How to get a job at Goldman Sachs, the inside track
So, you want a job at Goldman Sachs. Good luck, truly – the bank receives 300 applications for each open position it has. Its internship isn’t a happy anomaly, either, with a generous acceptance rate of just 1.27% last year. You’re going to need some help.
We have some great articles about the investment bank recruitment process as well as how to get a job in the universally fussy M&A division, but Goldman is notoriously one of the fussiest banks of the lot, and if you want to succeed, you’re going to want to really tailor your application.
The ideal Goldman Sachs resume and cover letter
An ideal resume is a done subject – we have it down to a science, practically – and there’s no need to repeat anything that you probably know already. The particular demands of Goldman Sachs recruiters from a resume/CV is easily accessed here.
In a nutshell – your resume should be very much tailored to your application, it should be tightly written (and, by extension, deeply relevant), and ideally contains bullet points. Goldman likes bullet points. Vicki Tung, Goldman’s global head of recruitment, told Insider that “resume padding” should be avoided.
Candidates with multiple minor (or short timeframe) accomplishments can be seen as a red flag, as a Goldman recruiter could very possibly see these as activities undertaken for CV points instead of out of pure love of… Finance society volunteering, or whatever else. Quality over quantity, Tung says.
Cover letters are a more delicate art. A lot of tech companies are discarding them, but they’re still popular in banking – and what’s more, Goldman recruiters love them. They love cover letters so much that they even have their own, special format for them. You can even plug your CV into ChatGPT and give it the Goldman Sachs parameters – but fair warning, it probably won’t be good enough.
Your Goldman Sachs HireVue & Super Day interviews
Assuming you might the academic requirements of your application, your first step in the application process is a HireVue interview. It’s straight forward, and we spoke to HireVue ourselves to write a guide for you. Goldman’s isn’t especially different – but to prepare, we have a list of questions that the bank has used here.
If you pass, you’ll be invited to a super day – a marathon of interviews, extending across several hours. You should get a response from the bank about your success within 48 hours, Tung says.
Standing out in a Goldman Sachs interview
Okay, so your resume held up, you listened to our HireVue advice – now you’ve got interviews lined up with people who work in 200 West Street, not just for. Now what? Well, have fun and be yourself :-)
Just kidding. Interviews are stressful for most everyone – and especially interviews at Goldman Sachs. Most questions will be situational-behavioural. "We will ask students how they handle various scenarios where integrity may be in question,” Tung told BI, “and depending on their answer, that's where we determine whether or not somebody's going to move forward in our process or not."
Tung also suggests you “think in threes”. What that means is to, essentially, quantify yourself – you contributed X, got Y result, leading to Z. Not only that format, but that philosophy. Embed numerical changes in your thought processes. Think S.T.A.R. technique.
Her last suggestion is self-evident; be well-informed. Not just on current affairs, but on the banking industry and Goldman Sachs itself. "To stand apart is to know what you're talking about and know that you want us as much as we want you," she said. This means that “doing your research is critical."
Importantly, be engaging. Goldman isn’t just looking for human processing power, it’s looking for a vital spark of life that can’t be replaced by AI. Being interesting might even overshadow your academic background – a former Goldman recruiter we spoke to a few years ago noted that an English Literature student wrote such a brilliant and “off the wall” cover letter that they brought him in for an interview. Why? Because he showed that he was imaginative, innovative, and interesting.
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