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Goldman Sachs Will Move Interviews Online, Cutting On-Campus Program

By Brandon J. Dixon, Crimson Staff Writer

UPDATED: July 1, 2016, at 10:00 a.m.

For Harvard students seeking a career at Goldman Sachs, the Office of Career Services’ On-Campus Interview program has long been the pathway to follow. But now that path is being cut, with Goldman Sachs taking the process in-house and online.

Starting Friday, undergraduates seeking a summer analyst or full-time position at the renowned investment bank will go through a revamped interview process, according to Leslie Shribman, the company’s vice president of media relations.

After evaluating written applications submitted online, Goldman Sachs will ask select applicants to participate in pre-recorded video interviews. If the company is still interested in the candidate, the candidate will then be invited to a physical interview.

In addition, Goldman Sachs is making significant changes to the content of their interview questions, which Shribman said will follow “a more structured format going forward.”

“Questions will assess a standardized set of characteristics to increase consistency in the evaluation process and help us make more data-driven decisions in our hiring,” Shribman wrote in an email.

Furthermore, applications for both summer and full-time positions will be reviewed on a “rolling basis” throughout the remainder of the summer and school year, Shribman wrote.

“The flexible timeline gives students the option to start the application process when they are ready,” Shribman wrote in an email. “Students can interview whenever and wherever they would like, without disrupting their school day.”

The change in recruitment policy may have been a decision made to help lower attrition rates among entry-level hires—a problem Wall Street firms have been grappling with in recent years. In 2015, the average tenure for junior bankers at a dozen major banks was just under 18 months, down from a more than two-and-a-half year average tenure in 1996, according to the Wall Street Journal.

This data reflects a generational trend of lower workplace loyalty, according to Deborah A. Carroll, associate director of employer relations at OCS.

Goldman also expects the change to draw a larger field of applicants this year.

“We are always looking for ways to broaden our reach to applicants while increasing efficiency for our candidates and businesses,” Shribman wrote. “Shifting from on-campus interviews to pre-recorded video interviewing significantly increases the number of applicants we’re able to invite to the interview process.”

According to Carroll, the switch to a video interview is not without precedent. Particularly with companies based on the west coast like Amazon, video interviews have become common because of the challenges—both for employers and students—in traveling far distances.

As such, OCS has equipped itself in recent years with resources to support students going through new recruitment processes. An online tool dubbed “InterviewStream” allows students to submit pre-recorded videos to advisers at OCS, who can then review the submissions and offer critique. A similar tool called HireVue will be used to submit video interviews to Goldman Sachs, according to Shribman.

Before the change, Goldman Sachs had long been among a number of banks who participate in Harvard’s On-Campus Interview program. The program connects students with employers, and allows companies to send representatives to the College to conduct initial interviews with prospective candidates.

The process exists to help facilitate what can be a strenuous process. Banks and other companies that participate in the program agree to OCS guidelines that seek to protect students from aggressive hiring practices and interference to their academic schedules.

This past year, however, some firms circumvented the On-Campus Interview program and moved application deadlines earlier in the year, creating logistical challenges for students.

Currently, 20 percent of undergraduate students participate in the On-Campus Interview program, according to Carroll.

CORRECTION: July 1, 2016

A previous version of this article incorrectly spelled the last name of Leslie Shribman.

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