Hedge Fund Interview Course

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Comments (23)

Jan 3, 2021 - 8:01am

Math/physics double major, grad school, a few years of post docs and now assistant professor. Didn't want to stay in academia for various reasons, so I'm starting as a quant in a few months.

Most researchers nowadays however come straight out of PhD, and most traders come straight out of undergrad.

Jan 3, 2021 - 9:58am

All the best for the switch from academia to quant!

Would you mind elaborating more on your role, as long as it doesn't divulge too much of your info? Like whether you start on sell-side or buy side. What asset class do you focus on? How was the recruiting process? etc.

Thank you in advance!

Jan 3, 2021 - 12:52pm


Buy side, single manager fund, working in equities signal research.

For recruiting I set up a LinkedIn and wrote that I was looking for opportunities in finance, got a decent amount of interest off that, although still applied directly to a bunch of places. I had interviews with most of them.

For interviews, almost everybody would ask some probably brainteasers, some statistics questions (massive emphasis on regression) and then a bunch of other stuff - e.g. some basic linear algebra or differential equations etc. It's more important to be super strong on the basics than anything else.

There were a bunch of interviews (that led to offers) that didn't go that well but honestly I think having a near decade long track record of decent quality research lets you get away with a bit of sloppiness in the process, that say an undergrad who hasn't had publications in good journals (yet) can't afford.

Jan 7, 2021 - 11:31am

They're the equivalent of leetcodes and serve the same purpose. I have a record of relevant papers too and found that you encounter them at any experience level except for a PM role. In contrast to yangmills, my experience was that one mistake will kill you instantly because there will be someone else who was perfect. If you grind out all the quant books you should be in good shape.

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Jan 7, 2021 - 12:26pm

I've seen leetcodes at some shops but not all of them. At one place, one quant tossed a leetcode hard at me after spending most of the interview fishing for information on my old firm's strategies, so he needed some reason to reject.

Jan 7, 2021 - 2:47pm

Interestingly enough my experience has been quite different. For my first gig in the HF industry (internship, then joined FT) I was of course asked some technical questions. But after that, when I was looking for my next analyst-level role at different funds, the best jobs I interviewed for did not grill me on technicals at all. No coding screens, take-home projects, inane probability questions/brain teasers, etc. Most of the conversations focused on my background, interests, and my views on alpha strategies. That being said, the less prestigious jobs I interviewed for would grill me quite hard and make me go through many hoops and assignments. 

In contrast, college on-campus HF recruiting was very technically intense--on multiple occasions I felt like I was going to pee my pants or something. This makes a lot of sense--if you have no finance experience, they can't and don't expect you to know how markets work. If (hopefully not) I end up recruiting again, I will try my best to avoid jobs that focus too much on technicals: in my experience this is a negative signal. I would hope any firm is more interested in my competencies and creative approaches to alpha, as opposed to whether or not I can reverse a linked list or calculate the variance of 100 coin flips. 

Jan 7, 2021 - 12:15pm

😭 so even experienced quants have to study all those brain teasers again when they switch jobs? I can't imagine they are correlated with job performance. They certainly serve to weed people out but by a rather arbitrary metric. Leetcode is the same but at least they stop at some point in your career. I would feel so ridiculous as like a 40 yr old busy with kids and having to spend time relearning all those marble sheep whatever questions.

Jan 7, 2021 - 12:42pm

The real problem is that quants (and fundamental analysts) who are not PMs are commoditized and the work can be done by basically anyone at this point. As a result, most of the big firms don't care about who they hire anymore, and just need to reject lots of people quickly.

Jan 3, 2021 - 10:02am

I don't think my role is that "quant-heavy", though here is the story so far.

  • Undergrad in Economics and Quant Finance.
  • Started as a quant analyst after graduation in a multi-asset team within an asset manager.
  • The job entails: programming to build new tools, research and implement low-frequency systematic strategies, other daily portfolio management stuffs, etc.
Jan 4, 2021 - 7:59pm

It was more of a double major program than one major and one minor. To be clear, I didn't study in the US so the terminology can be slightly different.

Regarding the math, I took as much as possible, such as linear algebra, probability, stats/econometrics, optimization, etc. These classes, however, are at the undergrad level.

  • Investment Analyst in HF - EquityHedge
Jan 4, 2021 - 11:02am

Absolutely! Comp sci is a must if you want to be a good quant (in my opinion). I took lots of CS courses, but stuck to high level languages like Python. 

  • Quant in HF - Macro
Jan 4, 2021 - 4:08pm

My undergrad major was Quantitative Finance with minor/concentration in Economics and Comp Sci. I started interning at my first HF during the summer of my Junior year. I received a full-time offer and continued at that firm. In my opinion I think the curriculum that I learned as far as QF goes was pretty close to the best it could've been to prepare me for my role (of course there's only so much you can learn in 4 years). 

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