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Standard behaviorals, why investing, why dimenisonal (tailor your answer around how they approach the markets and serve their clients)
Their investment approach is based on Fama-french factor models, just look that up and understand the various factors. My interview was pretty technical and I had to pitch a stock long and short based on these models, but I've also heard of some people who have had very little technicals (might just be based on your previous experience).
Overall if you are somewhat experienced in investing, follow the news (WSJ, Bloomberg), etc., you should be fine for the technical aspect. But just as important is the philosophical and cultural fit, so read through their website and watch their youtube videos and you will be golden.
James.Stock, thanks once more for your comprehensive answer. Just a quick follow up question.
You mentioned that you had to pitch a long and short stock. Wouldn't that be exactly the opposite of what Dimensional believes in? I thought they were all about extreme diversification, and are not interested in speculating about specific investments.
Right, you don't really need to have a thesis for the stock. You just need to suggest stocks that fit into their factors. So one factor they look for is value vs growth. Find one stock that is value and go long on that and find a stock that is growth and go short on that.
My interviewer was just having fun with me, so you probably won't have to do this. Hope that helps.
I interviewed with them for a SA role and made it to final rounds but ended up getting waitlisted and accepting another offer the week after. If you want to impress them stress your belief in the CAPM Fama-French Model and how it has been statistically proven time and time again to explain the majority of variation between portfolio's returns. Also, you wholeheartedly believe that financial markets are efficient. If you say that you believe in arbitrage strategies or some shit, you're gonna get dinged.
They're not going to grill the shit out of you on the math/formula of the FF model but google it and know enough to be able to list and briefly explain the Five Factors of the Fama-French Five Factor Model. They'll be super impressed if you can just list em and explain that you believe they're the primary determinants of a portfolio's returns.
They'll probably ask you how you would allocate $1,000,000 if they gave it to you in cash. Say something like "because I have this type of risk tolerance, I would go allocate it to x% Large-Cap US Equities, x% Small-Cap US Equities, x% Emerging Markets, x% US Bonds, x% Real Estate, x% Cash, etc.
Overall they're really cool dudes with a unique and proven investment approach, just make sure you suck up to their philosophy. Your chance to win them over is when they ask you to introduce yourself and explain your interest in the position - that's your chance to pitch your interest in the position based upon your firm belief in the firm's investment approach.
Thank you so much @James.Stock & @LReed for your comments!
That's very helpful and I'll be sure to incorporate your tips into my preparation
I had a superday for the SA role in Charlotte this fall. Very technically focused on fama-french - of the 3 hrs I was in the office interviewing, 2 were spent on answering questions on it/the philosophy behind it. Some questions on behaviorals and what makes you interesting but overall, I got the sense they want someone who is a good culture fit both socially and investing philosophy wise and has enough of a programming/technical background to be excited about their style of investing.
If you don't believe in their specific investing style and want to do active mgmt, it'll be one of the most painful superdays you'll ever have. The term "drink the koolaid" was thrown around a decent amount to describe people's passions for the investing style of Dimensional.
Just my 2 cents.
hey, I am having a superday next week. Do you have any advice regarding to the case study?
I don't think I had a case study for my superday. I'd definitely spend time reading fama-french 5 factor to the point that you truly understand it and can articulate it well. Also, really think why Dimensional's investment thesis is what you think makes sense. Every interview really felt centered on finding people who get their investment style and want to work in the space in an interesting way. Also, as their investment style is definitely data heavy, think about how your background and interests and skillsets can fit in there.