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Old 02-04-2018, 10:11 AM
kingofants kingofants is offline
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Default Any idea what kind of an interview this will be?

Company: Propriety Trading Firm, and other stuff.
Interview: 2nd-round, phone, 60-90 min, with lead software developer.
Position: C++ developer.

The first round was a 5 hour online Code Challenge where I had to provide solutions to 3 problems. I destroyed it, which is why I am now moving on to the second round.

In the job application, it asked 3 math brain teaser questions:

1. A pack of grapes weighing 100 pounds has a water content of 96%. It has now been dried to 92% water content. How much does the pack of grapes weigh now?

2. What is the angle made by the hour and the minute hand when the time is 7:25?

3. A 2x3x4 brick is painted blue. It is then broken into cubes of 1x1x1. What is the expected value of the number of blue sides of a randomly selected 1x1x1 cube from the resulting set of 1x1x1 cubes?


In the email with the lead developer, he said that he'll ask both technical and non-technical questions, I have to be in a quiet room, and I need a pencil and paper to work on the problems.


This indicates to me that he'll be asking math/probability questions like those aforementioned 3.

Has anyone had this type of phone interview before?

Last edited by kingofants; 02-05-2018 at 02:25 PM..
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Old 02-04-2018, 10:43 AM
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sounds like the kind where they ask you questions and you need to use the ol' noggin to think of something before answering. so like any interview? I guess?
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Old 02-04-2018, 10:57 AM
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If what I read on glassdoor is anywhere near accurate, a lot of these interviews have Exam P and discrete math type problems. It may be too late to adequately prepare if your interview is like, tomorrow, but if you're going to head down this path long term, it would probably be good to get a book on quantitative finance interviews and go through the practice problems.

There are a lot of prop trading firms in Chicago, and positions open up all the time, so give it your best shot, but don't be worried if you don't make it since you can treat it as practice for further interviews.
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Old 02-04-2018, 11:02 AM
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I’m guessing it will be the type of interview where you ask for advice on how to do it, from an audience that is completely unrelated to where you’re interviewing, then ignore all advice and do what you were going to do all along anyway. Again.
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Old 02-04-2018, 11:06 AM
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Old 02-04-2018, 11:07 AM
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I'm often surprised at how different interviews are by industry, fwiw.
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Old 02-04-2018, 11:45 AM
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sounds insanely intense
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Old 02-04-2018, 11:55 AM
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sounds insanely intense
It's intense to have an interview where you actually have to solve problems instead of just talking about solving problems? The interviewee should be glad he has an opportunity to demonstrate his skill, so he can get past all the people who sound good but can't actually do the work.
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Old 02-04-2018, 12:05 PM
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I'm often surprised at how different interviews are by industry, fwiw.
Agree with that. Part of it is reasonable. For example, actuaries have generally passed exam P before interviewing, so asking these types of questions isn't very necessary. And a sales position wouldn't ask something like this because it's irrelevant. But I do find it interesting the extent to which case interviewing (for example) is popular in certain industries and not others. Would actuaries benefit from using that in our interviewing? I think not, but not sure and it's interesting regardless that we haven't borrowed this technique that McKinsey et al consider so important.
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Old 02-04-2018, 12:07 PM
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It's intense to have an interview where you actually have to solve problems instead of just talking about solving problems? The interviewee should be glad he has an opportunity to demonstrate his skill, so he can get past all the people who sound good but can't actually do the work.
Mostly agree, but you seem to be assuming that being able to solve a problem involving dehydrating grapes is directly relevant or will actually select for somebody who can "do the work". Not at all obvious that's true IMO.
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