- The best way to get a job at Goldman Sachs is to prepare.
- On a Business Insider Prime conference call, finance career experts shared their best tips for navigating the bank’s application and interview process.
- For example, make sure everything on your résumé is 100% true and display passion for something other than numbers.
- Click here for more BI Prime stories.
It’s hard, but hardly impossible, to land a job at Goldman Sachs.
Standing out among the 1 million applicants for midlevel roles is largely a matter of preparation. The more you know what specific traits the bank looks for, what you might be asked during an interview, and what common traps to avoid, the better your chances.
To that end, Business Insider recently hosted a conference call with three experts on Wall Street recruiting: former executive coach Erica Keswin, business-school dean Linda Kreitzman, and executive search firm CEO Oliver Rolfe. The experts shared their best advice — and most illustrative anecdotes — on navigating the application and interview process as a midlevel investment-banking candidate.
They explained why technical proficiency needs to be coupled with interpersonal skills, why Goldman interviewers will dissect every line on your résumé, and why it’s better to realize sooner than later that Goldman isn’t the right fit for you at this point in your career.
We’ve also included a recording of the conference call below.
The following interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Shana Lebowitz: Hi, everyone. Thanks for joining today’s conference call on how to get a job at Goldman Sachs. I’m Shana Lebowitz, correspondent at Business Insider, and we’re excited to have with us today three experts on landing an investment-banking job on Wall Street.
Erica Keswin is a workplace strategist and a former executive coach at New York University’s Stern School of Business. She’s also been an executive director at the global executive search firm Russell Reynolds, and she’s the author of “Bring Your Human to Work.”
Linda Kreitzman helped launch the master of financial engineering program at the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley, where she’s executive director and assistant dean. She’s placed hundreds of students at top investment banks, including Goldman Sachs, over the course of her career.
We’re about to cover some of the trickiest parts of Goldman’s application and interview process. Our guests will share their best advice for landing a role in midlevel investment banking.
Erica, Linda, Oliver: Thank you so much for being here today.
Lebowitz: So why don’t we start by talking about the best way to just get your foot in the door at Goldman. Erica, this is one of your areas of expertise. I’m curious: Can you find out about openings for midlevel investment banking roles on, say, a standard job site?
Erica Keswin: I would say that yes, you can. There are great job sites; there are postings on LinkedIn. There are a lot of ways that we leverage technology to find those job openings. But in my experience it’s often not enough. So can you send your résumé in? Yes, of course. We have some other experts here that can talk about great ways to ensure that your résumé stands out. But in my experience, the way to get your résumé to percolate to the top of the proverbial pile is to go through your network. Figure out who you might know at Goldman Sachs, so that that person can let someone know within the organization to keep an eye out for your résumé and to give it a little extra TLC.
Lebowitz: So it’s leveraging your network. What about working with a recruiter? Is that helpful?
Keswin: Yes. I advise people all the time to make relationships with recruiters. There are different kinds of recruiters out there. There’s something called a retained search firm, where a company will hire a recruiting firm and we’ll look for someone, whether it’s in investment banking or other functions. And then there’s something called the contingent recruiter, where they only get paid if they actually place the person.
So when you’re thinking about recruiters, I would urge people to investigate both kinds of recruiting firms. One of the best ways to form a relationship with a recruiter is to be helpful, to have that generosity of spirit.
When I worked at Russell Reynolds, I would often call people and say, “I’m looking for someone to fill this role,” and I would be calling them as a source. They might not be the right person for that job, but I need them as a source. And it was interesting that people who would be helpful to me and say, “You know what? I do have a couple of minutes to chat with you. You know what? You should call Shana at Business Insider. She might have some good insights for you,” versus the people that would say, “Sorry, gotta go,” and hang up. So when you get those calls from recruiters, be helpful. That will help you begin to build those relationships.
Lebowitz: Wow. So don’t ignore a recruiter’s call. Linda, I think that this is something you can add to as well.
