Deutsche Bank | Company, Interview, Assessment Centre Reviews and Salaries

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Derivatives Trader / Market Making
Deutsche Bank is a deep-rooted bulge bracket bank that was founded in 1870. You can feel that long history harmonized with modern practices while you work at DB.

Benefits are quite generous including generous maternity/paternity and sick leaves, retirement plan contributions, great health insurance package, free snacks, often compensation for expensive food if you're bored and an above average salary (If you are a trader you can negotiate a generous bonus as well).

There are a few things that are a lot more interesting/important to me than the benefit packages, here they are:

Work environment: Despite extremely intelligent employee base, most people are helpful and friendly. There is camaraderie and sincere connections that stay with you for a lifetime. Diversity and inclusiveness are taken seriously and the organization overall lives up to those values which is great.

Technical Edge: Having engineering bg and having always liked technical mastery I was satisfied with plenty of opportunities to use my technical skills in trading and other financial tasks. Due to many policies in place DB often prefers to have solutions built in-house. This is fantastic if you'd like to prove and improve your skills however there is a catch. Due to working within close networks (within Deutsche Bank), you might end up missing out on the most edge-cutting developments and technologies that are happening in the world externally. Working in closed environments can also cause confirmation bias as your colleagues are likely to be impressed with your solutions rather than provide constructive criticism. So don't expect world-class hi-tech quant environment (which you might find at some specialized hedge funds) but you can expect gaining a technical edge that's still quite above average for banks. If you are a very dynamic and innovative person, I think the regulations and very strict company policies might be the biggest deal breaker for you when it comes to working at Deutsche Bank or any large global bank.

Relations with the management: Management is well-mannered and mostly good at delegating tasks and making personalized contributions from technical and soft angles. Hopefully you won't meet any American-psycho type at DB especially at management levels. Often management has a history of in-house accomplishment and loyalty which means you won't be dealing with randomly favored people. One constructive criticism might be that, understandably, management positions get so busy sometimes that you might feel neglected in your team (especially if you are a junior banker) at times. A good strategy is to look out for suitable slots to approach supervisors/leaders/managers at the bank and lunch is always a fantastic opportunity to connect and learn as well. Of course as you take more and more responsibilities, you naturally join the information feed and social loop.

Very high financial ethics: I learned so much about ethics with regards to financial practices, sensitive data, trading data, user privacy and trading ethics from amazing people who actually practiced those values at Deutsche Bank. Values and ethics are not only taken seriously but they are also part of the organization's psyche which is something I never saw at any other bank/institution at this professional level. At the very high end of financial practice ethical skills can be invaluable for you as a professional.

Future employment: Finally, I know many people who start and end their careers at Deutsche Bank but if you should want to try something new or switch careers DB offers an incredible brand value on your CV/Resume. I think this can be attributed to several factors including: strong employee network, DB's tendency to prioritize good character on top of technical skills and domain expertise at hiring, accumulated experiences due to in-house solution culture and very high ethical values at organization level. If you get a job here, in most cases it means that both you and Deutsche Bank are very lucky. Make the most of your experience!
Analyst / Derivatives Trading
I was recommended by the analyst who left the position so the initial screening/HR interviews were passed quickly (except all the personality tests which were terribly long and tedious). After which I had 2 interviews.

1st interview: Initially, it was more like an introduction meeting between me and the immediate supervisor where we talked about the position. I didn't feel challenged and looking back I think this part of the meeting was mostly about character assessment, positive attitude, availability, commitment level and similar non-technical factors.

After the long introduction we took a break and I was asked to make comments on the trading solutions, tools, scripts which were built by my predecessor. I was familiar with the languages (C, VBA, Python) and techniques he had used and provided my opinions on how to improve them, finish the unfinished ones. I also gave more solid examples to what I might be able to accomplish for them in the future. This was a very small and intimate team (3+1 people) making insane trading volumes.

2nd interview: Second interview was held as a group interview. I got to meet senior-level member of the derivatives trading team. I was asked random financial knowledge questions to which I had satisfactory answers. I remember specific questions like:

- What's the GDP of xyz country, which country had surprising GDP changes in the last decade, which countries' GDP might be trending in the next decade?
- Which futures contracts have the highest trading volumes with regards to various indices, industries and individual stocks.
- Are you familiar with event-driven hedge fund strategies, can you give examples?
- If a stock's price increases by 0.5% every day what would its volatility (historical) be?
- How many submarine accidents are there on average every year?
- What charting solutions might improve/speed up greek calculations for an option trader?
- Is it a good idea to practice dollar-cost averaging on options?
- Various questions regarding Brokerage and Asset Management firms in Europe and in the US, their AUMs, trading volumes etc.

On top of that there was a mini-case study about average submarine accidents per year where I made some assumptions and tried to demonstrate a high quality reasoning process.

Questions felt ruthless and the more I answered the more they stepped it up.

I think these questions were a bit too hard and specific considering I was interviewing for a relatively junior position. Later, I learned why they went on with these questions and how it all actually played in my favor. The position received even higher number of applications than expectations from very strong candidates from top universities. After getting the job I coincidentally learned some applicants had degrees from Sorbonne, LSE, Insead, some others which I don't remember. Although interviewers/my new team had really liked the initial interviews based on character and intentions, they told me they wanted to justify their decision by giving me an extra hard technical interview to which my responses were highly satisfactory and better than the competition.

I was offered the position in the week after.
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