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Goldman Sachs Interview Questions

by Interview Kickstart Team in Interview Questions
October 14, 2022

Goldman Sachs Interview Questions

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Want to know to crack Goldman Sachs interview questions? You’re going to need a solid tech interview plan to get through. 

Working at Goldman Sachs is an aspiration shared by many. And why not? It ranks as one of the best workplaces in the world and is sought after by professionals from both engineering and finance backgrounds. So, it is a no-brainer that landing a job at Goldman Sachs can be a career-defining moment for you. But don’t expect it to be a cakewalk. You will be fighting it out with some of the sharpest software engineers, and unless you stand out for the right reasons, the interview is a tough nut to crack.

If you are preparing for a tech interview, check out our technical interview checklist, interview questions page, and salary negotiation e-book to get interview-ready!

Having trained over 9,000 software engineers, we know what it takes to crack the toughest tech interviews. Since 2014, Interview Kickstart alums have been landing lucrative offers from FAANG and Tier-1 tech companies, with an average salary hike of 49%. The highest ever offer received by an IK alum is a whopping $933,000!

At IK, you get the unique opportunity to learn from expert instructors who are hiring managers and tech leads at Google, Facebook, Apple, and other top Silicon Valley tech companies.

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Software engineers, engineering managers, and tech leads are all vying to get a job at Goldman Sachs and consider it one of their dream companies to work for. If you also aspire to work for this world-class employer, this guide is precisely what you need. We’ll cover: 

  • What Is Unique About Goldman Sachs Interviews?
  • What Is the Interview Process at Goldman Sachs is Like?
  • Skills Required for Cracking the Goldman Sachs Interview
  • Interview Questions at Goldman Sachs
  • How to Prepare for Goldman Sachs Interviews?
  • How to Stand Out During the Interview?
  • FAQs

What Is Unique About Goldman Sachs Interviews?

Technical interviews conducted by Goldman Sachs are designed to assess your technical, design, and communication skills. Usually, there are six rounds of interviews conducted, including the preliminary online test. 

They are also always on the lookout for unusual CVs as they are always keen to onboard ambitious, interesting, and passionate software engineers. Research also shows that, on average, it takes less than 54 days for single recruitment. 

What Is the Work Culture at Goldman Sachs Like?

Teamwork, exceptional client service, and giving it back to the community are at the heart of the culture at Goldman Sachs. The firm also prefers candidates who showcase a diverse set of skills. And contrary to popular opinion, even though Goldman Sachs wants to work with the best talent in the market, they are not looking for someone who puts themselves first. Instead, they want to choose such candidates who come across as interesting -- this includes doing something interesting before they apply to Goldman Sachs and what they aspire to achieve if they are hired. 

The engineering division at Goldman Sachs allows candidates to work as quantitative strategists, cyber security experts, software engineers, and systems engineers. The culture of Goldman Sachs has a significant impact on the way interviews are conducted. 

As the recruiters are keen to find out more about the person who’s applied for the job and not just look at the credentials in their resume, be prepared to answer questions such as:

  •  Why do you want to work at Goldman Sachs?
  •  Why are you interested in the division(s) you have applied to?
  •  What makes you different from other candidates?

What Is the Interview Process at Goldman Sachs?

Usually, there are six rounds which include:

One Online Test

This round is conducted on HackerRank. Questions fall under four categories: ‌‌coding,‌ ‌aptitude,‌ ‌advanced‌, and‌ subject-based ‌concepts.‌ You will get negative marks for wrong answers. You are free to choose whether you want to attempt a programming-related problem or a math assessment. You can also pick a programming language of your choice:  C++, Java 7, Java 8, JavaScript, Python 2&3, or Scala. 

Make sure you're familiar with data structures in the programming language you are most comfortable with and can also design simple algorithms on the spot. Typically, it takes about 60 minutes to complete the math assessment and about 120 minutes for programming/coding. 

Once the assessment is over, you can expect to hear an update from the recruiting team within three weeks. Also, check the candidate portal for real-time updates on application status. 

One CoderPad Round

Goldman Sachs interview questions for this round are designed to test coding knowledge. During the coding interview, candidates need to write the code for the given problem and share the screen with the recruiter. 

