I recently started a job as a software engineer on J.P. Morgan's graduate program and I want to share some advice with anyone else who's interviewing with the U.S. bank. The only caveat here is that I interviewed a few years ago (I'm joining several internships later), but I hope that what I have to say about the broad interview process will be useful anyway!
So, firstly, you probably should know that I was asked questions spanning a few main areas: logical and analytical reasoning; technical questions; and competency questions.
The logical and analytical reasoning questions are all those where you're given a hypothetically problematic scenario and asked to provide a solution. Questions here include things like, “A busy airport has a huge number of flights departing and arriving every day. How would you go about finding the number of people who departed from the airport on a particular day based on some given information?” My interviewers were interested in the approach I took to solving the problem rather than the solution I found, so my advice is articulate your thoughts about finding a solution rather than just presenting your conclusions.
Technical questions are the next big section of the interview. Questions here are mostly based on computer science topics like programming languages, databases, data structures and algorithms, software engineering, operating systems and networks. Math-related questions might also be asked. For example, “You are given a lot of data about a particular organization. Design a database to organize and efficiently store the information.” Or, “You need to develop a game using an Object Oriented language (like Java). What are the different classes you would design and how would you apply different principles of object oriented programming while developing the game?” Or, “In a big financial institution what are the advantages and risks associated with technologies like Big Data?” Or, “Give an example of a piece of software that you think has a poor interface. Why do you think so and what can be done to improve it?” Technical questions are a huge part of the interview, so make sure you're prepared.
Lastly, you're going to be hit with competency questions. You need to be ready for the all-time top questions in this category like, “Why this bank”, “How would you deal with conflicts in a team”, “Why the technology division”, “Have you ever demonstrated leadership....” These will definitely come up, so prepare some answers - usually with hard examples from your past, in advance.
Lastly.... if you go into J.P.M though the spring week, you might face a coding challenge. Past challenges have included developing an artificial intelligence for a game in Java so be ready for this too!
Sooraj Gandhi is the pseudonym of a technology analyst at J.P. Morgan
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