Commonly Asked Questions During a Portfolio Management Job Interview

portfolio manager is a person who is responsible for making investment decisions using money that other investors place under his control. A portfolio manager implements his or her strategy on behalf of investors and manages the day-to-day operations of portfolio trading.

If you want to pursue a career as a portfolio manager, there are questions you must prepare for prior to an interview. A hiring manager may ask behavioral, investing, and random questions during a job interview.

Key Takeaways

  • A portfolio management job interview might include behavior, investing, and other questions.
  • Behavior questions often give hiring managers an idea of how you will get along with customers.
  • Investing questions can help determine if you will generate profit for the company.

Behavior Questions

Common behavior questions are asked to assess your personality. For example, a hiring manager may ask, "Why do you want to work as a portfolio manager?" This allows the interviewer to assess your goals and aspirations. He may ask, "What are your biggest strengths and weaknesses?" He may also ask questions to assess your risk profile, such as "Are you risk-averse or risk-taking?"

Hiring managers may also want to know how you’ll get along with customers and may ask questions like, “Would your customers like you?” to assess your approach to customer service and your agreeableness. Similar questions include, “What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?” which allows the interviewer to get an idea of your skill set as well as how you handle challenges on the job. Questions like “Where do you see yourself in five years?” helps the interviewer assess your career goals and decide whether you are looking for a company to grow with. “What kind of work culture most appeals to you and why?” can help interviewers understand how well you’d fit into the culture at their company.

Investing Questions

The interviewer may also prompt you with questions about investing to assess whether you will generate profits for the company. A common question you may be asked is, "If you had $1 million to invest today, what would you invest in and why?" This helps to assess if you are aware of various products and whether you can make decisions under pressure. You may be asked, "What is delta hedging and when is the best time to have a delta-neutral portfolio?" This assesses how knowledgeable and qualified you are about finance.

Investing questions may address specific concepts and strategies, or they may be more general. Interviewers ask for your opinion on the challenges the accounting and finance industry is facing, and you should be prepared not just to talk about current industry factors, but also why you think those challenges will affect the portfolio manager role. Other common investing questions might include, “Tell me about a time when your attention, or lack thereof, influenced the outcome of a project,” or “Give me an example of a time when you used numbers to tell a story.”

Random Questions

An interviewer may ask random questions that tease your brain to assess your problem-solving skills. A question that is often asked is, "What is the angle between the hour and the minute hand if the time is 3:15?" Questions like these allow interviewers to assess your ability to think creatively under pressure.

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