Typically, this round lasts for one hour, and you can expect one or two questions. As part of your tech Interview prep, start by checking out CoderPad’s Getting Started page. It is a good idea to try out the free demo to further familiarize yourself with how CoderPad works. Since you will have only one shot at CoderPad, it is best to know how the platforms work before D-day.

Three Technical Rounds

There are three challenging technical rounds followed by a technical-cum-HR round. While most of these rounds are conducted face-to-face, things on the ground have changed since the pandemic. In the past few months, Goldman Sachs has conducted these interviews online. 

The first three rounds are each 30-minute long. It starts with 1:1 and moves up to a panel interview. As a software engineer, be prepared to field questions around hashmap implementations, array/string manipulation, and various brain teasers. It also helps to be well-versed with the following concepts:

  • Algorithms
  • Data structures
  • Operating system
  • DBMS
  • Computer networks

Some candidates have had telephonic interviews for the technical rounds. The Goldman Sachs Phone Interview Questions are similar to those asked during a face-to-face round.  Examples include:

  1. What is the difference between abstract classes and interfaces?
  2. What is method hiding?
  3. What is polymorphism?
  4. Which data structure should you use if you have given a repository and multiple rows are retrieved in your process service class, and you are tasked with finding the latest version of the data that is being retrieved out of all rows based on the timestamp in the repository.

Check out these 13 Technical Interview Tips to get hired at FAANG companies.

One Technical-cum-HR Round

The technical-cum-HR round is where you will be asked a variety of behavioral questions. It also helps to be aware of the current events and industry trends.

Some candidates may also have a phone conversation for the first technical round. The questions are mostly designed to test your technical skills and knowledge related to data structures. You can also expect questions on Array List v. Linked List, Equals and Hashcode concept, and Abstraction v. Interface.

Goldman Sachs Tech Interview Questions That You Can Practice 

Cracking Goldman Sachs technical interview is easier said than done. The questions asked will force you to wrack your brains and think outside the box. Here’s a list of commonly asked questions — make sure to attempt each one of these to get more comfortable before D-Day:

Goldman Sachs Tech Interview Questions on Data Structures and Algorithms 

  1. You have a sorted array arr[] of distinct integers. Arrange the elements into a sequence such that arr[1] >= arr[2] <= arr[3] >= arr[4] <= arr[5]..
  2. Find the contiguous subarray within an array, A of length N, which has the largest sum.
  3. What is a linked list, and what are its types? 
  4. Can doubly-linked be implemented using a single pointer variable in every node? 
  5. Given a list of nonnegative integers, arrange them such that they form the largest number. For example:  Given [3, 30, 34, 5, 9], the largest formed number is 9534330.
  6. How will you implement a queue using a stack? 
  7. Can you check if a given Binary Tree is BST or not? 
  8. Given a positive integer n and a string s consisting only of letters D or I, you have to find any permutation of the first n positive integer that satisfies the given input string. D means the next number is smaller, while I means the next number is greater. Note that the length of given string s will always equal to n - 1, and the solution should be in linear time and space. 
  9. Which data structures are used for the BFS and DFS of a graph?
  10. What are Infix, prefix, Postfix notations?
  11. Given an array, find the pivot/position where the left sum of the array is equal to the right sum.
  12. Given an array, find the minimum length sub-array with a given sum.

For more coding problems with solutions, visit the Problems page.

Goldman Sachs Tech Interview Questions on Systems Design

  1. Explain load balancing and why is it important to system design?
  2. Explain the steps of designing a search engine?
  3. Take us through the steps of incorporating microservices into an e-commerce platform?
  4. Can you explain the process of creating a global file-sharing or storage system?
  5. Can you explain the process for creating a chat or messaging system?
  6. Tell me about the type of algorithm you would use to create a newsfeed for a social media website?
  7. What, according to you, are the critical components for designing an e-commerce website?
  8. What are parking lot systems, and how are they designed?
  9. How will you determine the goal and scale of a system?
  10. Can you name some techniques used to stream large amounts of data on or off of a server?

Read these System Design Interview Preparation Tips to crack design interview questions.

