First, the tragic story of a quant who’s failure to prepare meant losing their once-in-a-lifetime chance working at a top-performing Hedge Fund.

Having excelled throughout her education Xie secured her first job in quant trading. After a steep learning curve and with a few projects under her belt she began to consider her career path. Approached by a recruiter with an exciting job in a world-class hedge fund, Xie decides to make a move. Although her technical and stats knowledge is a bit rusty she is excited about the role and doesn’t want to miss the opportunity. Xie attends the interview and is asked to run through a basic probability model and its statistical inferences…….

Xie’s mind goes blank…… 

Xie does not get the job and her interview performance is held on file. 


Despite Bayesian Data Analysis being one of her favourite topics in college she had not thought about it for a couple of years. Stir in the pressure of an interview and her synapses were just not firing. Tragedy. 


The good news is this story has a happy ending. Xie’s next interaction with a recruiter was Grainstone Lee. She followed our advice to get interview fit and secured a position in an equally high-profile hedge fund. 


Don’t have interview mind blanks. Follow these 7 tips to get interview fit


  1. Know your direction – Where do you want to be in 2 years’ time and how do I get there?
  2. Do some research – Look at the LinkedIn profiles and job descriptions for the role you want and identify any skills gaps or relevant programming languages.
  3. Make a plan – Prep the same way you would for an exam. Speak to Grainstone Lee or your trusted network to get their advice.
  4. Back to basics – dust off the stats and programming 101 books and reintroduce yourself.
  5. Optimise your experience – Look back over your work/projects and the decisions you made along the way - with hindsight, would you have done anything differently. Is there a more optimal solution?
  6. Test yourself – testing is almost inevitable in the interview process so it’s best to have a bit of practice
  7. Get your brain in check – You chose to work in quant trading, not professional interviewing. Understand how you can improve your performance by using CBT to de-stress the process. Read “Could your mindset be affecting your interview performance?” for additional information.  


Realistically you need to set aside 1-2 months to get interview fit. It requires time and commitment and in my experience is the difference between success and failure. We would say, good luck, but do you really want to leave an interview down to luck?