Sample Question #84 (non-quant general background-checking question)
[For this one, I wanted to do something different – not giving a technical question. In light of the ongoing turmoils in the markets, I thought it would be appropriate to test your ability to answer this one.]
As you know, currently the global financial markets are experiencing some serious turbulence due to problems in the credit market. One potential consequence is the whole industry will go into a depression and lots of people will get laid off. Let’s say you join this group [where you’re interviewing] and in six months you are laid off. How will this possibility affect your interest in pursuing a quant career? Also, what would you do to manage this "risk"?
(Comment: I really can’t emphasize enough that the financial industry, unlike, say, healthcare or accounting, regularly goes through up-and-down cycles, and seasoned veterans in the industry will tell you the many times they were worried about, or became victims of, being laid off. This is just a fact of life – a fact unfortunately many people forget about or ignore when times are good. The important thing is to know everybody could get laid off, even the CEO (!), and the other important thing is to always have a backup plan.)