Sunday, September 07, 2008

Interview series 1: Interview with Goldman Sachs, Equity Research Associate, Moscow

In 2006 around June-July period I was interviewed for an Equity Research Associate role for Goldman Sachs Moscow office. The interviews were conducted in London. At the time GS was beefing up its Moscow office having made several key hires. I was interviewed by some of the team members including the Deputy Head of European Equity Research.

Overall I met 5 people across several industries. I’ll list some of the questions:

-Go through your CV briefly, please.
-You had a lot of entrepreneurial experience, but research is not business! Why do you think you would fit?
-Let’s take an oil refinery company. How is revenue calculated? What would you pay attention in to project revenues for the next year? What might the cost structure constitute of in this case?
-How do you value a company? Why do you need to discount cashflows in DCF?
-You have a Balance Sheet, Income Statement and Cash Flow Statement; which numbers would you look at to get a feel for the company performance?
-Do you have mock portfolio? Which stocks do you hold? Why? You seem to hold all high-tech stocks, why? –I said this was because they are most transparent. The below question followed afterwards:
-Emerging markets stocks are not very transparent; how would you go about receiving more information for your analysis? – I said you needed to be diplomatic and build relationship with companies in question.
-Are you comfortable to live and work in Moscow?Do you have questions for me?

By the way, some of the interviews were in Russian.

Some of the questions I was asked on the following rounds:

-Why Equity Research?
-Do you have preference for the industry?
-Why did you buy Google?
-Do you know about any Russian stock? Why do you think Gazprom trades cheaper to BP?
-What do you think researchers do?
-Why do you think Goldman provides research coverage?
-How do you think researchers can contribute to the bottom line of Goldman?
-How do you think researchers are rewarded? - The last 4 questions were asked to see if you truly understand the career path of a research analyst.
-How would you invest 100 million? Why would you buy Toyota Motors (followed after I said I would buy Toyota’s shares)?
-What is the biggest bank in your country? What is the source of revenue of this bank? - This questions were asked by an Analyst who covers financials stocks in the region.

Tips to survive during GS interviews:
-Be professional - GS is a very professional firm and they will appreciate if you are
-Do your homework - I can't imagine how someone can get a job with GS without being ready for any question or challenge
-Be inquisitive - It shows your interest.....GS is famous for leaving a lot of time for you to ask question
-Show that you are hardworker - People at GS are very hard working; probably more so than other firms.

Good luck!


Unknown said...

Thanks a million, botirvoy.
The whole article is pretty interesting.

Unknown said...

I find your blog worthy of a note. Personally, I feel that your detail at to what is being covered during IB interviews could help some looking to get a job in that industry.

Anonymous said...

Bitirvoy aka USAni qayrida bugansiz? Rasmizdan USA ga uhshaydi.:)

botirvoy said...

Kazme, bu london!

Anonymous said...

Aka hozir Uzbekistandamisiz?
Bir kurishamizme degan edim,sizga havis kelayapti, maslahatlar berasizmi degan edimukamga.Agar yuq demasayiz.

botirvoy said...

Kazme, man hozir Londonda...uzr!
Emailizni qoldiring, email qilaman sizga.