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Susquehanna International Group (SIG) Interview Guide

Published June 6th 2024
Last edited June 6th 2024

Embarking on the journey to join Susquehanna International Group (SIG) involves navigating a rigorous and multi-stage interview process designed to evaluate your aptitude and fit for a trading career. This guide provides a detailed roadmap of the SIG interview process, breaking down each phase and offering targeted advice to help you excel.

The SIG interview process is structured to assess a wide range of skills and attributes through various stages:

  1. Online Assessment: Tests your quantitative skills and logical reasoning.
  2. Phone Interview: Evaluates your background and problem-solving abilities.
  3. Technical Interview: Focuses on probability-based questions and your technical expertise.
  4. Final Stage: Includes both technical challenges and HR discussions to gauge your overall fit.

Each stage is meticulously crafted to highlight different aspects of your capabilities, ensuring a comprehensive evaluation of your readiness for a role at SIG. This guide will walk you through the specifics of each stage and provide preparation strategies to help you succeed.

Stage 1: Online Assessment

After passing the initial resume screening, candidates receive a link to SIG’s online assessment, designed for both traders and quants (traders/researchers). These assesments are carried out through Mettl, an assessment platform operating out of India. The test that you need to take depends on the role that you are applying for:

Trading Internship:
A 20-minute test called the SIG Quantitative Evaluation with logic-based and brain-teaser questions. Challenges include solving linear systems of equations, calculating expected values, and complex puzzles like grid path-finding. Our Black Test simulates this test and will make sure you are left with no surprises.

Full-time Roles: A 60-minute test referred to as the SIG Problem Solving Assessment with 9 open-ended questions. You can navigate back to previous questions, and there’s no penalty for incorrect answers. Focus on providing accurate solutions within the time limit. Working through our Black Test and all of our SIG Interview Questions will provide you with ample preparation for the SIG Problem Solving Assessment.

Note that we have heard of cases where those applying full-time actually receive the Quantitative Evaluation and those applying for the internship receive the 60-minute Problem Solving Assessment. It's important to be aware that the questions of the two tests are very similar.

Stage 2: Phone Interview

Candidates who pass the online assessment are invited for a phone interview with a recruiter. This interview focuses on your background and includes questions designed to test your motivation, market awareness, problem-solving skills, and cultural fit at SIG. Here’s what to expect and how to prepare:

  1. Motivational and Content-Driven Focus:
    • Why SIG?: Be prepared to explain why you want to work at SIG specifically. Questions like "Why do you want to work at SIG?" and "What interests you most about our firm?" will probe into your understanding of SIG’s unique culture and your genuine interest in being part of it.
      • Example: "I am drawn to SIG because of its emphasis on game theory and strategic thinking, which align with my background and interests in competitive gaming and probability."
  2. Background and Experience:
    • Your Story: The interviewer will explore your academic and professional background, asking questions like "Can you walk me through your resume?" and "What specific experiences have prepared you for a career in trading?" Highlight relevant experiences and skills.
      • Example: "During my internship at XYZ Firm, I developed strong analytical skills and a deep understanding of market dynamics, which I believe will be valuable at SIG."
  3. Understanding of Market Dynamics:
    • Market Awareness: Expect questions about current market trends and basic trading concepts. Questions such as "What is happening in the markets right now?" and "How do you stay updated with market news?" assess your market awareness and interest in financial markets.
      • Example: "I follow financial news daily through sources like Bloomberg and the Financial Times, and I recently read about the impact of interest rate changes on market volatility."
  4. Technical Part:
    • Problem-Solving Skills: You will also face math questions designed to test your problem-solving skills in probability, quantitative reasoning, and logic. You won’t need to recall specific formulas but should approach problems methodically and be clear and concise in your communication. Brush up on probability concepts, combinatorial analysis, and conditional probability to ensure you are prepared.
    • Preparation:  Practice our curated collection of SIG Interview Questions by going to our brainteaser database and filtering for SIG. Preparing for these questions in advance using our resources will help you demonstrate your problem-solving skills effectively without running into any unpleasant surprises.

Stage 3: Technical Interview

Next, you’ll have a video interview, usually with a more senior trader, similar to the phone interview. This 60-minute session will primarily cover probability-based math questions, along with discussions about your CV, background, and skills. To prepare for this take a look at our SIG interview questions and filter for probability.

Stage 4: Final Super Day

The final stage consists of multiple interviews, each focusing on different aspects.

Technical Stage

Lasting about an hour, this stage emphasizes expected value games with cards, dice, or coins. This phase assesses not only your mathematical skills but also your ability to remain calm, communicate effectively, and perform under pressure.

You will have to calculate the expected value of randomly selecting and rolling a die or picking cards in a market-making game setup. Additionally, expect that you will have to solve brainteasers with cards, dice, or coins.

For the games, playing our Dice and Card market making games on higher difficulty with market events enabled will provide great preparation as these games are extremely similar to the games played in this stage. For the expected value questions on cards and dices make sure you work through all of the relevant questions in our Cards & Coins interview question collection.

Key Tips for Success:

Stay Calm Under Pressure:
  • Keep your head cool and approach each problem methodically.
  • Take a breather if you start feeling overwhelmed to maintain your composure.
  • Be aware of the fact that the interviewers will try to push you to your limits.

