This story should teach hedge fund hopefuls how NOT to go through with an interview.
A hedge fund headhunter told Clusterstock about how a potential recruit for a top U.S. hedge fund (an over $10 billion AUM, multi-strategy global fund) completely ruined his chances of getting an offer despite being the perfect candidate.
The potential employee was a very qualified quant who had previously developed programs for Yahoo! and Google, and was finishing up a masters degree in mathematics at a top U.S. university. For clarity’s sake, let’s call him Aaron.
Aaron was contacted by the headhunter and went through a phone interview and two in-person meetings with a top hedge fund, which all went smoothly.
Before Aaron went into his second interview, the headhunter had told him to “go in with pen in hand,” because the senior executives at the hedge fund had liked him so much and wanted to sign him right away.
At the end of the 30 minute interview, the executives interviewing Aaron left him in a room for 20 minutes.
When the hedge fund guys came back, they posed the following question to Aaron: “We like you. Would you like us to make you an offer now, or would you like to think about it?”
Aaron said: “I’d like to think about it,” shook the guys’ hands, and left feeling confident about his ‘successful’ interview.
What Aaron didn’t realise was that he had lost the offer then and there, according to the headhunter.
When the headhunter talked to the one of the executives at the hedge fund after the interview, he only had one thing to say about Aaron—”In investing, if you can’t make a decision with conviction in 20 minutes, you do not belong on my team.”
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