Behavioral Interview Questions in Goldman Sachs Tech Interview 

  1. Describe a conflict you had with a colleague in the past. How did you solve the conflict?
  2. Describe a time when you went above and beyond with your customer service.
  3. What does integrity mean to you?
  4. Tell us about an obstacle you overcame.
  5. What are the things that you value the most in a job?
  6. What’s the biggest misconception that your co-workers have about you. And why?
  7. Why would you choose to work at Goldman Sachs?
  8. Tell us about a time when you had to work under very close supervision?
  9. Describe the best manager under which you had to work. What did you learn?
  10. How do you decide how much time is needed for a particular task?

Want to know what behavioral skills are valued at top tech companies? Learn about the 10 Key Behavioral Skills required to land a $500k tech job.

Goldman Sach Tech Interview Questions on Data Analysis 

  1. Given N noodles in a bowl and randomly attaching ends. What is the expected number of loops you will have in the end?
  2. How to remove duplicates without distinct from a database table?
  3. When is the value at risk inappropriate?
  4. What is the Wiener process?
  5. A = [-2 -1] [9 4]. What is A¹⁰⁰⁰?
  6. Write an algorithm for a tree traversal.
  7. Write a program for Levenshtein Distance calculation.
  8. Count the total number of trees in the states.
  9. Define “Data Cleansing.”
  10. Name the best tools used for data analysis.

Goldman Sachs Technical Interview Questions Based on Job Profiles

Here are some of the frequently asked questions when you interview for different job profiles at Goldman Sachs:

Software engineer:

  1. What are verification and validation?
  2.  Name two tools that are used for keeping track of software requirements?
  3. What language do you like to write programming algorithms?
  4. What is mean by software scope?
  5.  How can you measure project execution?
  6. What is cohesion?
  7. What are the various phases of SDLC?
  8. How can we derive the size of the software product?
  9. What is SRS?
  10. What actions are taken during a feasibility study?

Product Manager:

  1. Tell us about your favorite product and what you will change in it.
  2. How do you know if a product is well-designed?
  3. What has made product Y successful?
  4. How do you define success for the products you launched?
  5. Have you worked on system integrations like CRM platforms?
  6. What cross-functional skills do you possess?
  7. Explain and walk me through Design to Engineering of a product.
  8. When you were doing A/B Testing, what specific things would you evaluate?
  9. Have you worked in an agile environment?

                10.  What are your release cycles?

Also, read Google Product Manager Interview Questions to understand the types of questions FAANG companies ask at product managers interviews.

Program Manager:

  1. What’s your experience with program charters?
  2. Do you create a code of ethics to be a better manager?
  3. If two stakeholders provide you with conflicting requirements, how do you determine how to proceed?
  4. How do you properly define and control the goals for each program that you manage?
  5. What’s your tested formula to keep up with industry trends?
  6. Why do projects fail?
  7. Tell me about your risk analysis process.
  8. Talk about your biggest project success and biggest project failure.
  9. Have you ever had to negotiate with a difficult stakeholder? Tell me about the experience.
  10. What is your management style?

Algorithm Engineer:

  1. What is a Hash Table, and what are the average case and worst-case times for each of its operations? Tell me about the way one can use this structure to find all anagrams in a dictionary?
  2. Write the algorithm to reverse a string.
  3. What are Red-Black Trees and B-Trees? What is the best use case for each of them?
  4. Is it possible to implement a Binary search Algorithm without recursion?
  5. You have a set of data intervals represented by StartDate and EndDate. How would you efficiently calculate the longest timespan covered by them? Explain the time complexity.
  6. What is A*, and what are its implementation details?
  7. Explain how divide-and-conquer algorithms work. Discuss a few examples where this approach can be used.
  8. Suppose you need to design a scheduler that to schedule a set of tasks. There are several tasks that need to wait, and other tasks have to be completed before that. What algorithm will you use to design the schedule, and how would you implement it?
  9. What are Divide and Conquer algorithms? Describe how they work.
  10. Explain how insertion sort, quicksort, heap sort, and merge sort work.

