How to Land a Quant Internship at Optiver
A Q&A with an incoming quantitative trading intern at Optiver.
Founded in 1986, Optiver is one of the longest-lasting proprietary trading firms with a global presence. The firm's decades of success in the financial markets have contributed to its esteemed reputation, and its transparent, yet ambitious culture has attracted a global talent pool. Anyone interested in working with cutting-edge technology or quantitative data science methods would find Optiver to be an ideal firm to work at.
In this interview, we sat down with an incoming Quantitative Trading intern at Optiver to learn more about his interview experience, preparation strategies, and general advice he has about landing roles in Quantitative Finance. Out of respect for Optiver's hiring 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 Optiver, and what steps you can take to ensure you are well-equipped to be successful in the interview process.
Q&A with Optiver Intern
How did you apply for this internship at Optiver?
I saw the internship posting on OpenQuant and applied there. In general, I also keep a list of quant firms I'm interested in and occasionally scan their career pages for open opportunities.
What do you think allowed you to pass the resume screen?
I already had a quantitative trading internship at a mid-tier firm under my belt from last summer. I also attend a university that is a "quant feeder".
What was the structure of the interview process?
- Round 1: Online Assessment
- Round 2: Recruiter Phone Call
- Round 3: Technical Phone Screen
- Round 4: Final Round (Combination of Technical and Behavioral)
The online assessment was the classic 80 in 8 mental math game, followed by a reflex game, finding the missing value in the sequence, and probability puzzles. I also had a few standard behavioral questions about my interest and alignment with Optiver. The technical questions that appeared in the later rounds were quite similar those that were in the green book.
How did you prepare for the interview rounds?
What advice would you give students looking to land an internship at Optiver?
My biggest piece of advice would be to focus on the fundamentals. Many, including myself, often get caught up in grinding out problems without having solid foundations in probability and statistics. The reality is that you'll likely be presented with a question you've never seen before during your interviews. Having solid foundations will equip you with the repertoire of skills to solve these questions with ease.
What are some misconceptions you had about interviewing at Optiver?
Going into my interviews, I was under the impression that I would have to know a lot of in-depth financial knowledge to land the offer. From my experience, I found that Optiver placed more emphasis on problem-solving ability and quantitative skills than finance knowledge.
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 Optiver. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.