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.
I interviewd with a fixed income guy.
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.
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.
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.
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.