Thursday, 4 August 2011

The Hedge Fund Job Interview

I know the readership of this website includes partners in hedge fund management companies, but it has also attracted some people who are both relatively new to hedge funds and some looking to get into the hedge fund industry. So this article should work for both constituencies.

I came across some interview questions used by Lex Van Dam, who may be widely known for the tv programme "Million Dollar Trader", but who now runs his own small hedge fund company called Hampstead Capital. He was formerly a trader at Goldman Sachs and GLG Partners. Lex has been described as tough or brusque. When I have dealt with him he has been direct and commercial but polite. The directness of the questions are what an interviewee at a hedge fund may face because the people who run them often are strict over use of their time, as is Lex himself. The questions are biased towards hiring a trader for a hedge fund.  

a) To assess energy, drive, initiative
1.Why are you here?
2. How did you prepare for this interview?
3. What was on the front page of the FT today?
b) To assess personal growth and performance over time
4. Tell me about your job?
5. What could make you fail here?
c) To assess past accomplishments
6. What was the biggest success you had over the last 12 months?
7. What is the most pressure you have ever been under?
d) To assess problem solving skills
8 Is your intelligence above average? What percentage of people have above average intelligence?
9. Does the quality of your decision making improve under pressure?
10. How many buses are there in London?
11. What is 32*32? How confident are you about that answer?
12. How many degrees between the hands on the clock at 3.15?

e) To assess overall talent, technical competency and potential
13. What makes you a good trader?
14. What is the most money you have ever lost?
f) To assess management and organizational ability
15. If I gave you £100,000 what would you do with it?
16. What is the most difficult decision you ever had to make?

g) To assess team leadership and the ability to motivate others
17. Do you react better to compliments or criticism?
18. How do you deal with authority when you perceive them to be wrong?

h) To assess character - values, commitment, goals
19. What would you wear to the office?
20. How are you with money? Are you a big spender? Are you in debt?
21. Would you screw someone over to get ahead?

i) To assess personality and cultural fit
22. How do you measure success in your life?
23. Why should we hire you and not someone else?
24. If things go wrong do you tend to blame other people or take responsibility yourself?
25. How do you think the interview went? If you were me would you hire you?

Please feel free to add some questions of your own using the comments button below. The questions given here were disseminated on E-Financial News.


  1. Tks very much for your post.

    Avoid surprises — interviews need preparation. Some questions come up time and time again — usually about you, your experience and the job itself. We've gathered together the most common questions so you can get your preparation off to a flying start.

    You also find all interview questions at link at the end of this post.

    Source: Download Ebook: Ultimate Guide To Job Interview Questions Answers:

    Best rgs

  2. Such a nice information through this. And i hope this will let the people those who are ready to face the interview. And please keep update like this.

    Recruitment Consultancy in Bangalore