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Old 19.09.2006, 22:14
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interview for Hedge fund--Advices needed

Am going to zurich for an interview on Thursday, wanna prepare a little bit before I go. Problem is the more I prepare the more nervous I am.
So, any advice from you guys? im kind of fresh out of school, i ve worked for only 1 yr & half after grad school.
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Old 19.09.2006, 22:51
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Re: interview for Hedge fund--Advices needed

Woo, I bet you're nervous. However, consider the fact that they are interested in you as a potential employee, otherwise they wouldn't have invited you Right?

Be very careful with what you say. Don't chat, no off-the-cuff remarks and remember: tell them what they want to hear.

The first interview is where you make the real impression: your academic record and experiences are ten a penny (sorry, but the company is full of smart people). What counts is the impression you make with them and your potential. Be yourself, don't be intimidated by the building, the reputation, the powersuits etc.

If you want to set the cat amongst the pigeons - big no no with Hedge Fund managers - mention to them you've read the Corporate Responsibility section of their annual report (you have already, right?) Tell them you find that admirable and you couldn't imagine working amongst non-ethically grounded organisations... oh hang on, DON'T do that! It's all fluff. Please, whatever you do, don't mention ethics, social-corporate responsibility etc. They'll think you're at best a subversive smart Alec or even a pinko commie with no place amongst the team. Are you sure you're happy to work there?

Sorry for my tough line, but they'll be sniffing for 'flaws', as they sense them. Know yourself, believe in yourself and remember it's an interview where you get to interview them as well! Let us know how it goes.
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Old 19.09.2006, 23:37
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Re: interview for Hedge fund--Advices needed

Uncle Max - when I got to the first part of your message I thought "What? Is this guy crazy", then when I got to the second part I realised you were joking. Working for a hedge fund, boy that will certainly be a "challenge"
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Old 20.09.2006, 00:23
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Re: interview for Hedge fund--Advices needed

Thanks a lot Uncle Max, that s really helpful. You are right I m not going to play cool, just want to be natural and get prepared. The worst scenario I still have a job to pay my rent

Quote:
mention to them you've read the Corporate Responsibility section of their annual report (you have already, right?).
Havent read it yet

Now im listing some interview questions that I was asked before

1.what are your strengths,
2.what are your weaknesses,
3.how did you use your strength during your career or studies,
4.what conflict did you had with a team memeber and how you solved it,
5.what is your short-term and long-term goals,
6.what is the biggest achievement in your life.

I ve always found the second question tricky, although this is a unimaginable question, I bet those people have already heard a lot of identical answers. such as, I'm a workaholic, I'm a perfectionist, I'm always looking at the big picture so sometimes I miss small details...

anyone has more creative answers?
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Old 20.09.2006, 00:44
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Re: interview for Hedge fund--Advices needed

Your answers may also depend on which position you are being hired for (secretary, trader, sales?) and the general attitude of the hedge fund. For example if these guys are high risk types, maybe they'll want a few "off the wall" kind of answers. Also depends who is interviewing you. An interview with a trader will be very different to one with some HR type who knows NOTHING about the business!

For a hedge fund, I'd be tempted to throw in a few curve balls - but only if they would be appreciated.
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Old 20.09.2006, 08:03
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Re: interview for Hedge fund--Advices needed

If you are going for an interview with a hedge fund, I would suggest:

a) know what a hedge fund is. Sounds obvious, but it ain't.
Important point: Hedging is risk management. The building blocks are often used for speculation and to add leverage, but their primary function is to control risk - for example fuel price or currency fluctuations.
b) know their strategy (Mitigation, special situations, currency hedging) where they operate and what they specialise in.
c) know the terminology: Call, Put, Swap, hedging, options, risk management, diversity.

and most importantly in my opinion:

d) Craft some questions from your knowledge (to which you already know the answers!) in order to get across what you know.

Fresh out of school you are not going to know the details, but do your homework, and it will give you some confidence.

dave
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Old 20.09.2006, 08:14
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Re: interview for Hedge fund--Advices needed


So true. Don't lose sight of the fact that these companies are money-driven. After all, what they do is pretty nebulous: smoke and mirrors. Throw in a few references to cost efficiency, and increasing commission and revenues.

See if they have "Bluffing Your way in Finance" in the bookshop. Its the only book worth reading before your interview.

Oh, and don't forget to imagine your interviewers naked. It helps or can be a distraction...

dave


Quote:
Please, whatever you do, don't mention ethics, social-corporate responsibility etc. They'll think you're at best a subversive smart Alec or even a pinko commie with no place amongst the team. Are you sure you're happy to work there?
.
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Old 20.09.2006, 10:29
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Re: interview for Hedge fund--Advices needed

Quote:
Havent read it yet

Now im listing some interview questions that I was asked before

1.what are your strengths,
2.what are your weaknesses,
3.how did you use your strength during your career or studies,
4.what conflict did you had with a team memeber and how you solved it,
5.what is your short-term and long-term goals,
6.what is the biggest achievement in your life.

