in finance, which was an obvious yes, they asked me to draw the payoff curves of a Call Option and Put Option (which was cakewalk for anybody who has read the first few chapters of Hull).
8. I was then asked a few simple questions on arbitrage opportunities in Futures and Options, which I successfully answered.
- Question 1: If there was a hole of dimension x on a beach, how much sand does it contain?
- Question 2: If there were 5 people sitting in a room and each thinks of some number, how could they find the average without telling each other the explicit numbers?
- Question 3: Find the expected number of coin tosses to get 3 consecutive heads?
- Question 4: Estimate the number of street lamps in Kanpur?
1. The panel was of 1 Manager from London office, 1 equities lady and 1 Head from Mumbai and lasted for 45 minutes.
2. Before entering, the HR seemed pissed off with me because I told them earlier that I would be back around 9.30 A.M. Citing several lame excuses like the companies did not let me go and pleading guilty, I entered the room.
3. Was greeted by three people who sat far apart, and they asked me to introduce myself. I started, was confused whom to look at (remember they were far apart :p), and started about myself.
4. They asked me about my internship at Morgan Stanley, was asked about my paper, but they didn’t want me to get into technical details.
5. After a brief description, suddenly the person from London started firing puzzles at me.
6. Then the lady asked me to estimate the number of street lamps in Kanpur. I started with the road length and some other statistics of Kanpur and classifies the roads based on : highways/main roads/lane roads and dusty roads, and assumed street lamps at different intervals for all of them, and then satisfactorily came to a result.
7. They guided me all through, whenever I asked them if this assumption was right or not. Then when I thought the interview had ended, the London guy through a peace of folded paper at me and told that I was a marketing person, and was supposed to sell this to them. (I thought where had I landed into :P ) .
8. I started off telling that the paper was special and had no creases on them, in-spite of how much you fold them. I was asked to think of something more innovative, and then I told them that the paper could be recycled over and over again and it was something that a pulp manufacturing company in U.S. had patented, and I had brought it specially for them.
9. After a bit more persuasions, this seemed conclusive and they moved on.
10. I was then asked to make a choice between Credit Suisse and DB then and there. (They somehow had come to know that I already had an offer from DB ).
11. I tried convincing them on why I wanted to join Credit Suisse, making an emphasis on their campus ppt, which was easily the best after the Goldman Sachs one. The discussion went on into different aspects from why I chose IITK over IITB and then if I had an offer from the top 5 Wall Street Banks, which one would I choose.
I have watched this year’s placement process very closely and would like to point out a few things to the readers, which are very important.<br />
1. Be Realistic : This is perhaps one of the most important factors in the placements. I have seen so many people expect so much from them and when they don’t get shortlisted somewhere, it’s the end of the world for them. You must understand that there are certain limitations on you because of your CV till date (however intellectual or Bakait you might me). The key to this is be realistic, like Being a person from MME or BSBE, its actually difficult for you to crack a quant firm like Goldman/Morgan because of your curriculum here (however good you might be at Algos or Maths), the good thing is to accept it. Not having tremendous peaks in your resume will in not place you among the 20 shortlisted in BCG for instance. So, on a very serious note, everyone knows inside out what he/she is capable of, so please be realistic in your ambitions and try to excel in the options you have. Believe me, the goals may not be sky-high, but definitely are achievable.<br />
2. Resume : Over the years, all the firms tell us that IITB/D resumes are well made than IITK ones. Get some of the resumes from your friends over there, ask some of your IITK seniors for their resume, SPO is always there to help you out. But Please denote at least 2 weeks in preparing your master resume and sub-resumes for every company.<br />
3. PPTs : Try and attend the PPTs of the companies. You can actually get to know a lot about the work culture there and what is expected of you in your initial years. It will help you decide if this is actually the thing for you or not.<br />
4. Don’t Speculate : During October-Nov. , most of the students actually waste a lot of efforts in just speculating ‘Yaar yeh company toh ise le hi legi’. Believe me , it happens a lot, confuses you and wastes a lot of your time (especially if you are a 4 Year student.)<br />
5. DPC : Please form a good DPC at least for your own sake. Yes maybe the post might not be of value, but a hard working student can make a lot of difference to his department placements. You cannot expect the OPCs to call in every company of your department.
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