How To Get A Job At Goldman Sachs
December 20, 2019
So somebody who has cried
in a Goldman Sachs interview has gotten the job? Oh, yeah. Oh, really? Yeah. And people who have come in my office and cried have gotten promotions. Is there a perfect major to have in college to work at Goldman Sachs? There is not. Really? There
really isn’t. I can major in Poetry? I can major in Art? You can. C’mon. You can. Now, you could say to me, is there a more common major? Right. But I wouldn’t call it “perfect” because it still wouldn’t necessarily be the be the majority. So, obviously anything around Finance or Accounting or Econ, Computer Science. Those are core majors. English? Look at a lot of the people that sit at the senior most level of our firm and what their majors were. OK, what were they?
They’re not. They’re English. Really? How do you show grit on a resume? Sure. Let me give you an example, a theoretical example of somebody who has grit. So, they have a double major and maybe it’s a strange double major. They have Biology and Economics. OK, so a bizarre double major. But they’ve decided, “I’m passionate about these things and while everybody would suggest that I shouldn’t do it because of what it’ll do to my GPA, I’m doing it anyway.” OK. OK. OK. Two, they actually have a job while they’re in school. That shows that, “Hey, I have to manage my life. I have to do that as well.” And then, let’s say also as a result of that, it becomes clear to you that they’re spending things on, like, community work or other things. You know, it’s interesting what you point out are sort of three things that your parents are probably telling you not to do. Don’t have a double major, don’t work while you’re in school and you don’t do community service while you’re in college because you really need to be focusing on your grades. Think about the person who says no to that. They say, “I’m so passionate about these things. I want to do them. I don’t want what’s necessarily easy. It’s OK that it’s hard. I’m gonna figure it out.” That is somebody with deep levels of grit. And then what about the interview? Like, you know, people come into these interviews, they’re nervous. I’m talking about college, MBA and early lateral hires. They’re nervous. It’s Goldman Sachs. You know, people have told me stories about failing. Failure is a big part of getting to understand how someone operates and what motivates them. And so, in interviews, when somebody says, “Hey, I did this thing, it didn’t go well and I own it and I acknowledge it. And here’s what I learned from it,” tends to be a better interview because there’s some honesty and some transparency versus stock answers. You know, it’s a little counterintuitive to say, “Go into your Goldman Sachs interview and say, ‘I failed.'” Right? I mean, that’s not what most people think that they should do in an interview. But you’re saying that it’s OK. Well, yes. If you phrase it that way, that sounds that way. But I’ll phrase it in a different way. If I say, “Go on an interview and be honest. And be real.” And everybody fails. I myself have conducted job interviews where people have cried and I say, don’t worry about it, you’re not the first person who has cried. Tears happen? Sure. Most case where this has happened it’s because they were touched personally because they overcame something that hurt. And it was almost… It wasn’t like tears of, “Oh, god, I ruined this interview.” It was tears of like, “That was a meaningful moment for me. And I shared it.” The whole real point is, can you be an honest person? Can you be a transparent, authentic person? And when we’re gonna to put you in a very demanding high expectation job,
it’s better the more that we understand you, what motivates you, what drives you. Give me the example of something that you would see on a resume or an interview that you would find very interesting, that somebody sort of has a … That their hobby is, like, luging. It’s anything that ends up being different than what you might have expected that shows that they live a rich life. We generally like interesting people. And one of the things we say to people is “be interesting.” What if somebody asks you about work-life balance? Is that a turn-off or turn-on? That’s great.
Really? Yeah. No, of course. C’mon, going into
an investment bank. There’s like … “Tell me about your work-life balance?” Think. I mean, come on. If somebody asks me, “Tell me about work-life balance,” I would view that as a very thoughtful question they’re asking me. OK, so cry and ask about work-life balance. But let me tell you why work-life balance matters. So, it’s very hard to determine when work begins and life ends. Right? These days. These days, you’re connected all the time. Where does it begin? Where does it end? Part of our responsibilities as employers is to serve that whole person. We understand that there is not just a “work person” and a “life person.” There is a person. And so we have to address it all. And I think somebody coming in wanting to understand what that feels like and as they’re managing their life, how are they going to be able to manage? Will I have flexibility to do these things? Can I do that? How does it work in this job? What are your expectations? I view it not only as OK, I view it as entirely reasonable.