I ve always found the second question tricky, although this is a unimaginable question, I bet those people have already heard a lot of identical answers. such as, I'm a workaholic, I'm a perfectionist, I'm always looking at the big picture so sometimes I miss small details...

anyone has more creative answers?
When I have interviewed people to work for me I always ask the weakness question, it's pretty standard. How you answer it is important though. I didn't want to hear "I'm workaholic" etc that wouldn't stand you out from the crowd. What I wanted is to give me an honest weakness and how you turn it around into a positive. For example you say you often miss the small details, how do you go about making the small details stand out to you and deal with this?
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Old 20.09.2006, 11:09
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Re: interview for Hedge fund--Advices needed

if you can't think of any intelligent questions to ask, mention the recent story about one of the big boys (Amaranth Advisors) losing their pants (ok... so its only about $ 4 Bn, but still) on natural gas bets that went wrong... ask them if they are holding on tight to their own pants!
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Old 20.09.2006, 11:11
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Re: interview for Hedge fund--Advices needed

Dave already pointed this out - but I'm assuming the original poster does know what a hedge fund is and how they work (or don't work)?
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Old 20.09.2006, 11:42
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Re: interview for Hedge fund--Advices needed

Quote:
Your answers may also depend on which position you are being hired for (secretary, trader, sales?) and the general attitude of the hedge fund. For example if these guys are high risk types, maybe they'll want a few "off the wall" kind of answers. Also depends who is interviewing you. An interview with a trader will be very different to one with some HR type who knows NOTHING about the business!
Mark, i agree with you, people from the HR may expect different answers to those from the products team. I think i will meet both. The position im going for is a junior position in the structuring products team.


Quote:


Oh, and don't forget to imagine your interviewers naked. It helps or can be a distraction...

dave
Dave, this is really a bad suggestion for a shy Asian girl

Last edited by Ella; 20.09.2006 at 12:07.
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Old 20.09.2006, 11:45
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Re: interview for Hedge fund--Advices needed

Structuring products team? Sounds like a sales/marketing role to me - what does it mean exactly? (after cutting the BS, and in a hedge fund there is often no shortage of BS!)
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Old 20.09.2006, 11:55
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Re: interview for Hedge fund--Advices needed

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedge_fund
It's nothing to do with saving to pay for a gardener

There are some good links in that wiki entry
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Old 20.09.2006, 12:01
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Re: interview for Hedge fund--Advices needed

Seen the film Wall Street? Remember the mantra: Greed is Good. Carry this with you in the interview and remember this is the Modus Operandi of Hedge Fund managers... you'll be fine. Lunch is for wimps...

(and don't mention ethics... )
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Old 20.09.2006, 12:06
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Re: interview for Hedge fund--Advices needed

Structured products is where they take the derivatives building blocks and build a risk-return profile on your chosen position.

For example, you may want to take a position on the high volatility of the oil price prior to the OPEC summit in November.

You could build a package of derivatives which pays out with price volatility (which is made from a call and put option combined, so if the price goes up or down from the agreed strike price , you win. Its not a one-way street as you have to pay the premium in order to buy these instruments, not to mention the advisors fees.)

Putting these lego building blocks together requires some specialist knowledge of option valuation (and access to future volatility predictions would be nice), but in the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king. The investment banks charge huge amounts for such advisory.

It was a real eye-opener (I have two) to see the way in which the advisors engineer the return profile they want in response to the expected behaviour of the underlying.

Anyway have fun, and don't try this at home as will end in tears.
dave



Quote:
Structuring products team? Sounds like a sales/marketing role to me - what does it mean exactly? (after cutting the BS, and in a hedge fund there is often no shortage of BS!)
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Old 20.09.2006, 12:08
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Re: interview for Hedge fund--Advices needed

Quote:
Anyway have fun, and don't try this at home as will end in tears.
A bit like a casino - the house seldom loses in the long run, but the customer on the other hand...
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Old 20.09.2006, 12:19
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Re: interview for Hedge fund--Advices needed

Note that most of the banks no longer take a position and end the day risk-neutral by operating counter-trades. They make their money from commissions and advisory, and loaning out your deposits

dave


Quote:
A bit like a casino - the house seldom loses in the long run, but the customer on the other hand...
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Old 20.09.2006, 15:45
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Re: interview for Hedge fund--Advices needed

It doesn't matter which President is in power, we paid hefty donations to each candidate... (don't mention Ethics)
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Old 20.09.2006, 23:31
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Re: interview for Hedge fund--Advices needed

Hi Ella,

Good luck in your inverview...

They know what position they want you.... So, be relaxed, be yourself, and dont pretend to be toooo smart (since they probably have ur experience in mind).

I interviewed about quite a few people in my life, and for the experience bracket you belong, I look for...in the order of importance
a) Is the person capable enuf to do the current work
b) Since its a junior position, first will he/she do the minimal job required (usually the junior positions are the dirty job... so u need to show the attitude to do them...) BUT next is the person driven enuf and will learn quickly
c) Is she all blah blah.... dont overdo it... the persons who are interviewing you, know your real experience, so dont talk too much about the experience part of it...in short dont be COCKY.. .theres a good difference between being COCKY and being KNOWLEDGEABLE about the subject.... Try to concentrate on your base education and then show them GOOD examples about your book knowledge....



Vishi
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Old 21.09.2006, 09:29
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Re: interview for Hedge fund--Advices needed

Another thing which (surprisingly) will make you stand out is to find out about the company. Get across something (or many things) at the interview that you could not have known simply by reading the job advert. It amazing the number of people that don't do this.

Is the company making money ? How much ?
Where is it expanding ?
How many people does it employ ?
Who are the key clients ?
Who are the competition ?

Use the internet to search for accounts, company reports and references to this company. Make a scrap book - and take it and show it at the interview. Work it into the conversation: "I see from my research that the company now gets 60% of its revenue from Middle East clients ? Does this office handle much of this administration ?"

This for me sorts out the real candidates from the also-rans.

dave


Its a fine line and your recently-gained knowledge will be quite fragile, so this is good advice

Quote:
Hi Ella,

c) Is she all blah blah.... dont overdo it... the persons who are interviewing you, know your real experience, so dont talk too much about the experience part of it...in short dont be COCKY.. .theres a good difference between being COCKY and being KNOWLEDGEABLE about the subject....
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