Worst interview questions Wall Street recruiters ask

Recruiters hiring for roles on the illustrious Wall Street seem to have a tendency to ask bizarre and off-scripted questions. That’s according to a recent report by eFinancialCareers which examined some of the worst interview questions asked by hiring managers in that sector. And though not all of them may be as extreme as the infamous Leonardo DiCaprio movie, some are pretty mind-boggling. 

From complex mathematical equations based around tube lines to the pay packets of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, these questions range from the blasé to the impossible.

One such question was: “If you were an animal, what type of animal would you be?”

eFinancialCareers explains that this is the type of questions used to assess the creativity of the applicant. Christian Novissimo, Managing Partner of Accounting and Finance at Lucas Group, explained why this is not a good questions to ask someone interviewing for a job in banking: “In a finance role, creativity is not necessarily what [hiring managers] are looking for.

“It might put a candidate under pressure and force them to think on their feet, but perhaps it’s not best suited for financial professionals who are more quantitative.”

This question is perhaps more suited to retail, as the President of American merchant store Overstock pointed out in a recent Recruitment Grapevine article.

Another example given by eFinancialCareers was: “Why don’t you tell me a joke? What are your hobbies?”

Peter Laughter, CEO of Wall Street Services, believes that these types of questions are off topic for recruitment in finance, though he does suggest that they could be used as an indicator of company culture. He explained to the publication: “Most managers are looking to solve a problem and don’t want to bash the potential solution with questions designed to have people fail.

“If candidates get questions that are off topic, it is important to identify the concern behind the question and speak to that concern.”

For the full list of questions, please see blow;

  1. What is 13 cubed? What is the square root of 100,000?
  2. If you were an animal/colour, what type of animal/colour would you be?
  3. Why don’t you tell me a joke? What are your hobbies?
  4. If you owned the George Washington Bridge, for how much would you sell it to me?
  5. What’s one of your weaknesses? What are you weak at?
  6. How many gas stations are there in the U.S.? How many ping pong balls could you fit into this room?
  7. How many trains are active on the New York City subway system at any given time?
  8. How much profit do you think the New York Philharmonic Orchestra makes in a year?
  9. What is the insurance cost of a motorcycle rental firm if the firm has 100 bikes to rent out?

For the ten strangest interview mistakes candidates make, including giving the recruiter a palm-reading and stealing items from interviewer's desk, click here

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