Winton Capital Management Interview Questions

Updated Apr 7, 2015
Updated Apr 7, 2015
14 Interview Reviews

Interview Experience

Interview Experience

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  1.  

    Data Scientist Interview

    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Easy Interview
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied through a staffing agency. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at Winton Capital Management in January 2015.

    Interview

    I applied through a staffing agency. It took a couple of weeks to arrange the interview. I had a phone interview and I interchanged a couple of emails with a member of the human resource staff. I was told that my CV was passed to the technical department, but they never contacted me. I didn't receive any feedback from Winton, and the staffing agency finally told me that Winton had declined my application.

    Interview Questions

    • 1) Please give a short overview of your experience with data modelling, highlighting the type, size and source of the data, the problem/question you were addressing and the technologies you were using. (200 word limit)
      2) Please give a brief overview of your research area and your individual contribution in this field. (150 word limit)
      3) What is your motivation for working in finance/applying to Winton? (100 word limit)
      4) What statistical methods are you currently using in your work? (100 word limit)
       
      Answer Question
  2. Helpful (5)  

    Quantitative Researcher Interview

    No Offer
    Average Interview
    No Offer
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 1+ weekinterviewed at Winton Capital Management in June 2013.

    Interview

    Applied online. Got a phone call from the HR in a week, and then they arranged a askype interview a few days later. The person in charge was very friendly.

    Questions asked were:
    1. Why I wanted to leave academia and get into finance. You should really prepare this one well. My answer wasn't what they expected and I felt that was why I didn't get to the next round.

    2. Asked my research experiences on my resume.

    3. Some math/probability/stats questions. Not difficult. Most of them can be found from Zhou Xinfeng's interview book.

  3. Helpful (5)  

    Research Rotation Scheme Interview

    Declined Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview
    Declined Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at Winton Capital Management (Zürich (Switzerland)) in August 2014.

    Interview

    Looking at the job description and all the good press they have gotten recently, I thought this would be a wonderful opportunity to start in the financial sector after many years in academia. The interviews were easy and I had an offer within 2 weeks.

    The offer was far below my current (university) salary. They "amended" it after I pointed this out, but even then failed to guarantee a level of income in Zurich that matches my current quality of life in Germany. The interactions with HR to arrange the interviews and later for negotiations revealed how little they value their employees and the type of person they are looking for. I suppose this also raised the bar for me to accept their offer.

    I spoke to a total of 3 researchers, 2 managers and 6 HR staff in the course of this adventure.

    ---

    After submitting my application online, I got an email from the HR department asking me to complete an exercise that involved plotting 3 probability distribution functions on a map and locating the maxima. Shortly after I submitted my answer, I was invited for on site interviews in Zurich.

    I live in Germany, the interviews were supposed to be in Zurich, Switzerland the next day. There was a lot of confusion about the logistics of the interviews. They finally said that I could go for the interviews in 3 work days. If I was successful, there would be a second round the following day.

    I had to book and pay for my travel and hotel. When I asked if travel and accommodation costs would be reimbursed, they wrote that "[they] would be happy to cover" both. More than a month later, when they made the payment, I learned that "it wasn't [their] policy to reimburse accommodation." I managed to get my money back finally, but this was presented as a generous gesture.

    The first on site interview was with HR. This was followed by a meeting with the local team leader. Then a hands-on exercise on the computer, followed by a chat with two researchers about the results. I have no financial knowledge. I got no hard questions in the process. On the second day, I got to meet the head of research.

    The people I met face to face were really nice. Research staff all seemed to have postgraduate academic experience, which allowed me to identify and communicate with them easier. (In Zurich,) The office space looked comfortable, but empty. There was no administrative staff apart from the office manager. Generally, it looked like a decent place to go to work everyday.

    ---

    Even though the job was advertised for Ph.D. holders as well, later discussions suggested that the intended audience was students / M.Sc. graduates. While I'm open to learning opportunities all the time, I cannot pretend that the 8 years I spent since my M.Sc. do not exist.

    Interview Questions

    • At the final interview with the head of research, I was asked why I am not working for Google.   Answer Question

    Reasons for Declining

    Compensation level not on par with my current life standards.

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  5. Helpful (5)  

    Researcher Interview

    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Easy Interview
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online – interviewed at Winton Capital Management in July 2014.

    Interview

    Overall, relatively easier interview process comparing with IBs. Was asked some basic machine learning, e.g. bayesian, regression, clustering, etc., C++, some interest rate models, e.g. HJM, Vasicek, and how to calibrate the parameters. Asked to explain a bit about my previous projects. Why use centroid (mean) in K-means, not 50th percentile.

