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Goldman Sachs Career Quiz

Would you make the cut ?

How it works:

Answer a few questions – all multiple choice with no wrong answers. The questions will ask you about your educational background, as well as how you approach challenges and solve problems.

You will not need to provide your name, as this isn’t an application for employment.

Based on your answers, the firm will suggest a short list of Goldman Sachs divisions that may suit your skills and interests.

Goldman Sachs Career Quiz

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U.K. Finance Industry To Cut 43,000 Jobs As Grads Shun Sector

The U.K.’s financial industry will lose 43,000 jobs in six months, according to a forecast from the Confederation of British Industry, as companies shrink and reduce costs.

Banks, insurers, asset managers and other finance firms probably cut 25,000 positions in the last three months of 2012 and may eliminate 18,000 jobs in the first quarter of this year, according to a study by Britain’s biggest business lobby group and PriceWaterhouseCoopers, published Monday.

Global cuts at financial firms have exceeded 115,000 since 2012 as they seek to control compensation expenses and retreat from capital-intensive businesses, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The cuts in the U.K. industry will mean about 132,000 financial-services jobs have been lost since the peak in the final quarter of 2008, when it employed about 1 million people, the CBI said.

In addition to firings, bankers have been retiring earlier and younger would-be recruits are shunning finance for less-tainted industries, said Burrowes.

For young professionals, ‘it’s not an attractive place to go’, he said. Banking and capital markets at his firm, PwC, ‘is not a sector they’re attracted to any longer’, Kevin Burrowes, U.K. financial-services leader at PwC,  said. ‘It used to be our most popular sector’.

Check out the original article over at Bloomberg.


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The Most Difficult Interview Questions You’re Likely To Be Asked On Wall Street

Wall Street is rude, it’s crude and it will eat you alive. Interviewing for a job on Wall Street is no different.

By: Cindy Perman. CNBC.com Staff Writer

It’s not a meet-and-greet tell-me-about this job or that experience. It’s more like a punch in the face. They’ll ask you hard questions, maybe inappropriate questions — all to see if you’re going to be able to run with the big dogs — or if you need to get your behind back on the porch.

‘They’re looking for how you handle pressure. How you think on your feet. Are you the brightest of the bright ? Are you a natural leader ?’ said Jeanne Branthover, head of global financial services at Boyden Global Executive Search.

Wall Street Oasis, a job-search site for financial careers, recently pinged readers for the hardest questions they were ever asked on an interview for Wall Street. The answers included such zingers as:

‘You’re going to be working 110 hours a week here. Can you even handle that ?’

‘Why don’t you have any offers yet ? What’s wrong with you ?’

‘What single word would you use to describe yourself so I don’t walk out of here and forget you ?’ (Good answer: Unforgettable!)

‘What line on your resume is the most bull**** ?’

‘Do you view this as your dream career ?’ If you answer yes, ‘If in two years, you receive an offer for more money on the buyside, will you turn it down because this is your dream career ?’

In an interview for a Goldman Sachs analyst position, the interviewer asked: ‘If you were shrunk to the size of a pencil and put in a blender, how would you get out ?’

‘What’s your outlook for cucumber prices over the course of 2012 ?’

In an interview where there were two interviewers, the one who was supposed to be the silent No. 2 asked just one question: ‘Are you trying to f*** us over ?’ The kid froze, the interviewer wrote in a comment on WallStreetOasis.com. The No. 1 interviewer jumped in: ‘Why didn’t you just say no ?!’

‘If I told you that the only way you were going to get this job is if you let me sleep with your girlfriend, would you accept ?’

When it comes to analytical questions like ‘What’s your outlook for cucumber prices ?’ or ‘How many tennis balls could you fit in this room ?’, it’s not about the answer.

‘It doesn’t mean you have the right answer — they’re trying to see how your thought process works’, Branthover said.

The kiss-of-death answer to any of these questions is ‘I don’t know’.

‘You answer ‘I don’t know’ and that will get you out the door!’, Branthover said.

Some of the other questions she said her clients have been asked include:

If you could choose, what brand would you like to be and why ?

How many balls would it take to fill Central Park ?

Have you ever cheated on your partner ?

Did you ever tell a secret you promised to keep ?

What is the biggest lie you’ve told — to whom and why ?

Tell me, how would you go about killing a crocodile ?

Questions for Wall Street jobs have always been tougher than those for most jobs, Branthover said, but they’ve gotten even tougher since the financial crisis.

