Google and investment banks seem to be fishing from different talent pools. Yes, Google is mostly about people who are passionate about technology and banks are mostly about people who are passionate about finance, but it goes deeper than that. In a weekend interview with the New York Times, Lazlo Block, senior vice president of people operations at Google, said the company wants humble, able people who are willing to learn. Academic achievements are less important, said Block. Try telling that to banks, which routinely screen applicants on the basis of academic achievement.
Based on Block’s NYT interview, the Guardian has assembled a list of five questions which it suggests will indicate whether respondents are too full of themselves for the Googleplex. They are as follows. The Guardian suggests you ask them of yourself as a screening to work out whether it’s worth applying to Google in the first place.
1. Do you have an IQ higher than 130? “Yes”, is the wrong answer: Google wants intellectual humility.
2. What shall we have dinner this evening? Any form of procrastination or uncertainty is the wrong answer. Google wants ’emergent leadership.’
3. Are you incompetent and lazy? “Absolutely not,” is the wrong answer. A recognition of your limitations is a good thing. Google wants people with the humility to only do what they usefully can.
4. Why did you choose to read the last five articles you read? “Erm” is the wrong answer. Google is looking for people who can “pull together bits of disparate information on the fly.”
5. Do you consider yourself an expert in a particular field? “Yes,” might be the wrong answer. Google doesn’t like people who consider themselves experts in their subject. People are more likely to come up with novel solutions when they don’t know what they’re doing.
Separately, if you don’t want to work at Google, you could always try SAC Capital. Following accusations of insider trading and its transformation into a family office for founder Steve Cohen, the Financial Times reports that SAC is beefing up its compliance team and hiring a ‘surveillance officer’. We suggest that this is not a job for the faint-hearted.
JPMorgan’s Chief Compliance Officer, Cindy Armine, has quit. (Reuters)
JPMorgan is hiring 3,000 new compliance staff. (Financial Times)
JPMorgan has big growth plans for its asset management arm. (Bloomberg)
St. James’s Place will probably want to hire wealth managers in Asia. (Financial Times)
Morgan Stanley lost money in its trading businesses on 33 days last year, down from 37 days in 2012 and the fewest since 2006. (Bloomberg)
Barclays has shut down its US and European power trading desks. (Financial Times)
RBS corporate bankers are doing penance by making tea and shifting vegetables at client firms. (WSJ)
Lies and misrepresentations are a common part of the give-and-take of bond trading. (Bloomberg)
The typical Wall Streeter is an “escalator climber”: intelligent and diligent but fundamentally timid. (Financial Times)
How to say “This is crap” in different cultures. (HBR)