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S = Situation T = Task A = Action R = Result

http://www.law.berkeley.edu/files/careers/Behavioral_Interviewing_Questions.pdf
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
The summer after my freshman year, I volunteered for the Marine Corps because I
saw the change it caused in my brother and I wanted to undergo the same process.
The program that I did was two six-week increments during which I was evaluated in
fitness, academics, and leadership potential. Because I had excelled during my first
increment of training, I was designated as the Platoon Commander for my platoon
this past summer. As Platoon Commander, I was in charge of staying on top of the
whereabouts of all 39 women in my platoon, as well as insuring that our rifles were
always accounted for. By the end of training, I was ranked in the top 3% of my
company and earned the ability to commission as an officer in the Marine Corps. I
ultimately got a lot out of the experience, especially with regards to establishing my
style of leadership and meeting people who mentor me to this day, but found that
there was very little room for innovation. Based on what Ive heard, Goldman offers
the structure and high efficiency found in the military, but leaves space for
individualism, which is why this position really excites me.
What do you mean by leave space for individualism?
From something as simple as changing how we stack our rifles when were
conducting physical training to finding a way to streamline the process of getting
food for each platoon, the structure of the military leaves little room for deviating
from the norm.
2. Why Goldman?
When I described my experience at military training to one of my friends, she
responded with, That sounds exactly like Goldman! From there, I did some
research on the company culture and I loved the sense of pride employees took in
their jobs. Team cohesiveness is something that I loved the most about my time in
the Marine Corps and I got the sense that most Goldman employees believe that
they are a part of something bigger than themselves. I wanted to be a part of a
corporation that gives their employees a greater purpose.
3. Why hcm?
As a data analyst for The Good Judgment Project, I analyze large amounts of data to
figure out whether there is any correlation between team processes and individual
decision-making. As a result, I often have to reference criteria established for the
study in order to make sound judgments. If there isnt a readily available answer, I
have to figure out how to answer the question on my own. Compliance is similar in
that it involves a lot of fact-checking, but also leaves room for figuring out an
answer on your own. It also involves a level of confidentiality that I am familiar with
based on my experience with the military. It felt like the best fit for me.
4. Tell me about a time that you exhibited leadership.

During military training this past summer, I was in charge of carrying out the plan of
the day while keeping track of the whereabouts of my platoon and their rifles. We
had previously had an issue with getting the right count of rifles because some
members of the platoon would leave with their rifles without telling their immediate
supervisors where they were going. To fix this issue, I required each member leaving
the platoon to log their whereabouts in my journal, as well as leave their rifles with
the platoon. Implementing this plan increased the accuracy of our counts, which
made my supervisors lives a lot easier.

5. What are three of your strengths?


I think my greatest strength is my ability to get work done even in the face of
difficult obstacles. My summer training has made it a lot easier for me to remain
calm in high-pressure situations.
Similarly, when I commit to a deadline, I do whatever it takes to deliver.
I also feel that my background in research has given me the tools to search for
answers that arent readily available or completely transparent. I feel that I am able
to adapt to any situation as a result.
6. What are three of your weaknesses?
While I do portray a level of confidence when asked to lead, on the inside, I am very
nervous and shaken up with being put on the spot. This has been a weakness of
mine always growing up. Acknowledging this, I am always the first to volunteer to
speak and take on a project in order to get over this stage fright. Im a lot better
with it than I was, but I am still constantly seeking to improve in this area.
Also, when Im assigned a task, I often get so bogged down by the details that its
hard for me to see the bigger picture. To fix this, I continuously remind myself to
take a step back and see how my work is contributing to a project in the grand
scheme of things.
Lastly, because I am on the low end for allocentrism, I tend to think others are
motivated by the same things I am and I have to work extra hard at understanding
others motivations. I try to address this by communicating as much as possible so
that I have a better understanding of how to approach certain people.
7. What are you passionate about?
Ive always been passionate about making a tangible difference, no matter the
situation. Whether Im working on a team project, leading my peers, or trying to
better someones standard of living, I get a lot out of having a positive impact on
anything that I am involved with.
8. When was a time that you had to do due diligence?

Talk about data analyst job.


9. Describe a time you had to deal with a difficult or unresponsive person.
My job at The Good Judgment Project requires a lot of collaboration with team
members, which means that sometimes I cant move forward with my work without
hearing back from my co-workers. Last week, I had a time hack to make and my
team member was not responding to emails, so I made it a point to meet with him
in person. That way, I was able to quickly get the portions of his work that I needed
to continue my work.
10. How is the new financial reform going to affect the compliance world?
11. Why should we hire you over our other candidates?
I have a unique set of experiences that the majority of the population will never
have which gives me the ability to look at problems in a different way than most. I
do not shrink from any challenges and am always willing to go the extra mile to
accomplish a task. Most importantly, I thrive in a team setting because I know how
important team cohesiveness is for boosting morale.