‘They want to know if you can really be a leader in tough times’, Branthover said. A lot of these leaders hadn’t been tested on that before the financial crisis. They survived and now they want to know — can you ?

So, they may ask you questions like ‘What was one of the toughest decisions you had to make ?’ or ‘What was the hardest environment you’ve ever worked in ?’. Then, they’ll want to know what you did to solve the problem, get through the tough situation — and what you might do differently today.

Plus, with all the layoffs on Wall Street, there are fewer people to do all the work, meaning they really want the best of the best, the brightest of the bright.

When it comes to the inappropriate questions like sleeping with your girlfriend and cheating on your partner — the kind that would get the red light flashing in human resources at most companies — it’s about seeing if you can handle how brutal Wall Street can be.

‘They’re trying to divide the men from the boys and the girls from the women’, Branthover said. ‘If you have soft skin, you’re not cut out for investment banking’.

They’re going to poke you with a stick and see how you react.

‘They want to see that you’re not rattled by rudeness; that you stay on your feet and don’t look shocked’, Branthover said.

You don’t have to answer ‘Yes, you can sleep with my girlfriend’ — you just have to not look shocked and have a quick comeback.

A good answer one person posted on Wall Street Oasis was: I’ve been with my girlfriend a long time and plan to marry her. If you so much as kiss her neck, I’d (bleeping]) knock you out. That being said, I have a beautiful sister I’d be happy to hook you up with …

And that, my friend, is a lesson in how deals get done on Wall Street!

 

You can find the original article at CNBC, or it was also re-produced over at Here is the City.


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10 things to consider before leaving IT for the end business

If you’re hoping to climb the ladder on the business side of your organization, be sure to ask yourself these questions before saying goodbye to IT.

If you are employed in any enterprise where IT is not the end business, you will find IT is a support function. There’s nothing wrong with making an IT career in companies like this — unless you aspire to be the CEO. Companies almost always look for someone with experience in sales or in a line of business to fill that role. That’s why many IT’ers who have enterprise CEO aspirations decide to leave IT for a functional area that is considered strategic to the business.

But not so fast. Before you make the decision to leave IT, here are 10 things you should ask yourself:

1: Am I going to like being on the business side?

Once you make the transition from IT to a business area, your workload is going to change. There isn’t as much difference between IT and the end business if you are making a transfer into engineering. But if your new area is a product line for a heavy equipment manufacturer or sales or marketing for a retailer or card services for a bank, the difference will be huge. If possible, you should gain as much familiarity with your “target area” of the business as you can before you make the leap. Talk to others who are in that business area and learn everything you can about it. Most important, think about that area of the business and yourself. Can you see yourself there — and do you think you will be happy?

2: Am I going to be able to leave IT alone?

Often, the first thing a welcoming business area does with a new employee from IT is to put that person in charge of technology for the department. This can be a good thing, because it allows you (as a new business employee) to establish a worth and a credibility in your new department. However, it can also be detrimental if you 1) find yourself “stuck” in departmental IT so that you don’t get to learn the end business like you wanted to or 2) find yourself naturally gravitating to all the department’s IT projects because deep down, you really like IT better. You won’t meet your business career objectives if you step into any of these sand traps.

3: Do I have the business savvy?

The best business people have a natural savvy about how successful businesses work, and they don’t get sidetracked by the many incidental things that can come up during the day. They can also see the big picture of what the business must accomplish. By nature, IT folks are highly analytical and detail-oriented. Before making an IT-to-end-business move, assess yourself and your natural talents. Will you be able to focus on the business first — even if this runs counter to IT thinking?

4: Will moving to the end business hurt my career if I decide to rejoin IT?

Not necessarily. If you develop in-depth expertise on the business side, you can often find a path back into IT as a business analyst (always in short supply). However, if your IT skillset is highly technical in nature, you will find it more difficult to reenter IT the longer you stay away from it. The rule of thumb here is: If you make a move to the end business and decide to switch back to IT, do it as quickly as you can. This leaves less time for your skills to erode, and it usually is understandable to both the business and IT if a relatively new assignment just doesn’t work out.

5: Am I a “cyclical” or a “project-oriented” person?

I remember once walking to work with an accountant friend. She told me that one of the things she really liked about her job was that she knew exactly what she was going to be doing every day of the week. There are many people like this. They want an office life that is predictable. But if you’re in IT, life is anything but predictable! A system can crash or there might be an immediate need to provision a new server. IT professionals thrive on change and a constant stream of new projects. How do you like to work? This is a crucial question to ask yourself, because if you like the constant change of projects in IT, a more cyclical function (like accounting) — where you repeatedly do the same things daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly — might not be able to contain you.

