How to ace a video interview at Goldman Sachs

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Two years ago, Goldman Sachs made the decision to stop conducting interviews for undergraduate students on college campuses. Instead, the bank switched to video interviews for first-round candidates, noting at the time that the move would allow Goldman to broaden its reach and recruit from a more diverse pool of students.

Earlier this week, Goldman tweeted out a video with some tips on how to successfully navigate a video interview. While the advice comes from Goldman recruiters, most all of the suggestions are applicable for anyone preparing for a video interview at a bank. J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America also utilize video interviews for entry-level positions, as does Deloitte, Sequoia Capital and many other financial firms. We also included some specifics that we’ve heard from insiders on what digital interviews at Goldman are like as well as some questions that the bank has asked previous candidates.

Quick tips from GS

Prepare as if you were going into a traditional interview. Read up on the firm, the role or roles for which you’ve applied, and prepare a few personal examples on how your background would fit within Goldman. If you’ve applied to multiple roles, you’ll still only take part in one video interview.

Recruiters say that you don’t need to dress formally, but you should wear something that gives you confidence. What does this actually mean? Dress business casual. The video Goldman tweeted shows a male candidate wearing a crisp, one-tone button-down shirt with no tie or suit jacket.

Pay attention to body language and posture while maintaining eye contact with the camera. This is likely hard to do if your computer is sitting well below you, so chose a surface where you're positioned on a level plane with the eye of the camera.

Be specific and be sure to answer all parts of the question. You’ll have 30 seconds to prepare after hearing the question and two minutes to answer, we’re told. But you don’t need to use the full time allotted – just move on to the next question. However, the recording will shut down right at two minutes.

Practice. Goldman allows you to take an unlimited number of practice questions before starting the actual recording. The default setting will contain a view of yourself but that can be turned off if it’s distracting.

Don’t be a robot. Recruiters were a bit more diplomatic in their phrasing, but they clearly don’t want to see that you’re reading from hidden notes or uttering scripted answers.

Specifics on the process

Previous candidates tell us you can expect five questions and possibly a sixth if you’ve applied to multiple divisions. As you'll see below, the questions are fairly generic. The entire process will take less than 15 minutes and you’re likely to hear back in about two weeks. Most of the questions will be behavioral, with one specific to the division for which you’ve applied that will be more technical. J.P. Morgan only asks potential interns three questions, but they allow three attempts per question. It’s one-and-done with Goldman.

Both J.P. Morgan and Goldman Sachs rely on HireVue’s digital interviewing system, which has machine learning capabilities that can provide an automated assessment of candidates based on 15,000 dimensions, including body language, stress in your voice, vocabulary, speed of delivery and eye movements. However, Goldman recruiters note clearly in the video that your submission won’t be reviewed “by robots or anything like that.” Only recruiters and hiring managers will make the assessments. Other firms that rely on HireVue may utilize the technology, however.

Interview questions asked by Goldman

Why do you want to work at Goldman Sachs? Why investment banking?

Why this particular division? What does this division do? What is it about your background that makes you a good fit for this division?

What's the hardest problem you’ve encountered? How did you overcome it?

Walk me through a time you were working in a team and you took the initiative to make a change.

Walk me through a time you had to resolve a conflict with someone senior to you.

What's your greatest strength?

Tell me about an asset class you're interested (asked in securities interviews).

Have a confidential story, tip, or comment you’d like to share? Contact: btuttle@efinancialcareers.com

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