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Bloomberg L.P. Financial Software Developer Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated May 7, 2014
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Financial Software Developer Interview

Financial Software Developer
New York, NY

I applied online and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Bloomberg L.P. in June 2014.

Interview Details – From the online application (bloomberg website) to the phone interview took around 4 weeks (a first interview was scheduled within 2 weeks but the interviewer didn't call so we rescheduled). The phone interview was quite straightforward and I was asked the following questions
1- Kind of a strange question. Generate all 3-digit combinations of 1-9 but not repeats in the sense that if you have 123, then 231, 321, etc. are not allowed. [nested for loops]
2- Reverse a given sentence (no use of library methods, arbitrary spaces between words). Make it faster. [start at the end and find and print words one-by-one].
3- You are given a 3L and a 5L container and unlimited supply of water. How to make 1L?[I found a longer solution but the short on is pour 3L into 5 twice.]
4- A program/algorithm which given mL and nL buckets figures out how (if possible) make kL. [we discussed the solution and the interviewer was nice and gave me a hint. Its a DP problem].

The next day, I received and invitation for on-site interview. The travel schedule part was straightforward and convenient.
I was invited to the NY office. There was a group of around 30 people like me. They hold you for a few minuts to issue a security badge. Then there is a tour about all the 31 or so aquariums and fishes at bloomberg. Eventually, there is breakfast and then the interviews come find you. There is 4 rounds of interview. Rounds 1-2 are technical, 3 is management, and 4 is HR.
Some questions I remember:
1- Find shortest path on a chessboard from low left corner to top right. You can move right and top only and some cells are inaccessible (DFS).
2- You have sorted arrays A and B with sizes m and n. Assume at the end of array "A" you have "n" empty slots. How to merge with minimum number of operations (start at the end instead of beginning). Prove it works (induction).
3- Some runners running in a field with some "k" sensors. We get events of runnings locations. How to print the top "m" runners? (array of lists or hash table of lists depending on the location of the sensors. each list is one sensor). Some questions on how to identify the ordering within each list.
4- CPU Cache implementation. How to implement the least frequently used procedure.
5- Scheduling some jobs over "m" servers. Centralized vs distributed implementation? How to implement.

The management interview was interesting and I liked the two managers. HR was fine too. I did not do any negotiations.

Interview Question – The chessboard problem. I first mentioned BFS and use of a Queue but the interviewer kept asking about some data structure with less memory that I could extract due to the simple structure of the graph. I did not understand what he meant. I eventually mentioned DFS and proved it works uses less memory.
The cache problem took a long time. I kind of though I failed it at some point. I had no prior knowledge of the topic since I am not a CS guy. I eventually, used an array to store the access time to different items and O(n) search through it to find the least frequently used one. The interviewer did not raise the complexity. He wanted me to write code on a paper (which is hard, esp. in C).
  Answer Question

Negotiation Details – I did not do any negotiations. I accepted the offer for some time in the future since I need to resolve the visa part.

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Accepted Offer

Negative Experience

Financial Software Developer Interview

Financial Software Developer

Interviewed at Bloomberg L.P.

Interview Details – One phone interview and one on site (3 interviewers) plus HR review. Three interviewers are two developer and one manager. Then you get the offer and they do all background checks etc.

Interview Questions

Negotiation Details – Not much negotiation room for junior hire

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Financial Software Developer Interview

Financial Software Developer

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Bloomberg L.P..

Interview Details – Applied online and was contacted a few days later asking to schedule a phone interview for the following week. The interviewer was very nice - asked mostly about my background and a few simple data structures questions.

Interview Question – How is memory stored?
Difference between array and linked list?
Binary search tree traversal
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No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Financial Software Developer Interview

Financial Software Developer
Boston, MA

I applied through college or university and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Bloomberg L.P. in March 2014.

Interview Details – Technology interview, Very friendly interviewers
Q1, What is a static variable? What is a static function? Think of a case where you can make use of static variable or static function.
Q2, Implement a basic traverse tree in java. Print out the nodes in a tree from left to right/ from right to left.

Interview Question – Tree Traversal   Answer Question

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1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Financial Software Developer Interview

Financial Software Developer

I applied through college or university and the process took 2 days - interviewed at Bloomberg L.P. in September 2013.

Interview Details – I was interviewed on campus ( University of Maryland ,college park ) . I got a call through career fair . The first interview happened at the fair itself, I was asked a simple mathematical questions , and a simple programming questions .
Then there were 2 back to back tech interview . Some of the questions that were asked :
          Given a list of exchange rates , between several currencies . Find out if it is possible to profit while moving through currency , exchanging , and ending up at the same currency you started with .
          There was a question about implementing vectors ( from STL ) .
         To implement a queue by using stacks .

Third interview was a not really technical although person asked me about python , asked me to write some basic code in python .

Interview Question – The question about inner workings of templates in C++, syntax etc , was unexpected . I had coded and prepared from a more algorithm and data structure point of view . I knew some these c++ internals , but that was not the skill i was showcasing . I have given other interviews , and such software companies ,rarely ask these language specific questions . As a result whatever interviews i gave post this one , i claimed to know only C, lol.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – I did not do much negotiation . I had only one offer back then .

