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A Guide to Preparing for Sales & Trading Interviews

In general, an S&T interview will have 5 unique components:


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Behavioural questions (40-60%)


Market-based questions (20-30%)
Investment questions (10-20%)
Technical questions (0-10%)
Brainteasers (0-5%)

Behavioural Questions
Behavioural questions in an S&T interview are similar to that of investment banking. In this portion of the
interview, the firm is trying to gauge your personality and fit with their corporate culture. DO NOT
underestimate the importance of this portion of the interview. The links below and the questions attached
should provide you with a good understanding of how to prep and the types of questions that you will see
during this section of the interview.
http://www.mergersandinquisitions.com/sales-trading-interview-fit-questions/
http://www.mergersandinquisitions.com/sales-trading-vs-investment-banking-part-1-recruiting/ - The end
of the podcast covers S&T interviews
Market-Based Questions
Market-based questions can be a challenging portion of the interview to prepare. The potential questions
seem endless. Firms do not expect you to understand every detail of Bank of Japans most recent policy
announcement; however, they do expect you to have a general understand of what is going on in global
markets. In order to prepare, I recommend tackling this section in 3 parts:
1) Surface Level Questions To ensure that you have been following the markets, the interviewer
is likely to ask questions like what is the price of gold? Where did the S&P 500 close yesterday?
What is the 10yr US Treasury rate? Who is Stephen Poloz? Etc.
2) Historical Comprehensive Questions In addition to the surface level questions, the
interviewer is likely to ask about the performance of various assets and economies over the last
1-2 years. Assets to know include: gold, S&P 500, oil, US interest rates, Canadian interest rates,
Canadian dollar, and US dollar. Economies to know include: Canada, US, Japan, Eurozone,
UK, and emerging markets.
3) Outlook Questions For each of the aforementioned assets and economies be sure to develop
an outlook for the next 12-24 months. S&T is all about having an opinion, so do your research,
develop an opinion, and be prepared to support it in an interview.

Investment Questions
Mergers & Inquisitions does a good job of discussing the investment questions in the link below. Note that
if you mention anywhere on your resume or cover letter that you trade or manage a personal portfolio, you
are guaranteed to get questions regarding your strategy, best trade, worst trade, etc. In general, there are 3
types of questions:
1) What sectors do you like? What sectors do you dislike?
2) Pitch me a stock you are long. Pitch me a stock that you are short.
3) How would you invest $10 million? (Asset allocation: %CDN equities, % US equities, % bond,
% gold, % real estate, etc.)
http://www.mergersandinquisitions.com/sales-trading-interview-technical-questions/
Technical Questions
Technical questions seldom make up a large portion of the interview but should be prepared for
nonetheless. Technical questions include any product specific questions such as: what is the difference
between a forward and futures contract? Or explain what an interest rate swap is. See the list of interview
questions below to practice potential technical questions.
Brainteasers
Brainteasers are less common these days, however, you will be asked them from time to time. Your best
bet is to search around the internet for brainteasers to practice (Wall Street Oasis has a good selection). In
general, if you are asked a brainteaser and are unsure how to answer it, think out loud and try your best to
walk through the problem logically.

Ivey Sales & Trading Club Interview Questions


Behavioural Questions:
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Walk me through your resume/Tell me about yourself


