Quant analyst

Quant analyst Interview Questions and Tips

1

Fractal Analytics quant analyst interview

9.9k views
Aditya GuptaFresherSelected
Application
I was interviewed on-campus at IIT Kanpur for Quant analyst role at Fractal Analytics
Interview Process
Group Discussion Stress Interview
Round 1

Group Discussion

Duration
15-20 Minutes
Group Discussion Topic
The Color Green
Interview Experience
I had a pretty difficult group with all the stalwarts of the batch in a single group discussion as mine. However, the vagueness of the topic evened out everything. It was 5:30 in the morning and I could clearly see people making stupid mistakes in the group discussions. In the 15 min GD, I just gave 3-4 good points and pointed out a few errors and digressions in the GD and I went through easily. The strength of GD was 12 students.
Interview Tips
First and foremost, you can't get bogged down in a GD. That is NOT an option. You have to speak and speak sense. In a high pressure situation like that of placements, there is high likelihood of the GD becoming a fish market but then that's the perfect opportunity to be  moderator and earn points. It might seem impossible but if you just un-follow the general herd the rest of it is going to be pretty clear. Watch a few good soap/movie characters before you get into a GD. The temporary effect of these would be enough for you to last in a GD.
Round 2

Stress Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: Let me give the whole description as I did on Quora. Please read the experience part for the details of the interview
Interview Experience
This is one of my Interviews with Credit Suisse at IITK in Dec'12. There were two interviewers and it was supposedly a stress interview. In my opinion the most interesting interview is a stress interview which in IIT's was I think made most popular by Future's First. At first they were not so common but these days they have become quite common. Here is my experience:

Gentleman Interviewer: I don't have much time for greetings take your seat and give me your resume and introduce yourself in not more than 30 secs. from now.

To this I gave my prepared answer which every aspirant prepares for placement.

Lady Interviewer: Your resume is full of research. Please give me a good reason why do you want to work for a finance firm and please tell me you have some knowledge of finance or are you just another engineer? You got 120 secs for this.

Me: I wont take 120 secs ma'm. I never got an opportunity to expand myself into finance either through courses or practical learning. I did my best in whatever opportunities I got. I am also telling you that I dont know anything about finance. I didn't bother to read up at the last minute so that I could impress you. Half-knowledge is anyways dangerous. I rely on your comprehensive training program to give me the required tools in finance. All I can tell you is that I do well in whatever is given to me be it making tea or trading millions. (All prepared answers based on resume which generally students prepare for commonly asked q's)

Gentleman Interviewer: How are you so sure you will get to our training programme?

Me: I am not sure about getting there but what I am confident of is the fact that once I go through it I will be an asset for Credit Suisse.

Lady Interviewer: What is the best thing you like about CS?

Me: The fact that we are asked to work almost 12-15 hrs. a day. I only wish to learn as of today and can't sit free. The life I have lived at IITK, this is a perfect continuation and in accordance to what I want for myself.

LI: There are 5 different bags of gold coins. All of them have 10gm gold coins except for 1 which has gold coins of 9gm. Using 1 measurement identify the bag.

Its a general puzzle which I had already seen so I explained it to her.

GI: You already knew this didn't you? Why did you waste our time?

Me: I wasn't trying to show you that I can solve this but I was trying to show you how I would talk to a client and give him information that he/she already knows which happens a lot in this profession.

GI: Okay 20 secs. How do you kill a giraffe?

Me: I cut his knees and leave him to bleed to death.

LI: So you are a liar and a murderer too. Just kidding am not really amused that you magaed to answer that one so quickly.

Me: I believe in having a killer instinct not really murder tricks.....

After this the lady started smiling a bit finally but the gentleman was still not in a mood to let me go. He took my resume and crumbled it and threw it on my face.

GI: That ws a piece of scrap for me so I threw it at you as I wasn't very happy with it. You have one last chance. Sell that piece of paper to me in the next 120 secs.

I panicked a bit but then started.

Me: Sir, this piece of paper is one of the best qualities you will find at the most reasonable rate. Its various uses even include writing on it with a ball point pen which you can get along with this by just paying a rupee extra. You can write a letter to your loved one on this, enclose some rose petals into it and throw it on your supposed girlfriend like old bollywood style and just win her over all for just 5 rupees!
(Both the interviewers seemed to be of the age group 25-30. Keeping that in mind I took a hunch and gave such an answer. It actually worked! Both of them couldn't resist their smiles)

LI: Can you do it a little more professionally and less dramatic?

Me: Ma'm I see you have a fountain pen. Can I borrow it? (She gave it to me)

I took the fountain pen and blotted the whole scrambled piece of paper with the ink. As a result of which a beautiful design came out on it luckily.