6: Do I have the communications, political, and people skills?

One of the nice things about IT or engineering is that the people who work in these disciplines tend to be “thing” oriented, and less political. The downside of this is that IT folks often come up short in interpersonal and communications skills. These skills (as well as the politics) are important in most end business areas. If you don’t feel that you can do well in these areas, you might be best served to remain in a discipline like IT or engineering.

7: Can I think non-logically?

Areas like engineering and IT rely on logical and deductive thought processes to solve what in many cases are mathematical problems. But if you’re in a business area like sales or marketing, the emotional content of what people are saying and thinking becomes highly important. Intuition and creativity also count. This is in sharp contrast to the way IT thinks and works-so it is a good idea to assess how strong you are in the alternate forms of thinking before making a career change.

8: Can I handle open-ended situations?

IT’ers like clearly defined situations where something either works or it doesn’t. This is natural when the majority of your work life is in projects with tight deadlines that require rapid problem resolution. However, this mode of work can be different in other business areas, where decision-making can take longer and the work is more cyclical in nature and less project (and goal) oriented. Some IT’ers find this difficult to adjust to. You should ask yourself how well you do in a less defined and decision-oriented environment before deciding to make a change.

9: How committed am I really to a career in business?

Many IT’ers find that they really miss IT after they leave it. Unless you have an arrangement with your company that you are going over to a business area for a specific period of time (to enhance your business background) and that you will return to IT, you should be absolutely confident that a long-term career in business is what you really want.

10: Does the company really have an opportunity for me?

If your primary reason for switching to the business side of the enterprise is for long-term career advancement in the company, do all your due diligence up front before you make the move. Several years ago, a colleague of mine who was managing IT wanted to transition to the business side of the community bank he was working at because his ultimate goal was to be the bank’s CEO. He spent time in the bank’s branch system and ran the loan department. Today, he is the CEO — but he had a clear-cut goal in mind and had met with other bank officials to discuss the feasibility of this career path.

Credit to the guys and girls at TechRepublic for the original article.


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7 Easy Steps To Ensure You Bounce Back After Getting Laid Off

‘In my 30 years working I have had two extended periods ‘between jobs’, and I learned some valuable lessons along the way that I’d like to share with you.

Both occasions I’ve been out of work have been in the last 10 years, and my personal experience of each was rather different.

Being between gigs is more common these days than it once was, of course. I’d been made redundant twice before many years ago, but fortunately ended up falling straight into another job.

 The first time I found myself without work, I didn’t manage things that well, and I’ll admit to showing early signs of depression after six-months or so on the lookout. I self-medicated with St John’s Wort, as I wanted to avoid the what I perceived to be the stigma of having to admit to being treated for depression.

In retrospect, I was rather one-dimensional in how I went about finding a new position. My idea of networking was to call a few friends and, after that failed, I quickly gave up. I tended to rely upon internet job sites, and spent a lot of time scouring email job lists. You can probably imagine how the seeds of depression quickly took root; it was all about rejection, helplessness, futility and little support.

I have to say, however (and with no little pride), that my most recent experience between jobs proved to be very different, and resulted in a positive outcome much more quickly. Here’s what I’ve learned from my experiences:

1. Be open in your attitude to opportunities.

It’s easy to define your potential just in terms of the roles you have undertaken, eg ‘I used to be a (enter last job title), so that’s what I need to look for now’. Look at your skills and strengths and see how they can apply to related opportunities. You don’t need to attempt to change career, but you may benefit if you widen your thinking. Even if someone offers you something you don’t want, listen and steer it around to explore opportunities you do.

2. Have a half page CV

The quality of my CV has ebbed and flowed. I recently realised that continual customisation (to fit it to each opportunity) had left it rather flabby, with key information being relegated too far back. You don’t really have a have two or three page CV any more, but rather a half page document with other information attached. As recruiters have less and less time to review resumes, if you don’t make the right impression with the right information in the first few lines, then you will likely miss out.

3. Be aware of and develop your brand

This sounds simple, but can be hard work. Here’s a few tips:

Get a decent email address; foxy@hotmail.com is wrong in so many ways!

