I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Bridgewater Associates.
Interview Details – The office visit "Blitz" lasts about half a day. You usually get an option to pick early morning (7am start session) and an afternoon (1pm start). HR meets you in the lobby and brings you up to your designated conference room and the interviweres come to you. The conference room has a whiteboard and dry erase markers,- which you should feel free to use liberally during your interview to help illustrate your points. You are not allowed to leave the conference room, other than for a potty break ( on which you are chaperoned). They take security really seriously there. They bring you food, coffee and water, paper supplies, etc. They also have someone ( not the interviewer) come to check- in on you between interviews, to make sure you are ok, and have everything. The chaperone will take you to their cafeteria. To pass time between interviews, you are given a computer to check out Bridgewater culture tapes, papers and videos. The reason you sign an NDA is so that you dont disclose the names of people mentioned in the culture tapes, who are real people. Most interviews sessions involve three people: you, the interviewer, and another BW person. I am not sure what the role of the third person in the interview is, maybe an observer? The observer doesnt talk much, if at all. The four interview sessions all have different interviewers. All sessions are recorded. Session 1: Debating your weaknesses ( here the point is for you and the interviewers to reach a consensus on what your weaknesses are. The interviewers will point out weaknesses they see in you , and ultimately you have to agree with the intervieweres that you have these weaknesses, and that they are right for poinitng them out. If at the end, you do not agree with the interviewers on the weaknesses they have pointed out , focusing on different weaknesses instead that you think are more apt, the interviweres will penalize you for it. What the interviwers really want is that at the end of the day you agree with their asessment of your weaknesses, if you want a job there.) Session 2: Debating a philosophical point of view ( Here the goal is for you and the interviewer to reach consensus on what is right given the arguements you've laid out. The interviewer acts as a devils advocate. Make no mistake, the interviewer already knows what the right answer to that question is based on BW philosophy. If you do not arrive at that correct answer with your reasoning, then you will be penalized for it. ) Session 3: Asking questions and discussing the different positions at BW and your interest in the company. ( This session is a lot more informal, but the goal is for you and the interviewer to come to a consensus about you being offered a job and if you want it) Session 4; Case Study - here you get to explain your reasoning about something that is in relation to BW current operations. I felt like the case study is the most difficult part, because they push you to move really fast on it, after the initial 5 to 8 minutes you have to contemplate it. I wasnt really able to step back, and revaluate the case study after it was in the "solving mode" , b/c the interviewer would constantly push me to make quick decisions on details, instead of giving me time to think about big picture. It is not like your consulting case studies, and I wish I had done some practice cases ahead of time. (The goal is for you and interviewer to reach consensus on how to solve the case study) . At the end of the interview, they ask you to fill out a an HR feedback form , which would be helpful if I had rememembered the names of all the interviewers. I never had an agenda ahead of time with a list of people who I was talking with, and none of the interviewers had any business cards on them, so that made giving feedback difficult. Overall advice would be that, BW does want you to ask questions, and to disagree and to debate, but ultimately they want to reach a consesus. And if they think you are not reaching consesus with them fast enough, within the time alotted, they will penalize you for not being able to reach consensus quick enough. But if you reach consensus too quickly, that is also not good. So if you want a job there, figure out what the interviewer thinks the rght answer is, and then pretend to reason to reach that conclusion/consensus.
Interview Question – BW wants to implement program X. How are you going to go about implementing it? Answer Question
Reason for Declining – The research department did not look like it was well run and organized, and the people did not feel genuine. BW has some great groups and departments. But Research is not one of them. It seems like they are terribly disorganized and struggle to get anything done there. Research HR had a real issue with reliability, lacked follow through, and would not get back at requests for status updates, and would not respond to emails. They were terrible at adhering to deadlines, providing details and sharing information in a timely and proactive way. Junior people looked exhausted, scared, lacking pride and confidence in themselves,- like they've been put through the ringer and the last drops of confidence have been sucked out of them. Overall, in my interactions with the interviewers, I did not feel like the Senior folks were truly comitted to BW spirit and principles as Ray intended it. Senior folks were more concerned with using the principles as tools of control to subjugate junior people to their will, they were only interested in discussion and debate as long as it supported their view and were not interested in an open debate where both sides are heard equally. Instead of consensus focused debate, its a forced consensus,- where its only consensus if the higher ups agree with it. Research requires originality and independent thinking, if the senior folks logjam in with their forced consensus, then independendt original thought is definitely not flourishing there, but stagnating. Add it to the long list of finance companies where young active smart minds become drones
Very Difficult Interview
I applied through college or university and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Bridgewater Associates in March 2010.
