Why Trading

How to answer the question “Why Trading?"

Himanshu Singh

Reviewed by

Himanshu Singh

Expertise: Investment Banking | Private Equity


September 8, 2023

This question shouldn't be challenging because most students who enter trading do so after completing prior finance internships. There are several reasons why trading interview questions may be used during a job interview

For one, trading questions can help employers gauge a potential hire's financial knowledge and understanding of the industry. You must take into account two factors to answer this question. What experiences do you have that might support your interest in trading, and why?

These questions can also reveal how well a candidate comprehends intricate concepts, processes, and strategies. Ultimately, by gaining insights into a job seeker's thought process and abilities through trading questions.

Employers can better assess whether a candidate will be successful in the role.

To be a successful trader, interviewers often ask tough questions to test your mettle. They want to see if you have what it takes to succeed as a trader - nerves of steel, quick thinking, or an ability to stay calm in stressful situations.

Furthermore, trading questions can reveal a lot about a person's risk tolerance and ability to handle pressure. Finally, they can also be used to gauge a person's motivation for wanting to work in the industry.
All these factors can give an interviewer a good sense of whether or not a candidate would be a good fit for a particular role in the trading industry.

Here are some of the most common trading interview questions and how you can answer them to show that you're the right person for the job.

Why Trading?

This is perhaps the most common question asked in trading interviews. Your interviewer wants to know what motivates you to trade - the challenge, the excitement, or the potential profits. Be honest in your answer and outline the aspects of trading that you find appealing.

Personal reflections and actions from your history that indicate a potential for future trading success should be included in this narrative.

Successful traders need a combination of skills and attributes, including intelligence, discipline, and the ability to take risks. So, again, be honest in your answer and explain why you think you have what it takes to be successful.

Successful trading requires:

  • discipline
  • knowledge
  • time
  • thick skin.

You can't give up all your time in front of your screen. You have to ensure that you are at the right place, with the right thinking, when transactions occur.

It takes a lot of research and analysis and the ability to navigate your way through the market effectively. Being a trader is not just about making money. According to Jack Schwager, traders must maintain great discipline to execute their trading plan effectively. 

Long-term success in trading is more likely for those who adopt a disciplined strategy. "You must have the discipline to stick to your strategy, which includes an edge and risk management.

Some other questions are found below: 

Ideal Candidate Questions

Why are you the ideal candidate for the job of a trader, and Why do you want to work in trading?

Employers can learn more about your qualifications and how you can benefit their business by asking you this question. You must emphasize your strengths in responding to this question to demonstrate why you'd be a great candidate. 


Additionally, you might want to add any relevant education or experience. For example - "I love to learn new things, I always work to develop my talents, etc.

I have completed several online courses on trading and investing to increase my understanding of the financial sector.

I am extremely organized and detail-oriented, which aids in my ability to maintain attention while working. I decided to pursue a career as a trader because of these skills.

This is a very important question because it reveals how candidates approach their work and what they think about the industry.

A top banker wants to trade for two main reasons: financial gain and prestige. Growth in knowledge, variety of experiences, and frequent travel are all wonderful but secondary benefits. 


I've found that trading is not a career for you if you don't want to make money or be well-known. So you shouldn't veer from your answer, but use it as a chance to describe your biggest accomplishment to date or the most fun you've had in your life.

To get hired, you need to put yourself across to the interviewer. Don't just discuss your credentials and how many years you've been trading.

Important Points To Remember

What is the most important thing for a trader to remember? Many things are important for traders to remember, but risk management is one of the most important.

This means understanding how much risk you're willing to take and ensuring that your trades reflect that risk appetite; without proper risk management, even the best traders can lose money.

Another thing is always to follow your plan. Traders should not deviate from their trading plan, so many traders lose money because they react emotionally and not according to the trading plan.

There are many reasons why people choose to trade stocks and other securities. For some, it is a way to make money, while others see it as more of a hobby.

Whatever the reason, those who want to become traders must first go through an interview process.

The most common reason why people want to trade is to make money. This is understandable because who doesn't want to make more money? However, making money from trading is not as easy as it sounds.

To be successful, one must know about the different types of securities, understand how the market works, and read financial statements.

Another reason why people get into trading is that they find it exciting. They like buying and selling stocks and seeing their investment grow. For some, it is more of a game than anything else. However, even if trading is seen as a game, the risk is still involved, and losses can be incurred.

So, why do people want to trade? There can be many reasons, but the two most common ones are to make money or because they find it exciting. Whatever the reason, those who want to become traders must undergo an interview process to succeed.

Behavioral Questions

Tell us about your greatest strengths as a trader. This question sounds easy, but most people have difficulty answering it.

Being too humble can undermine your achievements and skills and cause employers to see you as less capable than you are, but you also need to make sure you don't overdo your strengths, or you might come out as arrogant.

