Investment Bank Brain Teaser Interview Questions

The following lists were provided by Sarah Butcher at Please check out her other articles for the ins and outs of working in the financial industry. Note that this is a UK site so any questions involving money and distance will be in pounds and meters/kilometers.

JP Morgan Chase

  • How many windows are in this building?
  • If you had a Rubik’s cube with 10 little squares on each side, and peeled off the outer layer, how many little cubes would you end up with?
  • How many trees are there in Central Park?
  • How many planes land at Gatwick every day?
  • How many people enter London every day for work?
  • How many houses higher than 20m are there in NYC?
  • How many people set foot in the Roman Colosseum on an average day in August?
  • How many times does a ball get hit in the average game of tennis?
  • What’s the probability that a pregnant woman has a baby boy?
  • How many matches take place during the Wimbledon tennis championship?
  • How many people set foot in the Vatican during an average day in July?
  • You’re about to give a PowerPoint presentation in a meeting and you notice it has a mistake in it. What do you do?
  • What’s the square root of two?
  • If one mile is 1.6km, how many kilometres are in eight miles?
  • How many skis are sold in Sweden each year?
  • Demand for skis declines sharply. What should the company selling skis do?
  • How much money would a buffet car on a train travelling from Edinburgh to London make, on average?
  • What’s 16 multiplied by 243?
  • You look at the clock. It’s 3.15pm. What’s the angle between the clock hands?
  • What is the sum of the numbers from one to 100?
  • What’s the square root of 0.1?
  • What’s one divided by 16?
  • What is the expected value of a roll of a dice?
  • I flip a coin. If it’s heads you pay me £100. What should I pay you to play this game? What about if I only have to get 1 heads in two tosses, what is the new price?
  • Add up all the numbers between 0-100.
  • Can you make a market based upon the expected value of a roll of a dice?
  • You have a 3 liter and a 5 liter bottle. How do you measure 4 liters of water exactly?

Deutsche Bank

  • Why are manholes round?
  • Estimate the annual revenues of a hotel in Bristol.
  • What is 9.9 divided by 2.8?
  • How many cinemas are there in the US?
  • What’s the probability you’re hit a car on the way home from this interview?
  • Petrol or diesel, which is more combustible? Why?
  • What’s the probability of leaving this room and seeing someone with one leg?

Goldman Sachs

  • Estimate the value of the tie industry in the UK.
  • How many airplanes are in the sky above New York City at any moment?
  • What is the angle between the hour and minute hand of a clock at 3.15?
  • If you were shrunk to the size of a pencil and put in a blender, how would you get out?
  • When you heat a sausage in the microwave, the tear is always lengthwise. Why is that?
  • If I gave you €10m, would you either buy a 5-star hotel in the centre of Paris or 5 cheap motels along the ring road?
  • What’s the sum of all the numbers between 1 and 100?

Morgan Stanley

  • How do you define two independent events?
  • Why do financial services firms need to be regulated?
  • Name three different financial services regulators.
  • Explain the concept of game theory as if you’re talking to your grandmother.
  • What is the GDP of the USA?
  • What does LIBOR stand for?
  • What’s greater? 45% of 19 or 19% of 45?
  • Five pirates are trying to split up 1,000 pieces of gold. They have to abide by these rules: Pirate #1 must divide the gold up in such a way that a majority of the pirates (including himself) agree to. If he does not get a majority vote, he will be killed, and pirate #2 will get to propose a solution to the remaining 3 pirates, and the same rules will follow. This continues until someone comes up with a plan that earns a majority vote. What is the most amount of gold pieces that pirate #1 can keep to himself, and what would his proposal be? Bear in mind that the pirates are infinitely greedy, infinitely ruthless (the more dead pirates the better), and infinitely intelligent.
  • There are 200 fish in a tank. 198 are blue, two are red. How many blue fish would you need to remove to make 98% blue fish?
  • If you arrange some sugar cubes into a larger 10x10x10 cube, how many cubes can you see on the outer layer?
  • How many golf balls would fit into this cubicle?
  • How many cats are there in the UK?
  • How many baseball bats are sold in North America every year?
  • What’s 18% of 83?
  • What’s 17/18 as an exact decimal?
  • What’s the cube root of 1,000?
  • How many traffic lights are there in NYC?

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