How to prepare for Quant Researcher interviews/jobs?

Hi!

I’m a third year pure math PhD student in a tier 1 but not so prestigious US college. Recently, I decided that the academia is not the best option for me and started to look for industry jobs. I am planning to apply remote quantitative researcher jobs in 2-2.5 years. However, I haven’t taken any CS or finance courses and I am not very experienced at coding.

I have 2.5 years till I graduate. I’m planning to self teach myself Python, attend some sort of Math-to-Industry bootcamps this summer, find an internship for next summer and work part-time or remotely in my last year as a PhD student. Does this sound like a good plan? What else can I do to improve my chances? Should I take a finance course, or just read Hull’s Options, Futures and Other Derivatives book? Lastly, is it possible to work remotely as a quantitative researcher, especially while living in another country?

Thanks a lot!
 
A Math PhD from a tier 1 school should help you land some interviews but it's all about your skills from there.
Here are links to the job descriptions for Quant Research roles at some top firms,
SIG QR
Citadel Securities QR
If you go through them, you'll see they don't require any finance background. You need excellent quantitative and logical reasoning skills. There's a lot of emphasis on programming and statistical techniques and they are rigorously tested in the interviews.
So, where to begin? Given that you are pursuing a doctorate degree in pure math, there should be no question about your quantitative skills. Getting some programming experience would be an absolute must , either through projects or better yet - internships. Some cool projects/research you have done could help you stand out in the applicant pool. Try to do as many internships as you can before you apply for a full-time job and in roles that do justice to your pedigree. Look for quantitative roles that are heavy on math/stats and programming. It doesn't have to be in finance but could be in tech. Many people switch from Machine Learning/Data Science roles to quant finance as the skills they pick up are incredibly useful in building strategies that large hedge funds use.

You don't need to do any finance courses, the companies will put you up to speed with financial markets concepts. They want incredibly smart and talented people who can build ideas around it. Concentrate on honing your programming skills and you should be in a suitable position to land some good work.

Also, hedge funds and other prop trading firms have a lot of emphasis on probability/stats/game theory questions and other out-of-the-box math problems during their interviews. You might want to practice some of these before interviewing. The book by Xinfeng Zhou is the holy bible of quant finance interviews and covers a lot of the material needed.

About the remote work - I am not really sure, it depends on the company.
 
A Math PhD from a tier 1 school should help you land some interviews but it's all about your skills from there.
Here are links to the job descriptions for Quant Research roles at some top firms,
SIG QR
Citadel Securities QR
If you go through them, you'll see they don't require any finance background. You need excellent quantitative and logical reasoning skills. There's a lot of emphasis on programming and statistical techniques and they are rigorously tested in the interviews.
So, where to begin? Given that you are pursuing a doctorate degree in pure math, there should be no question about your quantitative skills. Getting some programming experience would be an absolute must , either through projects or better yet - internships. Some cool projects/research you have done could help you stand out in the applicant pool. Try to do as many internships as you can before you apply for a full-time job and in roles that do justice to your pedigree. Look for quantitative roles that are heavy on math/stats and programming. It doesn't have to be in finance but could be in tech. Many people switch from Machine Learning/Data Science roles to quant finance as the skills they pick up are incredibly useful in building strategies that large hedge funds use.

You don't need to do any finance courses, the companies will put you up to speed with financial markets concepts. They want incredibly smart and talented people who can build ideas around it. Concentrate on honing your programming skills and you should be in a suitable position to land some good work.

Also, hedge funds and other prop trading firms have a lot of emphasis on probability/stats/game theory questions and other out-of-the-box math problems during their interviews. You might want to practice some of these before interviewing. The book by Xinfeng Zhou is the holy bible of quant finance interviews and covers a lot of the material needed.

About the remote work - I am not really sure, it depends on the company.
Thank you very much for your detailed response. The book seems great, I’ve ordered one. Next semester, I’ll take my last course and I decided to take Applied Statistics and Data Science. Then, I’ll improve my Python skills and try to find as many internships as I can find. Thank you very much again.
 
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