Senior Software Engineer: 

  1. What type of approach do you prefer — a microservice approach or a monolithic approach?
  2. What is your approach for doing Unit Testing for your peer’s code?
  3. What is your process to test and find the bugs in the application that you’ve developed?
  4. What factors do you consider when designing inventory management systems?
  5. How do you improve maintainability problems related to legacy code projects?
  6. What would you do to develop and enforce database confidentiality policies?
  7. How will you carry out debugging an entire system of applications?
  8. What kind of instrumentation do you apply to ensure high-performance architecture design?
  9. When would you consider a NoSQL design over an SQL design?
  10. How would you create an SQL database with sharding capabilities for geographical and time-series information?

Check out these 5 Must-Have Qualities you need to become a Senior Software Engineer. 

Front-end Developer:

  1. How do you make the structure of CSS and JavaScript easier to understand for other developers?
  2. What is CSS Rule?
  3. What are HTML meta tags?
  4. What is ReactJS?
  5. Explain the principles of SOLID.
  6. What is meant by user-centered design?
  7. Why should you use jQuery?
  8. Explain how variables differ in CoffeeScript from JavaScript?
  9. How will you optimize the page through front-end technology or code?
  10. Explain the differences between Block, Inline, Box-sizing, and Inline-block?

Backend Developer:

  1. What is the difference between PATCH and PUT?
  2. Explain the difference between design and architecture?
  3. What will you do to find the most expensive queries in an application?
  4. How do you deal with failures in a distributed system?
  5. When would you apply asynchronous communication between two systems?
  6. What is an MVC framework?
  7. How would you manage Web Services API versioning?
  8. Write a program to filter out only the alphabets from the provided Email Address and sort the alphabets. Also, put the sorted alphabets back to the Email Address without changing the positions of other characters.
  9. What is your preferred programming language?
  10. What is your experience with GoTo, and do you prefer structured programming?

Read Back-End Developer Interview Questions for more.

Engineering Manager:

  1. Explain the difference between leadership and management.
  2. How do you structure your one-on-ones?
  3. What is your process of developing the tech leads in your team?
  4. Should code ownership be individual?
  5. What behaviors do successful team members have in common?
  6. What behaviors have you noticed from team members who struggle the most?
  7. According to you, what are the best ways to keep an engineering team motivated?
  8. How do you measure success for your team members?

Goldman Sachs Interview Questions for Freshers 

  1. What is Garbage Collection in Java?
  2. Explain hashCode() and equals() in Java.
  3. Differentiate between StringBuffer and StringBuilder classes in the context of Java.
  4. Explain the difference between an interface and an abstract class in Java?
  5. What are the differences between pointers and reference variables in C++?
  6. Tell us the difference between an interface and an abstract class in Java?
  7. What is a final keyword in Java?

Goldman Sachs Interview Questions for Experienced Professionals

  1. What are different testing concepts? Define unit testing, integration testing, regression testing and explain the need for each one of them.
  2. What is the need for multiple environments for the same application?
  3. If you need to add a particular feature to an application, how will you do it? How will you document it, test it and take it through different environments of the application?
  4. Write the algorithm for a given list of transactions between friends who have to give or take some amount of money from one another. They have to settle up with a minimum number of transactions, and you have to return a list of all the transactions. If B owes A Rs. 200 : B->A = 200. Similarly, if C owes B Rs. 200 : C->B= 200. So the minimum number of transactions is 1, and that should be: C->A = Rs. 200.

Most Unusual Goldman Sachs Technical Interview Questions

Goldman Sachs is notorious for throwing brain teasers your way. Check out some of the common ones that candidates have had to encounter:

  1. What is the angle between the hour and minute hand of a clock at 3.15?
  2. How would you get out if you were shrunk to the size of a pencil and put in a blender?
  3. What's the sum of all the numbers between 1 and 100?

Technical Skills Required for Cracking Goldman Sachs Technical Interview Questions

Engineers working at Goldman Sachs are considered world-class innovators and problem-solvers. The team is looking for creative collaborators who possess the necessary skills to evolve, adapt to change, and thrive in a fast-paced global environment.

According to the Goldman Sachs website, the following technical skills are highly prized in any software engineer or software developer who aspires to work for the company:

  • Strong fundamentals in distributed systems, databases
  • Design and analysis of algorithms
  • Implementation of programming languages and run-time systems
  • Knowledge of finance, stochastic calculus, and financial models is a bonus. 

