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One man’s neat, elegant and mathematically compelling solution for getting a top job in a bank or hedge fund

It’s also time consuming and involves lots of work. But still.

The great idea comes via David Biello, an author for Scientific American, who yesterday tweeted that:

“embedded at the end of this interview is the secret to landing a job at goldman sachs or trading house of your choice…”

The idea, expounded by the statistical physicist H. Eugene Stanley of Boston University, is communicated as follows:

Let me tell you a story: two to the power of 10 is 1,024. One way to predict the market is to call up 1,024 trading places and tell half of them by week’s end the market will be up and the other half that the market will be down. At the end of the week, forget about the half that knows you were wrong. Keep doing that for 10 weeks and, at the end, you will have called the market correctly for one person who will think you are a genius.

Obviously, this approach depends upon there being 1,024 people who will listen to your predictions. It also depends upon your predictions being one dimensional, which may detract from your perceived wisdom. But Biello has a point: persuading someone to hire you is a numbers game. The more people you approach, the higher your chances.

Comments (11)

Comments
  1. Oh dear, this is such a bad idea. It may work for mailshots from asset management firms to naive private investors. But for job interviews….? By the 10th interview, the chances of the candidate’s foolish strategem being the subject of peer to peer gossip is high enough to promise certain ruin. Then what ?

    The Posh Headhunter Reply
     
  2. There is nothing great about this idea. It is at best cliched….there are many variants of this such as put a few billion monkeys on a few billion typewriters…and one of them will manage to write a Shakespearean drama etc; etc; let’s talk about some real life experiences listen to a useless mathematician who tweets cliched ideas…

  3. Just keep on doing it 1024&24 times, and sooner or later someone will buy into it. Does he really believe in this being so simplistic?

    Such a poor modelling of a human process.

  4. damn it feels good to be a bankah…..damn it feels good to be a bankah….

    leveragedsellout Reply
     
  5. Why does she even bother? Any ideas, anyone?

  6. Getting a job yes… staying in that job, no.

  7. People missing the point: “persuading someone to hire you is a numbers game. The more people you approach, the higher your chances.”

  8. Rooney missing people’s point: “the chances of the candidate’s foolish strategem being the subject of peer to peer gossip”

  9. Novel approach. Enjoyed reading the article.

  10. 1 person with no friends thinks you’re a genius – great.
    However 1023 people think you’re a fool.

    Besides that reputational issue, the one place you’ll possibly impress is completely random. It cannot be a trading house of *your* choice. It’ll probably end up being some diabolical Belgian-Korean hedge fund where trade validation is done by fax and your boss smells of cats.

    smells of cats Reply
     

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