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Renaissance Technologies Interview
Questions

27 Questions and Answers by Ryan Brunner

Published April 21st, 2020 | Ryan has over 10 years of experience interviewing
candidates in the healthcare, public service, and private manufacturing/distribution industries.
Question 1 of 27
Can you think of a situation where raising debt over equity would be beneficial?
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How to Answer
Debt and equity have a very closely bonded relationship with each other in relation to a company's finances. In most situations, raising debt can create too high of an amount of pressure to meet payments versus raising equity. But, there are a few key situations where there is a distinct advantage in raising debt over equity and your interviewer will be looking to hear that you understand at least one of those advantages to be tax shielding, reducing cost of capital and not diluting the stake for investors.
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Top 25 Renaissance Technologies, Inc. Interview Questions with Full Content
1.
Can you think of a situation where raising debt over equity would be beneficial?
Debt and equity have a very closely bonded relationship with each other in relation to a company's finances. In most situations, raising debt can create too high of an amount of pressure to meet payments versus raising equity. But, there are a few key situations where there is a distinct advantage in raising debt over equity and your interviewer will be looking to hear that you understand at least one of those advantages to be tax shielding, reducing cost of capital and not diluting the stake for investors.

Ryan's Answer #1
"In the situations where I've advised an organization to increase debt, they've received a distinct advantage in a lower cost form of financing versus equity financing. In the end, this reduced the organization's WACC and came out to be a win for them."
Ryan's Answer #2
"Last year, I advised a manufacturer to take the debt over equity route when adding a new line of products that was guaranteed to be very profitable. This fact allowed the company to simply and quickly repay the loan plus interest while being able to reap the rewards of the extra profits. In that same case using equity, final profit would've been less."
2.
What is your opinion on the best network monitoring performance tool that allows for easy anti-virus software installation in a network environment with multiple servers and workstations?
Installing anti-virus software on a network that supports multiple servers and workstations throughout a client organization can be a challenge if the environment doesn't have the proper protocols in place. As a consultant in the network monitoring space, you should have used several monitoring tools that you like, with one that you prefer over the others. Pulseway and Spiceworks seem to come up a lot when it comes to ease of use with anti-virus software installation on servers and workstations across company networks. The interviewer at Renaissance Technologies probably already knows of these software tools, but wants to hear your opinion. There is no wrong answer for this response; they just want your opinion. The interviewer should have an idea of what their client is using, and might ask if you have experience with that tool. It would be a good idea to ask what their client is using, and talk in detail about your experience using it, or using a tool similar to it that performs the same or similar functions.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Although there are a few really good network monitoring tools out there that allow for easy anti-virus software installation, the one that I prefer is called Pulseway. It has a number of great features that provide intrusion, detection and recovery systems built in. When an interviewer asks me what monitoring tools I have at client sites; I explain that there are a few that I use, but that I have a preference for one. I like to give an overview of why I like that tool and what makes it better than the others. I tend to favor Pulseway for a few reasons. It gives me a dashboard view of all installed devices and software on the system from the server and end-user workstation side, as well as alerts and notifications, and provides all this data in real-time which is critically important when you are managing a network for a client, and lastly it's free which clients love to hear."
Ryan's Answer #2
"As new network monitoring tools come out, I like to try them out to see how they perform. A new one I have tried that's gaining favor in my book is Spiceworks. The nice thing is it's free, and it has similar features as some of the top monitoring tools that are easy to use when installing anti-virus software. When I make recommendations to clients about this type of software, they always ask that I test the software in a secure development server before it goes live to see how it performs. As a consultant, I want to be able to provide value to our clients, and be a trusted adviser that brings creative ideas to the table that help solve their problems."
3.
Accuracy is important to us at Renaissance Technologies. Do you always double check or proofread your work?
Double checking and proofreading are essential parts of a job well done. Assure the interviewer that you are diligent when it comes to submitting good, clean, work.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Spelling and grammatical errors are a pet peeve of mine. I will triple check my work if there is time! I feel that it is imperative to submit error-free work."
Ryan's Answer #2
"I do my best to put great work out, at all times. I believe in double checking my work although I must admit that I have fallen victim to the odd mistake like the best of us!"
4.
Here at Renaissance Technologies, we are expecting someone with strong leadership skills to take this role. How would you describe your management style?
Prior to your interview, try to take a long, hard look inside your skills and styles as a leader of others and prepare to present the best management style possible to your interviewer that fits the role that you are interviewing for with Renaissance Technologies. Your answer should also involve solid research into the culture of Renaissance Technologies and the details of the role you are interviewing for. Some important things to touch on are your ability to promote a team atmosphere and your ability to delegate responsibilities when necessary.

Ryan's Answer #1
"My overall management style is the belief in building a positive team atmosphere. I'm a firm believer that each person and role brings a specific skill set to the ocverall goals and purpose of a team and I promote a team based atmosphere by larifying everyone's role on the team, keeping every person's objectives clear, rewarding great performers on the team and holding people accountable for their actions. If hired for this role at Renaissance Technologies, you can be assured that my promotion of a team based atmosphere would help achieve even higher goals than you have set right now."
Ryan's Answer #2
"I think that it is crucial for a leader of others to be flexible in their style rather than relying on just one of the canned management styles. I'd like to highlight my abilities to lead as being a manager that works to grow and develop my staff to help them achieve their career goals and a leader who is able to provide direction and authority when the time for it arises. By knowing my team well and promoting our goals, I have the ability to assign work to the right people and follow through with my team on meeting all objective necessary."
5.
If I were to hand you $100,000 to invest today, where would you put that money and why?
As a simple tool to gauge how you will both satisfy clients and make a profit for Renaissance Technologies, your interviewer is looking to hear how you would invest money right now if given the chance. While there is no right or wrong answer for this question, show them your knowledge of breaking up assets based on age if possible. As well, don't hesitate to call out your knowledge of specifically allocating funds into different sectors or individual businesses or industries. In the end, make sure to give a full explanation of why you are choosing what you are to sell it to your interviewer.

Ryan's Answer #1
"If the money was given personally to me to invest for myself, I would go for a 50-50 split between stocks and bonds being that I'm 37 years old. This would provide a good mix of funds that could be placed into aggressive IT and healthcare type stocks with a lot of growth potential while keeping half safe in the bonds market."
Ryan's Answer #2
"Being that I am young and willing to wisely be aggressive with money invested for myself, I would look for gems in certain industries like social media and internet retail sales. Amazon is expected to see prosperous growth and so are places like Pinterest and Facebook. I'd be wise with these investments while being sure to pay close attention to futures forecasts as those could change quickly, meaning a shift in my direction as well."
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