First round hedge fund interviews are important, not only because you need a job but you also need to make a good impression to your headhunter.
First round hedge fund interviews generally last 60-90 minutes and will generally involve meeting one or more members of the hedge fund team, usually analysts but not uncommon for the portfolio manager to be there.
You will get the standard investment banking behavioral questions: Tell me about yourself, talk about your deal experience, why do you want to work at a hedge fund, why do you want to work at this fund, etc.
You will also need to be prepared to answer accounting, modeling, and stock market questions. For the accounting and modeling questions consult the investment banking technical guide. For the stock market questions be sure to answer: current price of S&P/Dow Jones, price of Gold, price of Oil, USD/EUR exchange rate, interest rate on the 10-year treasury, etc.
First round interview will seldom involve modeling tests, the outlier here is SAC interview process which involves a 30 minute modeling test.
One thing that you will need to brush up on is pitching stocks both long and short. I’ve been told a thousand times by portfolio managers: “I’m here to make money, bottom line.” Do NOT try pitching 5-10 ideas, learn 1 or 2 ideas very well and make sure you know everything there is to know about the company and why it’s an attractive investment.
I can tell you with confidence EVERY SINGLE hedge fund interviewer will want to talk stocks. You will be required to pitch at least one long and one short in almost every interview you attend. Knowing what you expect and how to truly understand an investment idea will give you a great advantage.