The questions above must have already given you a sense of just how challenging and grueling Goldman Sachs interviews are.  To crack Goldman Sachs testing interview questions, you must have an in-depth knowledge of the concepts and be prepared to handle every oddball thrown your way. 

But here’s some good news — Interview Kickstart can help you take your tech interview prep to the next level. IK provides an opportunity to practice mock interviews with tech leads and hiring managers from FAANG and other Tier-1 tech companies, so you get a taste of what to expect when you appear for the real deal. 

Eager to know more? Sign up for our FREE webinar on How to Nail Tech Interviews.

How to Prepare for Goldman Sachs Technical Interview

Here are some golden tips for holding you in good stead:

  • Get ready to share your experiences and demonstrate your abilities, especially in leadership, teamwork, and academic achievements.
  • Practice coding problems and time yourself well to enhance your problem-solving skills.
  • Have a positive outlook.
  • Learn everything you can about the possible questions you may be asked during the interviews and schedule mock interview sessions. 
  • Show off your potential to the recruiters and back it up with examples from your life as much as you can. 
  • There’s no substitute for research. As the recruiters at Goldman Sachs note, “You should be ready to discuss why you are interested in the industry, locations, and divisions you have selected.”

How to Stand Out in Goldman Sachs Interviews? 

A common mistake is not highlighting your achievements. A resume is not the only indicator -- you need to speak about your role, responsibilities, and what you learned from that experience. As a firm, Goldman Sachs wants you to make an impact right from the beginning of your career. So they are equally keen to hear that you have created an impact in the past.  

It is also worthwhile to remember that there’s nothing called an ideal career path. Every single action you take -- starting right from choosing an opportunity, doing your research, scheduling, and practicing mock interviews -- everything counts towards your success. 

Candidates also fail to demonstrate enough knowledge about the position they have applied for. While you don’t have to know every detail, you should show a genuine interest in the work. So keep checking the company website to stay updated on the current events relevant to your industry. Lastly, keep the answers concise and relevant and always highlight your strengths as a candidate to convince the recruiters that you're right for the job. 

Questions you can ask the interviewer:

  1. Is there an apprenticeship culture at Goldman Sachs? How do you pair junior members with seasoned professionals?
  2. What are my ongoing learning opportunities at Goldman Sachs?
  3. Who will I be working most closely with?

FAQs on Goldman Sachs Technical Interviews

1. What are the programming languages in which I can take the CoderPad assessment?

You have an option to choose from a variety of programming languages, including C++, C, Java, JavaScript, Perl, Python, and Scala, among others. Always pick one that you are most comfortable with. 

2. Do I need to attach academic transcripts with my application?

Mandatory academic transcripts are only required if you come from the following countries/have completed your education from Germany/Austria/Switzerland (university and high school grade transcripts and letters of reference), Italy (university and high school grade transcripts), Spain/Portugal/Denmark/Sweden/Finland/Norway/Netherlands (university grade transcripts), or New Zealand/Australia (university academic transcript and transcripts detailing completed university courses).

3.  As Goldman Sachs is an investment bank, should I apply even if I don’t have a background or knowledge of finance?

Goldman Sachs actively seeks to hire talented people from all academic disciplines. So knowledge of finance is an added advantage, not a strict requirement for engineering candidates. 

4. How many interview rounds does Goldman Sachs conduct for engineering candidates?

Usually, there are six rounds,, including an online screening test, a coding challenge, and multiple technical and HR rounds.

5. What are the important coding concepts for Goldman Sachs technical interview?

Here’s a list of concepts you should practice: Arrays, Strings, Linked Lists, Recursion, Sorting algorithms, Trees, and Dynamic Programming, Most of the coding interview questions are based on data structures and algorithmic concepts.

Nail Your Next Tech Interview

If you want to get started with your interview prep and wish to give it your best shot, register for Interview Kickstart’s FREE webinar to understand the best way to prepare for tech interviews at the biggest companies. 

IK is the gold standard in tech interview prep. Our programs include a comprehensive curriculum, unmatched teaching methods, FAANG+ instructors, and career coaching to help you nail your next tech interview.

We’ve trained thousands of engineers to land dream offers at the biggest companies, including Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, and Netflix, among others. Check out some reviews to know more.

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