20 Optiver Interview Questions and Answers

Prepare for the types of questions you are likely to be asked when interviewing for a position at Optiver.

When it comes to interviews, preparation is key. And if you’re hoping to land a job at Optiver, a leading international trading firm, you’ll need to know how to answer some specific interview questions.

Optiver is known for its rigorous interview process, which is designed to test a candidate’s knowledge, skills, and abilities. The company is also known for asking unique and challenging questions that require out-of-the-box thinking.

So, what kind of questions can you expect to be asked if you’re interviewing for a job at Optiver? In this article, we’ll give you a taste of the types of questions you may be asked, as well as some tips on how to answer them.

Optiver Interview Process

The interview process at Optiver can be quite long, depending on the position you are applying for. For intern and entry-level positions, the process usually consists of an online assessment, followed by a phone or video interview. If you pass those rounds, you will then be invited to an in-person interview, which may last all day. For more experienced positions, such as traders, the process may be shorter, with only one or two rounds of interviews. However, the difficulty level of the interviews is generally high, regardless of position.

Optiver is known for their use of aptitude tests, such as the 80-in-8 test, which measures your arithmetic skills under a strict time limit. They also use numerical reasoning and puzzle-solving questions to test your analytical and problem-solving skills. In general, the interview process is designed to be challenging, so it is important to be prepared mentally and emotionally before beginning.

1. What is your favorite programming language?

This question is a great way to see if you have the necessary skills for the role. It also allows employers to get an idea of your technical knowledge and how it can be applied in their company. When answering this question, make sure that you choose a programming language that you are familiar with and comfortable using.

Example: “My favorite programming language is Python because I find it easy to use and understand. In my last position, I used Python to automate many tasks within our trading platform. This allowed me to save time and focus on more important projects.”

2. Why do you want to work at Optiver?

This question can help the interviewer get to know you better and understand why you are a good fit for their company. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention something specific about Optiver that attracted you to apply for the position.

Example: “I applied for this role because I was impressed with your company’s reputation in the industry. I have always been interested in working at an international trading firm, so when I saw that Optiver is one of the top firms in the world, I knew I had to apply. I am excited to learn from some of the best traders in the business.”

3. How would you explain a trading algorithm to someone who doesn’t know code?

This question is a great way to test your ability to communicate complex ideas in simple terms. It also shows that you can simplify complicated processes and make them easy for others to understand.

Example: “A trading algorithm is essentially a set of instructions that tell the computer what to do when it comes across certain conditions. For example, if I was writing an algorithm for a stock trader, I would write code that tells the computer to buy shares at $10 per share and sell them at $15 per share. The computer will then execute this order automatically.”

4. Do you have experience working in a team environment?

Working in a team environment is an important skill for any role at Optiver. The interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your teamwork skills and how you interact with others. To answer, think of a time when you worked well with others on a project or task. Explain what made the experience successful.

Example: “I have plenty of experience working in a team environment. In my last position as a trader, I was part of a five-person trading team. We all had different strengths that we used to help each other succeed. For example, one person would find new opportunities while another would analyze them. Then, we would discuss our findings and decide whether to trade.”

5. Can you tell me about how you implemented an option pricing model from scratch?

This question is a great way to show your problem-solving skills and ability to work independently. When answering this question, it can be helpful to describe the steps you took to create the model and how you ensured that it was accurate.

Example: “When I first started working at my previous company, I noticed that we didn’t have an option pricing model in place. This meant that our traders had to manually price options for each trade they made, which could take hours or even days depending on the complexity of the trade. To solve this issue, I created an option pricing model from scratch using Python. It took me about six months to develop the model, but once it was complete, it allowed us to automate the process of pricing options.”

6. Tell us about a time where you were put under pressure, how did you handle it?

This question is a great way to assess how you handle pressure and stress. It can also help the interviewer understand your ability to work under deadlines, which is an important skill for this role. When answering this question, it can be helpful to discuss a time where you were able to overcome a challenge or complete a task in a short amount of time.

Example: “In my previous position as a trader, I was working on a project that required me to analyze data from multiple sources. The deadline for this project was coming up quickly, so I stayed late one night to finish analyzing all of the data. This allowed me to have everything ready by the next morning, giving myself plenty of time to review my findings before submitting them.”

7. Have you worked in a fast-paced environment before?

This question can help the interviewer determine if you are ready for a job at Optiver. If you have not worked in a fast-paced environment before, it is important to explain how you would adapt to this type of work environment.

Example: “I have worked in a fast-paced environment before and I am used to working under pressure. In my previous role as an analyst, I was responsible for monitoring multiple accounts at once. This required me to multitask and prioritize tasks quickly. I believe that these skills will be beneficial when working at Optiver.”

8. How many times does the price of a call with strike 45 and maturity 1 year change when the underlying stock increases by 1 euro cent?

This question tests your ability to solve complex mathematical equations. It also shows the interviewer that you can use a calculator and perform basic math functions. In your answer, show the interviewer that you have the necessary skills to succeed in this role by providing an accurate calculation of the price change for each scenario.

Example: “The call with strike 45 and maturity 1 year will increase from 0.45 euros per share to 0.46 euros per share when the underlying stock increases by one euro cent.”

9. How do you think electronic markets differ from traditional markets?

This question can help the interviewer understand your knowledge of electronic markets and how they differ from traditional markets. Use examples from your experience to explain what you’ve learned about these differences.

Example: “In my previous role, I worked with both electronic and traditional markets. Electronic markets are more accessible than traditional markets because anyone can participate in them. However, there are some disadvantages to this accessibility. For example, it’s easier for a hacker to access an electronic market than a traditional one. Also, unlike traditional markets, where traders have to be physically present, electronic markets don’t require any physical presence.”