Linda Kreitzman: In my position, I place alumni with substantial years of experience, seven to 10 years. For me, the process is different. I will actually go to an alum at Goldman, and we have quite a few, and say, “Well, I recommend this particular former student. Here’s his or her résumé, and you can go ahead and forward it to the recruiter within Goldman.” It’s a great way to get your foot in the door. Now, Erica is right. Networking is quite important. And I would say keep your LinkedIn profile up to date. It’s important.
Why Goldman Sachs wants candidates who are passionate and driven — and have interests outside finance
Lebowitz: Don’t have something on your LinkedIn profile that’s out of date. That seems like a good job tip for anyone in the search process. So let’s say you’ve tapped your network or you’ve worked with a recruiter and congratulations, you’ve been invited to interview with Goldman Sachs. This time I’m going to turn to Oliver. I’ve heard that the Goldman Sachs interview process can be a little bit long. So how many interviews, if you’re a midlevel investment-banking candidate, will you probably have to go through?
Oliver Rolfe: It’s always a very good question. And the answer is, like most of the answers in these instances, it really depends. There’s no one specific length of time in an interview process. Goldman time is slightly different and there are firms which do follow Goldman’s process as well.
But there is a genuine reason Goldman [candidates] go down the long interview process, and that’s because their interview process is different. Whilst yes, you need the grades, it’s more than that. You need to have something additional, something extra, something that can really show your passion. Because passion and drive and attributes of that element — in fact, David Solomon is a fantastic example of that. Whilst he is CEO of the firm, he’s also a top producer and a DJ as well. So that is one of the biggest highlights of that.
But the interview process could be anywhere between six interviews all the way up to 20. And it’s really about understanding the character of an individual and showing the truthfulness and honesty throughout the process.
Lebowitz: Six to 20. That’s quite a range. But I do want to go back to something you just said, Oliver, which is this: the importance of passion and drive. And I know that David Solomon is one example. He is a DJ on the side. So do you have to be a DJ? How do you indicate that you are a passionate and driven person?
Rolfe: That’s a fantastic question. And it is very, very difficult for any individual to try to put themselves across in a different way, rather than your attributes, your professional strengths, where you’ve been before, where your education was, how great you were on that side. There are a number of different elements. There was a great example, which came from, I think, a Goldman human-resources professional, who said utilize the double major, and an obscure double major. So the one which came to mind for me was maybe mathematics and theater. So the idea that you’ve got the brains and the academics to study maths, but at the same time to have passion for something like theater. To deliver on both things on that level can really highlight two very, very strong elements.
Lebowitz: That’s fascinating. I wouldn’t have thought about that combination. What do you think about that, Linda?
Kreitzman: It is true that Goldman is looking for someone who has passion and expertise at the same time. If a candidate wants to apply to a job, it would be great to show the extracurricular activities: that you do a lot of volunteer work, that you’re a well-rounded individual.
We do believe that Goldman is different. Yes, they are very thorough. But I see no difference anymore between [the financial firms] Two Sigma, Citadel, and Goldman. Interviews can range from six to yes, 20, midlevel. It’s still going to be at least six or seven interviews. But again, Goldman also wants to see how you express yourself and that you can express what you’ve done with passion, the interest that you’ve taken in working for X number of years doing something that you are going to either continue or that you’re going to leverage in your new position at Goldman.
Try to connect with your interviewers to get a leg up
Keswin: You typically get the list of people you’re going to meet with ahead of time. You know, here’s your schedule for the day. This is the person you are going to have lunch with. You’re going to meet with these five people. So when you think about how to present yourself, I look at it in three ways.
The first is, what are the technical skills that you need to have? And in many ways that often can be table stakes, that there are going to be many people that have technical skills that are similar. So you need to have those.
But often what makes the difference in getting a job at a place like Goldman can be the softer skills, the passion, the ability to demonstrate how you will add to their culture. I would say, whether it’s at Goldman or Citadel or really any company today, there is a huge focus on culture and creating a culture where people want to join and people want to stay. And even if you’re Goldman Sachs, turnover is expensive. So you bring people in and you want to make sure that you can retain those people. So the more that you can demonstrate that you have done research, that you understand the culture, what Goldman stands for, and show how your values are aligned with theirs, I think that is a huge plus.
