Sharing some highlights from my first professional interview

For the less financially savvy, this symbolizes a bull market, or one that is trending upwards. The opposite would be a bear market (you don’t see no bear statues gracing financial districts).

These were found outside the Marina Bay Financial Center, a new financial hub a stone’s throw away from Marina Bay Sands. I was there for my first professional interview at Barclays Capital. Admittedly I didn’t do well, and wasn’t as adequately prepared as I should be. As usual, Murphy struck and I had to think of answers on the spot, and regrettably committed some interview no-nos. Here are some of questions I remember, not word for word and in random order though.

1. Briefly tell us about yourself

2. What problem did Barclays face that are similar to other banks?

3. What happened in September 2008?

4. Who bought over Lehman Brothers?

5. What do you know about fixed income products?

6. Suppose its the end of the day, a call comes in; it is an auditor requesting for information about a client’s position. You get can the information, but you do not know how long it would take. What would you do?

7. Suppose another call comes in; a client has been waiting for answers for a day. The IT support is down, and that is the only way you are going to get the information. What would you do?

8. How well do you take criticisms? Suppose a trader shouts at you in front of your whole team, what would you do?

9. Have you been reading anything specifically about options?

10. Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

11. Tell me more about the recent financial news.

12. Suppose the US economy drops, what would happen to Australian dollars?

13. What do you know about the job description?

14. What do you know about Barclays?

15. What are your major weaknesses?

16. Could carelessness be one of your weaknesses?

17. Tell us an experience in which you have committed a major mistake.

There you have it, a rather long list of questions (not exhaustive). I left the building thinking I had botched the interview; if I had though I would think that it would nonetheless be a good interview experience. It was tough enough!

Oh yep, the people there need their coffee.

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