Goldman Sachs is more than just a name everyone knows, and one of the biggest investment banks and financial services companies in the world. It is one of the market makers, a systematically important bank, one that simply cannot bankrupt. If it did bankrupt, the US economy would suffer a blow it might not overcome… But does these thing matter for a “common Joe”, for an ordinary employee of Goldman Sachs, such as an analyst or associate, or for someone working in the administrative? And what should you say when confronted with this question in your job interview, or on your job application?

First of all, you can dream big. Because Goldman Sachs wants to employ ambitious people. Almost everyone starts as an analyst, but the company has over ten thousand vice-presidents, and though it is a mere job title, because in reality you aren’t a president of anything, it is a clear declaration of the mindset of Goldman Sachs leaders. Secondly, you can talk about having an impact. Because the company wants to have an impact and continue to be the market maker. Last but not least, do not forget to say what you can bring onboard, because every employment is a give and take relationship–you will earn an amazing salary and a lot of recognition working for Goldman, but you will also sacrifice something for the company…

Let’s have a look at 7 sample answers to the question. You will find on my list a variety of responses, reflecting variety of mindsets, expectations, and personalities. Go through them all, find one which resonates with your mindset, and then adjust it a bit to reflect the message you try to convey in the interviews.


7 sample answers to “Why do you want to work for Goldman Sachs?” interview question

  1. I just want to work for the best. I’ve always excelled in financial analysis, and one doesn’t have to work in the field for years to understand that awful lots of money can be made in investment banking. Of course, a smart guy with excellent academic record like me has many options. But I want to work for the market leader, with the best people in the field, and one can find such people at Goldman. Let’s make this dream come true.
  2. Speaking honestly, I love everything about the company. The drive you have here, high expectations you place on your employees, the salaries and employee benefits, even the scandals you had in the past, and how you managed to settle them. I feel that such a working environment is an excellent match for my personality, and I also know that sky is the limit in investment banking. One doesn’t have to work twenty years here to have enough money to retire. Everything considered, I cannot imagine a better place for me at the moment.
  3. My main goal in my professional career is to have an impact. Impact on the economy, on the lives of people in the country–hopefully a positive impact. In order to have an impact, you can either work for the government, or for one of those companies that aren’t mere market leaders, but market makers. Companies that in a way set the rules of the game, though of course it isn’t the way general public perceives it. In my opinion, Goldman Sachs is such a company, and I dream of working for Goldman.


  1. I know another secretary who works for Goldman, and she said really good things about the job, collective in the workplace, employee benefits. What’s more, I like the world of investment banking, and though I cannot work as a banker or an analyst–have neither the education nor the talent required, I can at least somehow belong to this world, as a secretary. Or at least that’s how I see it, and it is one of the reasons why I want to work here, instead of some other places that may pay a better salary.
  2. Money is the answer. Let’s face it–job of an analyst here isn’t particularly difficult–or it isn’t more difficult that a job of an analyst in other places. The salary is better though, so are the career growth options. I know that I will have to prove my skills and deliver, if I want to become an associate or even a vice president few years down the road. But I believe I am capable to do it, and once you reach those levels the salary is much better than the one you can earn in almost all other corporations, having the same job.
  3. There are many reasons–job security, prestige, great salary, working environment. Just look at this building–how marvelous it is! I’d love to call it my place of work. And when you say that you work for Goldman, everyone immediately recognizes your position. What’s more, as the last big financial crisis has proven, this company just cannot bankrupt, so the job security is almost unmatched. Everything considered, I see many reason why I should work here, and none why I shouldn’t. Having said that, I do not idealize the job. I know I will face challenges, deadlines, problems… But I’d face such things in any other big corporation, and prefer to face them at Goldman, instead of some other place that won’t offer me the same things.
  4. Honestly speaking, I am still undecided. Have submitted my job application to five companies, and I knew that with my resume everyone would invite me for an interview. I did my research, and liked a lot what I learned about Goldman. But the same is true about the other four corporations I applied with. So my goal is to go to the interviews, explain what I can offer, see the people and the workplace, understand what the job has to offer to me, and just then decide. I have no favorite at the moment, but glad to be here, get a chance to talk to you, and let’s see how this ends up…


Money is a good answer–at least with Goldman

As a rule of thumb, you shouldn’t talk about money while explaining your career choice or job choice in the interviews. However, certain cases are an exception to the rule, and Goldman Sachs is one of them. The entire company culture is based around money… You will work with money (financial instruments), study money, talk about money, and of course, you can earn a lot of money with Goldman Sachs.

Such a working culture won’t be my cup of coffee, but they are looking for people who are strongly money-driven. Because–and let’s be honest, job at Goldman cannot really offer you a sense of a meaningful purpose, of doing something for society, or a certain community within… But it can afford you the feeling of superiority, and a great lifestyle, because of the money you will earn with the company. That’s why it makes sense referring to such things while explaining your job choice.

Perfect jobs do not exist

You should certainly show excitement in the interviews. For one reason or another, Goldman is your first choice, and you dream of working for the company. At the same time, however, it is good to show realistic expectations on the job–either directly in your answer to this question, or while answering any other one in your interviews with Goldman.

The job won’t be easy. You’ll have targets, deadlines, things will get tricky at times, you’ll have to stay until 10pm at work, and so on, and so forth. Sure, you will earn a very nice salary, and career growth options at Goldman are second to none, but everything comes with some price… You should be aware of it, and show realistic expectations in your interview…

Ready to answer this one? I hope so! Do not forget to check also the full list of Goldman Sachs interview questions, and good luck in your interview!


Matthew Chulaw
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