Interview questions for Entry level trading position/intern

goddzilla's picture
Rank: Monkey | 30

Hi everyone,

I've always been interested in prop trading and have been doing my research for the past couple of months. I'm more interested in trading at a lower tier firm like Trillium, FNY, Group One Trading than the more competitive ones, since I don't have the traditional quant background nor that most higher tier firms (Citadel, Jump, JSC) look for.

A little about myself: I'm going into my senior year of UG at a super nontarget school (CUNY and not Baruch) majoring in finance with a 3.7 GPA. Currently, I'm doing a FP&A intern gig and registered for the December CFA lvl 1 exam. I've had day trading experience in the past and when I use to day-trade and traded strictly on TA (RSI, MACD, dojis, support&resistance line, to name a few). Unfortunately, I do not have any experience developing an algo and testing it. With that being said, here are the questions I have for the current traders out there:

  1. Do any of the lower tier NYC-based trading firms accept trading interns during the spring?
  2. Any tips to getting the first round interview, given my background?
  3. What books or online material should I read/practice to prepare me for the interviews?
  4. I'm currently practicing the double digit multiplication, and was wondering how fast I should be able to reach a correct answer? (10-20s?)

Thank you.

Comments (3)

Aug 7, 2018
  1. group one has off cycle internships, not sure about the others.
  2. a lot of places you mentioned look for quant backgrounds, but that being said, from my interviews at some good places, they look for self starters and people who're willing to challenge themselves, so maybe showing interest in trading by joining your school's club/taking part in trading comps would help a lot
  3. I haven't read a lot of books, but I have one for interviews (pretty much all of my interview qs from a senior trader in final rounds came from that book). pm me your email if you want it
  4. at most 5-6 seconds maybe 6-7? averaging 6-7 seconds helped me get past pretty much all of the first round mental maths tests (multiplications/sequences) I had. ~10-15 for maybe a few would be ok too but I guess I was averaging 6-7 seconds or less would help you. Maybe someone else can also answer this one but 6-7 was enough for me
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Most Helpful
Aug 7, 2018

ffffml was pretty spot on. I can add my $0.02

  1. I think most offer summer. There definitely will be a few that may offer non-traditional periods for internships. For example (I know this isn't in NYC), but Belvedere used to offer winter externships. Not sure if they still do it.
  2. Did you mean landing the interview itself, or getting past the first? The job search is a numbers game, send out your resume and apply to as many firms as you can, be it even if you think it's unlikely you'll work there. This way, even at worst case scenario, you get in more interview practice and acclimate to what the interview process may be like.
  3. Heard on the Street is pretty standard. Look up glassdoor interview questions for places like JSC, SIG, Jump, etc. A lot of those are recycled in some forms or others. You'll probably get asked EV questions, probability (typically coin/dice), and some fast mental math.
  4. Definitely under 10 seconds, try to shoot for 5 or lower
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