D. E. Shaw & Co. - Investment Firm Interview Questions

Updated Dec 24, 2014
15 Interview Reviews

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  1. Helpful (9)  

    Quantitative Analyst Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at D. E. Shaw & Co. - Investment Firm (New York, NY) in November 2014.

    Interview

    Timeline (~2 months):
    ----------------------------
    Applied in mid October. Phone interview was set-up two weeks later. On-site interview the week after. A lot of background check related activities for over a month. Offer given after all checks complete.

    Phone interview:
    -----------------------
    - 45 minutes, single interview
    - probability/statistics and algorithms questions
    - very friendly, casual
    - invited to on-site immediately afterwards

    On-site:
    ----------------------
    - 5 consecutive one-on-one hour long interviews with quant team (3 in morning, 2 after lunch)
    - 1 "off the record" lunch with another team member
    - extremely nice, brilliant people
    - a lot of questions about my research (be prepared to talk details!)
    - brainteasers (algorithms, black-scholes, arbitrage-free pricing, statistics, order-of-magnitude estimations)
    - time breakdown: 50% fit/research, 50% brainteasers

    Follow-up:
    --------------------
    - at the end of on-site, asked to submit via e-mail: references (4 phone contacts), code samples (~500 lines of code that you're particularly proud of), writing samples (e.g. a scientific paper)
    - a TON of background checks in the month following
    - got weekly phone-call updates to let me know status of my application and also so I could fill out more forms for the background check (I was truly amazed at the dedication and care they took in keeping me informed, especially since the process took so long!)
    - they also asked me about details from other offers I had

    Interview Questions

    • Which is more: a) the number of stars in our galaxy, or b) the number of grains of sand that will fit in a 5 gallon bucket.

      How do you estimate both (a) and (b) using reasonable assumptions that a normal lay-person could verify/agree-with?
       
      1 Answer

    Negotiation

    Told hiring manager the numbers from some other hedge fund offers I had at the time. DE Shaw countered with an offer that was superior in all aspects (salary, bonus, benefits) -- didn't feel the need to negotiate since it was the best offer I received and significantly more than industry average.

  2.  

    Quantitative Analyst/Software Developer Intern Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at D. E. Shaw & Co. - Investment Firm (New York, NY) in November 2013.

    Interview

    I had one phone interview, which had a few math/CS questions. I was then invited onsite, where there were 5 rounds of interviews, as well as an off-the-record lunch discussion. There were lots of probability and algorithmic questions. Knowledge of finance seemed to be a plus but not necessary. Everyone was very nice and helpful.

    Interview Questions

    • The most unexpected questions was how would you color a 3-colorable graph. I was initially thinking that you had to do something efficient, which isn't possible, but he just wanted some way of doing it.   1 Answer
  3. Helpful (3)  

    Quantitative Analyst Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at D. E. Shaw & Co. - Investment Firm (New York, NY) in February 2012.

    Interview

    Initial phone interview, then four hour-long onsite interviews, and finally had to submit four references and code and writing samples. Mostly technical focus - algorithms, brain teasers, math, etc. - with a few fit questions thrown in. Everyone seemed very intelligent, and indeed they were; many analysts have a Ph.D. in some technical field (Math, Physics, EE, Econ, etc.).

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  5. Helpful (1)  

    Quantitative Analyst Interview

    Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at D. E. Shaw & Co. - Investment Firm (New York, NY) in February 2012.

    Interview

    I applied online. Got a phone interview. Followed it up with an onsite interview.

    Interview Questions

    • If 3 of my friends have phone numbers ending (last four digits) in some permutation of 0,1,4, and 9 and I have 150 friends, then is that just a chance occurance?   5 Answers
  6.  

    Generalist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took a dayinterviewed at D. E. Shaw & Co. - Investment Firm (New York, NY) in October 2009.

    Interview

    got an email from school visit to the firm for a phone interview, had a good conversation for the phone interview and was flown in for a day of 1-1 interviews. liked the people and culture, also the opportunity presented by the position

    Interview Questions

  7. Helpful (6)  

    Executive Assistant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a staffing agency. The process took 3 daysinterviewed at D. E. Shaw & Co. - Investment Firm (New York, NY) in January 2008.

