L/S Fund Interview Advice

Rank: Monkey | 48

So I have a interview for an entry level position with a long/short equity boutique hedge fund next Monday. What kind of questions should I expect? Any advice/insight would be appreciated!

Comments (16)

 
6/2/10

Straight off the top of my head, what buy/sell positions do you like? I remember reading Cramer's "Confessions of a Street Addict" and he said that whenever he asked interviewees about stock positions, 4 out of 5 would give him a blank stare. His next question to them was: "What the hell did you think we were going to talk about, The Knicks?"

You might want to have a few ideas in your pocket particularly regarding sector recommendations. Better yet ask them what sectors they are investing in and see if you can rattle off any positions for them. A friend who interviewed for a well known L/S Equity was shown a "portfolio" and asked what do you like, what should we drop? (with justifications of course)

You may want to talk a little bit about how your investing philosophy matches that of the firm. Are you momentum or value driven etc.

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6/2/10

You find their holdings yet and try working your way backwards through a few of their investments? Could help you narrow down the search process and construct a small pitch. Looking abroad multiplies the opportunities, but also the issues in finding some gold.

Curious to hear how you got the opportunity. Through networking?

 
6/2/10
HFer_wannabe:

You find their holdings yet and try working your way backwards through a few of their investments? Could help you narrow down the search process and construct a small pitch. Looking abroad multiplies the opportunities, but also the issues in finding some gold.

Curious to hear how you got the opportunity. Through networking?

Ya this is the approach I have been taking.. I have their broad thesis down and know the big drivers for the long positions and short positions... I am just trying to see what I did or didn't think of. I am moreso focusing on the broad markets abroad and to do some screening to find some opportunities

 
6/2/10

This may sound hurr durr, but get on the phone and try to get conversations with alums working in that area.

 
 
6/2/10

Is your interview for the U.S or Asia office? I'm assuming you're interviewing for the analyst role? If so, expect case studies, stock pitches, PMs asking you about why you've selected the stocks so you gotta be able to back it up from valuation to your suggestion.

 
 
6/2/10

Look pretty and don't be awkward. The recommendation is probably going to get you pretty far, I'd expect a mostly fit interview. But you know, you could just say something to your mentor like, "thank you so much for recommending me to this fund, I'm really looking forward to interviewing with them! Since you have some background with them, could you share some advice on what I should brush up on for the interview"?

Maybe don't word it exactly like that, but you get the idea.

 
6/2/10
Stryfe:

Look pretty and don't be awkward.

Really, how pretty do I need to look for an all-male fund? ;)

My mentor sent through all the investor letters. The fund's chairman gave me a call to set up a meeting time, but also reviewed his investment strategy and gauged my interest. He said they're currently raising more funds and would target having me join the team once they're done with that. Also, turns out his nephew is a friend/classmate of mine!

From the phone call, it seems like they just want to get to know me. They also have offered to pull me in for mini-projects if I want to develop more familiarity with their work and buy-side work in general.

I've finally realized the power of networking. I have no buy or sell side experience, but having an advocate who was able to look at my resume/experience as a whole has allowed me to get my foot in the door (and hopefully more).

 
6/2/10

PM spoon pics for further evaluation.

 
 
6/2/10

also interested! any comment?

I love my bananas!

 
6/2/10

HF's generally have you pitch a stock in the first round, then send you home with a case study (anywhere from a few days to a few weeks) to prepare for a presentation at their offices.

Of course there could be HF's that have it, but in-house model tests are generally just for PE processes. And your'e focusing on the wrong thing. At this point, models should be easy for you. Building a balancing model will do little to impress if it's not backed by sound reasoning and understanding of the company. I'd rather a kid give me a rock solid analysis of the business with a crappy, simple model than a perfect model with nothing to back up the assumptions.

There's a huge amount of information out there on the hedge fund interview process. Posting a question here wouldn't even begin to cover what you need to know and is, frankly, pretty lazy.

 
6/2/10

I'm interested as well. I've yet to see a solid active thread about L/S interviews specifically.

 
6/2/10

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