I have an interview for an operations position at a buy side investment management shop that is pretty large. Due to a lack of experience I am hoping to get my foot in the door by getting this operations spot that backs up the portfolio management and research groups. I know a lot of people say that this is a wrong way to try and do it but at this point I feel good about it because I met a few examples of people who have made the jump from ops to a different front office spot.

So, how do I ace this interview. I know about some operational stuff from a previous internship, but what sort of questions do I ask? How do I sound excited about the job and what how do I approach this? Not sure how to handle a different type of position interview when all I have ever been passionate about is equity/fixed income research which is where I hope this position leads me.

Thanks in advance!

Comments (9)


Don't tell them your goal is FO

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PM'ed you OP. Check it out please.

Also, might help if you explain more what the position entails rather than just Ops supporting PMs/research. Then people can give you a more appropriate idea of what to expect.

Frank Sinatra - "Alcohol may be man's worst enemy, but the bible says love your enemy."


Definitely show that you have a good understanding of the role you're applying for, and most critically, give good reasons why you're genuinely a perfect fit for it (and show your excitement). Don't make it seem like you want to use it as a stepping stone and are looking to switch to FO later.


If your goal is FO, then dont even apply for this. Because your resume is going to be stacked wiht Operations, and it wont work out too well. I was in FO at a HF last year when I was an intern, all the Ops kids were like you. They wanted to get into Ops so they can transfer to FO, its not only difficult, but if you show any interest in FO, you will not get an offer. There was an intern who got let go because he kept talking to the FO people instead of doing his job.


Thanks for the advice everyone. The issue is that I am a fresh graduate from a non-target that doesn't have a whole lot of networking. I have had one PWM internship and one ER. I was also a varsity athlete in school which didn't leave a whole lot of time for networking, traveling or whatever. I am a Level II CFA Candidate as well. Managed to pass and graduate around the same time. All of my potential jobs are like this, but this is definitely my best option. However, in the job description and in my first interview they explicity said that this position is a stepping stone in the organization. Designed to spend a year or two there and move on to where you fit best. So if my goal is FO research im kinda stuck with this or working at Macdonald's trying to make to CEO...

The job specifically is responsible for reporting, trade settlement, and ongoing monitoring of a portfolio of fixed income and equity investments...

I wish a FO role was possible but I am from a smaller city with not a ton of finance so all the people I have networked with are older established small shops that want 5+ experience and we all know applying online doesn't get anyone very far.

Any more thoughts? I have had a hell of a few past months cold calling, cold e-mailing, and applying to everything, but this is really my best option.

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