Nomura Interview experience

Nomura
#1

Hi everyone,¨

Did my final round interviews at Nomura yesterday for global markets and thought I would share my experience from this. I basically screwed up my interview but we can come back to that later. Okay they have four interviews(30 minutes each with senior people)

Im not from the UK so excuse my english.

Interview nr1

I interviewd with a fixed income guy.
The questions;

Where do you think that you fit in within global markets?
What is it that interest you with derivatives?
He then asked me how do you price a commodity future?
You should say that you have to cover the cost of the interest and the storing costs.

Then we talked about Quantitative Easing, that the FED prints money and how that will affect bond prices, goldprices etc. Then we moved on to talk about why people are interesting in gold at the moment.
(about gold, say weak dollar, debt problems in Europe and US)

Then he wanted me to ask any questions for him.

Second Interview.
Okay this guy was crazy but very intelligent, some guy graduating in 2006 who had joined Lehmna and now became a Nomura employee.
He was the brainteaser guy. The questions;

Can you tell me about yourself?
I just talked about myself, and tried to relate that to this job basically.
Tell me the what is 16^3
The answer is 2^12 so you actually don’t need the exact number.

If you have three dice what is the prob that you would get the same number on all of them.
it could be 111 or 222 or 333 and so on, so I think it is 6/6^3

How many big macs are eaten in the USA today?
310 mn people in the states just work yourself from there.

What is the pop of Russia, Japan?
Look it up.

What is the GDP of USA?

Do you believe in EMH? if yes why do you want to work here if you can’t make money
(okay if EMH holds, luck or insider info is the only way to make money), Luck, skip that and insted say that there are two types of non public info. Legal and illegal. Legal is that you can talk to management, go into a store calculate the number of jeans for example and estimate the sales of a retail company(some hedgefunds do this), talk to CFO. This is exaclty what Equity research does.

Yes this interview was all about math and general knowledge. Very difficult, probably not when you read this at home, but at an interview it is difficult. The guy was very stressing and leaning forward and basically pushing you in order to disturb your thinking.

Interview nr 3

This interviw was all about competency based questions. Some guy who was the COO of something.

Why Nomura?
Tell me about a time when you got unfair critisicm?
Who has influenced you?
How do you form relationships with outher people?
Have you pursuaded other to think like you in a group?
Have you ever failed to meet a deadline, how did you handle that?

dont remember the rest

Interview nr 4
This was a very nice guy who had previosly worked with Lehman. He had a senior role in quantitative portfolio strategies.

Questions;

What is risk?
How are returns distributed? (normally distributed)
What is the problem with volatility?(something that if they are normally distributed you only care about std dev) Could be the VaR also. upside risk is good downside is bad, volatility dont take this into account)

How are bonds and equities normally correlated?(negative)
What happended to stock correlations during the crisis over the world?(they got similar)
What happens to risk in a portfolio of stocks?(it decreases)

Then he played a game. It was called first over 60 looses. I had to pick a number and then he picked number 10 more than 3 at max for example if i picked 3 he can pick everythin from 4 to 13. Example( i pick 3 he picks 12 i pick 21 and so on) They guy who firsts gets over 60 losses. The strategy you should use is be the guy to say 59, because then the other guy is forced to say 60< and he looses. (the correct strategy is to first say 4, 15, 26.27.48,59).

Then I had to calculate the derivative of x^x (http://www.analyzemath.com/calculus/Differentiation/first_derivative.html)

Then it was over, even if he asked brainteasers he was very helpful and a nice guy.

Conclusion: I basically wasn’t so good at solving all my brainteasers, the funny thing is that math is my strong side but at the interview I got to stressed and nervous and my brain was not functioning. But I could talk good about the markets and general macro.

Hopefully this can help someone who is going there for an interview.

#2

Thank you very much Souli for sharing your experience with us… And your English was good! I hope you will get the role…

Did Nomura invite you to attend their events before giving you an invite for the Assessment Center? They have told me that (no decision on my application but invited me to attend an event).

#3

Nope!

No I didn’t get invited to any event before the interview rounds so Im not really sure what it means.

Good luck with your application anyways

#4

Tks a lot Souli. Yr post is very informative

#5

thanks for your post, what was your first round interview like?

#6

Luckily I have a photographic memory so I can tell you exactly what the first round interview was.

It was structured in the following way. One competency based interview(30min) and one case interview(45min prep and 15 min interview)

Case Interview;

I was given a research report about the HPC(Household Products, Cosmetics & Personal Care) sector. In the report we found out that Nomura had upgraded this industry from sell to neutral. We also had some information about 8 companies (remember that Reckitt, Danone, Nestlé, L’Oreal, Unilever, Henckel, Reinsdorf, ABF was in there)

The case was to read the report, pick up the important information and play a role play against the interviewer. You are a sales guy and you should pitch these stocks and the sector to the interviewer who plays the role of Alpha investments(a made up fund).

