75 Interview Questions about Fixed Income for Traders and Analysts
A person who works in finance and analyzes, buys, and sells bonds, notes, and bills on behalf of their clients is called a “fixed income trader.” Most of the time, these people work for banks or brokers, but they can also work for retail clients or individual people. If you want to be a fixed income trader and have an interview, it might help to look over some common interview questions. This article has a list of 75 possible interview questions and answers for a fixed income trader or analyst.
Interviewers usually start by asking you a few general questions to find out more about you as a person and as a candidate. This can be a good way to show your interviewer who you are and connect with them on a personal level. You can also make sure your answers are relevant by tying them to the job you’re interviewing for. Here are 25 common interview questions:
- Tell me about yourself.
- Why did you choose this field to work in?
- What makes you want to work for our business?
- What do you know about the history of our company?
- How did you hear about this job opening?
- Why do you think this job would be good for you?
- What are your long-term goals for your job?
- Where do you see yourself in five years? In a decade?
- What do you do really well?
- What is your worst quality?
- How do you know if someone is a good leader?
- What qualities do you look for in a manager?
- What do you look for in people you work with?
- When you’re not at work, what do you like to do?
- Do you have interviews for other jobs right now?
- Would you be okay with moving?
- How much money do you want?
- Are you willing to work when most people don’t?
- Tell me about a time you needed someone else’s help.
- Tell me about a time at work when you helped someone.
- What do you think is most important at work?
- How do you keep things in order?
- How do you quickly finish short-term projects?
- What do you hope to gain from this job?
- How do you keep going when you’ve been doing the same job for months or years?
Questions about work and history from the past
Many interviews also contain questions about your experience. Your interviewer may ask you about your education or work history to find out about your qualifications or to learn more about your interests and areas of expertise. When you’re asked about your experience, you might have a great chance to talk about the skills and knowledge that make you a good candidate. Here are 20 questions about your experience and background that you might be asked:
- How high is the highest degree you’ve earned?
- Where did you go to school?
- Why did you study what you did?
- How did your education, if at all, prepare you for this job, if at all?
- Tell me about your professional experience.
- What skills have you picked up on the job?
- Tell me about a normal day on the job you used to have.
- Tell me about a time when, as a trader in fixed income, you had to make a hard decision.
- Tell me about a time you saw a problem coming and were able to avoid it.
- What was the best thing about the job you used to have?
- What was the worst part of your last job?
- At your last job, did you work in a different part of finance than you will at this one?
- What software or tools do you know how to use to analyze data?
- What fixed income trading strategies have helped you the most?
- Tell me about a time when you worked with others and it helped you.
- Tell me about a time when you were in charge at work.
- What kind of office do you feel most comfortable in?
- What was one thing about your last boss that you liked?
- What would you have liked your last boss to do differently?
- Have you ever taken a professional course that led to a certificate? If so, could you tell me what it is?
During interviews for jobs in fixed-income trading, you may also be asked detailed technical questions about finance, banking, investing, and trading. Some math or logic questions come up in interviews for fixed-income analysts or traders. You can use these questions to show how well you know the business and how good you are at math. Here are 26 questions a hiring manager might ask during an in-depth interview:
- What does a trader in fixed income do most of the time?
- What does it mean for the price of a bond to be fixed? A clean price?
- What’s the difference between a loan and a bond?
- What are benchmark bonds from the government?
- What is a relative value analysis?
- Define desired price.
- Define desired yield.
- What is a convex shape?
- What does it mean to say “duration,” and how do you figure it out?
- When a bond is due, how much does it pay back?
- Why is a yield curve important?
- Explain how infrastructure bonds work.
- Explain the risk and the reward.
- How do you read different kinds of financial statements?
- How can the Federal Reserve affect the way you do your job?
- What other large international financial institutions do you follow, or do you plan to follow?
- What can we learn about the future from the current rate of inflation?
- Tell me the three terms you think are the most important in income trading and tell me what they mean.
- How is high-yield debt different from investment-grade debt?
- How well do you understand how statements of cash flow work?
- Which fixed income desk do you find most interesting?
- How would you invest and then manage a large sum of money that someone gave you?
- What’s your favorite thing about trading in fixed income?
- What do you find most difficult about trading fixed income?
- How likely is it that you’ll get the same number every time you roll a six-sided dice?
- What would you look for in someone who wants to be a fixed income analyst?
Fixed income interview questions, with examples of how to answer
Practice answering common questions is one way to get ready for an interview. Here are four possible interview questions for a trader or analyst in fixed income, along with some possible answers:
1.What do you do when you’re stressed out?
This is a general question that interviewers might ask because work in trading, finance, and investment banking can be very fast-paced. When you answer this question, it can help to give specific examples of how you have dealt with stress in the past. You can also talk about how these strategies relate to the tasks you might do at the job you’re applying for.
“Over the years, I’ve made a lot of tools to help me deal with my time and stress when I have a long workweek or a big project. Breathing exercises have helped me take a break, refocus, and go back to my work with more energy and focus. I’ve also learned that communication is very important in this industry because a lot of people’s jobs and responsibilities are linked. When I talk to my coworkers or boss about my problems, we often figure out how to solve them together.
2. Have you done anything outside of school that had to do with money? Describe them if you do.
The interviewer might ask you this question to see if you have any real-world experience in the field. This question can be a great chance to talk about an experience you think has helped you in your career. To help the interviewer learn more about you, you could also talk about an experience that shows what you stand for or how you act.
“In my second year of college, I started my school’s first finance club for women. We brought in speakers, held events, and planned trips to help women in finance find jobs in the field. During my senior year, we helped get the chief financial officer of an investment company to lead a district-wide conference on how to be a woman in the finance industry.
I’m very proud of the work I did for my organization, and I still try to live by the values I learned there. I saw on your website that fairness in finance jobs is one of the things that your organization was built on. One reason I’m glad to be considered for a job here is because of this.
Is it better for a trader to take risks or not take risks?
This is a question an interviewer might ask to see how well a candidate understands technical things. This could be a good chance to show what you know about trading and investing in fixed income. To answer this question, pick one side and try to defend it using what you know about the industry. If you need to, define any important words to make your answer as clear as possible.
“As a trader in fixed income, most of my clients want their money to grow in a safe way over time. Because of this, I think it’s best not to take chances. Most of the time, I try to find my clients good investment options that will help them a lot in the long run. But I also try to help my clients find the best ways to make money. I might talk to them about it if I think they might be interested in a high-risk, high-reward situation.”
How many times would you have to fold a piece of paper to make it as tall as you?
An interviewer might ask this question to find out how well a candidate can use their skills in the real world. They might also want to see how the person solves a puzzle. You might want to talk out loud about each step you took to solve the puzzle and any formulas you used to show how you thought about it when answering this question.
When you fold a piece of paper in half, its thickness doubles. This means that I could use an exponential growth equation to figure out how many folds it would take to reach my height if I knew how thick the paper was. Since I don’t know this, I’m going to guess that a very large piece of paper folded five times is about one centimeter. This means that the height would be 2 cm after six folds, 4 cm after seven folds, 8 cm after eight folds, 16 cm after nine folds, and 32 cm after ten folds.
One foot is about 30 centimeters long, so if you folded a piece of paper ten times, it would be about one foot tall. From there, 11 folds would equal 2 feet, 12 folds would equal 4 feet, and 13 folds would equal 8 feet. My calculations show that if you folded the paper 12 times and 13 times, you’d reach my height of 5 feet 5 inches.