Courtesy of Citi
- We asked the HR heads at top finance firms like Bank of America, Citi, and Morgan Stanley how to win a spot there — and how to succeed once you do.
- Bank of America looks for good judgment in job candidates.
- Point72 encourages proactivity. If you’re feeling unfulfilled, don’t wait for challenges to come to you.
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Prestigious firms like Citi and Goldman Sachs are notoriously difficult to break into.
Everyone knows you’ve got to be smart, competent, and ambitious — but what else will help you stand out among a sea of talented applicants… and what will catapult you to success once you’re there?
To find out, we tapped the HR chiefs at top finance companies like Bank of America, BlackRock, and Morgan Stanley. These folks are the final gatekeepers when it comes to recruiting, hiring, and granting promotions.
Read on for their best advice on nailing the job interview, leading with humility, and what to do when you’re stuck in a rut.
Dan DeFrancesco, Meghan Morris, and Bradley Saacks contributed reporting.
Dane Holmes, global head of human capital management at Goldman Sachs
Courtesy of Goldman Sachs
The skills you need to work at Goldman Sachs
Curiosity and drive. We need people who are committed to growing and learning, and curiosity is critical to that. Effort can’t overcome anything, but effort + talent = excellence. These characteristics maximize our impact for our clients, our communities, and our people.
His best advice for new managers
Lead with humility. Humility is not synonymous with meekness, but rather rooted in confidence. Humble leaders make their people feel welcomed, appreciated, and empowered.
Demonstrating humility means both recognizing and openly expressing your weaknesses (in corporate speak we say "areas of development") and building a team that offsets your shortcomings. Teams want to be led by a real person — not a corporate cutout.
Jeff Brodsky, chief human resources officer at Morgan Stanley
Noam Galai/Getty Images
The question you’ll have to answer if you interview with him
Tell me about a time you took a contrarian viewpoint and convinced a large group to approach a problem in a different way.
The best question he was ever asked as a job candidate
Walk me through the most challenging conversation you had with a high-performing team member that you were directly managing. Knowing what you know now, how would you have handled it differently?
Paige Ross, global head of human resources at Blackstone
Courtesy of Blackstone
The mindset you need to work at Blackstone
We pride ourselves on maintaining our entrepreneurial culture and want people who share that mindset.
The best way to get noticed and promoted, besides working hard
We want people who are nice and willing to collaborate. We want our people to enjoy working together. It is important to find ways to network across the various businesses and collaborate with groups across the firm.
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