- Goldman Sachs is nearly 10 times more selective than Harvard.
- You’ll want to evaluate whether it’s the right fit for you, in addition to convincing the hiring manager that you’re the right fit for them.
- We asked three experts on Wall Street recruiting how to know if you’ll thrive at Goldman Sachs.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Goldman Sachs is nearly 10 times more selective than Harvard when hiring midcareer employees. And a lot of people want to work there: The firm receives 1 million applications for midlevel jobs each year.
If you snag a job interview with the company, the bank wants to know if you’re a good fit for its work environment. But it’s just as important to assess whether the company is a good fit for you.
In fact, the company’s outgoing head of human resources, Dane Holmes, previously told Business Insider that the company approaches hiring like a “balanced conversation of two people” to determine if their partnership is a mutual fit.
One or two interviews with a hiring manager won’t give you a full picture of a job because they will likely tell you only the best aspects of the company. But talking to former and current employees can help you get a better idea.
Business Insider hosted a conference call with three experts on Wall Street recruiting: former executive coach Erica Keswin, business school dean Linda Kreitzman, and executive-search firm CEO Oliver Rolfe. They explained how to know if Goldman Sachs is a good fit for you and your career goals. And their tips can help you evaluate a job opportunity at any company, in any industry.
You may know the exact job you want, but that doesn’t always mean it’s the right one for you. “If that happens to be Goldman, it doesn’t mean that Goldman Sachs is the right place for you in your career,” Rolfe said.
It comes down to three key questions to ask yourself.
Am I just interested in the prestige?
Sometimes a job might be a better fit later in your career. “There’s an important balance to realise that there is a right place for everyone and it’s not one individual place,” Rolfe said.
Kreitzman suggests applying to multiple firms, instead of just one. “I’ve done this job for 19 years and students can say to me, ‘Goldman is Goldman.’ But I will say there are wonderful firms out there,” she said.
Plus, the appeal of professional prestige is waning. Many workers quit high-paying jobs at top companies because big names become less important as they advance.
So it’s key to look at more than just the name you want to add to your resume. “It’s important to really try and get a really strong element of the banks around you, not just in terms of how they’re doing in the rankings or revenues or profits or employee cuts,” Rolfe said.
Successful people look at the big picture. Think about how your job will advance the company’s mission and contribute value.
Martha Delhanty, senior vice president of human resources at Verizon, has over 20 years of experience in Verizon HR. She previously told Business Insider that knowing exactly why you’re showing up to work every day will motivate you to perform better.
How do I feel about my prospective colleagues?
While a company’s culture and values can affect your job satisfaction, often it’s more about the people. Keswin said most of the time, employees leave a company because of their managers, not the firm. People want managers who will help them grow.One survey found that a lack of career growth is one of the biggest reasons employees leave their jobs.
“It really comes down to that individual manager and how much you connect with that person and what their expectations are. Because group to group, it can sometimes feel like two different firms,” said Keswin.
Holmes once told Goldman interns that the most underrated factor in a job search is how much you like your prospective coworkers.
Holmes encouraged interns to ask themselves three questions: “Will people invest in me?” “Am I going to grow and learn?” and “Do I like the people that I’m going to show up with every day?”
But it can be hard to assess your potential manager and coworkers before you actually work with them. That’s why it’s important to ask around.
In a video by GZero Media, Wharton psychologist Adam Grant suggested asking people at the company to tell a story about something that happened at their organisation that wouldn’t happen anywhere else. The more people you ask, the better you’ll be able to draw a clear picture. If you start to hear a lot of the same stories or themes, you’ll know those are major aspects of the work environment.
Is it the right time in my career to take this job?
To Kreitzman, your next job opportunity isn’t about your dream job and what you’d eventually like to do. It’s about asking yourself if it’s something you can do right now.
She shared one way to know when it’s time to move on from your current role. “You have outgrown your company or your current job. But more importantly, you’ve seen a job description that truly appealed to you and you know that, intuitively, you’re a right fit,” she said.
If you’re still unsure of the timing, Kreitzman suggests talking to company alumni. Ask someone experienced in the job you’re considering if they think you’re the right fit for the role, in terms of your skills and expertise. If not, think twice about applying.
Rolfe added that it’s about having the right experience at the right time. If you’re not ready now, you can work on developing the necessary experience. “You may be better suited to be at Goldman Sachs later in your career than earlier because of the knowledge you’ve gained or the passion you’ve progressed with,” he said.
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