Me: Now if I put a frame to this will you buy it for a meagre amount of Rs. 30? (She nodded) As you see ma'm, I have used a paper worth 25 paise, Ink worth 2.50 rupees and I will put this paper in a frame of say 20 rupees which brings my CP to 22.75 and I will sell it to you for 30 rupees thereby earning a profit of 30% myself and make a buisness out of it if you throw more pieces at me. I added value to the scrap you gave me and explained my profit on it, I hope that makes it a little professional!

Finally both of them started smiling and told me that they were impressed. Then we had a general converstion where they explained to me that I need to contact them off-campus as they want to hire me for some other post which they haven't advertised in the on-campus recruitments. But I recieved an offer from Schlumberger in the evening and according to SPO rules I couldn't go for CS then. So I had to give up. But it was the most interesting interview I ever blasted. It even bettered the ones I had during the hospi interviews in my first year!
Interview Tips
Within 2-5 minutes you will realize whether you are in a stress interview or not. Once you realize its a stress interview, you need to calm down and realize that its not necessary to give satisfactory answers to every question(in case you do that you know you are selected!), keep smiling and break the interviewer down because that is when you will win and truly crack it. Take deep breaths, slow down the time, take as much time as you want and not as much being given to you. Nothing is binding. In case you know its a stress interview impending get into a personality mode where you become super confident even when you don't know everything. That'll help.
Skills

Skills Tested

  • Calmness
  • Patience
  • Responsiveness
  • Communication
Skill Tips
Keep calm and respond sensibly like you always do.
Resources

Preparation materials

Videos
  • Ironman-1&2 :),
General Tips
Its not the bookish knowledge that you are tested on. Sometimes its just about who you really are!
Motivation for applying
Interest in working in the finance domain
Funny Moments
I went into the interview straight out of 36 hours of being awake. There was a different kind of hormonal flow insomnia has and I was high on Ironman movies. It all combined to give a lethal combination. I never expected to crack the interview but I still did somehow and the funniest part is I never joined.... :)
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2

Goldman Sachs quant analyst interview

18k views
AnonymousFresherSelected
Application
I was interviewed on-campus for Quant Analyst role at Goldman Sachs
Interview Process
Test Technical Interview Technical Interview Technical Interview
Round 1

Test

Duration
90 + 90 Minutes
No. of Questions
30objective+9ubjective questions
Test Sections
  • Section 1: MCQ Objective - Math + Probability (10 ques), Computer Algorithms and Data Structure based (10 ques), Data Science Section(10 ques)
  • Section 2: Subjective Questions, 3 per section based on the above three divisions only
Interview Experience
The questions in the objective section for Maths + Probability were comparatively easy. If you have prepared well for quant related topics, you can do well in this section.
As far as Data Structure section is concerned, it is necessary for you to score good in that part also, so do give equal importance to related study too. The third section, based on Data Science is generally very difficult, if seen from a non-CSE point of view. So, try scoring average in the algorithms, and really good in quant, to get through. One important point - all subjective papers are not considered. Consider objective as the first level of shortlisting, and then only people scoring well in objectives, are considered for subjective correction. So, performing well in objective is also necessary.
The subjective section is comparatively tough. Three questions were asked, each in the above mentioned three sections. Again, third section seemed very vague to me ( as I was unable to solve any question in it :P ). I did descent in the first section, and pretty well in the quant section to get shortlisted.
Interview Tips
Rigorous study of quant stuff like Probability, and Combinatorics is very helpful. Questions are many a times Maths Olympiad level problems. So, practicing similar problems can be of great help. Do read concepts like Linear Algebra, Differential Equation, and other similar topics that are taught to us in our initial engineering years. It' necessary that you brush up these concepts, as questions might directly come based on finding the rank, solving some differential equation or conceptual application of eigenvalues and eigenvectors.
Round 2

Technical Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: Multiple questions - Questions are mostly interviewer specific
Interview Experience
I don't exactly remembered the question, but I had my first three interviews, immediately, one after the other, although lasting for a total of 45-50 minutes together. The questions tested concepts related to Probability (distributions and normal random variables in specific), a few basic concepts based on stationary distribution, and basic Algorithms and coding, so that they can make sure that I have some basic knowledge of coding, not thorough though. I had answered almost all, though I had faultered a bit in the coding part, and the interviewer helped me to figure out, where I was going wrong.
Interview Tips
Its good again, to be thorough with your quant section, as there will be nothing that will come out of the box. Although the questions will require you to think from the basics and use relevant concepts. Topics in Probability, such as conditional expectation are generally left out in basic probability courses and then not touched upon, so go through them in detail.
Round 3