And then the third piece is once you get the list of the people with whom you’re going to meet, look them up, look at their LinkedIn profiles, see where you can connect with them on a human level, and just prepare for that. So maybe you’re looking at a LinkedIn profile and somebody lists their favorite author or where they like to travel. Just very personal things. Have that in your back pocket because you never know when something like that will come in handy in an interview.
Kreitzman: It’s also extremely important to look at if [your interviewers] have contributed research. You want to read in advance what they have done. It’s very important. Another thing is you need to prepare for behavioral questions. It is becoming more and more important. Goldman has added quite a few behavioral and ethical questions.
Rolfe: What both Erica and Linda said is absolutely right. The research of an individual, of a company, but not only that. I think what Erica in particular was saying about Citadel and others is absolutely right. Every firm has its own culture. Every firm has a certain feeling, a community about it. It doesn’t mean that you’re necessarily right for that community.
And that’s one of the first things we probably should’ve started off with is to say that whilst everyone might desire something, it doesn’t mean what you desire is necessarily right for you. And in this instance, if that happens to be Goldman, it doesn’t mean that Goldman Sachs is the right place for you in your career. It might not be [the right fit] now; it might be later down the line. There’s an important balance to realize that there is a right place for everyone and it’s not one individual place. It’s something that you have to feel that’s more than the academics.
For me in particular, and how I look a lot of different elements, is you genuinely have to feel it because us as human beings are emotive and energetic people and we need to feel each other. That’s why an interview process becomes very, very important. When you’re across the table for someone, you can feel them energetically and there’s no lying behind that. So I absolutely agree with both Erica and Linda on that.
The worst thing a job candidate could do is fib on their résumé
Kreitzman: I wanted to add something on that particular topic. In terms of questions that are being asked and how someone can prepare, obviously you want to be very technically strong. Typically, Goldman is going to have different interviewers addressing various aspects of the work. They want to look at your intuition as well, how you think, how you deconstruct the question, and how you frame your answer. So even for midlevel hiring, I’ve seen Goldman send a HackerRank test, which is a programming test. The reality is that finance is becoming a little bit more complex, more quantitative, with data science.
A lot of applicants have to go through these first tests and then Goldman has used more and more HireVue, a video-screening process of about 20 to 30 minutes. They ask you five to seven questions, and you have 45 seconds to prepare and two minutes to answer each question. This is really to test how fast you are, how you communicate. Everybody wants well-rounded individuals, not someone who’s going to be doing the work without interacting with others. Teamwork is extremely important.
At the end of the day, what Goldman wants [to know] is why you have applied to the job. They want you to know exactly what the division does, they want to test your teamwork approach, how you fit. We talked about the culture, which is very important as well. Why are you so interested in applying? I tell my students all the time: Stop saying, “Well, because Goldman is Goldman.” They already know that they are a top-tier firm.
So ultimately, very quickly, you want to nail down one question, which is, “Walk me through your résumé.” It’s important to talk about the previous work that you’ve done, and exactly what you have contributed to each of the positions that you have held. For technical questions, if it’s equity or volatility structuring, for instance, obviously they want you to talk about how you would design a strategy assuming this or that situation. So behavioral is also important at the end of the day. It’s also important to never be on the defensive.
Sometimes you will see interviewers shuffle their notes, not look at you, and they do it on purpose because they want to test how anxious you are. Nobody wants an anxious person, but someone who is able to act as opposed to react.
Lebowitz: That’s quite interesting. I didn’t realize that Goldman interviewers would be actually testing candidates in such a surprising way, for example, by shuffling their papers to see if you’re buckling under the pressure. It’s interesting to know that Goldman interviewers are looking not just at technical competencies but also at soft skills, like whether you communicate well and whether you’re a team player. That’s so important for aspiring Goldman employees to know. I wonder if any of the three of you can share — it doesn’t have to be a specific question that you’ve heard someone ask at Goldman -— a specific type of question or a hypothetical one that everyone in the audience today can use to prepare.
Keswin: I heard a very funny story recently, and this is just a warning out there to make sure to put things on your résumé, on your LinkedIn profile, that are true. And of course we would assume that happens, but having been a recruiter for a long time, there are often many things that are not true on résumés. So No. 1, be honest. Put things on there that you really do care about, because you never know what you’re going to get asked.
