Ask the Engineering Recruiter – Experienced Professional Edition

Sugandha is a vice president in our Human Capital Management Division in Bengaluru, India and focuses on recruiting experienced professionals for engineering roles at Goldman Sachs.  We sat down with her and asked her to share some advice and insights for professionals who are considering a career with the firm.

How does Goldman Sachs define "engineering" as it relates to roles at the firm?
Engineering roles at Goldman Sachs involve building solutions to complex business problems using technical and quantitative skills. Engineering involves creating transformational technologies and developing systems that help drive business and financial markets globally. Engineering, which is comprised of our Technology Division and global strategists groups, requires innovative strategic thinking and immediate, real solutions. We look for technical expertise combined with creativity and ability to collaborate, adapt to change and contribute within a fast-paced global environment.

What opportunities are there for engineers at Goldman Sachs?
Our engineers are fundamental to the success of the firm as they work across different businesses—from automated trading, to managing data, and writing models used for high-end analytics that influence decision making within the firm. The engineers here use their technical and quantitative skills to create financial products, advise clients on transactions, measure risk, identify market opportunities and design and develop sophisticated software and systems.

What skills are you looking for when hiring for engineering roles?
We seek candidates with an academic background in Math, Physics, Computer Science or any other quantitative field. We focus on problem-solving skills and programming aptitude. While we don’t ask for expertise in specific programming languages, we do look for the ability to code and the aptitude to pick up new coding languages.

Many candidates with professional experience assume that a background in finance is a pre-requisite for an engineering role at Goldman Sachs. We are looking for talent with strong technical and quantitative skills with an interest in finance. While prior finance experience is helpful, it is not a requirement.

What is it like to interview for engineering roles?
At Goldman Sachs, we are looking for best-in-class engineering talent. An applicant’s coding skills are evaluated through tests on online web platforms or a live programming scenario. While the coding evaluation platforms provide us with objective evaluation of an applicant’s coding expertise, we have a structured interview process to evaluate the depth of an applicant’s skill and other competencies.

As a recruiter, how do you help match a candidate's skills to a role?
As recruiters, we like to provide detailed information to prospective candidates on available positions to check the best fit based on their interests and skills. For example, an applicant from a technology firm with machine learning background would likely be most suitable for a role involving creation of data-driven solutions using analytics. Someone with a background in developing new agency solutions would be suitable for a platform developer role in the Technology Division.

What are the big trends in the industry and how do they relate to opportunities at Goldman Sachs?
The financial services industry is changing rapidly and the ecosystem within the firm provides unprecedented opportunity to apply big data and machine learning techniques to everyday business activities. Streamlining and speeding up processes via automation is part of the innovation in the Fintech space, which has created many opportunities for Goldman Sachs engineers to use technology for gains in efficiency. We are also leveraging open source software for our technology needs, which has enabled greater collaboration with the programming community.

How can prospective applicants learn about Goldman Sachs engineering opportunities?
Goldman Sachs provides several resources to learn all about our engineering opportunities. Our careers website is a good place for an applicant to begin their search of open positions. Candidates could also speak to Goldman Sachs employees in their network or use social networks such as LinkedIn to get introduced to a recruiter at the firm. The engineering teams frequently attend technology conferences and industry events where interested candidates could network to learn more about engineering opportunities at the firm.

What interview advice would you give prospective candidates?
We evaluate the thought process and approach that a candidate adopts to get to a solution rather than focusing on the solution. My advice is to revisit the fundamentals of computer science courses taken in college and leverage online materials to practice problem solving.