Technical Interview

Interview Experience
An hour after the first three interviews, I had my fourth interview. I was asked a question based on probability, and a question based on Euclid's subtraction algorithm in this interview. I answered both, one with a bit of help though.
Round 4

Technical Interview

Interview Experience
I was again tested on my conceptual understanding of probability and conditional expectations, and fluency in coding and algorithm related problems. I was able to answer all the questions I faced in this interview.
Interview Tips
Same as before. Be sure to brush up your algorithms, and coding skills before the interview. (I was unable to solve the coding question in the first interview, only because I had forgotten, what traversals are :P). Go through the materials provided below, and stay confident in the interview. The people who sit on the other side of the table, are just like us, previous year IIT graduates, and they will never make you feel uncomfortable. As a result, I'd suggest not to feel uncomfortable at all, and be confident over whatever you have studied. They emphasize majorly on concepts and tech-related part. One last thing - Be thorough with your resume, almost every interviewer asked me questions related to my resume, and I answered them with ease, as I had prepared really well for the resume.
Skills

Skills Tested

  • Probability Concepts
  • Algorithms And Data Structures
  • Quant+Math
Skill Tips
Its good if you start going through the materials for the above topics, well in advance.
Resources

Preparation materials

Books
  • 40 Puzzles In Mathematical Probability And Statistics,
  • Peter Winkler Puzzles Connoisseur Collection,
  • 50 Challenging Puzzles In Probability,
  • Heard On The Street,
General Tips
I would just say, that this is one of the companies, where it is not necessary for you to be a very high pointer to get in. Study well and perform well in the test, your resume does not matter much after that. You just have to go in the interview and stay consistent. The interviewers too, are very friendly and helpful, they are just IIT Alums only, and help you out really well with problems, if you get stuck in the interviews. So, just be strong with your concepts and problem solving skills. Do see questions like those mentioned on the cseblog, specially the ones under the head, probability. They were really helpful in developing a few concepts.



Just be confident with your preparation, and trust yourself to the core. Self-belief and perseverance, were I guess, my key points to success.

Motivation for applying
Goldman Sachs is one of the best in the business, in its field. Since I always wanted to do something related to Maths in my life, except research, I decided to choose finance as the further career option. The best in the business seemed firms like Goldman Sachs, and WorldQuant, but CPI cutoff for WorldQuant was way above my CPI. So, Goldman Sachs seemed the last and the most suited option. (This was not my HR answer, please. A genuine 8-pointer answer it is :P )
Funny Moments
There were many:

(a) I was very depressed late in the evening, and I was almost certain that I haven't been selected. I was so frustrated after this, that I had told my mom dad that I have not made it through, and I was all set to leave the interview venue. I had almost entered the lift, when I found that my name was being called out there by the company officials. I was selected! :)



(b) I was so happy, listening to the news of my selection, that I did not listen for the next 2 minutes, what the person in front of me was telling me. He then asked me something in reply, and I was like, can you please repeat ? :P
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3

Goldman Sachs quant analyst interview

358 views
AnonymousFresherSelected
Application
I was interviewed on-campus for Quant Analyst role at Goldman Sachs
Interview Process
Resume Shortlist Test Technical Interview
Round 1

Resume Shortlist

Interview Experience
Mostly CS and Elec guys were selected with CGPA>8. For other departments they should have CGPA>9
Round 2

Test

Interview Experience
There were 3 sections.
1) Coding
2) Quant
3) Machine Learning

Prep material:
1) CSE Blog probability section is a must..
2) 50 questions, 40 questions is probabilty
3) gurmeet pzzles
4) geeks4geeks and creacking coding interview for algo

My prep material:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0ByKxHuncAN4HcENlWFJubUN1LWc
Interview Tips
Remember, you only have to do 1 or 2 section well. These sections are individually timed. So if you dont like ML and you want to spend more time in quant then, see the question in quant section, go to the ML section and solve it there, again come back to quant and mark the answer.

SO DONT FORGET TO SWITCH BETWEEN THE SECTIONS.

I'm sharing you a doc, which contains all the test questions asked by different companies (including goldman sachs) in different IITs. Just search "Goldman Sachs" in the doc and you'll find all the questions of the test. :)

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1w9-k8LZFc_U7iEu1MEvfVN8fi_oR5b7uKIl8WGrY240/edit
Round 3

Technical Interview

Interview Experience
There are different teams of GS that visit the campus. Based on your performance of the test, you're shortlisted for different teams.
Interview Tips
1) Stay calm
2) questions asked in interview are not difficult
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