Effective Communication:
  • Clearly explain your thought process and reasoning as you work through problems.
  • Demonstrating clear communication shows you can collaborate and articulate your ideas effectively.

Show Relaxed Confidence:
  • Display a relaxed yet focused demeanor to show you can handle high-pressure situations without becoming flustered.
  • Confidence in your abilities reassures interviewers of your suitability for the fast-paced trading environment.
  • Make sure not to be overconfident, like any other trading firm they are looking for those who are both intelligent and humble.

Work Methodically:
  • Break down complex problems into smaller, manageable steps.
  • Check your calculations and reasoning as you go to avoid mistakes.

Practice Under Simulated Conditions:
  • Replicate interview conditions during your preparation to get accustomed to performing under similar stress.
  • Time yourself while solving problems to improve your speed and accuracy under timed conditions.
  • Play our Dice and Card market making games on the highest difficulty until you are comfortable and treat each practice session as if it was an interview.

By preparing thoroughly and maintaining a calm, confident, and communicative approach, you can demonstrate your ability to handle the technical challenges of this stage and showcase your fit for the dynamic environment at SIG.

HR Stage
During this 30-minute session, you will face fundamental questions like "Why trading?" and "Why SIG?" along with more challenging ones like "What are your weaknesses?" and "What would be your edge compared to other traders?".

Here's how you can demonstrate a strong cultural fit and genuine interest in SIG. Obviously, adjust them according to your own background, experiences and interests:

Know the Firm:
  • Do Your Research: Mention specific details about SIG, such as their history, locations, and trading scope. Show that you've taken the time to understand what sets SIG apart. To prepare for this, take a look at SIG's Youtube Channel and website.
  • Example: "I admire SIG's emphasis on integrating game theory into trading strategies and its history of innovation in the financial markets."

Teamwork and Collaboration:
  • Highlight Teamwork: Talk about how you value teamwork and collective problem-solving. Show that you understand and appreciate SIG's collaborative culture.
  • Example: "I thrive in environments where smart people work together to solve complex problems, and I’m impressed by how SIG promotes this through its collaborative meritocracy."

Competitive Spirit and Poker:
  • Mention Poker: If you enjoy poker or strategic games, bring it up to connect with SIG’s competitive spirit. Show how this interest aligns with their culture. Note that SIG has 3 WSOP bracelet winners on their team!
  • Example: "As an avid poker player, I appreciate SIG's use of game theory and the emphasis on strategic thinking. I find it fascinating that SIG hosts an annual poker tournament and has multiple World Series of Poker Bracelet winners."

Growth Mindset:
  • Show Willingness to Learn: Emphasize your commitment to continuous learning and professional development. Mention SIG’s opportunities for growth.
  • Example: "I am excited about SIG’s growth mindset and continuous learning opportunities, such as the SIG Speaker Series and the tuition reimbursement program."

Benefits and Perks:
  • Acknowledge Perks: Mention how SIG’s benefits and perks appeal to you and contribute to a positive work environment.
  • Example: "I value the comprehensive benefits at SIG, like the on-site gym and fully-stocked kitchens, which show the company’s commitment to employee well-being."

Ask Insightful Questions:
  • Show Genuine Interest: Ask questions that reflect your interest in SIG’s culture and work environment. Take a look at this youtube playlist for inspiration.
  • Examples:
    • "How does SIG foster teamwork and collaboration among employees?"
    • "Can you share more about SIG's competitive spirit and how it influences the workplace culture?"
    • "What opportunities for continuous learning and professional growth does SIG offer?"
    • "Could you describe some of the social events and activities that help build relationships among team members?"

By incorporating points like these into your responses and questions during the HR stage, you'll be able demonstrate that you’ve thoroughly researched SIG and are genuinely interested in aligning with the company's unique culture and values.

Closing Remarks

The guide highlights the critical importance of thorough preparation for each phase of the SIG interview process. It offers valuable insights and resources to help you practice specific tests, grasp the subtleties of behavioral interviews, and sharpen the analytical and strategic thinking skills required for technical interviews and the final stage challenges.

To succeed in the SIG interview process, you need a combination of sharp intellect, strategic mindset, and a genuine passion for trading, along with a personality that fits well with SIG’s collaborative and competitive culture. Aspiring candidates should approach this rigorous process with diligent preparation, a commitment to continuous learning, and an authentic representation of their abilities and character.

A common mistake among candidates is underestimating the level of preparation needed for the SIG interview. Daniel Kahneman referred to this as the planning fallacy. Understand that these positions are highly competitive, and SIG seeks only the best of the best. Many candidates invest several months preparing for the various stages and assessments, meticulously covering every detail to maximize their chances of success. To stand out and enhance your chances of securing the job, you need to work hard, be self-critical, and take your preparation seriously to excel at each stage of the SIG interview.

Whether or not you ultimately succeed, embarking on this journey with SIG can be both challenging and immensely rewarding, providing a unique opportunity to grow, excel, and potentially become part of one of the most innovative trading firms in the world. Remember, each stage of the interview is another opportunity to demonstrate who you are and how you can contribute to the dynamic and successful environment at SIG.