How to Land a Quant Trader Job at Akuna Capital
A Q&A with a junior quantitative trader at Akuna Capital
First conceptualized in 2011 in Sydney, Australia, and now headquartered in Chicago, Akuna Capital has quickly risen as one of the pioneers in the derivatives industry. Atypical of proprietary trading firms, Akuna Capital has made cutting-edge technology the forefront of its trading strategies, which has enabled the firm to stay competitive over the course of many years. There are four primary quant roles that Akuna hires for:
- Quant Developers - software engineers that design production code for trading strategies.
- Quant Researchers - mathematicians, statisticians, and technologists who create trading strategies using quantitative methods.
- Quant Strategists - scientists who use a strong programming background to further automate the firm’s trading process.
- Quant Traders - creative thinkers that convert ideas into quantitative models.
This keen focus on technology has also attracted many of the brightest students interested in pursuing a career at the intersection of finance and technology. Aside from the interesting quantitative challenges that traders, researchers, and developers at Akuna get the opportunity to tackle, Akuna has gained significant traction due to the vast array of great benefits the firm offers. The firm fosters a competitive, yet collaborative, culture and places emphasis on ensuring employees have an opportunity to recharge and enjoy time outside of work.
In this article, we spoke with an incoming Quant Trader at Akuna Capital to learn more about his interview process with the firm and what tips he would share with any aspiring traders looking to land a role at this firm. In order to maintain respect for Akuna’s interview process, we will not be revealing any exact questions asked in the interviews, yet hope to provide an overview of the general concepts that you can expect to see when interviewing with the firm.
Q&A with Quant Trader at Akuna Capital
How did you land a trading job at Akuna Capital?
The process was relatively standard. I completed an application on their website once it opened up.
What do you think allowed you to make it to the interview stage?
So after applying, I was sent a few online assessments. These tested skills such as mental math, pattern recognition, coding, and trading intuition. I felt pretty good about my results and was invited to interview after my third online assessment.
What was the interview structure?
After completing the online assessments, you have a phone interview with a trader. Whether you interview for quant trader or discretionary trader is dependent on how well you do on the coding online assessment. If you do well on that you move to the final round of interviews.
What are they looking for in the interviews?
A big component is definitely to assess how technically strong you are. Most of the interview questions test your mathematical ability and they also try to gauge your trading intuition. Another thing that they want to test is how well you operate under pressure. The trading environment is very fast-paced so they want to see how you could handle some of those stressful situations when there’s money on the line.
How did you go about preparing for your interviews?
Initially, I started off by practicing a lot of probability and statistics. I took time going through Green Book and tried to fully understand every problem rather than memorize the solutions. I also did a few of the questions on OpenQuant and some other websites with quantitative interview questions. Zetamac was useful for improving my mental math skills. Aside from math, I watched some YouTube videos that explained what a market maker is to get a better idea of the firm’s core business.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to land a job at Akuna?
Definitely practice the fundamentals: make sure your mental math is good, develop your probability and statistics intuition, and have good attention to detail. I would say there’s little room for error in the interviews so practice these things until you’re able to do them with a high degree of confidence. Another thing that’s helpful is if you’ve completed the Akuna Capital Options 101 course. I had no idea what options were but I ended up taking this course and having a much better idea of the products the firm trades which ended up being pretty helpful in my process.
Thanks for reading this article! We hope this Q&A provided an overview of what you can expect when applying for a Quantitative Trader role at Akuna Capital. 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.