A Positive Equity Trader shares his 5 tips to get you through a futures trainee trader interview.

1.    Preparation/Research – This is the big one and carries over to everything. Do you know enough about the company to talk about it for a couple of minutes uninterrupted? Have you an understanding of what is going on in the global economy? Can you instantly recall all the details from your CV? If need to put more work in. Trading requires mountains of disciplined research and if you can’t show the ability to do this with the reward of a career at the end then it is unlikely that you will push yourself once you get it.


2.    Stand Out – What makes you special? You will be competing against hundreds of other candidates who also have degrees and competitive achievements. That’s what got you the interview in the first place but if you aren’t memorable then don’t expect a call back after round one. Achievements don’t have to be related to trading but show some time where you triumphed in some environment that required a level of discipline and dedication beyond what most people are willing to give because guess what, that’s the basic requirement needed to have any level of success trading.

3.    Stay Calm – This may seem like a difficult ask under the stressful conditions of an interview but consider that the company is going to entrust you with large sums of money and when a wrong click under pressure can be career ending and damaging to the business how you respond under pressure is high on the list of qualities trading firms are looking at. With this in mind expect to be put under scrutiny and thrown some left field questions in the interview.

4.    Understand the Job – This is another really important aspect to the interview process and has nothing to do with knowing the difference between quantitative easing and Non-Farm Payrolls. To be successful at trading you need to treat it like a vocation and not a standard job. How can you show that you are prepared to work hard, 5 days a week and eat right, exercise, drink less and make all the other sacrifices that give you those small percentages that separate successful and unsuccessful traders. Figure out something that shows you have this capability and get it across in the interview.

5.    Confidence – Trading is a tough career psychologically. You can expect to be wrong around half of the time despite putting in mountains of blood, sweat and tears. If you can’t show confidence and self belief in the interview then the likelihood of you being able to handle the consistent failure and pressure of the job is significantly reduced.

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