The Ultimate Goldman Sachs HireVue Question, Preparation, and Research Guide

HireVue is the next challenge on your way to the successful career you dreamt of at Goldman Sachs. We created this guide, to make one of the most challenging recruitment processes a little less daunting.

The Ultimate Goldman Sachs HireVue Question, Preparation, and Research Guide

You are now part of the future of the hiring process worldwide. Each firm you are applying to that uses HireVue recorded interviews is telling you how great this new development of one-way interviews is in allowing them to speak to and analyze applicants. Indeed, Goldman Sachs has a video celebrating this new era of interviews on demand and providing you with some headline but not exhaustive guidance on tackling HireVue.

Unfortunately, it's hard for you to share this joy with them. Like nearly all candidates taking HireVue recorded interviews, it's your least favorite step - an awkward experience with no feedback, and no human connection. Another hurdle on your way to building that successful career you dreamt of. That is why we created Voomer, to enable you to get feedback and feel confident, and why we created this guide, to make one of the most challenging recruitment processes a little less daunting.

The guide has the following sections:

  1. Research
  2. Preparation
  3. Question Bank

Research

This section of the guide explores the key research factors in preparing you for success in an interview with Goldman Sachs. From looking at the firm itself to fundamental headline stats your research will set you up for success. Let's get started!

  1. Research the firm
  2. Research the division
  3. Build global news awareness
  4. Know fundamental stats
  5. Conduct a PESTEL analysis
  6. Review recent executive movements

Research the firm

Form 10K: As with any other US public company, your first stop for research should be Goldman’s Form 10K. The Form 10-K, as well as other mandatory SEC filings, can be found in the SEC’s EDGAR database. Why exactly is the Form 10-K so useful that we’ve said it four times? That’s because it contains a comprehensive summary of financial performance. Company history, organizational structure, executive compensation, equity, subsidiaries, audited financial statements, and a discussion of current expectations and business conditions are often found here. This cues you into potential avenues to explore, or key factors that have led to historical decision making. We have one question: Could an applicant ask for more?

For up to the minute updates on Goldman we suggest using a financial news outlet’s company search feature, such as our favorite The Financial Times’ company search tool here. This will cue you in not only to Goldman news, but transactions, deals, and areas Goldman positions itself as a clear thought leader.

Research the division

For division research, A news platform’s company search tool can provide a great start. Build a filter around the specific topics and metrics you expect your selected divisions are interested in. If IBD (Investment Banking Division) is your focus you might want to look at cross-industry and cross-market effects on stock prices. If markets, consider what is moving the market right now, and what is the story behind current volatility (or lack of) in the market as a whole and particular groupings of stocks. Have a perspective on GameStop!

Build global news awareness:

Make it a habit to check in with CNBC just before or just after you check social media, or if you struggle to do that just follow CNBC on Facebook. Remember to keep abreast of any major changes in geopolitics and especially news that is relevant to your division. Open up a GoogleDoc and keep notes as to the topics of interest and update when you see new headlines. Remember that Form 10-K, how and where do these stories tie into Goldman’s current situation?

Know fundamental stats:

Know the price of Oil, Gold, and Bitcoin. Both the general levels Oil, Gold, and Bitcoin vary around and a specific price on the day of an interview. It is not likely to come up in the HireVue video interview but it is great practice for being ready for in-person interviews and not making a silly faux pas by saying Brent crude is $500 a barrel and Gold is currently at $75, and a bitcoin is $1000.  If you struggle with memorizing make sure you know the order of magnitude of the values and add them into finance apps on your phone. Build a habit.

Conduct a PESTEL analysis

Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environmental, Legal. Get a sheet of paper for each of these and create a mindmap, or use a tool such as MindNode on your phone or laptop. What are the main issues in each of these areas that are producing opportunities, risks, or both for Goldman today? Maybe that Form 10K seems incredibly useful now, eh? Think both at the high level of global trends which are bringing sweeping change to the industry, and specific events that are having a collateral impact of note on Goldman in particular - are there any events that are having a greater effect on Goldman versus competitors - or any that competitors are feeling the brunt of and Goldman is not impacted by. Why?

