Bridgewater Associates Interview Questions & Reviews
Getting an Interview
- Popular Job Titles:
- Management Associate (21)
- Investment Associate (19)
- Administrative Assistant (13)
- Data Analyst (12)
- Associate (10)
- Technology Associate (10)
- Investment Associate Summer (10)
- Software Developer (9)
- Operations Associate (8)
- Recruiting Coordinator (6)
- Human Resources (5)
- Project Manager (3)
- Analyst (3)
- Receptionist (3)
- Technology Associate Intern (3)
- Data Associate (2)
- Technology Associate Internship (2)
- Manager (2)
- Trading Associate (2)
- Management Support Associate (2)
- Senior Manager (2)
- IT (2)
- Account Management (2)
- Senior Associate (2)
- Hospitality Associate (2)
- Portfolio Associate (2)
- Executive Assistant (2)
- Facilities Manager (1)
- Financial Analyst (1)
- Coordinator (1)
Very Difficult Interview
Procurement - Sourcing Interview (Negative Experience; Very Difficult Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took a day - interviewed at Bridgewater Associates in February 2011.
Interview Details – These people are CRAZY! Before the interview, I was asked to take a Myers-Briggs test. The in-person interview strategy included 1 hour sessions with 5-8 people. One person's interview is intentionally designated as Confrontational - designed to provoke the interviewee to anger. My headhunter was prohibited from letting me know this in advance. The entire day is recorded and you are forced to sign an incredibly one-sided NDA permitting BW to do whatever they wish with your interview tape. I interviewed with 3 permanent employees and 2 who were temp's (flying in from other states once a week and put up in hotels by BW). The temp's were clearly going to be displaced by the new hire. Once off camera in the lunch room, one of the temp's told me to "think very carefully" about whether I wanted to work at BW. This temp was the only one who seemed to have any relevant experience and not a BW zombie. None of the permanent employees seemed to have a clue about basic procurement strategies. All of the permanent employees were odd, zombie-like people who spewed lots of the corporate phrases like "radical need for the truth" and spoke of Ray Dalio like he was a demi-god. Given all I had heard about BW, I was very unimpressed with the low level, unsophisticated nature of the procurement operations. Someone who had no knowledge of my commodity area was tasked with asking me a lot of specific questions that they themselves did not know the answers to. Several people mentioned the work hours are 8am to 8pm EVERY DAY. I was very clear that I would NEVER work those kind of hours every day. Also, I noticed in the lunch room that the average employee age seemed to be low 20's -- making the place feel very unprofessional and college dorm-ish. As a mid-career professional, I felt really old. The confrontational interviewer was really young (28-30 years old) but was the highest ranking person in the group. She had been at BW her entire working life and clearly didn't know much about procurement either, but she was very well versed with the cult-like BW confrontational game. Oddly enough, BW thought the salary was really high, but it turns out it wasn't. The day after my interview, my headhunter told me that BW decided to withdraw the position listing. Later, I noticed a similar position announcement with $30k added to the salary. Unless you are interested in being lobotimized, AVOID this company - it is the Stepford Wives corporate equivalent!
Interview Question – The confrontational interview was really unexpected. It took me a while to realize that they were merely trying to provoke to anger on purpose. The interviewer seemed very frustrated that she had such a difficult time provoking me. She finally kept saying "I don't understand" when I described my previous work. I was thinking she was really stupid and kept trying to "dumb it down" for her. She seemed like a very political, crafty type and very young to be so jaded. View Answer
Very Difficult Interview
Management Associate Interview (Positive Experience; Very Difficult Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Bridgewater Associates in July 2012.
Interview Details – Applied via my university's online career portal and received an email interview invitation about 2 weeks later. Since I had JUST moved back to LA from NYC, they gladly arranged a flight, ground transportation and hotel.
Group interview morning was pretty fun! Mix of different personalities and backgrounds, but all one gender (we were a bunch of males evaluated by 2 women and 1 man). They want to see how you articulate yourself and if you're a natural 'leader'. Myself and another prospect were the only people asked to stay on for follow up one on ones later that afternoon (coincidentally, the only Ivy grads).
I got a call in 2 days later for a follow up in Westport. That interview was a 'no bull' interview. Basically, you tell them how you'd do your job if you got it. Not as easy as you'd think.
Interview Question – "Do you find me intimidating?"
I said yes. Whoops. Answer Question
Management Support Associate Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Bridgewater Associates in September 2013.
Interview Details – i was directly contacted by a direct sourcer via LinkinIn. Thereafter I was phone screened by a ptoential manager. Thereafter I was passed on to anpother role as I may have over qualified for initial role under consideration. That same day I was asked to come in house for a blitz interview which lasted about 5 hours and was offered a position on the spot
Interview Question – what is your strategy to hire a chief technology officer? Answer Question
Administrative Assistant Interview (Negative Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through a staffing agency and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Bridgewater Associates in April 2014.
