Goldman Sachs GIR Phone Interview

I've got a phone interview this week with the director of the Global Investment Research Division at Goldman Sachs thanks to their visit to my campus about a week and a half ago. I graduated with a degree in Economics with Financial Applications in August and have been searching for an opening like this ever since that time. I want to be as prepared as humanly possible for each step in the process, from application, to interviews, and eventually for the super day.

Anybody have some good advice for making the best impression? The role I'm specifically favoring in my application deals with macro portfolio strategy in the European equity markets.

Comments (21)

Apr 27, 2015

This is part of the analyst program? If so they have you interview with 3 different groups, some fit questions, a case study and general views on markets. Case study is DCF model, i made super day but did not snag an offer. Good luck.

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Apr 27, 2015

Is this for SLC?

Apr 28, 2015

Yeah I plan on applying for a business analyst position at the SLC office. My call with the manager is schedule for 3 hours from now and will be more informational about the position, but my goal is to stand out in his mind before I submit my application. Any advice?

May 4, 2015

How did the call go? Would you mind telling a bit about background (work experience, etc)? Interested in similar roles, curious to see how I stack up.

May 5, 2015

I thought the call went ok, but simply expressing my interest and motivations for the job was enough to get my resume moved closer to the top of the pile after submitting my application. Planning on following up later this week.

I graduated from college in August with a degree in Economics, but I have no finance-related work experience. Other than some irrelevant part-time work, I'm currently full-time job hunting and using a myriad of resources and contacts to build my confidence and prepare for interviews. The more I go through this process, the more I realize that it's all about networking, which is all about confidence, which is all about knowing your strengths and weaknesses and also being well-rounded.

I had to realize the hard way (10 months of searching so far) that no one gives a shit about what you think you know about markets, modeling, or any other preconceived job-related tasks. Articulating your interests is important, but the cold hard truth is that you must be likable if you want to overlap your "business circle" with someone else's, especially for people looking for their first job, aka handouts. Meet with PEOPLE first, and infuse what you want to do for a living with concision.

Anyway, going to stop myself there before this gets too preachy, but I'm just noticing how many people on this site need a splash of cold water to the face. Don't waste your time on here conferring your self doubts with others. For those seeking a first job or making a career switch, just put yourself out there, and use sources like this site as an informational resource to build your confidence, not as an external cure for your doubts.

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May 5, 2015

No your interest in the markets is critical in the interviewing process, especially in GIR. But there is a difference between talking about the markets to articulate your interests and simply talking about it to sound smarter; you want to achieve the former.

May 8, 2015

Thanks for the reply. Did you end up hearing back or getting moved into the next round?

May 11, 2015

I'm following up with the recruiter today. I'll keep y'all posted.

May 20, 2015

Haven't heard back from them yet. I'm going to ask one of their analysts for advice on how to pop back up on the radar, because I've already tried reaching out to the recruiter by e-mail and LinkedIn.

May 20, 2015

Had a friend do something similar at another bank. Lot's of focus on why GIR so you should have a few compelling reasons prepared for that. My friend said the interview (1st round) was centered around that one question and conversations would continue based on the answers he would give- hope this helps.

May 20, 2015

Know your basic fit questions, have a mini stock pitch lined up (and make sure you know how your opnion differs from consensus), and know the GS business principles (this will help if they ask "why GS", you can google this). Also, check out their 'GS in the news' page. GIR (mostly macro) people are on TV all the time so you can get an insight into their thinking and also name drop come the interview.
First interview is pretty laid back.

May 20, 2015

Will let you guys know if I make it further. Thanks again.

May 20, 2015

Hi Drummond, congratulations on your big success. I will have a phone interview with GIR London industrial placement soon, and I'm just wondering if you mind sharing some information about your interview. For example, What did they ask you in the interview? more competency or technical? which group are the interviewers from? Since my background is more macro and public policy related, should I expect that the interviewers are more likely from these two groups? I would appreciate a lot if you could share a few words about your interview.
Thx a lot.

May 20, 2015

I have been browsing related post in the forum and it appears to me that GS's equity research is not that well-respected, and there are people saying GS does not care about ER.

People have all sorts of unfounded opinions. Keep in mind that the average poster here is an undergrad that has zero industry experience, or an internship at best. GS is very well respected throughout Asia.

I didn't have a chance to speak with different teams during the interview and thus I would like to seek your advice about the sector team choice in GS GIR (we will be interviewing with different teams at the start of the program).

A few guidelines:

  • If you have any areas you're particularly passionate about, then you might prioritize those.
  • I would pick something that's a bit of a generalist team, i.e. consumer, technology, industrials, etc. Those exposes you to a wider array of companies which makes you more well rounded as a financial analyst.
  • In a similar vein, I would avoid something highly specialized, i.e. biotech, mining, etc. Your exposure will be very narrow here and these teams are at higher risk of getting cut in a downturn.

You should also do your best to informally inquire about the best teams. If you have a good relationship with a junior person at the firm, ask them their opinion. They'll usually give subtle clues about which teams are good and bad.

It will also be very helpful if you could comment on how to plan for a buy-side exit.

Don't even talk about that right now. If your soon-to-be bosses get the impression that you're already planning your next move you'll start off on the wrong foot. You should be entirely focused on doing the best job you can, which can only lead to good things long term.

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May 20, 2015

Thank you very much for the comment! I appreciate it!

May 20, 2015

Hello guys,

I've just got an invitation for an interview @ GS for Global Investment Research in London. Could you give me some hints on what to expect from the interview and how to properly prepare?

I know they would ask me to pitch a stock and questions about the current financial environment. What other, more challenging questions could they ask me? Should I also expect math questions?

There are 2 potential interviews. I am at the 1st stage. Is this more competency based with a low prob. of technical q's?

Thanks a lot !!!


I have a friend who had his first round interview for a GIR internship 2 weeks back. He told me that his first round interview was competency based without any technical questions. It was quite a standard interview apparently.

Out of curiosity, what university do you go to?