Edith Cooper

At Goldman Sachs, tricky brainteaser interview questions may be a thing of the past.

“We’ve recently done a fair amount of work really thinking about the questions that people are asking,” Edith Cooper, executive vice president and global head of Human Capital Management at Goldman Sachs, tells Business Insider. “And we do that because we want to make sure that we are as objective and as thorough as possible in assessing candidates.”

Cooper, who has interviewed thousands of job candidates during her tenure at Goldman Sachs, says overhauling the investment banking firm’s interview questions is especially important given its focus on expanding the breadth of candidates that it’s interviewing.

“It’s interesting to see how people work through and use logic, but what we’ve also found is that brainteasers may not be the best way to assess someone’s judgement, someone’s integrity,” she says.

This isn’t to say the interview process will become that much easier. As interviewees report on Glassdoor, candidates need to prove they have the skills, experience, and motivation to thrive at the global investment banking firm and that they’re a good cultural fit. But Cooper says the questions Goldman Sachs will ask to probe these qualities will be more structured going forward.

Candidates can expect more broad questions, she says. “We’re going to ask questions that will give us some insight into the way that you think. We want to learn about your experiences, and experiences that have put you in an uncomfortable situation where things are new and different and you’ve got to get comfortable being uncomfortable,” Cooper says.

Given the breadth of candidates Goldman Sachs is trying to hire, she says that it’s not uncommon to interview candidates that don’t come from a finance background and rather come from fields like science, math, technology, and engineering. Still, these candidates should be able to answer questions like, “Why are you interested in finance?” and “Why do you think this job will really leverage your skills?”

“It is important when you’re looking at working at a financial services firm, particularly if you’re focused on interviewing for a job in finance, to understand what the underlying markets in the business are. It comes down to doing your homework,” Cooper says.

Check out the full interview below:

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