Interview Details – Similar to other interview processes below. They bring you in and video-tape the whole interview along with 5 or so others at the same time. Try to play out a game where you discuss leadership keywords and encourage you to speak up as much as possible. They give you lunch and then someone walks in and says the only person they want. Everyone else is expected to leave ASAP. They say they will contact you about why you did not get chosen but you will never hear from them. (Very disappointed in the interviewers - did not think they had much experience themselves in choosing proper candidates for such a prestigious company).
Interview Question – What is your biggest flaw/set-back? Answer Question
Management Associate Interview (Neutral Experience)
I applied through college or university and the process took 5 days - interviewed at Bridgewater Associates.
Interview Details – Like nothing else. The interview is a mix of discussion of philosophical issues with your peers and a few BW people, and personal interviews where an employee asks you to justify your life choices. You are expected to engage on a level employers rarely expect — possibly for good reason. The interview, like the company, felt somehow both violating and revelatory. I was discussing my childhood, passions, relationship with my father at an interview to work at a hedge fund. This seems entirely irrelevant but is indicative of what you'll be seeing should you take a job at Bridgewater. The deep focus on individual strengths and weaknesses can be a beautiful thing and can be very, very unpleasant. Lots of personality testing as well; expect to spend a few hours testing in advance of your debate.
Interview Question – The interview is comprised of surprising philosophical questions. Traditional finance interview prep will not help you. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – No negotiation, the offer is absurdly good
Technology Associate Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took 2 days - interviewed at Bridgewater Associates.
Interview Details – I applied after attending an on-campus information session. They have a strong culture of openness and honesty, and there you get somewhat of a cult vibe from the recruiters. They were all very friendly and down-to-earth, and were also surprisingly fratty, to the point of referring to each other by callsign-esque nicknames. The interview itself was with two employees at once, and featured an audio recorder so they could review my performance after the fact. We dove straight into the case, and I had the chance to ask them questions afterwards. I performed poorly on the case (it was not a good fit, and I had lost my voice and had to speak in a whisper, pretty awkward) and did not get a second round. I believe second rounds were held the very next day, and offers were given out within several days.
Interview Question – The case was an open-ended invitation to identify a problem with elevators and design a software-based solution. The interviewers were aggressive about asking why I chose the topic I did, what I wanted to do with it, etc. They wanted to make sure I could have strong opinions and back them up. I think the process was supposed to mimic a three-way brainstorming session, with me coming up with ideas and them trying to pick them apart. It all felt quite fair. View Answer
Finance Interview (Negative Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through a staffing agency - interviewed at Bridgewater Associates in February 2014.
Interview Details – The whole process was really long and tiring. It started from a phone interview. They recorded the whole interview. It was an hour long. Once you passed, they will ask you to do personality test.
Interview Question – What would you do if your peers confronted you about something but you knew that you were right and they were wrong. Answer Question
Associate Interview (Neutral Experience)
Interviewed at Bridgewater Associates
Interview Details – I had a group interview with a few other people. Interviewer gave a topic for discussion. We sat around a table, and took turns talking about the topic while the interviewer sat in a corner taking notes. The topics were not finance related, and I'm not sure how we were judged. In the end, we got some feedback a few weeks later.
Interview Question – It was unexpected that we needed to do a group interview with a few other people. Answer Question
Software Developer Interview (Negative Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Bridgewater Associates.
Interview Details – It's one thing to hear about Bridgewater's strange culture, another to experience it firsthand. I interviewed for a Software Engineer position with them in 2010, and had been warned that it was "cult-like". I breezed through the initial call and programming challenge they sent me, and remember thinking "this seems pretty normal".
Then they sent me an electronic copy of Ray Dalio's book and told me I was going to be quizzed on it in three days.
This was where things started to get weird. I spoke with two people from management who seemed to be deliberately trying to throw me off balance. They briefly asked about the book, but I get the sense that the real test was in how I reacted under pressure, and whether I could offer "honest feedback" (read: blunt and critical to a point that would have been harmful to team cohesiveness in a work situation). They would deliberately try to lead me on to agreeing with them on things that were outright wrong, and seemed frustrated when I called them on it. They started probing pretty insistently into my personal life: what type of people did I hang out with? What do I do after work? Why? Do I really want the job? How do I know I really want the job?
After about an hour of this, I decided I actually didn't want the job if that was the way the culture was set up, and cut the interview process off myself.
Interview Question – What's the dumbest thing that a past company you've worked at has done, and how did you react to it? Answer Question
Technology Support Associate Interview (Negative Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Bridgewater Associates.
Interview Details – I received a call from a recruiter for a phone screening first. Then a couple weeks later somebody I was scheduled with a manager at bridgewater for a technical interview, the interview lasted for about 1hr. The interview was about soft skills and technical skills, even though you give the correct answer to their questions, you are always challenged on your responses, which is not bad until you realize that no matter what you answer you will be challenged. It makes you fill that they don't trust you and that no matter what you say it may never be enough. The interview sounded a little bit elitist
Interview Question – Tell me about your weaknesses Answer Question
Interviews for Top Jobs at Bridgewater Associates