Finance Interview Questions | Glassdoor

# Finance Interview Questions

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Finance interview questions shared by candidates

## Top Interview Questions

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### Financial Software Developer at Bloomberg L.P. was asked...

Sep 16, 2009
 It takes 15 minutes to fill a tank from a tap and 40 minutes to enpty it from the sink . If both are open how long will it take to fill the tank . Capacity of tank is 400 gallons4 Answers24 minutesCould probably assume that the tap flows at a constant volume per time. Can't assume that for emptying it. That will depend on the water pressure at the outlet, which is dependent upon the geometry of the tank.Since its a simple math problem, other parameter are supposed to be constant. Tank capacity doesn't matter. x/15 - x/40 = 1 i.e. x=24Show More Responsesx (400/15 - 400/40) = 400 8x/120 - 3x/120 = 1 5x = 120 x = 24 minutes

### Financial Software Developer at Bloomberg L.P. was asked...

Feb 22, 2010
 25 racehorse question. Given 25 horses a track that can only race 5 at a time, what is the fewest # of races to find the top 3 ranked horses?4 Answers8 races.It's not 8, it's 7. First group the horses into sets of 5. We can eliminate finishers 4 and 5 in each race. Now race the fastest from each previous heat against each other. Now we have used 6 races so far. We can eliminate all of the horses from the 4th and 5th place horses groups, all but the fastest from the 3rd, the fastest and the runner up from the 2nd and none of the remaining group from the 1st. Thus we have 3 horses from the 1st place finishers heat, 2 from the 2nd, and 1 from the 3rd. However, we already know that the fastest of the 5 winners is the fastest overall and is in, leaving us with only 5 horses not eliminated. Race them against each other and take the top 2. You have only used 7 races.http://durso.org/puzzles/horse.html Refer to thisShow More Responses5 races of 5 horses. We automatically eliminate from contention all 4th and 5th place finishers. Sixth race: 5 winners race. The fastest of the 25 horses is the 6th race winner. The show horse in race 6 is faster than the other horses that participated in the race where the 4th place finisher was entered and faster than all the horses in the race where the fifth place finisher entered. The 2nd and third place finishers in the race where the show horse originally race are also eliminated. We now have seven horses remaining. The show horse in the preliminary race where the 6th race place horse participated is also eliminated since it cannot beat at least three remaining horses. We now have a field of six horses, viz., the win, place and show horses in the race where the 6th race winner participated; the win and place horse in the preliminary race where the 6th race place horse participated; the show horse in the 6th race. Since we already know the fastest horse is the 6th race winner, we have a field of five horses for a seventh race to give us the place and show horses.

### Financial Software Developer at Bloomberg L.P. was asked...

Sep 7, 2010
 Given 2 eggs, how would you find the exact floor at which the egg breaks when thrown from a building comprising 100 floors4 Answers14Only need one egg, but I have two answers. 1) If I stand on the first floor and throw an egg, it will break 2) No matter what floor the egg is thrown from, it will break when it reaches the ground floor. I'm guessing they are looking for something clever having to do with hardboiling one of the eggs, but that isn't necessary. The brute force answer is start at floor one, drop an egg. Repeat until the egg breaksThrow one egg from 50 floor. Depending if egg breaks, will be known if egg breaks between floors 1-50, or above 50. If first egg did not broke, then throw second egg from floor 51, 52, 53, ... until it breaks. Maximum number of attempts to find answer is 51. Problem has another twist. What is least number of steps to find floor from which thrown egg is broken.Show More ResponsesI think you guys tried to find a twist in this question, but really I'm pretty sure there's none. Eggs will break if thrown from a human's arm height... not even a first floor. I don't think you need to go further than that. I think the real intent of this question is simply to test the interviewee's level of pragmatism.

### Financial Institution Specialist at FDIC was asked...

Jun 4, 2013
 Name a change that you have faced (work or school). What steps did you take and what was the outcome? Name 2/3 strengths that you have when working with a team. Name a time when you faced a problem. What was the problem? What steps did you take to solve the problem and what was the ending result? Name a time when you had to analyze data? What did you analyze? How did you analyze it? What was the outcome? 4 AnswersBe sure to answer ALL parts of the questions. You are allowed to write and you have plenty of time. Notes are taken from you before you leave the room.What office did you get? Did you have choices?What was the writing like? Do they give you topics and you just start writing? Or do they give you several documents and you just write a summary of some sorts? For the proofreading, was the material regular or was it something about the FDIC?Show More ResponsesWith the business analysis and the accounting ratios, do we focus more on balance sheet or income statement?