Review recent executive movements

No we are not talking about following executives on a motorcycle to a private jet to figure out where the next big deal is happening... we are asking: Where are the recent executive hires? Are there any positions that are currently unexpectedly open within the firm? Is there someone new in the division looking to create their legacy? What transitions are taking place? Why? All of this foundational knowledge can help you tie in answers and link your experience to current-day events in the company.

In this section, we explored the fundamentals of research in preparing you for success in an interview with Goldman Sachs. From looking at the firm itself to headline stats research, research will set you up for success. Now we have the basics in place, let's progress to prepare for the recorded interview itself!

Preparation

This section of the guide explores a selection of ways to prepare you for your recorded interview with Goldman Sachs. Goldman suggests preparing for the HireVue recorded video interview as if it was a regular interview - we are here at Voomer to help you perform at your best. From looking at practical webcam and microphone tips to building your familiarity with the medium, we discuss how solid hardware and tools such as Voomer can position you for success. Let's get started!

  1. Collect and collate meaningful personal stories
  2. Get the technology right
  3. Practice, practice, practice - with Voomer
  4. Check out the question bank
  5. Pick the time
  6. Set the mood
  7. Nail it.

Collect and collate meaningful personal stories

Make brief notes on 5-6 problems you experienced in college or in a previous job. Try out the PAR approach. Specify the Problem, describe your Action, celebrate the Result. Start off making brief bullets on the P, the A, and the R.

The Problem sets the scene, it doesn’t have to be a crisis but it should set forward a challenge that not every candidate would easily find a constructive resolution to.

“I was part of a class project team and two members of the team decided to go to the gym rather than help finish the assignment due that night.”

The Action shows the methodologies and dynamism of how you approach and address challenges. Make sure not to short-change this section of the answer - in many ways, this is the most important section. Discuss how you collected insights to decide, empathized with the other parties, and then competently, proactively, and with the buy-in of other stakeholders took an action to tackle the status quo.

“After speaking with my other teammates I determined that there was a significant amount of work to be done by the end of the day that required the expertise of those teammates who were planning to go workout and that collectively each of us felt that there were responsibilities that we did not feel comfortable releasing the other teammates from - they did sign up to work both equally and collaboratively on the project. I advocated for calling the other teammates directly, rather than passively brooding over what had happened and coming up with a scheme to out them - as other students had done in different classes. Understanding their reasoning for believing that the gym was more appropriate than the project was the next step.”

The Result provides your opportunity to show your value to the organization. It is all very well having problems and trying to do something about them, but do your actions result in measurable positive results for the team?

“After calling up the teammates directly, it seemed they hadn’t had the negative intent that was initially assumed. I discovered by asking them what went into their thinking behind heading to the gym rather than to work with the team, that they had both misunderstood the assignment instructions and due date. Within 15 minutes they had sprinted back across campus to work with us, we hit the deadline and we avoided turning a miscommunication into an unwarranted fallout between classmates. Since then I’ve worked on several projects with them and continued to excel together”.

Get the technology right

The first step in getting the technology right is knowing the limitations of the technology your laptop contains. Your laptop camera will generally be sufficient to record a great video interview. Your microphone quality on the other hand - not so. We’ve covered these issues in detail in this blog post.

Internal microphones can be incredibly sensitive, pick up all ambient noise, and sometimes even the fans inside your computer - making the interview reviewer feel like they are just taking off in a jet airplane! By using any headphones with an external microphone attached you are already upping your game significantly. Less external noise will be picked up, and the range of frequencies will be broader. Interviewers would rather listen to your voice, than to the sound of a wind tunnel! If you do have to stick with the internal microphone make sure to focus on finding the quietest place possible. Many successful recorded interviews have been taken in the bathroom!

Your camera angle is also important. Nobody likes exploring the inside of a nose with no warning! Your camera should be just above your eye line and tilted down so that the top of your head almost reaches the top of the video. A quick hack is to stack some solid books together to raise the level of your laptop, but be careful - try not to shake everything by leaning on the table by accident.

Use books as a quick and easy way to raise your camera to eye level.