So the story: A young man had something on his résumé about cooking and how he loved to cook. And when he came in for the interview, it turned out that the person from the company had seen something about cooking on a lot of résumés recently and was starting to wonder what was going on with the trend. So the person from the company said to the potential employee, “OK, for this interview, I would like for you to take me through a recipe of the most complex thing you have made and every detail from how you pick the recipe to the ingredients, to how you shop for it, where you buy it.” And literally that was the only question that was going to take place. And they let the person know that this was going to be a 45-minute interview on this one question. A couple of minutes later, the person got up, shook the interviewer’s hand, and left, and said, “Thank you so much.”
You never know what you’re going to get. And at places like Goldman Sachs, they often do find something that could seem relatively obscure on a résumé. So make sure that you have anecdotes and stories to back up whatever is on your résumé because you never know what someone is going to be interested in.
Kreitzman: What I tell my students is that everything on your CV is going to be used. It’s fair game. Here’s a behavioral question that Goldman and other firms consistently ask: Have you ever had a conflict with your manager or colleague in your previous job or have you worked on a team project when someone wasn’t pulling his or her weight? How did you resolve it? How did you handle the situation? I would say this is important.
One last thing that I say to my students all the time is, “Be careful. You’re going to work in finance. You’re going to spend more time with your supervisor and your colleagues than you’re going to spend perhaps with your loved ones.”
So it is important to answer behavioral questions to be great by the way. It’s not just to answer them well, but to be ethical and to be a team worker. Definitely, this is important.
Goldman Sachs aims to see how job candidates think, even if they don’t get to the right answers in their interview
Rolfe: Erica’s answer is absolutely spot on. That is exactly what they’re going to look at: your CV, your career, anything that you put out there. And to be fair, and I’ve seen this happen before, even Facebook. If you put something on social media, you are available for everyone to look at, and it can be brought back at any point, whether it’s an interview or at any point in a process.
There is one question which I know has been asked a few times, and it’s slightly different. The question is: “How many windows are there in this building?” At that moment you’ll see a huge amount of people’s faces go very, very blank and they’ll think, “How am I supposed to know that?” And that’s the exact moment the interviewer will find out how you’re feeling and how you can react under pressure.
Kreitzman: These are the types of puzzle questions that they ask. Another example is, “There are 30 people in one room. What is the probability that two people are going to have the same birthday?” It’s how you think.
[When answering the question about windows], you can say, “Well, if it’s a big building, I’m going to assume the height and I’m going to look at how long the building is.” They obviously don’t want you to know how many windows there are, but you can make the assumption that there are X number of offices and there are X number of windows.
Lebowitz: Well, I’m not going to lie. I’m panicking a little bit right now because I have no idea how many windows are in this building or how to figure it out. We do have an audience question coming through. This person wants to know if they should be worried about their age, if they’re applying to a midlevel IB job at Goldman.
Kreitzman: Obviously, no firm is ever going to say to you, you have to be 27 years old. But for midlevel, if it’s a trading position, it really depends on what the position is. I don’t think that firms are going to discriminate. Ultimately, do you fit to the requirements of their job? Do you have what it takes to do the job? We don’t know how old this person is. In my particular program, there are students who are 38 years old and they did get jobs at Goldman and came back to do the MFE after a career of 10 years plus. And after the program they went back and are currently managing directors at Goldman.
Keswin: In my experience, companies have been more open about age. Some organizations today have four to five different generations working under one roof. We’re all living longer. People are working longer. And so it comes back to the “why.” Why do you want this particular job? Why do you want Goldman Sachs, and why is the time right now, and how are your skills transferable, and what value can you bring? So if you are worried about age, I would make sure that up front, when you send in your résumé, that there’s a cover letter that talks about and really gets to the heart of that “why.”
Rolfe: I agree with that. HR at Goldman Sachs reads absolutely every cover letter. It’s not something that they pass off to a computer. The cover letters are read with great interest and they look at those cover letters to really see who’s different, and who can highlight their passions, and that they’re really designed to work for the company and the position as well.
