How to Interview at Goldman Sachs

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Oct. 26 2013 9:18 AM

Here Are 12 Tips for Your Next Job Interview at Goldman Sachs

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Lloyd Blankfein, chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs, arrives for a meeting with President Obama at the White House on October 2, 2013.

Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

This post originally appeared in Business Insider.

By Julia La Roche

It's about that time of year again when some college seniors start interviewing for jobs in finance. The interview process on Wall Street is known for being extremely nerve-wracking. We've heard all the interview horror stories and we've seen those lists of the incredibly challenging questions that get asked.

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Fortunately, Goldman Sachs has an excellent Careers Blog on its website, which features a bunch of great interviewing tips. We've compiled them in the slides that follow to help you ace your next interview. 

Remember: The interview is meant to determine if you're a good fit for the company. The interview is used to determine if you have the necessary skills and experience for the job, to see if you are motivated to do the job, to figure out if you will thrive in the company's culture and if the company is a good fit for you. The first thing you need to do before the actual interview is figure out why you want the job.

In preparation for the interview, Goldman Sachs suggests you answer these questions:
1. Which experiences and skills make you perfect for the job?
2. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
3. Do you have the necessary skills and commitment?
4. How do you know you want this job? 

Then you need to craft your story in a way that will resonate with your interviewer: Once you've answered these questions about why you're the right candidate you should craft a story that will leave an impact on your interviewer.

For that, you'll need to get to know yourself really well: Preparing for your interview requires knowing your resume/CV, determining your key selling points and practicing talking about them conversationally. You should also highlight your experiences that best demonstrate your leadership and teamwork skills as well as any academic and professional accomplishments. 

Make sure you understand the position you're interviewing for: According to Goldman, one of the biggest mistakes applicants make when interviewing is not really knowing the position they are interviewing for. However, you don't need to know every little possible detail about the position, but you do need to articulate your interest in an informed away. Goldman suggests using the website as a resource and staying up to date on current events in the area in which you are applying to work.

Make a really good first impression by arriving early: Arrive to the interview site early and plan your route ahead of time. Goldman Sachs also suggests allowing yourself 20-30 minutes for final interview prep so you can practice your key talking points.

Take names of people you meet: The bank also says it's important to memorize names, especially the names of your interviewer(s) when it comes to making a good first impression.

Know your resume inside and out: Goldman says watch out for the historical interview. They're open-ended, and you'll likely walk through your resume, which Goldman describes as your "road map." This type of interview will allow your interviewer to get to know you better while also evaluating your presentation skills. During the interview, you'll probably be asked about your extracurricular activities and what you know about the position you are interviewing for. Goldman suggests keeping your answers concise and relevant and highlight and pinpoint your strengths as a candidate to show why you're right for the job.

Be prepared to talk about your past work experience: Goldman Sachs usually gives a behavior interview, which is often referred to as a competency-based interview. During this sort of interview, you will be evaluated on past behavior to determine your future performance. For example, you might be asked to describe previous experiences where you held a leadership role or had to work in a team environment. Goldman suggests picking examples ahead of time and highlighting specific skills.

Get ready to read and analyze a case study: During a case study interview, you will be asked to analyze a situation and then discuss how to address that problem. For example, you might be asked to determine how many manholes are in Manhattan. You won't be expected to come up with an answer on the spot, but instead think about and discuss how to solve the problem. This is a good way to gauge someone's problem-solving skill and creativity.

After the interview, you can send a brief thank you email: Goldman says that sending a thank you email is a nice gesture, but it's not necessary. Goldman says written letters take too long and phone calls can be awkward. If you decide to send an email keep it short and professional.

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