12. Describe a time you had to work on a team. How did that go?
I volunteer for PACT (People + Animals = Companions Together) for Animals, which
is a nonprofit that provides homes for pets when their owners are on deployment.
We recently had a large influx of pets who needed homes because of a change in
the deployment cycle, so each of had to take on more home visits. Because most of
the other volunteers had families to take care of, they would not be able to do the
home visits before the pets would be required to stay in an animal shelter. I decided
to take on the home visits that they could not get to and we managed to place all of
the animals in homes before their owners deployed.
13. How do you handle stress or pressure?
If a situation seems overwhelming, I try to break it up into smaller chunks and just
focus on reaching each one on the way to accomplishing the larger task. For
instance, this past summer we had a major issue with individuals losing gear, which
became a headache because all of our issued gear was needed for training. I ended
up breaking it down into who needs certain gear first, and concentrated on one
step at a time until we were able to get more gear issued.
14. Would you prefer to work independently or on team?
While Im equally comfortable doing both, I find that I enjoy working on a team a lot
more. My job at The Good Judgment Project involves a lot of meetings during which
we brainstorm ways to streamline our data analysis. After these meetings, I often
leave with individual tasks to complete so that the project can move forward. These

meetings gave me a better picture of how my work would contribute to the team as
a whole, which makes the prospect of working on a team more appealing.
15. Why financial services? Why not consulting, marketing, etc.?
I like being challenged on a daily basis and I enjoy being around people who derive
satisfaction from hard work and dedication. When I was working with the grants
department for Penns med school, I really enjoyed providing solutions for funding
issues and to be connected with finance in some form, while still dealing with legal
matters seemed like the best fit for me.
16. Would you rather be the captain of a losing team or a regular member of a
winning team?
I would rather be the captain of a losing team. I love taking on challenges and I feel
confident in my ability to turn the team around. Im far more interested in the
potential for positive change and the effectiveness of my contributions to the whole
than to be the person on a team who has nothing to contribute.
17. Describe an ethical dilemma you had to deal with.
As a manager for the mens basketball team, I am in charge of making sure the
players attend captain-run practices, which means that the coaching staff is not
present. Most recently, one of the players wanted me to vouch for him when he was
not at one of the practices, which put me in a tough position because the team is
essentially a family. However, I knew that I would not have their best interest at
heart if I allowed him to cut corners, so I did not lie for him.
18. Tell me about a time you failed.
As a Platoon Commander, I got to choose individuals who would report the counts of
their squad members, as well as their weapons to me. One of the individuals that I
chose did not sit well with me, but I had heard great things about so I tacked it to
paranoia. After taking a rest during one of our platoons hikes, I discovered that she
had lied about her weapons count and one of our rifles had been missing the entire
day. This was a huge safety issue and I ultimately got reamed because of my failure
to inspect. From that experience, I learned to always trust my gut and do my due
diligence whenever possible.

19. What type of decisions do you have difficulty making?


I find the toughest decisions to make are the ones with two right answers, but
different possible outcomes. Its hard to know which one will give me the outcome
that I need, which takes the outcome away from my control.
20. How do you stay current?
21. Tell me something about yourself that I didn't know from reading your resume.

Im a movie buff and especially love scary movies with bad dialogue and plot holes.
Im also a freelance writer for PopMatters, which is a magazine of cultural criticism
and analysis.
22. Where do you see yourself in five years?
23. Tell me your biggest accomplishment.

24. Describe a major goal you've set for yourself recently.


After deciding not to accept my commission as an officer in the Marine Corps, I
noticed that I had a lot of excess energy because I wasnt training every day. To
channel this energy in a positive way, I set a goal to
25. Now that youve had a chance to learn more about us, what would you change
about our company?
26. Give me an example where you used your fact-finding skills to solve a problem.
While working for the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, I was tasked with
approximating the number of AEDs in certain counties in Pennsylvania and was not
given any restrictions on my methods. Rather than physically counting each AED,
which was what was done in the past, I searched for and contacted businesses in
these counties that listed having AEDs on their websites. This process proved to be
more fruitful than what was usually done and my findings were used as a proxy for
the next launch of the challenge.
Questions to ask:
1. What do you like about working here?
2. What is the most challenging part about your job?
3. What do you think are the most important qualities for someone to excel in this
role?
Questions asked during interview:
1. Tell me a time where youve have to deal with difficult people on the team.
2. Tell me a time where you were prompted for a speech to motivate your peers.
3. Why finance?
4. What relevant coursework have you taken for this role?
Law and Criminal justice.
5. Tell me about a time that you had to persuade someone to accept your point of
view?
6. Who is someone you hate?

7. Tell me about a time you failed on an assignment.


8. Tell me about a time you didnt perform well on a deliverable.
9. Tell me about a time you had to mentor someone through a difficulty.
10. What would you do if your manager leaks confidential information?
11. Tell me about a time you failed and werent able to fix it.
12. What are three strengths and three weaknesses?
13. Why finance?
14. Who is the firms CEO?
Lloyd Blankfein. BLANK-FINE.
15. What is the stock price of Goldman this day?
$190. Increased since yesterday.
16. What do you think is the most important thing to GS at this point?
17. How will you best help GS achieve our goals?
18. What would you do if you dont get this position?
19. What can you bring to the team over someone who has a more finance
background?
20. Where do you see yourself in two years?
21. Describe an ethical role model.
22. Tell me about a time when you were on a team and the team experienced an
unforeseen challenge. How did the team work through the challenge and what role
did you play on the team?
23. Tell me about a time you had a really important presentation.
http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/blog/ethics-test-sharing-secret-documents