10. What are some strategies for minimizing risk?

This question can help the interviewer assess your risk management skills. Use examples from your experience to highlight how you minimize risks and maintain a positive outcome.

Example: “I always use stop-loss orders when trading, which is an order that automatically closes a position once it reaches a certain price. This helps me avoid losses by closing positions before they get too far out of hand. I also use limit orders, which are orders that set a specific price at which I want to buy or sell a security. These two strategies have helped me manage my risk in the past.”

11. How can we be sure that our traders stick to their algorithms?

This question is a great way to test your knowledge of the company’s policies and procedures. It also allows you to show that you understand how important it is for employees to follow rules and regulations.

Example: “I believe that one of the best ways to ensure compliance with trading algorithms is through effective training. I would make sure that all new traders are fully aware of what they can and cannot do when following their algorithms. Another way we could ensure compliance is by having regular audits from senior management. This will allow them to check in on each trader and see if there are any issues or concerns.”

12. What’s so great about C++?

This question is a great way to test your knowledge of programming languages. If you’re applying for a developer position, it’s likely that you’ll be working with C++ at some point in your career. This is because the language is used by many major financial institutions and trading firms.

Example: “C++ is an object-oriented programming language that was developed as an extension of C. It has several advantages over other programming languages such as Java and Python. For example, it can handle large amounts of data more efficiently than most other languages. It also allows me to create reusable code, which saves time when I’m developing new programs.”

13. If you had to trade one asset class, which one would it be?

This question is a great way to test your knowledge of the financial markets. It also allows you to show that you have an interest in trading and which asset classes you are most familiar with. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention one or two reasons why you would choose that particular asset class.

Example: “If I had to trade just one asset class, I would probably choose foreign exchange because I find it interesting how currency rates fluctuate throughout the day. I’ve always been interested in learning about other cultures and currencies, so foreign exchange has always been intriguing to me.”

14. Describe the difference between buying a call option against selling a call option.

This question tests your knowledge of the financial industry and how it works. It also shows that you have a strong understanding of the terminology used in the field. When answering this question, make sure to use terms that are specific to the company or industry you’re applying for.

Example: “Call options give the buyer the right to buy an asset at a certain price within a specified time frame. Selling call options is when you agree to sell assets at a set price within a given timeframe. The difference between selling a call option and buying a call option is that with selling a call option, you already own the underlying asset. With buying a call option, you don’t own the underlying asset.”

15. Which market data feed is best suited to getting up to date information on stocks and options?

This question is a great way to test your knowledge of the financial market and how it works. It also shows that you are familiar with Optiver’s services, which can be beneficial if you’re interviewing for an entry-level position.

Example: “I would say the best data feed for getting up-to-date information on stocks and options is the Level II quote. This type of quote provides real-time quotes for both buyers and sellers of securities. The Level II quote is usually more detailed than other types of quotes because it includes all available bids and offers in the marketplace.”

16. Are you familiar with multithreading?

This question is a great way to test your knowledge of computer science and how it applies to the financial industry. If you are not familiar with multithreading, explain that you would learn about it if hired.

Example: “I am very familiar with multithreading because I have used it in my previous role as an IT specialist. Multithreading allows for multiple processes to run at once on a single processor. This can be useful when working with large amounts of data or performing complex calculations. In my last position, I was responsible for creating a program that could handle thousands of simultaneous threads. It took me some time to get the program right, but eventually, I was able to create a system that allowed us to process millions of dollars’ worth of trades per day.”

17. When developing software, what should be taken into account regarding memory usage?

This question is a continuation of the previous one, and it allows you to show your knowledge about memory usage in software development. You can answer this question by giving examples of how you would take into account memory usage when developing software.

Example: “When working on software that uses large amounts of memory, I would make sure that the code is optimized for speed and size. This means that I would use data structures that are appropriate for the problem at hand and avoid using complex algorithms or data types where simpler ones will do. In addition, I would try to reduce the number of objects created during runtime as well as the time spent creating them.”

18. What makes liquidity important in financial markets?

This question is an opportunity to show your knowledge of the financial markets and how they work. You can use this question as a way to explain what liquidity means in relation to trading, and you can also discuss why it’s important for Optiver to have access to high levels of liquidity.

Example: “Liquidity is one of the most important factors when it comes to trading because it allows traders to buy or sell assets quickly without affecting the price. If there isn’t enough liquidity in a market, then prices may change significantly if someone wants to trade large amounts of money. This could be bad for both the trader who needs to sell their assets and the company that needs to buy them.”

19. Why do you believe you will make a good trader?

This question is a great way to show your knowledge of the industry and how you can apply it. When answering this question, make sure to highlight any relevant skills or experiences that will help you succeed in the role.

Example: “I believe I would make a good trader because of my ability to think critically and solve problems under pressure. In my previous position as an analyst, I was responsible for analyzing data and making recommendations based on what I found. During volatile market conditions, I had to make quick decisions about which trades were best for our company. This experience has given me confidence in my abilities to be successful at Optiver.”

20. List 3 algorithmic trading strategies.

Interviewers may ask this question to assess your knowledge of trading strategies. They want to know that you can apply what you’ve learned in the classroom to real-world situations. In your answer, explain how each strategy works and give an example of a time when you used it successfully.

Example: “I have experience with three algorithmic trading strategies—momentum trading, arbitrage trading and statistical arbitrage. Momentum trading is when I buy assets that are performing well and sell those that aren’t doing as well. For instance, if I bought shares of Apple stock last year, I would have made money on the price increase. Arbitrage trading involves buying and selling assets at different prices. If I saw that one asset was priced higher than another, I could make money by buying low and selling high. Statistical arbitrage is when I use historical data to predict future trends.”


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