Put a sensible voicemail greeting on your phone

Have some professional-looking personal cards printed – they aren’t expensive

Think about blogging

Build an effective profile on Linkedin and other networking and recruitment sites

Contribute to relevant discussions and forums demonstrating your knowledge and approach

4. Be sure to invest in your own future

Take time to build your knowledge and influence

Develop key network contacts, by meeting them for lunch or after work

Join discussion groups, especially ones you can get to physically, but also online gatherings in areas where you either already have expertise or want to develop it. It is amazing what rubs off just through mixing with experts

5. ‘No’ is only the end if you let it be

Most people want to help and don’t like saying ‘No’ to someone in need. This means that they probably want to say ‘Yes’ to your next request. This could be asking for any other good contacts, permission to contact them again at some point, feedback on your CV, etc.

Judge the right time to make contact again, though. Reach out too frequently, and you can exhaust their goodwill; too seldom and you may well have been forgotten.

6. Karma works

This is a rather personal belief, but if in my efforts to find a role I spotted an opportunity to help someone else, then I always did so. I expected nothing in return, but believed it would make it more likely that someone else would help me along the way. Of course when it worked, it also strengthened my network – which is no bad thing.

7. Keep smiling, even when it hurts

If it looks as if you’ve lost faith in yourself, why should others invest in you ? Keeps smiling, continue to take care about how you dress, and behave. We all have down times, but when you do, be careful. Spend it with close friends who know you and who may be able to lift you.

In summary, I may have been lucky second time around, but then again maybe I made my own luck. Looking back, I do think that I embraced all seven of these ideas more positively second time around and it helped…. a lot’.

 

This article was re-produced, you can read the original over at Here Is The City.


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Agile Careers

If you’re a software developer looking for work then this news might be of interest to you. The Scrum Alliance have announced their partnership with Agile Careers; a careers website aimed at agile practitioners.

 

AgileCareers.com is the only careers website dedicated exclusively to the needs of the Agile community, offering job posting and resume services as well as an interactive community which broadcasts news articles and information relevant to Agile and Scrum practitioners.

This partnership provides Scrum Alliance members (i.e. certified Scrum practitioners) with valuable benefits:

  • Scrum Alliance members seeking new employees can post open positions on AgileCareers.com with the confidence they will be viewed by Agile and Scrum enthusiasts worldwide.
  • Scrum Alliance members seeking new Agile career opportunities have greater visibility into potential positions with companies who desire Agile and Scrum expertise. Visit AgileCareers.com to post your résumé.

To celebrate our new partnership, AgileCareers.com is offering free postings for a limited time. After that, Scrum Alliance members will enjoy ongoing discounts for all AgileCareers.com job posting services.

Check it out and let me know what you think?


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5 Reasons Why UK Graduates are Moving Away From Careers in Banking & Finance

This article has been re-produced. The original author was William Frierson.

Times are tough with the economy all round, but the financial services industry appears to be having a torrid time. Financial scandals coupled with changing business models have wreaked havoc with bottom lines during this prolonged downturn.

And issues like these have resulted in many graduates, who previously were keen to earn big money and work in ‘the City’, deciding that their futures lay elsewhere.

Here’s 5 key reasons why UK graduates are increasingly giving a career in financial services a wide berth:

1. Job security – the economic outlook and regulatory and capital pressures have significantly impacted revenues in this sector. Job security (or the lack of it) is a significant negative factor when considering a career in financial services.

2. Financial reward – where once a career in banking & finance was seen as a quick way to riches and early retirement, this is no longer the case. Political pressure and demands to achieve a better balance between employee reward and shareholder value has meant that compensation ratios have come down (and will fall further).

3. Work / Life Balance – always known as an industry that works employees hard, job insecurity has resulted in employees having to put in even more hours to try and justify their existence. In addition, cuts in headcount increasingly means that workloads have increased for those who remain.

4. Stigma – five years on from the start of the financial crisis, bankers in particular are held in very low regard. Where once a young professional was proud to show off a business card that confirmed he / she worked at a large financial institution, that is no more. Scandal has followed scandal, and there appears to be no let-up.

5. Uncertain environment – with the industry under a microscope like never before, and in the midst of a significant economic downturn fraught with further political uncertainties (the break-up of the Euro, the stability of Greece and other European countries, etc), the future shape of the financial services industry is now in question. Likely to go through significant structural change over the coming years, it is difficult to see how a career in this sector will unfold.

William Frierson is a staff writer for CollegeRecruiter.com, a leading job board for college students who are searching for internships and recent graduates who are hunting for entry-level jobs and other career opportunities