Interview Details – Group interviews are used to see how you engage and answer various moral/ethical/theoretical questions.
Interview Question – Would you sell cigarettes to a smoker even if it was bad for them? Answer Question
I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at Bridgewater Associates in March 2014.
Interview Details – I attend a non-target school on the West Coast. I applied online and was invited straight to their superday in their offices. Other applicants in my group were also invited straight to superday. Interview consisted of 2 parts: life interview and group discussion. Group discussion may be in a group, or a discussion between interviewee and interviewer. I had 4 rounds of interviews: 1 life and 3 group.
Interview Question – Do businesses have social corporate responsibility? Answer Question
I applied online and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Bridgewater Associates in March 2014.
Interview Details – Took about a week.
Filled out a coding challenge for the company and passed most of the tests (did the harder portion better than the easier one). A recruiter contacted me a few days later to schedule an interview.
Half was personality/fit, the other half was "technical" in the abstract sense; development procedure too.
Interview Question – How would you make an elevator better? Asked me to essentially start from scratch and develop an algorithm/program to do this. They helped me through this in places, but I guess I didn't run with the decision-making as thoroughly as they wanted me to. Answer Question
I applied through other source and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Bridgewater Associates.
Interview Details – I contacted a recruiter via LinkedIn to express my interest since I had heard about the company and the principles and really thought I would fit in well. I then formally applied to one position but the recruiter I contacted thought I would be a better fit for another job. I was sent the three personality tests that took about an hour and a half to complete, then was contacted the next week to ask to come in for an in person. I was there for 10 hours and had a number of interviews. Other candidates for the same position were in the room with me throughout the first half of the day. First portion was a debate about a hot topic, then a case study, then a culture fit portion. After lunch the other candidates were called out of the room. I never saw them again so no clue if they moved forward or not. Here they told me they were very interested in me and the rest of the day consisted of 1 on 1s or 2 on 1s with hiring managers, mostly about who I am, what I would be concerned about, and if I am a culture fit.
I really enjoyed the day. First interview I have ever been to where I truly felt like I could be myself and did not need to sell myself. They are really just interested in whether you are looking to learn and contribute and are a fit with the unique culture they have established. Very bright people. Do not try to present yourself as someone you are not. They will see right through it. And if you are not the right fit, you will be miserable if you get the job anyway.
I was offered a position about a week later and given the option to choose what team I'd like to join.
Interview Question – I thought it was all very straightforward. Nothing difficult. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – I was very happy with the package they offered and did not negotiate.
Very Difficult Interview
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 6+ weeks - interviewed at Bridgewater Associates in February 2012.
Interview Details – Bridgewater has a long, thorough, detailed candidate process. They go through many rounds of phone screens before you will go in to see anyone in person. They are keenly interested in finding candidates who will challenge status quo, never be satisfied with anything and always are willing to question a solution, no matter how long it's been successfully in place.
Interview Question – After spending an hour discussing a potential architecture, the interviewer demanded a proposed architecture, despite no providing enough details to give a good answer. Even explaining that there wasn't enough information to provide an answer, the interviewer insisted. Couched with caveats about it being based on not enough data, I provided a proposal and was summarily skewered for doing so. View Answer
Very Difficult Interview
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Bridgewater Associates in March 2014.
Interview Details – Group interview session with group assignment and then individual question and answer.
Interview Question – What is your weakness? Answer Question
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Bridgewater Associates in March 2014.
Interview Details – Interview process is a joke. I had an interview they never had record of. Then they called me back for another phone screen 6 months later. I did that. Then I filled out the survey they sent. I read all the material they sent. I was given an itinerary for a full day of in person interviews and the day before the series of interviews they cancel all of them and say they don't want to continue with the hiring process with me. If they didn't want to hire me then why set up the series of in person interviews?
Interview Question – Question about my ability to deal with negative feedback Answer Question
I applied through college or university and the process took 2 days - interviewed at Bridgewater Associates.
Interview Details – Got an interview through campus recruiting
Interview Question – The questions were not very difficult. They asked you to build a game called Guess Who. Then, they asked me to talk about myself and asked my things like why I like computer science? Answer Question
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