You've landed an interview with Goldman Sachs. Well done: you're in a serious minority. What should you expect? Goldman Sachs has a reputation for interviewing people until it hurts, so if they like you, you can expect to be grilled from all sides repetitively - often by a panel of people.
We've assembled a list of 61 interview questions which Goldman Sachs candidates claim to have been asked in the past. Most of these were asked of candidates joining the firm at analyst or associate levels.
While you should prepare for the sorts of questions below, the key thing to know before you interview at Goldman is that you need to be 100% familiar with everything in your resume. The firm itself says this is and most of the candidates who've interviewed with the firm report that they were heavily grilled on the minutiae of their CVs. For example, if you've written that you took a Java programming course back in 2012, be ready to talk about it - in depth.
Fit Questions from Goldman Interviews
Walk me through your CV?
Which was your preferred class at university?
What are your strengths?
What are your weaknesses?
Which of your skills and experiences make you appropriate for this job?
What motivates you in life?
What would make you satisfied?
Why Goldman Sachs?
What makes Goldman Sachs different to its competitors?
Why do you want to work for this division of Goldman Sachs?
Why do you want this job at Goldman Sachs?
How do you know you want this job at Goldman Sachs?
What skills do you think are required to do this job?
Can you talk about a mistake you made in the past, and how you overcame it?
Who is the most famous and influential person you would like to meet and why?
Can you talk about a challenge you faced in the past? How did you overcome it?
Can you tell me a time when you failed to meet a deadline?
What's more important- deadlines, or the quality of work?
Can you give an example of a time you streamlined a process?
Talk to me about your previous jobs.
What are you strengths?
What are your weaknesses?
Which role do you usually play in a team?
What would your team mates say about working with you?
Why would your team mates choose to work with someone else instead of you?
Would you rather be captain of a losing team or the regular member of a winning team?
Give an example of a time you acted as a leader.
Describe a time when you worked in a team where there were disagreements.
Would you say you're a perfectionist?
IBD (Investment Banking Division) Questions from Goldman Interviews
Walk me through an LBO analysis.
What factors can lead to the dilution of EPS in an acquisition?
If you are in a business that wants to preserve cash, what type of inventory accounting method would you use (LIFO or FIFO) in a time of rising prices, and why?
What is Minority Interest and why do we add it in the Enterprise Value formula?
Briefly walk me through a discounted cash flow analysis. (including WACC).
Why can’t you use EV/Earnings or Price/EBITDA as valuation metrics?
Discuss a deal you have read about recently.
How do the three financial statements fit together?
Which is the best method of valuing a company and why?
(If you make it through the first round of interviews for IBD at Goldman, you'll be expected to complete a case study interview. There's an example of a GS case study here.)
Markets Questions from Goldman Interviews
How would you value a company which was very successful until recently, but lost market share due to a single event?
Which structured equity product would you issue in the current market conditions?
Explain the options Greeks.
Explain what a put option is.
Explain the assumptions behind Black Scholes.
Is gold overpriced?
Are equities overpriced?
What's moving the markets now?
What's happening to market volatility and why?
What's your top stock pick?
Why are you better than other candidates on picking stocks?
How should a bank evaluate the creditworthiness of a counter-party?
Tech Questions from Goldman Interviews
What differentiates propositional logic from first order logic? Which is better?
When should you use functional programming vs. objected oriented programming?
How could you set up a recursive function so that a smart language / compiler could evaluate the function and never run out of memory?
Talk me through the concept of inheritance in C++.
Talk me through the Java design patterns you know.
Brain Teasers and Other Questions from Goldman Interviews
Estimate the value of the tie industry in the UK.
How many airplanes are in the sky above New York City at any moment?
What is the angle between the hour and minute hand of a clock at 3.15?
If you were shrunk to the size of a pencil and put in a blender, how would you get out?
When you heat a sausage in the microwave, the tear is always lengthwise. Why is that?
If I gave you €10m, would you either buy a 5-star hotel in the centre of Paris or 5 cheap motels along the ring road