How To Land a Quant Internship at Jane Street
A Q&A with an incoming quantitative trading intern at Jane Street.
Jane Street Capital is a quantitative trading firm with its headquarters based out of New York City. Many quants regard Jane Street to be the pinnacle of the quantitative trading world due to its position as a global leader in ETF trading and reputation for advanced quantitative analysis. Furthermore, Jane Street is renowned for its open/collaborative working culture and for its high compensation offers. As a result, each year, the brightest minds from all over the world try their hand at landing a role at this firm.
For this article, we sat down with an incoming Quantitative Trading intern at Jane Street to learn more about his interview experience, preparation strategies, and general advice he has about landing roles in Quantitative Finance. Out of respect for Jane Street's process, we won't delve into the specifics of what questions were asked but will provide a high-level overview of this intern's experience. Through this article, we hope to shed more light on what you can expect when interviewing for a quant trading role with Jane Street, and what steps you can take to ensure you are well-equipped to be successful in the interview process.
Q&A with Jane Street Intern
How did you apply for this internship at Jane Street?
I followed the standard process of applying online through the Jane Street website once the internship application opened up. In general, I've found career fairs and referrals to be less effective when applying to quant internships.
What do you think allowed you to pass the resume screen?
I can't be certain, but my participation in high school math competitions, high performance in my statistics coursework, and previous technical internships were all things that I believe helped. I also attend a target school, so that could possibly have played a role.
What was the structure of the interview process?
In totality, I had four interview rounds consisting of an assortment of technical and behavioral questions. The technical side mainly involved probability, statistics, expected value, market making, and game theory questions. The behavioral questions represented only a modicum of the questions I was asked and were focused on trying to gauge my interest and expectations for an internship with Jane Street.
- Round 1: phone screen
- Round 2: phone screen
- Round 3: phone screen
- Round 4: on-site interviews
How did you prepare for the interview rounds?
I spent the majority of my time reviewing material from my statistics/probability courses before pursuing alternative resources. Outside of my coursework, I used:
- A Collection of Dice Problems - this pdf has a series of dice problems with detailed solutions. I went through many of these problems, but going through every single question may be a bit overkill.
- A Practical Guide to Quantitative Finance Interviews - I read this book cover to cover and used it as a practice exam to find what areas I needed to further hone in on.
- Thinking Strategically - I read this book in order to build better intuition for game theory. Nonetheless, I think the previous two resources should get more attention than this book.
What advice would you give students looking to land an internship at Jane Street?
- Explain your thought process - More than anything, the interviewers are evaluating your ability to reason through a complex problem and explain your thinking along the way. When given a challenging problem, it is your goal to dissect it into sub-parts, solve these intermediate steps, and explain how they contribute to arriving at the overall solution.
- Stay calm and demonstrate tenacity - More often than not, you'll be given a problem or scenario that you have never seen before. The worst thing you can do in this situation is panic. Maintain focus, ask questions to ensure you understand the problem, and tackle it to the best of your abilities. Perseverance is an important trait that your interviewer will be looking for.
What are some misconceptions you had about interviewing at Jane Street?
- You have to be a mental math god to pass the interview - After interviewing with a few other quantitative trading firms, I expected mental math to appear somewhere along the interview process. To my pleasant surprise, Jane Street places very little emphasis on mental math and more focus on problem-solving ability and logical reasoning.
- You have to get every question correct to move to the next round - There were many instances throughout my interview in which I got a hint from the interviewer or missed an edge case when solving a problem. I thought these would prevent me from moving to the next round, but this wasn't the case at all.
- The interviewers would be intimidating - Coming from outside the world of quantitative finance, I always thought quant interviews would be "cut-throat" for lack of a better word. This was simply not the case. Every interviewer I interacted with at Jane Street was very friendly and helpful.
Thanks for reading this article! We hope this Q&A provided an overview of what you can expect when applying for a Quantitative Trading internship at Jane Street. If you, or someone else you know, would like to share their experience applying for quant roles, feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com.
If you're interested in reading more about quantitative finance careers and education, check out the other articles on our Quant Blog. Finally, if you're currently looking to land a job or internship in quantitative finance, check out our home page to find the quant role that's a right fit for you.