To be fair, there are a lot of different elements to look at when looking at age. For me, it’s really more about time than age. There is a right time and a right place, for individuals. And you can prepare yourself to work in a Goldman’s or a Morgan Stanley or whoever it may be. As Erica said before, that you may be better suited to be at Goldman Sachs later in your career than earlier because of the knowledge you’ve gained or the passion you’ve progressed with. Those are the elements that are more important. No one in their right mind is going to say to anyone that you’re too old for this job or too young for this job, but it’s about the right experience at the right time.
Kreitzman: We talk a lot about passion, and I agree. But first and foremost, it is the expertise. Do you have what it takes? Do you have the skill set that Goldman is going to need for you to be successful on the job? And we’re talking about midlevel jobs here. So the relationships that you’ve had with your colleagues or the ones that you have supervised, this will always come up in terms of questions, how you have worked with others at the firm.
Goldman Sachs wants people who are going to stick around
Rolfe: I was going to mention before the longevity of making a move for a midlevel person. That’s absolutely key, in fact. One of the big elements, if you look at most successful people’s careers, what they’ve done is they’ve studied or they’ve worked in one area for a long period of time, usually for their whole careers. So some of the most successful people that you could think of probably spent their lives dedicated to one area.
Now, no one’s suggesting that you should do that, but for any hire anywhere, especially Goldman, they do want people who are there for the long term. They do want people who have an infinite mindset rather than a finite mindset. It’s doing something for the greater good, for the longevity of humanity. Because if we all focus on that and within this business, everyone wins both on a revenue basis, but also on a humanitarian basis.
Kreitzman: If you have worked for many, many years and then you apply to a job at Goldman, they don’t want you to have done just one thing. I think this is the kiss of death. How have you kept up with new skills, data science skills, for instance, machine learning? These are skill sets that are more important for all of the levels of jobs. So it is important to show that you have continuously educated yourself, throughout your career, and not just have gone to do a job and that’s it.
Rolfe: I would agree completely. That’s why you need the additional side, not just in terms of the educational or professional. You need everything. But you do need to stick within one side. You don’t go inside and outside of banking. You don’t move to completely different derivatives of the job. You do stay within a focus area. Obviously, if you take a look at the more senior levels of banking, they would have a much more macro view, a much wider view. Invariably a lot of the senior bankers have been led on to certain paths to get that experience as well. And that’s something to look at, midlevel people.
One thing we haven’t discussed, and may not have time to, is mentors. That’s a really strong element to utilize to get into Goldman Sachs or a lot of other businesses elsewhere. Having a mentor who’s either worked in the industry, or who’s more senior than yourself, or in the firm that you’re looking to work for, can help implicitly either to have that softer feel into it and have an easier route and a more dedicated route. And mentoring is actually an element that I think everyone needs to spend a little bit more time with, both for the mentee and the mentor itself.
Kreitzman: Which is part of networking at the end of the day.
Lebowitz: It sounds like networking, whether that’s in the form of a mentorship or simply connecting with a former coworker who is now an employee at Goldman, that can be a sort of huge stepping stone in the application process. I do want to throw out one more audience question. This person wants to know if they have at least 20 years of experience, what advice do you have for them on applying for a job in investment banking at Goldman?
Kreitzman: It’s hard to answer that question because we don’t know what his or her background is, or what job they’re applying for. Just look at the job requirements. Do you have them? And can you diagnose yourself really well? You know what it takes. Do you have that?
How to apply for another job at Goldman Sachs if you were rejected once
Lebowitz: That does make sense. We do have one more question from the audience, and this will resonate with many people listening in. What if you applied to Goldman in the past? You were identified as a strong candidate. You went through multiple interview rounds. Ultimately you didn’t land the role. Should you and can you reapply in the future?
Keswin: In my experience, yes. You can reapply, especially if you got positive feedback, maybe you came down to a couple of people. Right time, right place, whatever it was: You did not get that role. There is nothing that would prohibit you from looking at another role perhaps in a different department. And it could even be seen as something very favorable in what you saw in the culture and in the brand and in the people with whom you’ve met during that first process. Especially if you met with 11 to 20 people, you really got a sense of the place. And my recommendation would be to reference that prior experience to say, “That job might not have been the right fit. But I still think that for many, many reasons” — and you list them — “Goldman is a great fit and in particular this new role. And here’s why.”