For lighting it is important that you are brighter and more visible than your background - otherwise, you can appear washed out and barely visible. To fix this issue have at least one light source that is in front of you and behind the camera. Try to avoid sitting with a window behind you especially when the sun is coming through. Once you have your lighting sorted your face should be lit up and your expressions and enthusiasm will be amplified during the interview.

Spot the difference! Remember to have the light source originating from behind the camera.

If you can invest in some hardware for your video interviews and recorded interviews here is a quick list of key items that we use at Voomer which have brought our recorded video to the next level:

For clear audio that makes your voice stand out with a discrete microphone use the Rode SmartLav+ currently at $70 - and is from a household name in professional audio  - will work on your laptop.

For getting the perfect camera angle when you have run out of books to stack, there is the FENGE Standing Desk for Laptop at $79.99.

For lighting on a budget, to make you feel like a recorded interview superstar, and a lot of bang for your buck there is the Radiance Ring Light at a very manageable $15.99.

Practice, practice, practice - with Voomer

Eye-contact, body language, monotone, pauses, filler words, attire. It all matters, but it is easy to fall short. That’s why we created Voomer - to help you get a handle on all the areas you need to perform in with instant feedback. Set up your space as you would do in preparing for the actual interview. As you get closer to your planned day and time to take the interview dress the part, try on your interview attire, and see if you feel confident. If your clothing doesn’t make you feel right, switch it up.

The bottom line is practicing your recorded interview will help reduce stress and build confidence allowing you to move your focus to make a compelling connection with your audience rather than worrying about if you are performing at the required level. The more familiar you are with the recorded interview environment and the questions you'll be asked, the better prepared you will be for your interview. Try Voomer now.

Check out the Question Bank

Practicing your interview answers with Voomer and its question bank will ease the stress during your actual HireVue recording, allowing you to focus in-the-moment on building a connection rather than struggling to come up with answers. The more familiar you are with the possible interview questions that come up, the better prepared you will be to succeed. At the bottom of this guide we’ve included an extensive question bank for you to dive into and review - it is also built into Voomer.

Pick the time

The most common time for people to take their video interview is in the late evening. Rather than yawning your way through the interview, we suggest you buck the trend and do your interview during energy peaks before lunch or just before dinner. Although the time of recording is not supposed to be a considered factor in the interview process - indeed HireVue is used to allow you to do the interview in your own time - if you are applying to a job where you need to be mentally optimal from 6am onward you have an opportunity to show you can nail the interview during the times you are expected to deliver on the job. Let us just say, 7:30am is much more compelling than 23:59pm on the last day that you can sit the HireVue.

Set the Mood

It's the day of your recorded interview. Find that attire that is both smart and you felt the most confident in. The Goldman Sachs Interview Tips video features someone in a smart GS branded T-Shirt, for example, however, the safest choice is to go with the same attire you would wear to an in-person interview.

Remember to self-affirm, your skills, education, and dedication brought you this far and they can take you all the way. Take deep breaths and hold for a count of three before exhaling, while sitting at your desk with your eyes closed visualize yourself successfully answering the interview questions - taking a question you weren’t expecting in your stride with a smile. We’ve also created a top 5 playlist of songs to get you pumped up before the interview.

Nail it

Remember that if you have made it this far you have what it takes to go all the way. Goldman is particularly selective and focuses on individuals who can create not only meaning in their own lives but in the lives of others too. To be at this stage Goldman Sachs has already spotted something in you showing the promise of an exceptional colleague, they are excited to get to know who you are beyond your resume, genuinely, and hear what you have to say. You’ve got this.

Question Bank

Get your Goldman Sachs HireVue questions PDF


Conclusion

Well there you have it, our Ultimate Goldman Sachs HireVue Questions, Preparation, and Research Guide that will put you on the path to success. If you have any questions that or have ideas for us to update the post please email us: david@tryvoomer.com

Besides knowing what the questions will look like, another way to increase your chances of getting in is by practicing. Voomer is an AI-powered interview prep platform designed for interviews like the one you'll face at Goldman Sachs, both the live interview and the HireVue interview.

If you are curious about how Voomer's AI-powered video assessment tools can help you to prepare thoroughly for your upcoming video essays click below to get started!