    Interview Questions

    • Was asked how to price American options. Told the interviewer he may want to use Feynman–Kac formula and solve it by FDM with boundary conditions. Then the following question was to write down Feynman–Kac PDE which I didn't (still don't) remember by heart. Or the interviewer expected the binary tree approach. Felt he didn't prepare for the interview and threw out any random questions popped up.   Answer Question
  6. Helpful (1)  

    Research Assistant Interview

    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Interview

    Initial contact: met with HR recruiters at University career fair
    Applied online for Research Assistant Intern position, heard back from HR in about a week.
    HR contacted me to schedule a brief call to learn more about the internship. Then the recruiter passed on my CV to the hiring board and I was given a research assignment to submit within 1 day. I have not heard back from the Management board yet. That was about 2 weeks ago.

    Interview Questions

    • Research assignment not difficult but the question is unexpected, given that the Research Assistant position posted online claimed that no prior knowledge of finance is required.   Answer Question
  7. Helpful (5)  

    Research Assistant Interview

    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Easy Interview
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 5 daysinterviewed at Winton Capital Management (Oxford, England (UK)) in September 2013.

    Interview

    After an initial phone chat I had to do a homework task researching two companies that had undergone stock splits (about two pages in total). After they reviewed this they invited me in for a face-to-face interview at the Oxford office with someone from HR.

    After a minute of introductions (there were no real HR questions) I was given some simple return calculations such as return after stock splits. The task wasn't difficult but caught me off guard a little. After this there was some brain-teaser type questions. Finally I was given an audit task; I was told I would have 45 minutes to complete an audit of house data on a company in their records vs the data from the company website. The task was tedious and wasn't what I was expecting at all and although I can't be sure as I didn't time it, I don't think I was given 45 minutes. I was emailed a few days later that I would not be invited back.

    Interview Questions

    • How would you find the number of petrol stations in the UK?   1 Answer
  8. Helpful (2)  

    Scientific Analyst Interview

    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university – interviewed at Winton Capital Management (Zürich (Switzerland)).

    Interview

    Friendly HR- very stressed Manager

    Interview Questions

    • Is the difference between opening and closing stock prices significant?   Answer Question
  9. Helpful (9)  

    Graduate Research Interview

    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Winton Capital Management (London, England (UK)).

    Interview

    First is a telephone interview for around 20 minutes. The recruiter asked me about me background and experience following my CV. After several days, I was invited to take an inductive reasoning tests, 21 questions and need to be finished within 43 minutes. The questions were all pattern matching questions and most of them were straightforward. Just one day before the onsite intervew, I was given a phone interview testing C++ knowdedge. There are 20 questions about very fundamental C++ concepts. The recruiter will read the questions for you and wait for your answer. This process is very fast, finished within 30 minutes. Then I was invited to take an on-site interview. There were four rounds, one with the recruiter about more detailed information on your CV. It followed by three 1-to-1 technical interview, on software engineering, statistics and Computer Science respectively. All the interviews are very technical. You are expected to solve questions in the interview.

    Interview Questions

    • Given a tree, find the closest common parent node of two given nodes. (They want O(logn) complexity with no containers)   Answer Question
  10. Helpful (5)  

    Graduate Research Interview

    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Winton Capital Management (London, England (UK)) in June 2013.

    Interview

    Excellent hiring process and excellent HR.

    Expect to solve programming problems to prepare the interviews, then during the interviews to be asked technical questions. Questions are related to your background and experience. The interviews are lead in a light atmosphere. Expect to meet 7-10 persons. People I met expected an intuitive answer (yet rigorous) to demonstrate I really mastered the topic.

    Overall, an extremely positive experience. I found the questions much easier than those asked in the investment banking industry, the HR are extremely helpful and interviewers were really nice.

    Interview Questions

    • You have studied XYZ, then explain topics ABC from the field XYZ (replace XYZ by statistics, probability, programming and ABC by the main topics of the book/lecture in which you studied XYZ).   1 Answer

    Negotiation

    They told me how much they would pay me and I accepted.

  11. Helpful (4)  

    Scientist Interview

    No Offer
    No Offer

    Interview

    Very professional but friendly, initial phone contact followed by a rather simple first interview on basic statistics and a second interview on data analysis. The second interview is also quite straightforward but beware of taking it too lightly as they are adamant that the candidate is rigorous in his/her answers

    Interview Questions

    • Provide statistical criteria for when a data-set can be fitted by a normal distribution   Answer Question

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