25 tricky questions you may have to answer if you want to work at Goldman Sachs

lloyd blankfeinWould you be able to guess how many square feet of pizza are eaten in the US each year?REUTERS/ Pascal Lauener

To get a job at Goldman Sachs, you’ve got to know your stuff. But financial knowledge alone isn’t enough to land you a highly coveted gig at the financial giant.

To make the cut, you’ll need to prove you have the skills, experience, and motivation to thrive — and you’ll also need to prove that you’re a good cultural fit. In other words: You’ll need to ace the interview.

We sifted through reports from Glassdoor to find some of the trickiest and diciest interview questions Goldman has to offer.

Whether you’re applying to be a summer associate or a VP, here are a few questions to master before you walk in the door:

  • ‘If you were an object, what would you be?’ — Financial-analyst candidate
  • ‘If you were asked to move this 30-plus story building across the Hudson River, what would you do?’ — Technology-analyst candidate
  • ‘How would your past supervisors describe you?’ — Legal entity management analyst candidate
  • ‘If you can race only five horses at a time, given 20 horses, what is the lowest number of races you need to host to determine the top three horses?’ — Software engineer candidate
  • ‘If you had to make a program that could vote for the top three funniest people in the office, how would you do it?’ — Technology-analyst candidate
  • ‘Sell yourself in 30 seconds.’ — Summer analyst candidate
  • ‘What would cause you to stop using the internet?’ — Extended-managing-director candidate
  • ‘Is there anything about this job which makes you nervous?’ — Operations-analyst candidate
  • ‘Tell me about a time that you failed and weren’t able to fix it.’ — Summer-associate candidate
  • ‘What is one characteristic you have that would prevent us from hiring you?’ — Operations-analyst candidate
  • ‘What frustrates you?’ — Financial-analyst candidate
  • ‘What do you do if a client insists on making a trade or transaction that you know is not profitable for them in the long run, but it would benefit the bank?’ — Operations-analyst candidate
  • ‘What happens when you type into the web browser?’ — Summer-analyst candidate
  • ‘Suppose you had eight identical balls. One of them is slightly heavier and you are given a balance scale. What’s the fewest number of times you have to use the scale to find the heavier ball?’ — Software-engineering-intern candidate
  • ‘What is the most interesting business idea you’ve ever heard about?’ — Analyst candidate
  • ‘Can you tell me about a time when you were in a team as a member, not a leader?’ — Corporate-service and real-estate candidate
  • ‘Do you need us more than we need you?’ — Mortgage-private-wealth candidate
  • ‘What, in your opinion, led to the financial crisis?’ — Operations-analyst candidate
  • ‘What’s your opinion about Adolf Hitler?’ — Operations-analyst candidate
  • ‘If you were arrested for something that you believed wasn’t wrong, what would you do?’ — Hedge fund-analyst candidate
  • ‘You are a waitress at a restaurant with an employee policy that all tips are put in a jar and split at the end of the day between the wait staff. A very satisfied customer gives you a large tip and tells you not to share it because you deserved it. You also know that some of the other waiters and waitresses have been pocketing their tips. What would you do in this scenario?’ — Legal-analyst candidate
  • ‘Name a current issue in the news that will affect business at Goldman.’ — Analyst-intern candidate
  • ‘If I asked one of your honest friends to tell me one good and bad thing about yourself, what would they say?’ — Research-associate candidate
  • ‘If a trader comes to you with a trade that he wants you to do immediately, but you need to go through the appropriate means to make sure it’s good for the company, what do you do?’ — Summer-analyst candidate
  • ‘How many square feet of pizza are eaten in the US each year?’ — Programmer-analyst candidate

This is an update of a story originally written by Rachel Sugar.

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