    Interview

    After a pre-screening with the employment agency; having to fill out an information sheet for D.E. Shaw, I was then notified by the agency that a phone interview would be conducted. My preferred contact number was given with e-mailed instructions of time of our call and that the interview should last no more than 30 minutes. After our phone interview, the agency phoned me back a week later to tell me that it went well, and they would like for me to interview in person at their offices. Since there were several departments seeking an Executive Assistant, my interviews would be 4 back-to-back meetings in 30 minute increments with various employees. That was considered the 2nd day. I was then asked to come back for what would be Round 3 interviews, but based on my initial visit, one of the departments wanted to move forward and make me an offer. I was extremely relieved at this point. HR was in contact with me through the agency of course, and the Background Check began. I had to obtain official copies of my transcript, as well as providing them with previous employers to conduct reference check and date of employment verification. This took about another 2 weeks before an offer was even made.

    Interview Questions

    • The position I applied for was to support professionals who did not have an assistant, so the toughest question for me was how I would achieve the optimal working relationship so that I could get work from my principals.   1 Answer

    Negotiation

    I knew going into the position what the salary ranged from and it was well above what I was making at the time. At the time when the offer was made, I was offered $10,000 above my base salary, a hiring bonus of $10,000 to spread out over 3 years if I continue to work at the firm, and a guaranteed year-end bonus of $15,000 with excellent benefits to top it off.

  8. Helpful (1)  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at D. E. Shaw & Co. - Investment Firm.

    Interview

    The interview process involved 8 interviews, each of which were thirty to forty minutes in length. These were conducted over a two day period. In addition, I was once interviewed over the phone and one of my references was called. I found my interviewers to be courteous, fair, smart and generally enjoyable to speak with.

    Interview Questions

    • I was asked a few "brain-teaser"type of questions. These were the most difficult.   Answer Question

    Negotiation

    I didn't negotiate.

  9.  

    Member Technical Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Hyderābād (India)
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4 weeksinterviewed at D. E. Shaw & Co. - Investment Firm (Hyderābād (India)) in December 2013.

    Interview

    1 telephonic round : Mostly Technical around C/C++ , Networking ,OS .
    2 Rounds In house:
    Interview panel size - 2
    Mostly C++ , operating system , DBMS , networking basics.
    1 HR round : Mostly my likes , dislikes , why am I switching . etc. I think this was the round where I nailed it.
    A lot of background check followed

    Interview Questions

    • How do you implement all OOP principles in C   1 Answer

    Negotiation

    I had to negotiate a bit (even though the initial offer was way better than my current salary) and succeeded.

  10.  

    Senior MEMBER TECHNICAL Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Hyderābād (India)
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter – interviewed at D. E. Shaw & Co. - Investment Firm (Hyderābād (India)).

    Interview

    Got a call from recuriting team and had a telephonic screening round which was purely technical focused on current and past job roles and basic technology questions. This was followed by a day long in-house interview at D.E.Shaw office comprising 1HR, 1 Manager and 7 technical round , including a video-conferencing round. Technical rounds involved questions related to basics concepts to highly complex real-world scenario's. HR round was a friendly discussion regarding career goals, behaviour, achievements etc. Overall the interview process was very good and organsied and reflected the company's work culture and current employee's technical knowledge and possibilties for career growth.

    Interview Questions

    • Few puzzels/brain teasers involving knowledge of physics, mathematics and common sense!   Answer Question

    Negotiation

    Tried but they didn't bother.

  11.  

    Systems Administrator Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Hyderābād (India)
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took a dayinterviewed at D. E. Shaw & Co. - Investment Firm (Hyderābād (India)) in July 2013.

    Interview

    An initial shortlist was carried out through a written round consisting of 3 papers - Aptitude, Technical, Latest Technological Innovations. Next, the resumes of the shortlisted candidates were considered for next elimination. Finally from around 150 students that appeared for the process, 12 students remained at the end of the resume round.
    The next stage was the interview. 2 technical rounds followed by an HR round.

    Interview Questions

    Negotiation

    Did not try to negotiate.

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