Bloomberg’s Interview Process & Questions
The info below is based on conversations with Bloomberg engineers in 2023.
Bloomberg’s interview process is completely decentralized. Each team asks its own questions, focuses on different things, and might have slightly different processes – for instance, some teams don’t ask any system design questions.
Like many other decentralized companies (e.g., Amazon), you can apply to and interview with multiple teams simultaneously. However, all teams have access to the same applicant tracking system, so it’s possible that if you’ve done poorly with many teams already, subsequent teams may decline to interview you. From what we’ve heard, however, there’s no real downside in hedging your bets and talking to as many teams as possible.
If you do decide to interview with multiple teams, you’ll have to repeat the entire process below every time.
General tips for your Bloomberg interviews:
- Do lots of algorithms and data structures practice
- Be ready to interview in Java or C++
- Read up on what Bloomberg does before your interviews, and have a good answer for Why Bloomberg?
Mid to senior-level engineers interviewing at Bloomberg can expect the following process:
- Recruiter call (30 minutes)
- Technical phone screen (1 hour)
- Onsite (4 hours)
Bloomberg's recruiter call lasts 30 minutes, and it’s pretty standard fare – they’ll ask you about your previous experience, why you’re interested in Bloomberg, your understanding of Bloomberg’s value proposition, and what you’re looking for moving forward. They’ll also review the specific role you’re applying for to make sure you understand the expectations and requirements and go over the hiring process.
It’s really important, at this stage, to not reveal your salary expectations or where you are in the process with other companies. We’ve written a detailed post about salary negotiation that lays out exactly what to say if recruiters pressure you to name the first number.
Bloomberg’s technical phone screen lasts about an hour and is conducted on Zoom and HackerRank. Algorithms and data structures are typically the areas of focus. Unlike at many other companies, you will not be running your code during the interview, so it’s OK if it’s not syntactically perfect, as long as it’s efficient and largely correct.
The Bloomberg hiring process is all virtual, and they break the onsite up into individual sections – once you get through the first technical phone screen, you are essentially at the onsite phase but will have to pass each interview to get to the next.
During the virtual onsite, you will use Zoom and HackerRank for all the sessions. The topics will vary team by team, so you may get system design questions or algorithms & data structures questions during the technical rounds, or a combination of both. It is possible to only get coding questions and not have to do any system design – the details vary from team to team.
- Technical interview (1 hour). Just like in the phone screen, you won’t have to run your code. For more detail about the kinds of questions to expect, see the “Types of Interview Questions to Expect at Bloomberg” section below.
- Technical interview (1 hour). As above.
- Behavioral interview (1 hour). This will be a test of your soft skills by the HR team. Cultural fit is very important to them, so have a well-thought-out answer as to why you want to be there.
- Final interview with a senior manager (1 hour). This will be your final interview and it will be conducted by a senior manager, someone who manages at least 50 engineers at Bloomberg. Some of the questions may be technical, others behavioral. Details depend on both the manager and the team.
Each team has its own questions, and there is no central bank. Some teams only ask coding questions, but others will mix in system design questions. Your questions might be in C++ or Python depending on the team. Most teams at Bloomberg use C++. Senior people should know C++ going in, though Java also works. Not knowing either of these languages isn’t a deal-breaker, but it can be a tiebreaker when deciding between two candidates who did well otherwise.
As there is no central bank of questions, each team and each interviewer will pull questions from elsewhere. This could be from LeetCode, previous companies they’ve worked at, or questions they’ve seen before at Bloomberg.
Mostly, you should expect standard algorithms and data structures questions in this round. To figure out what technical topics might come up in your Bloomberg interviews, we did 2 things. First, we spoke to some current and former Bloomberg interviewers in our community. Then we cross-referenced all the anecdotes we heard with Glassdoor data AND our own data-set of mock interviews. Based on all of the above, here are the types of questions you’re likely to encounter.
System Design questions at Bloomberg tend to skew practical and tend to be finance-related. For instance, you might be asked questions such as: How would you design a stock exchange?. Unlike other companies, you might be asked to write code during this interview.
This will be a pretty standard behavioral interview conducted by someone from the HR team. Expect questions about your past experience and some situational scenarios, e.g., How would you handle conflict in the office?
It’s also very important to do your homework and read up on Bloomberg and what they do, so you can effectively answer questions about why you want to work there.
Their interviewing team will sync after each stage of the onsite process and do a debrief. This will determine whether or not you pass through. It’s possible to be sent home after any of the onsite rounds.
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