The Summer Intern to Full-time S&T Employee Transformation

Nikita17's picture
Rank: Senior Chimp | 18

Yeah the title does sound like I had some Superman (woman in my case) experience! I spent the summer at one of the big 5 banks in Canada this year. (It is worth writing another post to elaborate on how I got the internship in the first place). But to make this story short and precise, it was 15 interns competing for 3 full time positions.

I being the only candidate in Vancouver (all the other interns were on the trading floor in Toronto), I thought it was reasonable to assume that I had a very slim chance of making it. To further support that assumption, I was told that I would be doing 4 phone interviews while everyone else did one-on-one interviews.

Nevertheless, I really prepared hard for those 4 phone interviews. From interpersonal to behavioral to problem solving to technical - I started a new notebook for all possible 'interview questions'. A friend who had been hired the year before told me to get the WSO Interview Guide - and it helped with the preparation too.

So the Interview day came, and I did back to back 4 phone interviews with 2 interviewers each. Some of the questions that are still fresh in my memory were:-

* It's Friday afternoon and you are the only trader on the desk. Suddenly 3 clients of equal importance call to do large trades. What do you do? (Problem Solving)
* There is one theory of 'Survival of the fittest', and another one of 'Survival of the most cooperative'. Which one do you think you belong to and why - answer in 45 seconds? (Interpersonal)
* If you think that the 2-10's curve will steepen - which trade will you put on? (Technical)
* If a client wants you to create a market for a trade that you deem risky for your book - which factors will you consider? (Technical)
* If you don't get this job and with no other bank, what would you do? (Behavioral - everyone seemed to ask this one; ask me my answer!)
* Explain all the Option Greeks (Technical, not one or two but all!)
* What happened to the Treasury yields and the USD when Ben Bernanke first mentioned tapering in May? (Technical)
* What is your view on the USDCAD and why? (Technical)
* Why do you want to be in S&T? (Behavioral)

Okay, so after doing those 4 interviews, I thought we could only pray to God and wait for the results. But there was more excitement awaiting me. Two weeks after those 4 interviews, I got a call from my HR manager and she said that I need to do 3 more interviews - 2 technical interviews and 1 excel quiz. Now that sounded intense, but I stayed till 9 pm in the office that day doing one last brush up on my technical. And it sure was an intense experience the following day. (But in retrospect I feel it was an incredible learning experience as it highlighted the vast ocean of learning opportunities available). Okay, so I thought that this would be it!

But hold on - I got one more phone call from my HR manager the next day, and she said that there was one last interview to be done. On one hand, I thought that it's great that I am still in the process, and on the other hand, I felt this unbeatable anxiety and pressure. But I continued my perseverance and my prayers to God, and next day sat for the phone interview.

Personally, I am very interactive and enjoy conversations - and luckily the two leaders interviewing me for the final interview shared similar personalities. So while it was a phone interview, it actually didn't feel like that at all. We had a candid conversation and they said that were having a really hard time choosing between me and the other candidate. And so at the end of the interview, it was more like tossing of a coin.

So the result was going to be out the next day and my heart was racing like the racecar that Michael Schumacher drives. But all that wait and anxiety ended at 2:08 pm when I got a call from my HR manager, and she said she had an offer for me!!

All is well that ends well!

Comments (22)

Sep 8, 2013

congrats and thanks for sharing your story :)

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Sep 8, 2013

Thank you Andy!

Sep 8, 2013

Sometime being humble and modest is important
But Congrats

Sep 8, 2013

Thank you nori90! I agree with you... humility and modesty are the key.

Sep 8, 2013

Congratulations fellow monkey and thank you for posting this!

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Sep 8, 2013

Hehe thank you!

Sep 8, 2013

First of all congrats!!
I'm really curious about the greeks question. Did you really get asked all the greeks? Including multi-asset greeks (X-Gamma, X-Vanna) and third order like speed and zomma and shit like that? Because that seems very unreasonable knowledge to expect from an intern! I would be quite impressed with an intern knowing that kind of stuff, even if he worked at the exotics desk.

Sep 8, 2013

Thank you fella!
Yes I did indeed... The interviewer is our options trader, and known to be a real technical person. She asked me to tell everything I knew about greeks... so I rattled off the first order and the second order greeks... didn't know about the third order greeks like Zomma, but she seemed content with my answer!

Sep 9, 2013
Nikita17:

Thank you fella!

Yes I did indeed... The interviewer is our options trader, and known to be a real technical person. She asked me to tell everything I knew about greeks... so I rattled off the first order and the second order greeks... didn't know about the third order greeks like Zomma, but she seemed content with my answer!

That seems more normal. Thanks for answering :)

Sep 8, 2013

Seem like pretty tough questions for S&T SA (guess I'm a bit out of the loop for what's standard these days). Congrats

Sep 8, 2013

Honestly, I was ready to be asked anything, not because I knew it all... but because I didn't know what to prepare for! But as I said in the post... it was a very good learning experience. And thank you!

Sep 9, 2013

Intense. Congratulations.

Sep 9, 2013

Thank you!

Sep 9, 2013

Sounds like you worked for it and deserved it. Congrats.

Sep 9, 2013

Thank you... yes I did try my best!

Sep 9, 2013

Great story. Congrats!

Every morning I get up and look through the Forbes list of the richest people in America. If I'm not there, I go to work. - Jay Z

Sep 9, 2013

Thank you! Glad you liked.

Sep 9, 2013

Congrats sis, you definitely deserve it. i envy ur kinda drive. Btw hw did u answer that question abt if you dont get the job here & other banks what ur next move will be?

Sep 9, 2013

Thank you! hehe... that was an interesting one... I said If I don't get hired by any other bank, then the next best use of my communication skills will be to serve the people and join politics!

Sep 9, 2013
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Sep 17, 2013