Kreitzman: You have to be careful here, because Goldman doesn’t like it when you apply to many, many roles. So it is important to apply to just one role, perhaps two.
Keswin: It would need to be connected to your skills. The key here is the story. You don’t just blanket your résumé to every job opening, but there has to be very clear rationale as to why you went for job A and why job B could also be a great fit.
Kreitzman: But the system will decline you automatically if you apply more than twice a year.
Rolfe: The other element with the long interview process and actually meeting a number of people. One of the reasons that they have it is for the ability to veto an individual. And let’s say you do go through a long interview process and someone does veto you, and that individual is still at the firm. It is highly unlikely that in a new interview process, it would progress further. And that’s a difficulty. We’ve seen that a few times, with people that have unfortunately not got through the final rounds, for whatever reason. To get back in the door, sometimes proves very, very difficult unfortunately.
Keswin: Right. And a good recruiter will be very up front if that is in fact the case and will stop you before you put your hat in the ring for another role.
Rolfe: That’s actually one of the really important parts of having a recruiter is [for them] to be really blunt and say, “Look, don’t do this. Don’t waste your time. This is what I believe is sensible for you. This is what the managers are looking for. These companies are looking for this. This is where you’re suited.” That’s where our expertise would come from and has come from. It’s the experience that we have at a macro level, which gives us the overall guidance more than anything else. Forget the fact that we should know the jobs inside. It’s the overall guidance that we hopefully can give individuals that should steer them in the right direction.
A framework for figuring out whether you should apply to Goldman Sachs
Lebowitz: So it sounds like there is a bit of an upside to working with a recruiter if you can, mostly because of their familiarity with the process and their ability, as you said, Oliver, to be blunt. Like, “This is not a good idea. Don’t do it.”
One thing I do want to go back to, and I’m curious to hear everyone’s perspectives on this topic, is that a few people today have mentioned the importance of the right time in your career to apply to Goldman. The right time in your life, maybe. And the broader point here is knowing that you want to work at Goldman, that you’re going to thrive there, as opposed to just wanting to apply there because it’s a very prestigious investment bank. So to that end, my question is: How do you know if you’re going to fit in there? If you’re going to thrive there? What questions should you be asking yourself?
Keswin: Part of it is people. Nine out of 10 people, if they’re going to leave a company, they leave their manager and not the firm. And so yes, a big piece of it is understanding the values and the culture of Goldman and the expectations around how much you’re going to work. But in my experience, it really comes down to that individual manager and how much you connect with that person and what their expectations are. Because group to group, it can sometimes feel like two different firms.
Kreitzman: The right time is when you’re ready to take on more responsibility, or you know that you have outgrown your company or your current job. But more importantly, you’ve seen a job description that truly appealed to you and you know that, intuitively, you’re a right fit. I think you don’t dream. You don’t say, “This is what I would like to do,” but, “This is what I can do right now.”
It’s important to talk to [company] alumni. For instance, in my case, I’ll say, “Go and interview someone who’s done the job for a long time and ask them an honest question, which is, ‘Do you think I am the right fit for that?’ And if not, stay where you are.” Yes, Goldman is an awesome, very innovative investment bank, but so are other firms. I’ve done this job for 19 years and students can say to me, “Goldman is Goldman.” But I will say there are wonderful firms out there. So don’t apply to just one firm, but multiple firms.
More importantly, prepare yourself. How does one prepare himself or herself? You have to read the news all the time, the current economic news. You have to keep up with current events, but also what the job requires. If you hire associates and analysts, you know that they come out from programs that have taught them perhaps a more quantitative skill set to know what they’re doing. This is how you can secure a job at Goldman.
