A Guide To Getting Your Dream Job At Goldman Sachs

goldman sachs interview

Goldman’s head of recruitment told Fortune the firm receives about 10,000 applications for jobs each year.

So how do you make yourself stand out?

These are the main lessons we gleaned from an interview Fortune scored with Goldman’s Global Head of Human Capital, Edith Cooper.


Take up rowing, or sculpture or charitable giving.

Sure, Goldman is looking for someone who's academically brilliant. But your chances are multiplied exponentially if you also excel in an area besides maths.

'We define talent very broadly,' Cooper said. They're looking for someone 'who's excelled across a variety of different things.'

They're looking for a stellar track record in sport or music or commitment to the community. Just don't do anything too weird.

Source: Fortune

So basically you can't just be part of a sports team or having played clarinet for two years back in high school.

You need to demonstrate you were kind of great at it, and more importantly, you were in a leadership role.

Source: Fortune

Be comfortable with feeling uncomfortable

Cooper said that Goldman likes 'people who like to be slightly uncomfortable.'

She explained that it had something to do with the fact that they work in a dynamic industry and every day is different.

So basically, just make it known you're a sucker for uncomfortable situations.

Source: Fortune

Prepare for a marathon interview session

'We're known for interviewing quite extensively... and I have to admit that that is true,' Cooper said.

That's to get you used to working with a lot of people she said, and to watch how you manage those relationships.

Check out two sample interview questions from Goldman. Click here to see the one about a pencil. And click here to see the one about penguins.

Source: Fortune

Be a people person

Cooper focuses heavily on that fact they're looking for people who work well in teams.

It's one of the reasons they conduct interviews with another 10, 12 or even 15 people.

Source: Fortune

Be intellectually curious about the global financial markets

Don't turn up if you don't know which Eurozone country just got bailed out...

Source: Fortune

Be yourself and talk about yourself - not just finance

Cooper says that often candidates are surprised that, 'we really don't spend the majority of our time asking specifics like what know about the market.... or where the dow is trading. We want to get to know them.'

Source: Fortune

Have a few stories about growing up, college, and your life experience ready

'There are times you can spend just as much time talking about coming from a small town and ending up at big college,' than talking about anything finance-related Cooper said.

Source: Fortune

Speak up! And say something contrarian

Cooper hammers home that the firm doesn't just want Ivy Leaguers and wants someone who can bring a different perspective to the table.

Source: Fortune

Women: don't over-do it with the makeup; Men: don't wear Ferragamo loafers

There's an unspoken rule at Goldman that women are not supposed to wear too much make-up.

So don't pile it on during the interview process.

And men, don't wear Ferragamo loafers -- you'll look like you're out of your league.

And for those of you who managed to get the job...

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