My Hedge Fund Interview Process

I’m going to tell you how I landed a hedge fund job.   I work at a multi-billion equity long/short hedge fund as a generalist with a strong focus on the real estate sector.  Previously, I was an analyst at a bulge bracket investment bank.

I was a non-core candidate going into investment banking where I landed a job by laterally moving into the bank.  I worked in the consumer retail investment banking group, structuring equity and debt offerings, and M&A transactions.  I always knew I wanted to work in the hedge fund industry and chose investment banking as a stepping stone to the buy-side.  A lot of hedge fund analysts work within investment banking, equity research, or even private equity before making the jump.

About 6-8 months into my investment banking group, I met with the top headhunter recruiters that were well known for working with investment bankers.  I found the best hedge fund headhunters to be Dynamics, Glocap, SearchOne, and Oxbridge.  The others (CPI, SG Partners) were really private equity focused.

Dynamics landed my first interview about 8 months into my first year program.  It was with a large equity long/short hedge fund that was well known for doing particularly well during the 2006-2008 market downturn.

First round consisted of four 30-minute Superday type interviews.  They were mostly behavioral focused but they did ask me for both one long and short stock pitch in every interview.  Also, during the interview there some accounting questions (not tough) and no brainteasers.

Second round consisted of a 2 hour in-house modeling test.  I had to project out a 3 statement standalone model; it was a pure “see if you can model” type of test.  After my modeling test, I met in a conference room with 4 analysts and walked through in detail a few of my stock pitches, along with my background and why I wanted to join a hedge fund.

One week later I was asked to do a bank focused case study on a company.  I was given 7 days to complete both a write-up and model and had to submit it via email by a certain deadline.   Another week later I went into the office and pitched my case study to a panel of 5 analysts: I had to tell them why I liked the idea and was drilled on everything from A to Z.  My case study was followed by a one-hour Calipers test, which is designed as a psychological test.

Final round was with both the portfolio managers for 45 minutes each, again behavioral questions followed by pitching two long ideas and my short idea.  A few weeks later the COO called to inform me I got the offer.

From start to finish it was about 4 months, quite a lengthy process. I am currently still at the fund and have taken on a more senior analyst role, pitching multiple ideas per week to the portfolio manager for ideas.