what traders are looking for?

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by lind27, Jan 24, 2007.

  1. lind27


    If there are any experienced traders out there that can give me some advice here, it would mean a lot:

    I am a 23 year-old college graduate that is currently working as a financial advisor for a very large company. I have recently become much more intrigued with a career as a trader and am going on a 2nd interview to become a "junior-trader" at a local firm. They said they need someone to do their back-office work as a way to learn about the industry. I have very little knowledge about the technical aspects of the job but I the intelligence, ability, and a remarkable amount of energy/enthusiasm. I am always reading about the markets and have developed a genunie passion for working in the industry- so now I just need someone to give me the opportunity.

    When I go back to meet some more of the firm's traders, what type of things will they be looking for? Any suggestions as far as things I should discuss, questions I should ask, or aspects of my personality I should point-out?

    Any help here would make a big difference....
  2. Be yourself. You're not applying for a sales/marketing job.

    You should be worried about "actually performing/making money" rather than impressing someone. Marketing and all the other stuff comes after you can trade well.

    Also, don't act like you know anything about trading or the markets, because you don't. Be honest and humble.
  3. GBL


    How can they call the title "Junior trader" when you are doing back office? make sure you get a detailed job descrition because it sounds like a trader support role when you will be doing reconciliations all day. Best of luck pal.:D
  4. sledged



    I too would like to hear what other traders have to say about what they look at when interviewing young guys who havent had a chance to actually trade for a profit. If a kid hasn't been out of college long enough to trade consistently and with success what is it that people look for when trying to recruit talent. Is there something that comes across in the interview specifically, or is it merely pure intelligence that is of importance. Thanks.

  5. me2


    read up on game theory, odds, & statistics. thats all this game is- probability management. volunteer to be a pee-on for chance to sit down once in awhile w/ the successful traders and soak up every word they say- also what they dont say.

    and no one wants to hear your 'one time at band camp' i bought this stock and made 20% while in college- im a genius fluff. you know nuthinz.
  6. lind27, read:

    1. Jack Schwager, Market Wizards, the last chapter "Wizard Lessons", pp. 298-327 (65 "elements of successful trading and investing").

    2. Jack Schwager, The New Market Wizards, part VIII "Closing Bell", chapter "Market Wiz(ar)dom", pp. 173-180 (42 "observations regarding success in trading").

    Needless to say, you'd also do yourself a big favor to make time to read -- and re-read as you gain more first-hand trading experience -- both books in their entirety. But this would be an excellent first step, as part of the preparation for your 2nd-round interviews, while soaking up some of the traders' language and mindset.


    A Personal Reflection

    "I am frequently asked whether writing this volume and the first Market Wizards helped me become a better trader. The answer is yes, but not in the way people expect when they ask the question. No trader revealed to me any great market secrets or master plan unlocking the grand design of the markets. (If this is what you seek, don't despair, the answer is readily available - just check the ads in any financial periodical.) For me, the single most important lesson provided by the interviews is that it is absolutely necessary to adopt a trading approach precisely suited to one's own personality. Over the years, I have come to clearly realize that what I really like about this business is trying to solve this master puzzle: How do you win in the markets? You have all these pieces, and you can put them together in a limitless number of ways, bounded only by your creativity. Moreover, to keep the game interesting, there are lots of pitfalls to lead you astray, and some of the rules keep changing in subtle ways. There is even a group of very intelligent people telling you that the game can't be won at all. The really fascinating thing is that, as complex as this puzzle is, there are a multitude of totally different solutions, and there are always better solutions. Trying to solve this wonderful puzzle is what I enjoy.

    On the other hand, I have also come to realize that I do not like the trading aspect at all. I do not enjoy the emotionality of making intraday trading decisions. When I am losing, I am upset, and when I am on a hot streak, I am anxious because I know I can't keep it up. In short, it is not my style. In contrast, there are people who thrive on and excel at the actual trading. One person who in my mind epitomizes this type of approach is Paul Tudor Jones, whom I interviewed in Market Wizards. When you watch Paul trade, you can see he's really charged by the activity. He bubbles over with energy, taking in information from a hundred different directions and making instantaneous trading decisions. He seems to love it, as if it were some challenging sport. And loving it is probably why he is so good at it.

    For many years, I participated in both discretionary trading and system trading. It is, perhaps, no coincidence that in the course of working on this book, I came to the conclusion that it was system trading that suited my personality. Once I increased my efforts and commitment to system trading, my progress accelerated and I felt that the approach fit like a glove.

    It took me over a decade to figure out my natural direction. I'd suggest that you take the time to seriously ponder whether the path you are on is the one you want to be on. Perhaps your journey will then be shortened."

    ib., p. 181