15 Interview Tips From Goldman Sachs

by Derek Loosvelt | November 11, 2010

Goldman Sachs, the investment bank everyone loves to hate as of late, recently posted an "Interview Skills" video on its web site, giving you all the necessary information and tips you'll need in order to succeed in your next interview with the firm. Goldman's 15 main tips for wouldbe interviewees (that is, the subtext of the video) are (is) as follows:

1. A British accent makes you sound smarter, so if you don't have one, get one.

2. An interview is for us to determine if you can bring in tons of money for us without referring to yourself in the third person.

3. An interview is also for us to tell you how freaking bada$$ we are.

4. Before you consider interviewing with us, please ask yourself: "Have I ever received a grade of a B or lower on any test I've taken since the first grade?" If you answered "yes," please do not send your application to us but to Citigroup. Or BofA. If "no," please make a list of your strengths and weaknesses (and, if you listed any weaknesses, again, please send your application elsewhere; UBS is another possibility).

5. Prior to interviewing, create a list of your interests, along with the exact time, day and year that you decided that said interest interests you. If you do not know the exact day and time, then you can not, by our definition, consider it an interest at all. Perhaps it is a hobby.

6. After you have compiled all of your interests (it's recommended to have at least 16 interests), please craft a short story (double-spaced, 12-point font, 8,000 word minimum, with your first and last name on the title page, and your last name on each subsequent page) about how it came to be that you ended up on the 12th floor of Goldman Sachs' world headquarters (that is, here, interviewing with us). Your story must end with specific reasons why the specific person sitting across from you (interviewing you) should desperately want to spend 100 hours with you every day for the next two years, including holidays and Sundays.

7. Practice speaking in a "confident, conversational" tone about all of your previous job experiences -- which should include at least four summers working as an intern at a bulge bracket investment bank, preferably one named Goldman Sachs, or in a related field such as the hedge fund industry or the National Football League -- as well as how you are smarter than all of your peers and a majority of every teacher you have ever studied with, or plan to.

8. Come prepared with a Power Point slide presentation detailing your 93 most outstanding accomplishments.

9. Don't make the bonehead mistake of not realizing you are applying to a job that will require you to work all day and all night as well as hand over your second-born child to the CFO should you exit the firm before your contract expires.

10. Know at least every piece of history about our firm as well as the industry in general before arriving to the lobby.

11. Prior to the interview, relax, take it easy, and memorize how to spell each of our employee's names, including those of our IT employees in India. You will be given a short examination upon your arrival to our offices.

12. Our probing of you is designed to gauge your ability to work harder than a donkey carrying two tons on its back up and down Mt. Vesuvius for two consecutive decades, stopping twice for water. It is also designed to see if you wear buttoned-down shirts or English spread collars, and the width of your ties at their widest points.

13. After we probe you, you will be given exactly 90 seconds to probe us. That is, ask your interviewer a question or two. So, come prepared. Note, your questions should be limited to two of the following: 1) "Given that Goldman Sachs is the sole investment bank on the Street entrusted to do God's work, will I, as a lowly analyst, be allowed to sit in on a meeting with God?"; 2) "Given that Goldman Sachs is the sole investment bank on the Street entrusted to do God's work, if I, a plebian in comparison to a majority of my coworkers, die on the job am I entitled to an automatic seat in heaven?"; and 3) "Given that Goldman Sachs is the sole investment bank on the Street entrusted to do God's work, is there any chance that I will receive first-hand knowledge of the secrets of the universe if I am lucky enough to be hired by such a prestigious and esteemed institution as yours?"

14. Following the interview, don't call us (or email us or write us, or think about us in any way, shape or form, especially not as a bloodsucking mollusk that only emerges between sundown and sunrise), we'll call you.

15. Good luck!

For more tips, grab a tub of buttered corn and some Sno-Caps and watch the entire Goldman Sachs "Interview Skills" video.

Filed Under: Finance


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