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Authentic killer questions from financial services interviews (II)

As a follow-up to our recent hit success, ‘killer questions asked in financial services interviews’, here’s a sequel.

All of the questions below have been sent in by site visitors in response to our competition, and all have been encountered by interviewees or asked by interviewers in a financial services context.

Click on them to read the answers that were given/desired, and to learn more about the role in question.

The competition is still running. If you send in your interview questions (for non-graduate interviews), plus your answers by July 16th, we will enter you for a draw to win an iPad. Click here for the full details.

If the banana market is currently at 100, and then moves up 2%, down 5%, up 12%, up 4%, and down 15%, where’s the quote now?

How would you describe a credit default swap to a builder?

You’re quite good…tell me a question you wouldn’t be able to answer please

You have nine balls all of which look identical but one is slightly heavier than the rest…

How would you rate yourself (out of 10) for the following….

Which personal goals have you achieved, and which of them are you most proud of and why?

Please describe to me a situation when you have helped a colleague who was in trouble. What was the situation and how did you try to tackle it?

If you were to describe yourself as an animal, what sort would you be, and why?

If you were a car, which kind of car would you be, and why?

Please tell us how many pound coins would fit into this room, and provide details about how you would go about making the calculation.

Add up 1 to 100

How do you instill an ethical culture within an organisation?

If you had your life over, what would you do differently?

You are sitting in a boat in the middle of a lake and you throw a stone over the side of the boat. What happens next?

“You have perfect CV for bank/ investment bank with all your experiences and your great academic path….”

Can you estimate toothpaste sales in Kazakhstan?

See this empty glass? How many different uses for it can you think of? You have one minute.

We feel that everyone can be described either as a horse, a donkey, or a bird. Which one are you?

We feel that everyone can be described either as a horse, a donkey, or a bird. Which one are you?

Develop a stress scenario for an investment bank and make it as realistic and contemporary as possible.

You have a consulting background and no banking experience. We hate consultants – what value can you bring to the table?

Comments (11)

Comments
  1. Once I was asked by hiring manager, an Australian in JPM : What will u like to do if you are a superman”.

    I could not stop laughing, funny(stupid?) question.

  2. I think these questions are more a reflection on the interviewer.

    If the job market wasn’t so hard at the moment, I’d probably decline most job offers made from these anyway. I’ve worked with enough noobs in my career to know another when I hear them.

    And for those who will criticise me as being ignorant, uneducated, afraid, smelly, big feet, or whatever – the best way to forecast a persons future performance is via past performance, not these silly questions.

    A simpler, quicker, and more effective way to say, recruit a car salesman, is to ask “How many cars did you sell last month”.

    But, if I want to recruit a tall attractive women (or someone who went to my school, cricket club, etc), and she (he) only sold 2 cars last month, the above questions (and her superior answers) will allow me to hire her instead

    :)

  3. These sound like questions for very junior positions for people with no track record. Still some of the answers were brilliant, “The banana market is closed”? Give that guy a job in FX sales.

  4. authentic stupid questions would be more appropriate

  5. If it’s all the recruitment jocks come up with to kill time and waste ours, our industry is in pretty bad shape indeed!

  6. “These sound like questions for very junior positions for people with no track record.”

    I completely agree. If questions like these are being asked of experienced candidates, the jobs market must be tougher than I thought.

  7. Most are good questions but not necessarily “killer”

  8. Answers to ?:
    how would you describe a credit default swap to builder? (“from an extremely long distance”); we feel everyone could be described as a horse, donkey or bird? (“do you get taken to court a lot?”); empty glass? (“how did you know I’m a glass act!”) tell me a question you couldn’t answer? (“what am I doing here?!”); you have a consulting background and we hate consultants? (“no actually I am now a banker as I’ve heard bankers don’t need any experience”); add up 1 to 100? (“100 and up 1″); develop a stress scenario for an investment bank (” they’re so good at developing their own stress scenarios that I think that’s a really unfair question”); can you estimate toothpaste sales in Kazakhstan? (“no, but I’m happy for you to fly me there business class to give it my best shot”); how do you instill an ethical culture within an organisation (“why do you ask, do you have a need to install one?”)

    Sorry, I’m bored and I’m not answering any more questions now as I’m still stuck in a boat in the middle of a xxxxxxx lake! What did I do with that bag of stones!

  9. If i give the answers correctly would the interviwer understand what i mean?

  10. You’re quite good…tell me a question you wouldn’t be able to answer please

    “This one?”

  11. Answer is simple.. Just Tell them imagine You are in my shoe and what will be your answer .. The same is my answer.

    Vincent

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