Banks have egos. They like to be made to feel special. They don’t want to feel that you’re spraying your CV about all over the place hoping for a biter – they want you to tell them why you’ve selected them especially and what it is that makes you destined to work there. They like to be praised for their business achievements, but they also like to be praised for their culture.
If you have the good fortune to be interviewing for a junior job at Goldman Sachs, you might therefore want to drop in the following points taken from a handy video on ‘The Goldman Sachs Experience’ featuring the firm’s ‘chief learning officer’ Jason Winguard.
1. “Goldman Sachs is the best place to start a career in banking”
Or, to be specific: “I understand that you have a huge online learning facility with webinars and customized modules that will teach me everything I need to know about the banking industry. I’m also interested in using this facility to learn about coding and programming and the products Goldman offers across its different markets.”
2. “I understand that you offer a customized-MBA like experience which I can work through while I’m at Goldman Sachs.”
Or, to be specific: “I hear that Goldman Sachs’ University offers a huge body of courses which pretty much equate to an MBA. I really like your emphasis on continuous development.”
3. “I’m looking forward to all the networking opportunities with Goldman staff.”
Or, to be specific: “I understand Goldman actively promotes networking. I’m very excited about getting to know alumni from my college who are already at the firm and to attending the regular presentations which I understand take place with Goldman’s senior staff.”
4. “I’m really interested in Goldman’s culture of success and excellence.”
Or, to be specific: “I understand that Goldman is all about doing things really well and in providing client excellence. That really appeals to my own ethos of hard work and perfectionism.”
5. “I like the fact that Goldman Sachs promotes internally and has a culture of ‘apprenticeships’ for its junior hires.”
Or, to be specific:”I hear that a lot of senior Goldman staff have been with the firm since they graduated. I really like the fact that your senior staff have that history and actively help people to progress through the organisation. I understand, for example, that the firm offers a lot of feedback, which I’m really looking forward to…”
You can tailor these responses a little according to your own personal style and tolerance for heavy flattery. They’re just a suggestion and will, at the very least, prevent you from repeating the stock response – which is to list Goldman’s business principles as a chief motivation for working there.