GS Super Day - Preparation

Sophomore here at a non-target university.

I have a for the Sales & Trading summer analyst position with GS Securities. I'm surprised that I'm being evaluated so early in the season for the internship.

Apparently, I'll be meeting with 3-6 equities and FICC professionals in 30-min interviews in a 1-on-1 or 2-on-1 format. The super day is only 2 hours long.

As a non-business student and only a sophomore in college, I'm most fearful that I'm under prepared for the technical questions. I've been doing a lot of networking, as well as utilizing diversity (LGBT) recruiting, but I'm a bit afraid that my background in finance is too weak right now.

Some things I'm preparing with are:
-why, why securities?
-differences between sales, trading, and principal investing/finance
-reading WSJ and keeping up with the markets

A few questions:
What should I be studying in preparation?
How many people will be interviewing?
Any tips?

Comments (14)

  • Anonymous Monkey
  •  Sep 18, 2015

Just push the LGBT thing and then sue them if they do not take you, works every time.

    • 2
Sep 18, 2015

Just push the LGBT thing and sue them if they decline to take you, works every time.

You killed the Greece spread goes up, spread goes down, from Wall Street they all play like a freak, Goldman Sachs 'o beat.

    • 3
Sep 18, 2015

You will have 3, 30 minute interviews back to back. None or all of them may be 2-on-1 format.

To prepare, you should be well versed on what is happening in the stock, rates, and commodities markets right now. Know what the fed is doing and where interest rates (fed funds) are, and why. Have a stock pitch ready. Prepare to talk about every last detail on your resume. Good luck!

    • 2
Sep 19, 2015

Are there any mental math/brain teasers that they ask as well?

Sep 19, 2015

Probably a good idea to prepare for those. Learn how to answer questions about expected value (ex. rolling a dice) and simple mental math, usually multiplication of double digit numbers.

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Sep 20, 2015

As a sophomore the expectations should be overly high for finance knowledge, but obviously the more is better, and I would argue that if this is what you want to do then you should have been reading up on finance/markets/trading for a while now. I know not all interviewers see it this way, but in my opinion if i am interviewing someone I expect that they have put in a decent amount of effort into researching the field no matter what their age/education level. People who expect to just go by on stuff they learn in classes are not interesting in my honest opinion.

Sep 20, 2015

Okay, I have an engineering background so my finance knowledge mostly consists of however much I read about corporate news plus general US economic knowledge. What do you recommend reading so I can "catch up" with markets as soon as possible? Broadly, I would need to know about equities, fixed income (government bonds, corporate bonds, CDS), currencies and commodities. Where would I start to catch up and know everything I need to know?

Best Response
Sep 20, 2015

So my advice might be a bit more applicable if you have weeks/months rather than a week, but I always preach a three pronged approach to interview prep:

1) News and current events: essentially following the markets. Note that this cant really be built up over a week, you should be passively following the markets for several months beforehand, that way in the last 2 weeks you can have some trade ideas/concepts ready knowing the background of the world over the past couple of months

2) brainteasers: you cant know every brainteaser before stepping in, but you can go through enough where you can build up a library of thought processes that can be applied

3) technical/product knowledge: the best way is to find a book that covers a broad based of financial products to get an overview, and then do a deep dive into what grabs you the most. Going into summer internship interviews I made sure I knew about everything ranging from CDS trading to how repo markets work (what I did was find short intro books to these on Amazon). Then I found out I was most interested in options trading, and so I spent more time learning eveyrthing I could about it.

Obviously, these arent things you have to do, and you can go far without bieng a technical monster, but these are the things that I look for for candidates to stand out when interviewing. In this day and age when there is such easy access to information, I dont think there is an excuse not to know the basics. Even for a non finance major, if you are interviewing for a S&T position of any sort at a BB i would expect you to be able to answer basic questions about duration, basic options greeks etc.

    • 3
Sep 21, 2015

Some tips:
1. Get a good night's sleep. Especially important if you're interviewing for GS, because it can be mentally straining to be tested intensely and you want to have a clear head going in.
2. Be likable. They will build from ground up basic finance knowledge during training, but they expect you to be both excited and willing to learn. Show enthusiasm when giving your answer.
3. Look over one of the interview guides (the WSO one is actually really well done) but don't memorize their answers or even your own. It's super boring and obvious when someone is reciting from a script inside their head for an answer. Have a general outline of what you're going to say and base your answer off that.
4. Have an opinion (after research) on things like where you think Oil is going, where Europe is headed, and if China will be able to dig itself out of its hole. They will ask you markets question and your opinions, and are looking to see if you can articulately explain your view, along with backing your responses with evidence.

Best of luck

Incoming Spring Discovery Day Participant at J.P. Morgan Stanley

Sep 21, 2015

just out of curiousity, did you have no first round interviews?
anyway, i would recommend you at least have 2 stock pitches, and be able to 'sell' one other asset class as well

happy to give advice; no asking for referrals please

    • 1
Sep 21, 2015

Yes, I had a first round internview around 3 days before I received the email with the invite, why?
and that's what I was thinking of doing, follow 3 stocks during the month I have and prepare a pitch for each one as well as another asset class like you said

Sep 21, 2015

Congrats! I'd get in touch with your contacts in the division and ask them for advice, and then go through the S&T prep books/Vault Guide/etc. Try to know the most common questions cold, without your notes, and try to do as many mock interviews as possible. Like matayo said, practice pitching stocks and really formulating your arguments for them. Good luck!

Sep 21, 2015