Top Quantitative Analysis Interview Questions You Should Ask

February 21st, 2014

When interviewing for a quantitative analysis position, it’s important that the questions you ask give you a feel for how a candidate thinks, his understanding of the industry and relevant experience. Starting with questions like those listed below can ensure that you hire the strongest applicants.

Terminology Questions.

Be certain that the candidate has a thorough understanding of the field by asking some basic questions that he can be expected to know, such as:

  • What does VaR measure?
  • What is the Sharpe Ratio?
  • What is Black Scholes?
  • What is the discount rate and why it is important?

Experience Questions.

Ask questions based on prior experience and education like these to get an idea of the depth and breadth of the candidate’s knowledge:

Tell me about your math skills. Advanced math aptitude is critical in quantitative analysis. The applicant should be confident in his abilities and able to describe them.

Explain a project you have worked on to someone who knows nothing about the field or topic. The answer will indicate how articulate he is and how well he can communicate complex concepts.

Tell me about your previous experiences in coding and numerical analysis. This question covers the two main facets of quantitative analysis and will give you a feel for the depth of the candidate’s experience.

Talk to me about your thesis. Find out what facets of the field interest him most and see firsthand how he thinks and communicates theory.

Analytic and Behavioral Questions.

These go to how the candidate thinks and how well he will fit into the company.

Give him a problem to solve. Don’t choose questions that are intended to confuse or stress the candidate, but instead offer a riddle that focuses on probability. For example:

How many people must be gathered together in a room, before you can be certain that there is a greater than 50/50 chance that at least two of them have the same birthday?

Questions like these demonstrate the applicant’s analytical and problem solving skills.

Assess cultural fit. The nature of these questions will depend on your work environment, but it’s important that each person you add to the team meshes with his peers and the corporate philosophy. Some sample questions:

  • Describe your ideal manager.
  • If you could create your own working environment, what would it be like?
  • How would your current coworkers describe you?

Partnering with a specialized quantitative analysis recruiter like Select Group, Inc. can ensure that you hire only the best people. Let our team narrow the field for you, then select several interview questions like those listed above. You’ll save time and money by interviewing only the top prospects and be confident that you chose the perfect candidate for your open position. Contact us today to get started!

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