Prop Trading Interviews: What to Expect
Yes, you’re going to get a lot of mental math, brain teaser, and probability questions, so be prepared for all of those.
A few good resources to get started are:
- Jane Street – Probability & Markets
- Arithmetic Game (for mental math training)
- How to Calculate Quickly: Full Course in Speed Arithmetic
- Secrets of Mental Math: The Mathemagician’s Guide to Lightning Calculation and Amazing Math Tricks
- Short-Cut Math
They could potentially ask you questions about options and other derivatives, such as how Delta and Vega change when Characteristic X of an option changes.
But it depends on how you present yourself – if you walk in with previous experience or claim this knowledge, expect to be tested on it.
If not, then they’ll probably stick to the math, brain teaser, and probability questions.
Behavioral questions will also come up, but they’re more about handling stress and emergencies and less about your leadership abilities.
You should not worry about:
- Accounting, corporate finance, valuation, and M&A/LBO modeling – these do not matter in prop trading.
- “Real math” (i.e., subjects beyond calculus, linear algebra, and statistics). They are not going to ask you to prove Fermat’s Last Theorem or solve one of the Millennium Prize Problems.
If you’re applying for more of a Quant Trader role, you should expect programming questions and case studies as well.
There are dozens of websites and books you can use to prepare, but a few recommendations include Interview Cake, InterviewBit, LeetCode, Coderbyte, HackerRank, and Codewars.
I’m not sure if there’s any service specifically for coding exercises at finance firms, but a few of these sites may have a “fintech” category.