by **JC**, published: 2010-10-04 20:07 viewed: 2634 times

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Goldman Sachs Strategy intern interview questions summary, from a friend.

1st round: 40 minutes phone interview

Basic probability stuff. Given a bus stop, and two buses come at 10 mins and 20 mins interval.

1. If you come to the bus stop and see a bus leaving, what is the expected time you need to wait for another bus?

2. If you come and see no bus at all, what is the expected waiting time?

3. If you have waited for 9 minutes and did not see any bus coming, what is the expected waiting time?

Programming: Given a black box function f(x), how in java can you approximately solve the equation f(x)=0, what parameters you need?

2nd round: Video conference with 3*30 minutes interview

People from interested desks come to interview you. All would ask fit + finance + quantitative questions depends on the desk nature.

Quantitative questions:

1. A plate of n noodles. You want to connect 2 ends at a time. How many cycles you can expect to make when you finish (i.e, do this for n times)

2. Given a fair coin, what is the expected number of tosses you need to get 2 consecutive heads?

Finance questions:

How interest rate will affect bond/put option pricing. Black Scholes model and draw volatility smile. Explain arbitrage theory. My finance questions are all simple and I get all the answers by reading Vault’s interview book 2 days before the interview. I think this may be due to my lack of finance background so they go easy with me.

Fit questions: This depends on the interviewee. They ask about your previous work etc.

By the way, if you did well for more than one desk, the secretary would likely to come after the 3 interviews asking which desk you prefer if more

than one offers you a position. So that can be a positive sign. I told her I prefer 2 of the 3 desks.

In general, Goldman Sachs people are nice and very gentleman. They treat you with respect even if you are applying for internship only.

After the 2nd round, I received an email that one desk would like to talk more. I had the last interview in the process (40 min phone):

Questions:

1. What happens if you offset a null pointer in c?

2. Some C functions.

3. About PDE. Luckily I took a class a long time ago and still can formulate the predator-prey problem. Then they asked about the solutions and how the Population Predator Vs Population Prey looks like.

4. About Taylor series.

The second day they extended me an offer with my choice to either one of the two desks I preferred during the second interview. The salary is pretty nice compared to Google/Yahoo/Microsoft. But again, internship is little about $$$ and Google/Yahoo/Microsoft are really good places to work for summer too.

In sum, I think it is all right if you do not have strong finance background (or even near to 0 like me), but you must be familiar with your domain knowledge and comfortable in answering unfamiliar questions by logic. In all my interviews I think I answered 2 questions unsatisfactorily.

1st round: 40 minutes phone interview

Basic probability stuff. Given a bus stop, and two buses come at 10 mins and 20 mins interval.

1. If you come to the bus stop and see a bus leaving, what is the expected time you need to wait for another bus?

2. If you come and see no bus at all, what is the expected waiting time?

3. If you have waited for 9 minutes and did not see any bus coming, what is the expected waiting time?

Programming: Given a black box function f(x), how in java can you approximately solve the equation f(x)=0, what parameters you need?

2nd round: Video conference with 3*30 minutes interview

People from interested desks come to interview you. All would ask fit + finance + quantitative questions depends on the desk nature.

Quantitative questions:

1. A plate of n noodles. You want to connect 2 ends at a time. How many cycles you can expect to make when you finish (i.e, do this for n times)

2. Given a fair coin, what is the expected number of tosses you need to get 2 consecutive heads?

Finance questions:

How interest rate will affect bond/put option pricing. Black Scholes model and draw volatility smile. Explain arbitrage theory. My finance questions are all simple and I get all the answers by reading Vault’s interview book 2 days before the interview. I think this may be due to my lack of finance background so they go easy with me.

Fit questions: This depends on the interviewee. They ask about your previous work etc.

By the way, if you did well for more than one desk, the secretary would likely to come after the 3 interviews asking which desk you prefer if more

than one offers you a position. So that can be a positive sign. I told her I prefer 2 of the 3 desks.

In general, Goldman Sachs people are nice and very gentleman. They treat you with respect even if you are applying for internship only.

After the 2nd round, I received an email that one desk would like to talk more. I had the last interview in the process (40 min phone):

Questions:

1. What happens if you offset a null pointer in c?

2. Some C functions.

3. About PDE. Luckily I took a class a long time ago and still can formulate the predator-prey problem. Then they asked about the solutions and how the Population Predator Vs Population Prey looks like.

4. About Taylor series.

The second day they extended me an offer with my choice to either one of the two desks I preferred during the second interview. The salary is pretty nice compared to Google/Yahoo/Microsoft. But again, internship is little about $$$ and Google/Yahoo/Microsoft are really good places to work for summer too.

In sum, I think it is all right if you do not have strong finance background (or even near to 0 like me), but you must be familiar with your domain knowledge and comfortable in answering unfamiliar questions by logic. In all my interviews I think I answered 2 questions unsatisfactorily.

1. yuuniverse4444 2009-07-17 19:25

I got the same noodle question. Since I am statistics major, so I tried to give a solution here. (I didn't work it out during the phone interview as well, only some of my idea.)So the idea is just to use induction. My answer is :

1+1/3+1/5+1/7+....+1/199

2. yuuniverse4444 2009-07-22 15:04

Still get painfully rejected after 2nd round... :|
3. JC 2009-07-22 19:56

Well, it is tough to get into famous companies. But, as anything else, it is all a matter of keep trying. Brushing your skillset along the way. The most important lesson I learned during my past career is never lose hope. If there is a will, there is a way dude!

4. flyhawk 2009-07-23 00:14

Very good experience, thanks for sharing !
5. visitor 2010-09-30 06:49

where did you apply to, jian ? was this GS office in new york
6. JC 2010-10-04 20:07

I am not with Goldman Sachs, just providing useful info for anyone wanting to join GS.
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