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Can you answer banks’ new impossible interview questions?

Most difficult banking interview questions

For a while, it seemed that banks were jettisoning brainteasers from their interviews. That interviews were more about “fit” and ethics and finding people who resemble existing high performers. 

This might be the case for jobs in the investment banking division or compliance, but as banks increasingly automate everything – investment banking included – what they really need are problem solvers who are also technologists. People who can break a complex problem into its constituent parts and devise a logical solution.

If you’re interviewing for a technology, or a “strats”, or even a risk job, therefore, you will encounter interview questions that test your problem solving ability. These might not be the kinds of jobs you’re applying for, but they’re the kinds of jobs banks have in increasing numbers: a new report suggests that nearly half of the jobs going at Goldman right now are in the technology division. If you’ve got a brain that can create an equation or write a piece of code that will automate the client communication process, you’re in.

To get these kinds of jobs, you’ll need to answer the kinds of questions we’ve listed below. These have all been asked in tech and quant interviews at banks like Goldman Sachs and hedge funds like Brevan Howard and Citadel in the past 12 months. Bear in mind that these are the easy ones. They also don’t require you to write any code. We’ve started with the easy ones.

Questions sources include: Glassdoor, GeeksforGeeks, CareerCup, Wall Street Oasis.

Have a story or comment you’d like to share? Contact: sbutcher@efinancialcareers.com

Comments (2)

  1. There’s a typo in the drunk man question. The probability of the man falling off the cliff after 3 steps is ~41% (11/27). This is also easily borne out by simulation.

  2. X is an element of the null set because the egg will break from every floor.

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