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Quant Interview Questions Book Comparison

Aug. 4, 2020 7-minute read


You need to prepare for those pesky quant interviews and realized that thankfully people have written interview books specifically for quant roles. That is quite fortuitous since you will definitely need to prepare or else failure is almost certain (unless you are a Mensa???). But which one of these lovely books should you purchase? I own 5 of the 7 that we will be reviewing together below and have flipped through and done some qualitative research on the other 2. Let us begin!

High Level Summary

Title Author Price # of Questions Language # of Editions Originally Published Latest Published
A Practical Guide To Quantitative Finance Interviews Xinfeng Zhou $26.20 200+ English 14 2008 2020
150 Most Frequently Asked Questions on Quant Interviews Dan Stefanica, Radoš Radoičić, Tai-Ho Wang $29.75 170+ English/Chinese 2 2013 2019
Heard on the Street: Quantitative Questions from Wall Street Job Interviews Timothy Crack $39.95 239 English 21 1995 2020
Quant Job Interview Questions and Answers Mark Joshi, Nick Denson, Andrew Downes $39.99 300+ English 2 2008 2013
101 Quizz Qui Banquent Gilles Pagès $54.10 101 French 1 2012 2012
Frequently Asked Questions in Quantitative Finance Paul Wilmott $31.71 35 English 2 2007 2009
Cracking the Finance Quant Interview: 51 Interview Questions and Solutions Jean Peyre $9.99 51 English 1 2020 2020

In-depth Book Review

A Practical Guide To Quantitative Finance Interviews

Topics: Brainteasers Calculus and Linear Algebra Probability Theory Stochastic Process and Stochastic Calculus Finance Algorithms and Numerical Methods

About the Author: Zhou has the most actual experience working as a quant/strat/portfolio manager in a number of institutions including Barclays Global Investors, Goldman Sachs, Point72 and Millennium. It makes sense for this reason that he would include "Practical" in the title of his quant interview book. He also holds a PhD from MIT.

My Take: This is the book that I personally used the most when preparing for my interviews. I'm not sure what it is but it was somehow the least painful to just open up and grind out some questions. I think the bigger font and more white spaces in the book just makes it easier. Also, it is nice that the solution immediately follows the question which makes it easy to "guide" yourself using the answer if you are stuck.

150 Most Frequently Asked Questions on Quant Interviews

Topics: Math, Calc, Differential Equations Covariances and Correlation Financial Instruments C++ Monte Carlo Simulations Probability, Stochastic Calculus Brainteasers

About the Author: Stefanica is the Director of the Baruch College Financial Engineering Program and holds a PhD from NYU. He is definitely in the academic camp, but given his role as director of a masters program, you can be certain that this book is quite practical.

My Take: I quite like this book as well. The physical size of the book is nice and makes it quite convenient to just bring around without feeling like an idiot. This was first published in 2013 which means most of the questions are still relevant today. The questions and answers are in different chapters so you end up flipping back and forth which I personally find annoying, but maybe you won't. You will however benefit from any urge to cheat and look at the solutions before really giving it an honest shot. But then again, some of these interviews devolve into you just regurgitating answers so maybe who cares. This book is also available in Chinese which might be useful to some.

Heard on the Street: Quantitative Questions from Wall Street Job Interviews

Topics: Purely Quantitative & Logic Derivatives Other Financial Economics Statistics Non-Quantitative

About the Author: Crack is currently a professor at the University of Otago, and worked a few years at Barclays Global Investors (BGI indeed, it's been a little while). He is definitely more of an academic than a practitioner.

My Take: This is the OG quant book. It also boasts 264 non-quant interview questions for you to practice which are equally important to get right. And, the book in its 21st edition as of now which does show that love and care has definitely gone into this book to work out lots of the kinks. Indeed, it was the first of its kind in 1995. I do wonder how people landed quant jobs prior to 1995. The famous Black-Scholes paper came out in 1973, 22 years before the first quant interview book came into existence. So did quants not have to go through this whole quant interview process charade?

Quant Job Interview Questions and Answers

Topics: Option Pricing Probability Interest Rates Numerical Techniques and Algorithms Mathematics Coding in C++ Logic/Brainteasers The Soft Interview

About the Author: Joshi unfortunately passed away in 2017. He wrote quite a few texts and held a PhD from MIT. He was both a practitioner for a number of years at RBS and an academic at the University of Melbourne.

My Take: I like this book as well but it feels a bit dated now. Actually, I'll rephrase that to say by saying it is a relic lost in time. It focuses too much in my opinion on modeling options, rates and derivatives which just isn't really the focus of most quant finance jobs at this point. Obviously, if you are more interested in working in that specific subfield of finance, this would be a good choice. The content here does seem to reflect the distinguished and sophisticated quantitative finance pre-crisis glory days.

101 Quizz Qui Banquent

Topics: Brainteasers Math Finance

About the Author: Gilles Pagès is a professor in France at the Sorbonne and has written a number of other quant finance texts.

My Take: This book is quite hard to find and the price certainly reflects that given it is the most expensive (a whopping $1.87 per question)! Not to mention that it is only available in French. Honestly, I would only get this if I were interviewing at the French banks or in any group with a lot of French people.

Frequently Asked Questions in Quantitative Finance

Topics: Brainteasers Statistics Math Finance

About the Author: Wilmott is pretty well known, has a PhD from Oxford, runs the The Certificate in Quantitative Finance (CQF) and also had his own head hunting firm.

My Take: This isn't a quant interview book per se, but there is a section that is dedicated to it. However the general FAQs in the book have also been used in interviews so I wouldn't discount that completely. It is a "pocket" book, but one would need some massive pockets to accommodate this thick book. But maybe quants already have massive pockets to accommodate their massive wallets from all that money they are making on Wall Street.

Cracking the Finance Quant Interview: 51 Interview Questions and Solutions

Topics: Brainteasers Stochastic Calculus Finance Programming Classic Calculations

About the Author: I was unable to find any concrete information on the author on LinkedIn or anything like that. It seems like he is a practitioner but little else is known otherwise. He is possibly French just based on his name.

My Take: This is the newest addition to the quant interview book family. Did we really need another one? I guess why not. With only 51 questions in this book, they seem to be going for efficiency rather than volume.


Books are great. They can be used to prop up your monitor so you are not hunched over. They are also a useful tool with which to collect dust. Also, there is a .99 correlation between the number of quant finance interview books you own and your performance during the interview. Granted, I still own all these quant interview books. They are keepsakes of my past that I cannot yet seem to emotionally part with. And for that, I am forever grateful.