### Financial Software Developer at Bloomberg L.P. was asked...

Jun 28, 2012
 There is a panel containing 3 light switches in front of you. Each switch controls a light in a room somewhere. Doesn't really matter where. You can play with the switches as much as you like, but you're only allowed to enter the room once. How do you tell which switch controls which light? Again, you can only enter the room once, so you cannot play with the switches after you enter the room, but you can play with them as much as you want before you enter the room. One entry is all it takes to determine which switch controls which light.4 AnswersThink about it for a bit... . . . . . . Here's a hint: the lights start off, and they've been off for a long time.turn on switches 1 and 2, turn off switch 3. Check room 1. Easy path: the light is off, its switch is # 3. turn off switch 1 and go to room 2, if ligth is on the its switch is # 2 otherwise is switch 1. Interesting path: light is on in room 1, turn off switch 2 and go to room 2, then you get 2 options: light is on, its switch is # 1, if light is off then switch 1 controls room 1... just complete the other options, that's easy.Switch on the 1st one and switch it off, then switch on the 2nd one and go in the room to check if the light is on. If it is on it means it's the 2nd one, and if it's not touch the light to check if it's hot. If it's hot it means the 1st switch is the correct one as it was switched on once or else it's the 3rd one.Show More ResponsesTake the hint. Key part is that you can play with the lights as long as you want. Flip on a light an leave it on for a long time. Flip it off, and turn on another one. Walk into the room. If the light is on, it was that switch. If it is off and warm, it was the first switch. Otherwise, it is the untouched switch

### Financial Software Developer at Bloomberg L.P. was asked...

Jun 28, 2012
 Can you cover an 8x8 chess board with dominos if two corner squares are removed (not two from the same side, 2 diagonal from each other). A domino covers 2 squares and no dominos can hang over the side of the board.4 AnswersNo. The more interesting answer is why. It took me a while to get this one, but I started looking at it from a linear algebra standpoint and that impressed the interviewer. So while it took me longer to get it than most people I explain it to, that didn't stop me from passing that round of the interview process (this was asked on the 2nd interview, although I don't know if it's a "second round" question).Can you explain your idea from linear algebra in more detail? Thanks!It was pretty half baked, but the general idea was, if you look at the board with the two corner pieces removed, it kind of looks like a matrix like this: 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 The two middle columns are linearly dependent, and I was sort of trying to tie that into somehow converting the matrix into something like this 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 If the board looked like that, then to cover the top right square you need to put on a vertical domino, and likewise for the bottom left square. The leaves the only two uncovered squares as the one in the second row, first column, and the one in the third row, second column, a scenario in which covering them would be impossible. I couldn't quite work this out, but I think the interviewer liked that I tried such an approach. It really goes to show that when you're on an interview like this, the answer, though it is the goal, is one of the last things they care about.Show More ResponsesNo In the chess board, there are 32 black squares and 32 white squares. The two squares taken off are in the same colour. And a domino always covers two squares one next another. So the two are different in colour. Therefore, whatever you try, you can never cover the whole board.

Jan 13, 2012

### Financial Software Developer at Bloomberg L.P. was asked...

Jan 17, 2012
 The second question is that there are 8 buttons, 7 of them are some, one is a bit little heavier, and you have a balance, how could find the heavier one, you can just use the balance twice.4 AnswersWeight 6 random buttons. (3 + 3) If weight is equal - you need to weight last 2. else - select 3 which was heavier and weight 2 random from them. if 2 are equal - your heavier is 3-rd else - you found it.Simple binary search. Let's say 3's your number 1 2 3 4 | 5 6 7 8 -> Left side is heavier 1 2 | 3 4 -> Right side is heavier 3 | 4 -> 3 is heavier than 4Disregard the previous answer, didn't read you could only use the balance twice.Show More ResponsesThe same solution (by Alex) is valid for the problem with 9 buttons.

### Quantitative Finance Summer Associate at Morgan Stanley was asked...

Aug 5, 2010
 There are two stocks with the same expected value, with variance 0.3 and 0.2 and correlation 0.5. What proportion of each stock do you invest in to yield a minimum risk portfolio? 4 Answers100% in stock 2, with the smaller variance.No, if you can short, the variance could be reduced even further since the stocks are correlated.17/44 of the stock with variance of .3 and 27/44 from the stock with variance of .2Show More ResponsesCovariance = 0.3 * 0.2 * 0.5 = 0.03 Cov Matrix = c = [0.3 0.03; 0.03 0.2] Inv Cov Matrix = c_inv = [2000/591 -100/197; -100/197 1000/197] Answer = (c_inv * [1; 1])/([1 1] * c_inv * [1; 1]) = [17/44; 27/44]

### Financial Analyst at Goldman Sachs was asked...

Apr 26, 2010
 You are not from a target school, what are you doing here?5 AnswersSell yourselfTalk to them about extracurricular activities and your belief that work ethic is more important than what fancy school you went to. Elaborate as needed.make my school a targetShow More ResponsesTo show you why you need to make my school a target. Colorado State Rams!To prove target school is not something your company will be proud of , I am.
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