Biggest weakness and strength? (why shouldn't we hire you = what's your biggest weakness?)
Why should we hire you over the other 100 candidates we are going to interview this year?
What is the hardest thing you have ever done? Biggest accomplishment?
What motivates you?
Tell me about a time that you failed/your biggest failure.
What are your short/long-term goals?
Why are you passionate about the markets?
How do you stay up to date with the markets?
Rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 on the type of risk taker you are. Tell me why and give examples to support your
claims. (What is the biggest risk you've ever taken?)
You look like someone nice; how would I know that you can deal with a difficult client?
How do you work in teams?
Describe a time when you worked successfully in a team.
Describe a time when you worked successfully as the leader of a team
Give me an example of something quantitative you've done in the past.
Why not investment banking?
Tell me something you've quit.
Have you ever dealt with an ethically ambiguous situation? What did you do?
Tell me a time that you have displayed integrity.
Tell me a joke. (Make sure it is clean)
If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would it be?
How would a friend describe you? How would your boss describe you?
If we give you the offer right now, what would you say?
What's the most important thing to you?
Name the best party you've ever been to.
If you had a day to do anything you like, what would you do? (What's your biggest dream?)
What's your favorite sport?
What interests you outside of work?
Why Ivey?
Do you like Ivey? What do you like/dislike?
What's your favorite class? Teach me something from that class. What was your grade in that class?
What's your least favorite class? Teach me something from that class. What was your grade in that class?
Outside of classes, what is your favorite thing at school?
Are you entrepreneurial?
How creative are you? Give an example.
What qualities do you think make someone successful in business?
What are you learning that will help you in your work with us?
What would you like me to know most that is not in your resume
How do you evaluate your success or the success of others?
Describe a situation where you have successfully sold your ideas?
Tell me about a goal you set for yourself in the past that turned out to be too easy or too hard to achieve. What did you
learn from the situation.
Tell me about a situation where you were chosen as a leader by the members of your group
Why sales & trading? Sales or trading and why?
If you couldn't do sales & trading, what would you do?
A customer gives you a buy order which you complete. Afterwards, she/he claims it was a sell order what do you do?
Fixed income, equities, commodities, foreign exchange, or structuring? why?
What makes a good sales person?
Tell me what a trader does.
What makes a good trader?
Name two books you are reading now.

Technical, Market, and Investment Based Questions:


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What are the major asset classes?


Explain the Black Scholes model.
Explain what options Greeks are.
What would happen to the price of a stock put option if the company increases its dividends? Is the delta going to
increase or decrease?
What is the relationship between interest rates and exchange rates?
What does the term tapering refer to? Why is quantitative easing considered unconventional policy? Does tapering
mean raising rates?
When will the Fed raise rates?
What is the Bank of Canada (BoC) rate right now? What about Bank of England (BOE)? European Central Bank
(ECB)? Bank of Japan (BOJ)?
Explain what each central bank is trying to accomplish with their policy.
Explain the current economic conditions in Canada (or US, Japan, Eurozone, England)? What is your economic
outlook for Canada (or US, Japan, Eurozone, England)?
Where is the US 10 year rate headed?
Explain to me duration and convexity. What is the duration formula? How does it work?
What is spot? What is a forward rate?
What is the yield curve?
What is the Dow Jones Industrial Average, NASDAQ, S&P 500? How does it work?
Do you think the stock market is efficient (in an EMH sense)?
I buy a 7 year par bond paying 8% annual. What is the YTM? If I wait 1 year and sell it at a YTM of 7%, do I sell the
bond for a premium or a discount?
I have a 10 year 6% bond. What is the maximum price this bond could ever reach? Why?
Have you heard of LTCM?
For gold, oil and the S&P 500, tell me where it is, where you see one year from today in percentage change.
Please tell me about an interesting article that you've recently read
What is going on in the economy today? Where is it going and why? What do the recent economic data points mean
for the economy?
What is worst for the economy: Inflation or Deflation?
The BoC recently made an adjustment to their outlook for the economy. Can you explain the how their outlook has
changed and how this will impact their policy going forward?
What role does the housing market play in the economy?
I am thinking of buying a house in Toronto. Should I? What impacts the price of houses?
What factors control currency exchange rates?
How can the government influence the economy?
What did the FED do at the last meeting? Do you agree with the FED's actions?
How does inflation affect the bond market? The stock market?
Where do you think interest rates are going? Does this always depend on the FED?
What is libor? What is libor's current level?
When inflationary fear rises, what two forms of macroeconomic policy does the government have to try to slow the
economy?
If you had 1mm how would you invest it?
Name 3 sectors that you are long.
Name 3 sectors you are short.
Name a stock in each sector in the two questions above.
Pitch me on a stock you are long.
How do you value a company?
What ratios do you use when valuing a company?
When you look at a company's financials, what do you look at first, second, third and why?
What is CAPM? Why is it useful?
What's the safest possible investment in today's markets?
What will happen to people holding CDS when the market is down?
You mentioned correlation. Tell me about this concept. After defining it, tell why it is important.
What is VIX?