Rolfe: I’m going to add on to exactly what Linda said there in regard to the knowledge base. Realistically, midlevel individuals working anywhere unfortunately have very little view of the macro element. And I’ll explain that in a bit more detailed level. If you’re working at an investment bank, the chances are that you will know your desk extremely well. You’re there probably 14 hours a day. You’ll know your team really well because obviously you’re interacting day to day. You may know a team behind you at a desk behind you, which is part of your department. You’ll have a rough idea of whatever department you’re working in, whether it’s research or derivatives or or FC or sales, whatever it might be. And then further than that, you’ll probably know less and less about your own company.
Now that’s quite a worrying state of affairs, really. The chances of an individual who knows very little about their own company as a whole, a lot about their own micro view but not so much about their own company, it is very, very unlikely that they actually have the time to spend or have had the time to spend as a macro element looking elsewhere.
When you start to have a look at the fact that a lot of individuals in banking don’t really get time to look at the bigger picture, that can be quite worrying. So exactly what Linda said: It’s important to really try and get a really strong element of the banks around you, not just in terms of how they’re doing in the rankings or revenues or profits or employee cuts or whatever it might be at the moment, especially throughout Europe in Brexit mode. But there’s a lot of different elements you must take into account and taking your head above the parapet is absolutely key.
Lebowitz: That’s all absolutely terrific advice, especially the bit about interviewing other people who have done the job, or are currently doing the job, and asking them, “Do you think I would fit in here?” That’s kind of a scary question to ask because they could say “no.”
Keswin: But you’d rather know ahead of time.
Lebowitz: So true. Well, we’re about to wrap things up here at our Goldman Sachs conference call. But before we do, I am going to ask each one of our guests today to share a final piece of advice for anyone out there applying to Goldman. Why don’t we start with you, Erica?
Keswin: It’s hard to boil it down to one, but I’m going to connect to something that Oliver said earlier, that this is a two-way street. You may have your goals set that you want to work for Goldman and if you do get that offer, you really need to make sure that the job is the right fit. The manager is the right fit. The culture is the right fit. When we think about millennials and Gen Z, who are going to make up 75% of the workforce by 2025, the human piece of work is really important. Goldman is an amazing company. There’s many amazing companies out there, but also don’t be blinded by any type of brand name. And think about what is the best kind of firm that truly enables you to bring your whole self to work.
Lebowitz: I think you wrote a book about that, Erica.
Keswin: I did, and my book is called “Bring Your Human to Work.” And it’s about either finding or designing a workplace that’s good for people, great for business, and the world. And I just see it becoming, especially with these new generations, much, much more important. What I don’t like to see is getting into a company because you think this is what you want and uprooting your life, by moving across the country or whatever it may be, and then realizing that in many ways it’s not the right fit. So make sure that you look at it as a two-way street.
Lebowitz: Thank you for that. Linda, what are your parting words of wisdom?
Kreitzman: Continue to learn. Never stop educating yourself. Acquire new skills. Don’t stop networking. And know yourself. It’s very important that you keep trying, but you need to know what’s out there, not just in your little world. And you’ll be at Goldman.
Lebowitz: Oliver, we’re turning to you for our last piece of advice.
Rolfe: Being truthful and honest throughout everything you do has got to be the key, the one thing which is paramount in your career. And it doesn’t matter what you do, it stays with you: being yourself, being true to who you are, being honest. That’s the thing that people will always remember you for. Because if there’s always a reference on you, if anyone ever asks about you, it’s always, “They were there, they were committed, they were always truthful, and they always gave me time.” And that’s absolutely imperative.
I’ll do a small, shameless plug with my book as well, because going back to the questions, there are over 170 questions in my book to prepare yourself. It’s so important to take time if you want to succeed. It doesn’t happen overnight. Do not feel bad if you don’t get what you desire today. If you keep focused, you keep energized, and keep on that track, you will be successful. And in this time, you’ll be successful in getting that job at Goldman Sachs.
Lebowitz: Well, thank you all for sharing those terrific insights. I’m going to say a last thank you to our three guests, Erica, Linda, and Oliver. Thank you for sharing your expertise, your experience, and just distilling that into actionable tips for all of us. And mostly thank you to our audience for listening and for sharing such thoughtful questions. If you are applying to Goldman Sachs anytime in the near future, best of luck to you. Thank you.