Every trader has a unique skill set and different trading styles, which you, as a trader, should show the interviewer. What helps you identify good trades and prevents you from entering bad ones? Traders make their strategies. You need to show all this to the interviewer without holding anything back.

You can answer these questions to portray your skills, for example, pattern recognition which helps to narrow down potential trades faster, or you can tell the interviewer about your ability to cope well under pressure and back it up with an example. 

My greatest strength is my ability to manage my finances, take calculated risks, and maintain composure under pressure. When I took a position in EUR/USD on the weekly chart with a one standard deviation stop-loss, I had a 99.9% certainty that my maximum loss would be around $5,000. 

The worst case scenario would be losing half of my positions, getting stopped out of the other half, and having the positions turn around at the end of their respective time frames and make ten times the initial investment. 

If you have spent any time in this game, you will quickly realize that this is possible and probable on almost every trade that reaches its stop-loss level.

Technical Questions

What is the difference between options and stocks? Describe an instance where you messed up at work and how you fixed it?

The main distinction between stocks and options is that while equities reflect ownership stakes in certain companies, options are contracts between participants that allow you to speculate on the direction you believe the price of a stock will go.

Options are derivatives. That is, its value is derived from the underlying asset's value. Options are traded between institutional investors, professional traders, individual investors, and stock exchanges.

Puts or calls define options trades. Options trading can limit investor risk. It involves known risks to the purchaser. Option buyers cannot lose more than the price of the option. Options have an expiration date, whereas regular shares can be held indefinitely.

Like regular stocks, options have no physical proof. Owning an option does not convey the right to own company stock or dividends unless the option is exercised.

How you respond to this question will reveal to the interviewer how you deal with challenges and make mistakes. Give instances where you messed up, learned from it, and then improved your performance or conduct moving forward. 

For example, "In my former position as a trader, I was in charge of simultaneously monitoring several markets. 

One day, I was preoccupied with a phone conversation and missed a crucial update on a market I was watching. This led me to execute several trades that were detrimental to the financial health of our business.

As soon as I learned what had occurred, I called my manager immediately and described what had happened. My boss was sympathetic and gave me another chance.

After that, I concentrated more on my work and improved my time management.

How would you respond if you had to modify your trading method to meet a new strategy?

The answer to this question will reveal to the interviewer how adaptive you are as a trader. They want to see that you're flexible enough to alter your strategy when necessary and that you can do so while still being successful. 

Describe how you would modify your style or approach to meet the needs of the new organization in your response. For instance: "When I began trading, I was primarily concerned with my methods and approaches. 

But after working for several organizations, I understood how crucial it is to be adaptable and open-minded. I'll try my best to study and use it in my work if a company with an established plan employs me. 

Though it could take me some time to adjust to the new approach, I am confident that I will improve my contribution to the team by doing so.

What, in your opinion, should traders always keep in mind?

An interviewer can learn a lot about a candidate's trading philosophy by asking them this question. Additionally, it gives them a chance to impart their wisdom and experience to you. 

This is a question that an interviewer might use to find out more about your attitude towards work and the abilities that will help your employer. 

  • You can say, "I believe it's crucial to remember that every trade carries risk." Even if I'm confident in my choice, things could still change and lead to financial loss. So I always make sure that I am following my trading plan.
  • I make sure to put stop losses on all of my trades because of this. I don't lose much money when things don't work out as I had hoped. Before considering an order, traders must first compile a list of trading requirements, setups, or events. 
  • Create an exit strategy, exit if the trade goes against you, and only rely on the technical analysis level. For example, if the market is going against you, don't hope; instead, exit if the stop loss level is reached. 
  • If you conduct a thorough investigation, make a list of the sources you contact before making a transaction, and rigorously follow the rules and you will succeed.

    Ideal Candidate Questions

    Behavioral Questions

    Technical Questions


    The peculiar nature of trading interview questions is that they are both simpler and trickier than investment banking interview questions. They are simpler since there is less information to memorize, but they are more challenging because you cannot prepare or practice quite the same way.

    Additionally, many questions are asked during interviews even when there aren't necessarily "proper" answers because the interviewer wants to get into more detail about the subject.

    In general, the most fundamental traits that an interviewer looks for are integrity, honesty, and humility, regardless of the type of interview you attend. These characteristics must exist. 

    If you don't have these excellent skill sets, you still have a chance to get the job over someone who does but who can't persuade the hiring manager that they possess these three attributes.

    In most interviews, there will likely be a lot of particular questions to assess the candidate's theoretical understanding of all the tools a trader can use and when they should be used. Therefore, before the interview, you should know all the trading theories.

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    Researched and authored by Rishabh Bhoria | LinkedIn

    Reviewed and edited by Purva Arora | LinkedIn

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