I wanted to recount the experience I had going through the Goldman Sachs graduate scheme application process. Hopefully it helps some of you out! Please feel free to share your own experiences below. It’s quite a long and gruelling process.
Throughout the whole process, it’s worth bearing in mind the ‘competencies’ they’re looking for. These are:
• Honesty and integrity
• Personal initiatives
• Client service
Try to make sure these are reflected in everything you do during the process and you’ll go far.
It starts, obviously, with the application form. But that’s nothing too difficult. Just your details and a covering letter. After that, you wait to see if they like your application. If they do, congratulations, you’re through to the first round of interviews.
It’s fairly unusual to have an interview this soon into the process, so try not to be intimidated. If you’re there, they already like your application. It’s a one-on-one interview that took me around 45 minutes. The questions are all competency based, and so will relate to the list of competencies in some way. This will involve a lot of asking for elaboration on your CV or examples in your history of times when you’ve displayed those attributes. However, also be ready for a few questions about the company and what they do, as well as your opinions and thoughts about things like quantitative easing.
Straight after the interview, I had to take a numerical test and a verbal reasoning test. These are Goldman Sachs’ own tests, but they’re quite similar to SHL-style tests, so practice using those! They’re 20 minutes each, and some have multiple correct answers, so don’t waste time thinking you might have the wrong end of the stick if you notice that. You’ll need very high marks to proceed as it’s super competitive.
After this point, I know that they do have assessment centres which some candidates do, but I didn’t do one. I imagine this is more down to the particular role you apply for – they should tell you at the beginning of the process anyway.
Instead, I had a second round of interviews. For me, these were both two-on-ones and one was competency-based while the other was technical.
For the competency based one, prepare in the same way as for the first round interview. The questions will be more in-depth and your answers will be held to a higher standard, but the style and type of questions will be the same. Also be prepared for some more unexpected questions – the types that are like how many of x random object will you find in London – and remember that they’re not expecting the correct answer, they just want to see your thought process. You want to seem curious, enthusiastic but also fairly rigorous and systematic in your approach, I reckon.
The technical interview will of course be more tailored to the role you’re applying for. Do plenty of research on the kinds of things your role is responsible for, and make sure you have the skills to tackle the sorts of questions they’ll ask relating to that.
The atmosphere for both interviews was pretty stressful, but I suspect that has more to do with who your interviewer it.
Afterwards, though, it’s over! Bear in mind that it’s quite a long process – can be 2 weeks or more between each stage – and it can take a while to hear back, and you get no feedback.
Anyway, I hope some of you find this helpful! Please share your experiences below.