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Positive Experience

Average Interview

Financial Software Developer Interview

Financial Software Developer
Blacksburg, VA

I applied through college or university and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Bloomberg L.P. in September 2013.

Interview Details – I went to my school career fair, and I got an interview with Bloomberg by talking to them and solving their problems in place. There were 2 rounds; each round they asked me technical questions about hash tables, linked lists and also behavioral questions like "Have you ever imagined what you would do in our company?"

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8 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Financial Software Developer Interview

Financial Software Developer

I applied online and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Bloomberg L.P. in December 2013.

Interview Details – Applied Online...

Phone Interview.. Not difficult.
Question 1: Why make data members private and access them using getter and setter methods when you can access them directly by making them public.
Question 2 : Given stock prices of n days. Find when to buy and when to sell stock in order to gain maximum profit
Question 3 : Given an array of size greater than 'x' and a range 0 to x . Find duplicate elements in the array. Hint. You can destroy the array but the solution should use O(1) space and O(n) time where n is the size of the array.

On Site Interview:

Interview 1 :
Interview with 2 software developers
Started with some questions related to my projects
Q1 : Diamond Inheritance Problem in C++. Use of virtual keyword. And how are things handled internally. Basically checked my understanding of vtable

Q2 : Can you use virtual keyword with destructors?

Q3 : Given heads of two linked lists. Find if the two linked lists intersect.
Solution should not use extra memory.

Q4 : Reverse linked list. Tested concepts of double pointers, pass by value and pass by reference.

Interview 2 :
Interview with 2 software developers
Q1 : In what case would you use BST over a hash table..
Q2 : Insertion in BST
Q3 : Find 'k'th smallest element in BST. What extra information would you require here
Q4: Given a string which has a lot of spaces beween words . Remove these extra spaces in the string
 eg: " I love New York " --> "I love New York"
Q4 : You get an input in the form [2 lowercase characters , A number] .. eg [aa,10] , [bd, 12]..
Given a two letter input, find the last 10 numbers associated with the string..
Design a data structure to implement this without using STL. Basically I was asked to design a hash function.

Interview 3 :
Interview was with a project manager

Q1 : Find the first distinct element in an array
Q2 : C++ does not have byte datatype. How would you create this datatype.
Q3 : Lets say I have a code currently executing on my machine. I overwrite the code with a newer version. But the older version is still executing. Why do you think this is happening.

Interview 4 :
Interview with HR
General HR Interview

Interview Question – Given heads of two linked lists. Find if the two linked lists intersect.
Solution should not use extra memory.
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No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Financial Software Developer Interview

Financial Software Developer
New York, NY

I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Bloomberg L.P. in February 2010.

Interview Details – I applied online and was contacted by a recruiter two days later. The position involved 6 months training and did not require software development experience. After a phone interview I was called back the next day and they flew me to New York and had a car waiting at Laguardia for me. After two technical interviews involving brain teasers and coursework I was sent on my way. It was clear the position was not a fit from the interviews, but they gave me a $100 gift card for expenses and sent me on my way. Not offered the position.

Interview Question – They asked a combinatorics question during the phone interview asking to count the number of ways an ant could crawl from one point to another in a grid.   Answer Question

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12 people found this helpful

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Financial Software Developer Interview

Financial Software Developer
New York, NY

I applied online and the process took 6 weeks - interviewed at Bloomberg L.P. in February 2014.

Interview Details – Applied Online and wait for about 2 days then got an e-mail for a phone interview.

Phone Interview: Some basic data structure questions and OOD questions. The last question was to find out the largest 2 numbers in a given array. Then I was invited to take an in-house interview in New York.

In-house Interview: Four rounds, 7 interviewers.
First round: 3 interviewers asked something from the resume and then some basic algorithm problem and system design problem.

Second round: 2 interviewers asked all algorithm problems. Nothing is difficult except one problem that is "Find longest palindrome in a given string in less than O(n*n) time". And I've been struggled for a long time on this.

Third round: 1 senior manager asked some behavior questions and one system design problem. I think I spent too much time on thinking how to optimize the data structure but at the end I realize that in the interviewer's mind, we didn't need to care how the front-end system deliver data to users just by assuming that the server would handle all the requests.

Fourth round: 1 HR asked something on the resume and things about the position. I was very happy for getting in this round since from the information I've got from this website that about 90% candidates getting in this round would get a job offer. And I do like Bloomberg and want to work there sincerely. Besides, all the interviewers are very nice and I like them. So I was shocked and very upset when I got the "Thank You" email in my box today (3 days after the in house interview). And I'm still very sad now.

I hope that this experience will help.

Interview Question – 1. Find out the longest palindrome in a given string in less than O(n*n) time.
2. Design a system that can deliver the newest price of stocks to users.
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No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Financial Software Developer Interview

Financial Software Developer

I applied through college or university and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Bloomberg L.P. in February 2014.

Interview Details – I applied at Career Fair and then I got a phone interview. The phone interview is not hard. All he asked is basic C/C++ question and data structure questions. Q1, merge two sorted array. Q2, pointers in C++. Q3, OO design.

Interview Question – No   Answer Question

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