Bridgewater Associates Management Associate Interview Questions

Updated Aug 1, 2015
29 Interview Reviews

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Helpful (9)  

Management Associate Interview

Anonymous Employee
No Offer
Negative Experience
Average Interview

Application

I applied through a recruiter – interviewed at Bridgewater Associates.

Interview

To summarize, the on-site interview is quite an experience. I was on their campus from 7am to 11pm. I spent 40 minutes interviewing, and over 3 hours watching tapes about their culture. Commuting there took over 3 hours each way, not to mention staying over at a hotel the previous night, whose only dining option past my arrival time was a McDonald's across the way. This should summarize how much they really care about you. From the beginning, the recruiter and HR people are amazing; however, the interview process was a complete disaster and can only be described as strange. Before even learning more about the positions, I was interviewed by an external consultant whose experience was in design. The external consultant did a good job of getting to know the candidate's experiences and asked probing questions. The problem was that she knew very little about the inner workings at Bridgewater. I was invited to an on-site interview. A car picked me up and I arrived at the office at 6:45am. Most people were not in the office yet but the HR guy that took us around was very on top of his game at 7am. He brought me and 3 other people to separate rooms, where we sat around for hours watching culture tapes over a few trays of fruit, coffee, and finger foods. Literally hours. I was made aware of their culture tapes beforehand, but the severity of the cult-like behavior was shocking. The employees worship Ray Dalio. Most of the tapes were about how an employee displayed initial resistance to Dalio's principals and teachings, but later realized that his methods were only to benefit them and that they are better people now. If that doesn't sound cult-worthy, I don't know what is. The company was more interested that I watched the tapes than actually getting to know me. They have a strong desire to figure out your weaknesses and to poke at them for your personal "improvement". When we finally got to the "interview" portion, which was a debate with another candidate, it lasted at most 20 minutes. The interviewer was very cold and more interested in conversing with the other candidate, who has a relative that she knows who works there. I admit that I although I was organized, my thoughts were not consistent about the topic and honestly, since they like honesty, the off-putting nature of the interviewer already made me want to leave and head home. For the next 20 minutes, a manager and an intern asked me about my weaknesses and why the previous interviewer gave me a low score for the debate. The intern was very aggressive, more so than the manager, about figuring out my weaknesses at my current job. This was also extremely off-putting, not only because she was an intern but I have been working full-time for almost 5 years and I have done well in my roles, having been promoted twice in the last year alone. However, they will never know my accomplishments because all they cared about was that I complied with their assessment of the weaknesses that they conjured. I am pretty aware of my weaknesses and I am the type of person that works on improving myself constantly. Perhaps my biggest weakness is intolerance for nonsense, which I had no reservations about hiding. Not surprisingly, I did not make it to the final round. I had never felt such a sense of relief and appreciation for my current job than I did when the car pulled out of Bridgewater's campus. This would have been the wrong environment for me and anyone else with a free-thinking nature. Do not expect to feel welcome. You are shuffled in and out of there, with no tours or interactions with employees aside from the interviewers.

Interview Questions

  • The first "interview" is a debate about a controversial topic and the second is a discussion about your weaknesses.   Answer Question

Other Interview Reviews for Bridgewater Associates

  1.  

    Management Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Westport, CT
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 6+ weeksinterviewed at Bridgewater Associates (Westport, CT) in January 2015.

    Interview

    Asked to come in and had two interviews. One individual "life" interview where they try to understand who you are, then a group interview where you discuss a question as a group. Entire process was very well managed, people were nice and welcoming. Culture is definitely a crucial component of the place and a "culture fit" is a pre-requisite.

    Interview Questions

  2. Helpful (3)  

    Management Associate Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Bridgewater Associates.

    Interview

    They want to see how well you think. They're looking for smart people who can thrive in their culture, not for particular finance or management skills. They want you to argue clearly, show an ability to change your mind, and be absolutely sincere. The other reviewers say it all. This isn't like a typical interview. You'll be asked to take and defend positions on political and philosophical topics. It's a good experience, and well worth your time even if you're skeptical of the place. They're aware that people might just want to make a ton of money and work somewhere prestigious, and they aren't looking for people like that.

