Just learned I have a 1st round for a BP trading internship. It's tomorrow afternoon. What should I expect?

I have the WSO Technical & Behavioral Guides (albeit older copies). How would this interview differ from any other S&T 1st rounds? Is it any different because it's for energy trading as opposed to general financial S&T?

As a finance major as opposed to energy, business, and finance major (which is also offered by my university), will I be expected to know as much about about the energy markets?

Does anyone have any intimate knowledge of how BP's recruitment process for trading internships will work this year?

Thank you

Comments (15)

Sep 25, 2016

I know BP has pretty stringent recruiting -- a family member was an engineer there. They're not completely prestige driven as far as I know.

If they recruit anything like they recruit engineers there are multiple interviews and they make take you out to a bar to see how you behave. Don't drink too much.

I would know different types of crude (WTI and Brent specifically). As well as some events that might cause them to shift. It might also help to know at what prices most fields become profitable. See how the rig count goes with oil prices, etc.


Sep 25, 2016

Thanks. This interview is scheduled to be only an hour long, so I'm assuming they save that for later rounds?

I will read up on my different types of crude at least. But I'm not even sure if that's the type of energy I'll be trading...I'll give specifics for the internship as they come to me.

"A modest man, with much to be modest about"

Sep 25, 2016

The 1st round doesn't have one technical question and neither does the second. Last year, the 1st round consisted of 5 questions, which were something along the lines of: Why BP, Why the position, why energy, example of leadership and a time you solved a problem. My interview was online and prerecorded questions. 2nd interview is just more behavioral questions, if you make it to the final round ( I didn't) there is technical questions.

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Sep 25, 2016

Thank you so much! Your comment is exactly what I was hoping for.

How did you answer "why energy"? I don't think I have a a reason "why energy" per se.

I have a great answer for why I want to do TRADING, but not ENERGY. And I'm applying for this because it's trading. I don't really care what I trade; I just want to trade. Energy is a specialization, and the specialization isn't what excites me; it's the act of opening and closing positions, becoming an expert in how a particular market works, working on a trading desk's environment, etc. that excites me. That's why I'm also applying to financial S&T jobs.

You know? That's the truth. I guess I could go on BP's website & try to find some section where they answer "WHY ENERGY," memorize it, and regurgitate it, but should I do that? Feels like I'm not being true to myself if I do that.

Tl;dr: I don't have a good answer for "why energy." Because I just wanna trade, man. It doesn't have to be energy. So how would you answer that question?

"A modest man, with much to be modest about"

Best Response
Sep 29, 2016

." Because I just wanna trade, man. It doesn't have to be energy. So how would you answer that question?

As a desk head this is literally the scariest thing people could say to me (and a lot of people say this). Your description of how you describe trading is flawed. You are describing a market maker or executor - not a risk taker.

To (speculatively) trade any product requires a level of specialization that most finance students do not understand. There is a reason that virtually every young spec / prop trader has spent time in the fundamentals group. People that just want to trade typically don't have the staying power to acquire the skills required to trade the narrow corner of a single product that they can claw out a competitive advantage in. There are no (legit) entry level (risk taking) trading jobs.

Im not sure if you've ever heard of desks being composed of a really weird variety of backgrounds/degrees but this is one huge reason why. The backgrounds aren't relevant - the passion for the product is. The passion leads to the acquisition of enough depth to form a view. The ability to form a view leads to a trader. Trying to go about it the other way is like trying to push water uphill.

Now to be fair all the trading competitions and all that don't help things, but consider it from a desk heads point of view.

I own all your risk. With 100% of the downside and 0% of the upside. I get about 13% of my book and none of yours (you get maybe 5-8% and the rest feeds the management pool). However if your negative your losses get deducted from my PnL. My only upside on having you on my team is, I can make you price customer deals, I can make you do things I don't want to do and the real reason is, I can take more risk as a desk head.

If I have someone that just wants to trade to me that is someone who just wants to take risk. And that person feels like a coin flipper who wants to flip big coins. That person feels like someone who easily could blow up.

In my opinion the best traders are the ones who hate trading, because trading gets in the way of the ideas.

But I'm just one guy, others might love the enthusiasm. I sometimes read these posts to see what students are thinking and thought you might enjoy a different perspective. I'll check this account for a day or two if you have follow up questions.

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Sep 25, 2016

BP is big on the team environment so implement that into your responses. You could answer the why energy question with I like the logistics, supply and demand, geopolitical, and physical trading aspects of energy trading. Energy trading is also very relationship based, so you could mention how that appeals to you. I did BP's Integrated Supply and Trading Sophomore experience not this summer but last. Unfortunately, they do not recruit at my school and I had to do online interviews through Hirevue, which was very challenging and awkward for me. I choked and didn't get invited to the final round. I applied this year for the FT role, but haven't heard back from them yet. Don't sweat the first round interview, it's really not bad, just prepare and you'll do great. If you are interviewing through hirevue, don't let the awkwardness mess you up. The IST program is badass, good luck man.

Sep 25, 2016

Thank you so much for your insight! I'll definitely spend some time considering those aspects of trading and implementing them into my answer. If I'm lucky enough to get the internship offer, absolutely feel free connect with me down the road.

Can you verify what dstech1 was saying about interview questions being:

  1. Why BP?
  2. Why the position?
  3. why energy?
  4. example of leadership
  5. time you solved a problem

...? Or was your 1st round different?

Thanks again

"A modest man, with much to be modest about"

Sep 25, 2016

Yeah I am pretty sure they were along those lines, but it was a year ago so, take it as a grain of salt. Those questions are questions you should know for any company or interview regardless. BP makes the questions longer by implementing something BP stands for or does in the question. The 2nd round was more fit/behavioral questions like questions 4 and 5.

Oct 2, 2016

"A modest man, with much to be modest about"