If you’re a university student who’s enjoying the summer before you go back to school and begin applying for banking jobs, then we have some bad news for you: you’re late. Banks’ applications opened a while ago. And successful students are already completing psychometric tests and digital interviews.
Students who’ve applied to JPMorgan, for example, say they’ve already been through the bank’s new Pymetrics game-based tests and have answered questions in Hirevue, the digital interview system favored by most banks.
There’s not much you can do to game Pymetrics – JPM only allows you one go at each of its 12 two-three minute games because it says the results “are usually accurate the first time.” You’ll get a “personalized trait report” at the end of it, and if you don’t like the traits ascribed to you, you’ll have to wait a full 330 days before you can play again. (By which time your traits might presumably have changed.)
If Pymetrics can’t be gamed, however, the same can’t be said for Hirevue. If you know which questions are coming, you’ll surely be at a big advantage in the digital interview process. Accordingly, chatrooms are alive with students trying to trade or even buy this year’s bank-specific Hirevue questions. One Morgan Stanley Hong Kong question might, for example, be swapped for a JPMorgan question in London.
We don’t have any Morgan Stanley questions, but we do have a list of some of the questions people say they were asked this year and in previous years during Hirevue interviews at JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs. Let us know if you have any to add using the comments box at the bottom.
Bear in mind that while prerehearsing Hirevue questions might help, it’s not just the verbal content of your answer which counts. Hirevue has developed a complicated algorithm built around machine learning, which assesses your interview across 15,000 different dimensions (including body language, speech patterns, blinking) and works out if you’re similar to high performers already working for the bank you’re interviewing with.
If you’re completing a Hirevue interview with Goldman Sachs, you can probably expect five or six questions. 80% of them will be either behavioural or situational (ie. asking what you’d do in particular situations). 20% will be division-specific, which can be confusing if you’ve applied to multiple GS divisions as it’s not always clear which one has issued the interview. You’ll get 30 seconds to prepare each answer and two minutes to speak to the camera. There are no second chances. If you don’t get to the point, you’ll run out of time. The whole thing will be over in around 30 minutes and if you’re successful, you should hear back within two weeks.
At J.P. Morgan, you can expect five to seven questions per Hirevue interview. As at Goldman Sachs, you’ll get at least 30 seconds to prepare and around three minutes to answer each questions (although both vary by question). Also as at Goldman Sachs, there will be no second chances.
At most banks, the questions are fairly standard. If you get asked questions that are not on the list below, please let us know in the comment box at the bottom of this page.
Goldman Sachs video interview questions:
Talk me through what happened in your banking internship.
Walk me through your resume.
What do you want to work in investment banking?
Why do you want to work for Goldman Sachs?
Why do you want to work for division X?
What is it about your past experience that has made you want to work for division X?
What’s the most important experience you’ve had in your career so far? Why?
What is your biggest achievement so far?
What does division X do?
Talk me through how division X fits into the firm? (Eg. How does compliance strengthen the firm? How does the finance division protect the assets of the firm?)
Tell me about an asset class you’re interested [this is asked in securities interviews].
Why do you want to work in location Z?
Talk me through a time you were working in a team and someone wasn’t pulling their weight.
Talk me through a time you were working in a team and you took the initiative to make a change.
Tell talk me through a time where you had to solve a problem in an innovative way.
Talk me through a time you had to resolve a conflict with someone senior to you.
Give me an example of a time when you worked in a team with conflict. How did you deal with this?
Talk me through a time that you demonstrated leadership?
What would make you a good fit with Goldman Sachs?
What’s your core expertise? How have you applied that to a project?
What’s your greatest strength?
Why did you choose your major?
What’s the hardest problem you ever encountered? How did you overcome it?
Describe a situation that required you to overcome substantial obstacles or adversity. What approach did you take to overcome though? What motivated you to persist?
Please describe a time when a teacher or manager questioned a decision you made and you had to explain the reasoning reasoning behind that decision. Please describe your thought process and the outcome. Looking back, would you have done anything differently?
Your teacher assigns you to a group to complete an important class project. The classmates in the assigned group all know each other really well, but you do not know any of them. How can you ensure that you work effectively with the group?
You have just submitted a critical monthly report on behalf of the team to your manager. You realize there is a mistake on a part of the report that is rarely reviewed. What would you do?
Describe a time you were part of a group or team that had been working well together and a new member just joined. What steps did you take to help introduce this person and make them feel included? What challenges did you encounter? What did you learn?
You have been assigned as the lead on a project involving employees from multiple teams. This is a unique opportunity and you want to ensure it is a success. However, the deadline is very tight given the amount of work involved. Your responsibilities include coordinating efforts across the various team members, as well as working with the client to ensure you meet their needs. What steps would you take to ensure the success of the project?
Tell me about a time when you have had to turn down a project or opportunity because you had a conflict or competing deadline. What were the competing priorities that you were facing? How and when did you decline the opportunity or project? What was the result of turning it down?
Please identify a recent event in the news (e.g. economic, political or market) and describe how you would evaluate it as a risk professional in a financial institution. (Asked during a risk interview)
Describe a recent M&A transaction you followed in the news. What were some of the most interesting aspects? (Asked during an M&A interview)
J.P. Morgan video interview questions:
Why J.P. Morgan?
Why this role?
Which skills did you gain during your internship or past investment banking experience that will make you a good fit for this role?
How are the three financial statements linked? (Asked in IBD interviews)
What are the benefits of raising equity and what are the benefits of raising debt? (Asked in IBD interviews)
Talk to us about a recent transaction we were involved in which interests you. (Asked in IBD interviews)
Can you tell us about a time you’ve acted as a leader?
What leadership experience or extracurricular activity on your resume is most important to you? Why?
Why do you think you will succeed in this role? What makes you a good fit?
What has been your greatest challenge? How did you overcome it?
What are your best qualities?
Can you tell us about a time you worked in a team to solve a problem?
Can you tell us about a time you had to resolve a conflict at work? How did you achieve that? What happened?
What interests you about current affairs now? Why?
Can you talk about your experience of changing your approach quickly to achieve a goal?
What unique experiences and expertise could you bring to our team?
Pitch me a stock you’re interested in.
Sarah Butcher – Read more on efinancialcareers.com