    Interview Questions

  3. Helpful (5)  

    Management Associate Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer

    Interview

    A friend recommended I check Bridgewater out. I met the head recruiter at a recruiting fair, and she was very cool and very nice. I sent in an application online, and got a first round interview. It was a discussion with about 5 other applicants and 3 interviewers sitting around a table. Each of us interviewing was instructed to bring an interesting, open-ended discussion question roughly along the lines of their example question, "If you could make everyone immortal, would you?" It was supposed to be thought-provoking and discussion-provoking. They were interested in seeing how we reasoned and how we thought through interesting questions and problems. I was called the same night and told that I was invited to second-round interviews the next day. I had two second-round interviews, one that was very similar to the first-round (with other applicants), and one that was a behavioral-fit interview.

    Interview Questions

    • The behavioral-fit interview was very unusual--the interviewer was intensely interested in figuring out why I spent the time I had spent on the activities listed on my resume, looking for a logically rigourous explanation of how I spent my time. I wasn't ready for this kind of questioning and my answers were not satisfying to her (I could tell).   1 Answer
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  5. Helpful (4)  

    Management Associate Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 1+ weekinterviewed at Bridgewater Associates.

    Interview

    I applied through LinkedIn and got a call about three weeks later. The recruiter was incredibly difficult to schedule an interview with; it took multiple calls and emails to finalize a time (I was very flexible with my time requirements so it was entirely on their end). We finally had an interview, which was quite basic and much of it was focused on Bridgewater's "principles" and culture. The recruiter also had a difficult time describing the position and I did not feel like I understood exactly what it entailed. The recruiter said that they were extremely interested and wanted to bring me in within a few days and would let me know within the day when I should come. Then they did not schedule the interview for nearly two weeks, and then canceled the interview saying that they chose not to continue with my application with no explanation. Dealing with the recruiter was one of the most frustrating experiences I've had, and everyone I worked with on this seemed pretty incompetent. Edit: Was contacted by a recruiter yet again for a completely different position three weeks later. The recruiter didn't know that I had been contacted once before. The exact same problem happened--they promised I would be scheduled for a second interview within the day, but it's been 10 days, and no answer. Edit 2: The recruiter got back to me, but wanted me to come in for a completely different position--administrative assistant. He also said that the interview process would be two full days. That's a lot to ask for me to take off work for a position I'm not interested in. I chose not to pursue.

    Interview Questions

  6.  

    Management Associate Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Westport, CT
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at Bridgewater Associates (Westport, CT) in October 2014.

    Interview

    I was contacted by a campus recruiter. I spoke to the recruiter on the phone for about 15 minutes. Then I was sent an application with a series of personality tests. After that I was invited to interview at their office in Westport, Connecticut.

    Interview Questions

    • Debate of if Ebola patients should be quarantined or not and where that ends. Should all people with illnesses be quarantined?   Answer Question
  7.  

    Management Associate Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Princeton, NJ
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3 daysinterviewed at Bridgewater Associates (Princeton, NJ) in October 2014.

    Interview

    This interview was part of Bridgewater's university recruiting. The interviews were really interesting, but pretty poorly run. There was a large amount of confusion and last-minutedness that made me feel like I was being jerked around. I appreciate the emphasis put on getting to know me as a person instead of having me spout off knowledge.

    Interview Questions

  8.  

    Management Associate Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer

    Interview

    They called me to go through the process. They did not provide any job description. Fist phase is to complete a series of personality tests. Later they did a phone interview. Finally a in person interview. Once in the interview they asked me about my life. They call this "a life interview". After the life interview, they told me that they were going to get back to me.

    Interview Questions

  9. Helpful (8)  

    Management Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 5 daysinterviewed at Bridgewater Associates.

    Interview

    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 Questions

    • The interview is comprised of surprising philosophical questions. Traditional finance interview prep will not help you.   Answer Question

    Negotiation

    No negotiation, the offer is absurdly good

  10.  

    Management Associate Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at Bridgewater Associates.

    Interview

    First round- group discussion. Second round - group discussion followed by a life interview/ another discussion (alone) with two panelists depending on how you fared in the debate session prior to that.

    Interview Questions

    • Debate went on to classic age and Haiti situation in the second round   Answer Question
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