It's on. Now that banks have opened their application processes for summer and full time hires for 2018, they've also started sending out invitations for their Hirevue digital interviews. There are U.S. students out there who've applied for summer analyst positions in investment banking at Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley and who say they've participated in first round interviews already. If you haven't heard back, maybe you're not wanted? - Maybe your invite's in the post. Either way, you're gong to want to know what you're missing.
For anyone unfamiliar with banks' new hot method of screening candidates, Hirevue interviews don't involve you speaking to an actual human being. They're a fully automated process in which you interact with your webcam and the system records your answers to preset questions. In most cases, a recruiter will review your application later - but this doesn't need to happen. Hirevue has developed a complicated algorithm built around machine learning, which assesses your interview across 15,000 different dimensions (including body language, speech patterns, blinking) and works out if you're similar to high performers already working for the bank you're interviewing with.
From this point of view, gaming your Hirevue interview is a bit of a nightmare. - How are you supposed to know how quickly top Goldman IBD analysts speak, whether they gesticulate a lot, and how frequently they blink?
If you can't prime yourself for the more esoteric aspects of a Hirevue interview, you can at least anticipate the questions you'll have to answer. Banks started using the system last year, so there's a bit of precedent for what they like to ask. Fundamentally, Hirevue interviews are about one thing: behavioural (behavioral in the U.S.) questions - but in a first round Hirevue interview you also need to be ready for at least one more technical question pertaining to the division you're applying for.
At Goldman Sachs, you can expect five questions in each Hirevue interview (although some divisions may hit you with six). 80% of them will be behavioural. 20% will be division-specific, which can be confusing if you've applied to multiple GS divisions as it's not always clear which one has issued the interview. You'll get 30 seconds to prepare each answer and two minutes to speak to the camera. There are no second chances. - If you doing get to the point, you'll run out of time. The whole thing will be over in 15 minutes and if you're successful, you should hear back within two weeks.
At J.P. Morgan, you can expect five to seven questions per Hirevue interview. People who went through the JPM process last year say they got three attempts per question, although it's not clear whether JPM has switched to the GS format of only one try this year (if you've been through the J.P. Morgan process and can elaborate, let us know in the comments box at the bottom of this page.)
At most banks, the questions are pretty tedious, but at least they're fairly standard.
Talk me through what happened in your banking internship.
Walk me through your resume.
What do you want to work in investment banking?
Why do you want to work for Goldman Sachs?
Why do you want to work for division X?
What is it about your past experience that has made you want to work for division X?
What's the most important experience you've had in your career so far? Why?
What does division X do?
Talk me through how division X fits into the firm? (Eg. How does compliance strengthen the firm? How does the finance division protect the assets of the firm?)
Tell me about an asset class you're interested [this is asked in securities interviews].
Why do you want to work in location Z?
Talk me through a time you were working in a team and someone wasn't pulling their weight.
Talk me through a time you were working in a team and you were faced with a confrontation.
Talk me through a time you were working in a team and you took the initiative to make a change.
Talk me through a time you had to resolve a conflict with someone senior to you.
What would make you a good fit with Goldman Sachs?
What's your core expertise? How have you applied that to a project?
What's your greatest strength?
Why did you choose your major?
What's the hardest problem you ever encountered? How did you overcome it?
Why J.P. Morgan?
Which skills did you gain during your internship that will make you a good fit for this role?
Can you tell us about a time you've acted as a leader?
Why do you think you will succeed in this role? What makes you a good fit?
What has been your greatest challenge? How did you overcome it?
What are your best qualities?
Can you tell us about a time you worked in a team to solve a problem?
Can you tell us about a time you had to resolve a conflict at work? How did you achieve that? What happened?
What interests you about current affairs now? Why?
Photo credit: Quad Core by Peretz Partensky is licensed under CC BY 2.0.