The reason for the upgrade was derated forward P/E rations. So review P/E ratios if you want to prepare for this case(both forward and historical).
He asks questions like why this sector? do you have any buy recommendations?, should I keep any shares(some of these companies where already in his portfolio of stocks). Basically it is important to know which stocks that Nomura had put a buy on, sell or hold.

Moving on to the competency based interview;
Very relaxed interview, a sales guy interviewd me and the questions where;

What brings you here today and why do you want to work with global markets?(talk about nomuras growth rate and then give arguments for markets, for example the fast paced nature of it, and that you like macroeconomics and so on…)
Then he went through my CV, talked about my previous jobs and what I did there, quite easy to talk about.
Then he moved on asking if I know anything that has happened recently. (talked about currency crisis China vs USA)
Then he talked about what he did and so on…and then the interview was over.

So no big deal, the case was quite straight forward and the guy playing the hedge fund manager wasn’t pushing me too hard. In the case there is A LOT of text. So just focus on maybe four companies and pitch them since you only have 15min, and also the page describing why they upgraded.

So that was basically it

Cheers

#7

Thanks so much for sharing souli!
May I know which location your global market application is for?
Cheers and good luck !

#8

Anyone who applied for IB fulltime analyst heard back?

#9

Hi souli,

was wondering, did u apply for a UK position? do u have any idea if the A-Pac interviews have started for Nomura GM i.e. Singapore and HK?

Thanks!

#10

Hi Souli,

Did you pass those interviews on Thursday or Friday?
Did they give you a feedback yet?

Thanks

#11

thanks souli, great stuff
do share your location if you’d like.
was it London, New York…?

#12

Thought I answered some of the questions

@ cee. I applied to the London office since I study in Europe and London for me is the financial centre in Europe. If you want to do markets London is the place :slight_smile:

@ oleg lupasco. Regarding the IB analyst full time program I at least know a couple of guys at my B school who already have interviewed and recieved offers for internship positions at IBD so I guess you should have heard back for the full-tme position now. But maybe they are doing two rounds so don’t give up.

@ Patrick Ho. Yes I applied to a UK position, London as I described above. Unfortunately Im not familiar with the Asian recruitment process.

@ Caesar. Nope! Not yet although I kind of already know what kind of response and feedback I will get. I actually study mathematics and finance but I couldn’t solve really easy problems under pressure my mind kind of went blank so I must have looked really really stupid showing up with a math degree and not being able to solve basic probability questions such as dice throwing. Also at my guestimate questions I just didn’t think twice if my answer made sense just threw out some number of bic macs in the USA, and pop in Russia without really breaking down the problem. But it is experience, and I learnt a lot and next time I be a 1000 times better prepared and will nail the interview :slight_smile:

@Sonitram. Thank you. It was London.

#13

anybody heard anything back after 2nd interview? How long did u wait?

#14

Phone interview with nomura IBD Singapore.anyone else in the same boat?

#15

Did nobody hear back sth after 2nd round interview in London for Markets?

#16

guys does anyone have a number for someone in grad recruitment?

Have been offered a first round interview but its in Milan?? really dont understand it

#17

when ur livin in italy its Milan…

call the main number and ask them to pass u thru recruitment…dont send an email, they wont see it anyway…

#18

Hi Souli,

Thanks for all your help so far. I have applied for Investment Banking summer internship at Nomura. Do you have any idea whether I will get a similar case study as yours?

Did your friends attend the Nomura Investment Banking Division first round interview?

#19

Hi everyone,
I’ve got an assessment centre for operations in the next couple of days, if anyone could shed some light on what is involved in the interviews or the ‘team exercise’ (what might this be?! i guess it isn’t a case study then?) then that would be great.
good luck to all of you waiting to hear back.

#20

Dear All,

Hope you doing well.

I just joined this forum and found your message about your experience of interview in Nomura.

I am basically from India, Master in Technology with 2 year experience in Semiconductor industry and current doing my CFA charter to build a career
in Financial domain.

I was also interested in 2011 Investment Banking/Global Market- Full time Analyst/Associate (not summer intern since I feel that is for student who are in last year of their college and I am already passed out with experience as well) positions in Nomura. But was not sure whether I am eligible for it or nor. I sent my query to recruitment team on graduate.recruitment@uk.nomura.com id 2-3 times but didn’t get any revert from them.

Could you please tell me what is the eligibility criteria to apply for these positions. Since I am post-graduate with 2 yr experience in Semiconductor
would I still eligible for this full time analyst/associate program.

Since deadline to apply for this program in ASIA region is approaching I need to apply for this asap, so better if you could answer me urgently.

If you not able to answer me could you suggest me whom I should contact to get my query solve.

Please revert me back.

Thanks,
Navneet