Producer’s note: Someone on Quora asked: What’s it like to interview for Goldman Sachs? Here is one of the best answers that’s been pulled from the thread. Thank you to the team at Quora for making this happen!
On the quantitative side, the interview process was really great. I was considered for an associate role within Fixed Income, Currencies, and Commodities research in early 2004 and came in at about 9AM for the interview. The process is supposed to take three or four days of interview, but because I had another offer on the table, Goldman decided to move quickly and squeezed in the whole process in one day. I thought this was pretty impressive for a big company to be that flexible.
My interview lasted until 9:30PM and I met with 10 members of the team and did a lot of math and financial economics to answer their questions. I think at the end, I was sitting in the conference room with something like 30 or 40 full sheets of scratch paper. That said, the interview wasn’t entirely quantitative; there were a few culture fit questions here and there and I had the opportunity to ask them questions too. Everyone seemed really professional and genuine. There wasn’t anyone who I felt wasn’t happy to work there or who did not want me to do well on the interview. (I would not say the same about interviews at other investment banks.)
In the end, the Managing Director of the department came in and said, “I prepared some more math questions for you, but we actually already decided to move forward with an offer, so I won’t get to use them.” After having done math all day, my response was: “I really appreciate that, but if you have a few minutes, can you can please ask me the questions anyway?” He obliged, and I still use some of those math questions when I conduct interviews myself to this day.