Goldman Sex Interview
I am genuinely confused as what kind of people work at Goldman Sachs! By the manner of the interview, I feel that on their lonely nights their browsers must be hitting urls with gang and bang as substrings in them. Alright, so here is what happened interviewing with them — 6 interviewers on one side in round robin against me.
The interview starts in a classic good-cop-bad-cop scenario. Me vs 2 interviewers:
Bad cop: So you must have learnt tree algorithms.
Bad cop: I want you to find me one of two given elements in a tree.
Me: Okay, Is it a binary search tree?
Bad cop (After a 10 second thoughtful pause): Did I tell you it was a binary search tree? You don’t need to assume anything I did not say.
Me (wondering what tree algorithms has he discovered for this): Okay, fine. One really need to be lucky to find the element quick…
… We have a discussion on BFS vs DFS, I write some neat code…
Bad cop: What gives you orgasms?
Me: ??? uhh… Did you mean …?
Bad cop (acting cool): Yeah, like which part of coding gives you orgasms?
Good cop (immediately follows up): Hey, what he means to say is that do you like to do low level coding like OS and threads and optimization with less variables etc. Or you like at python level with math APIs etc.
Me (with a fuck-you expression): Uhhh… It was indeed a very clear question. I like …
After a swap of interviewers there comes a middle aged elegantly dressed lady with a punk who probably had no clue about any theoretical branch of cs. They go for the projects:
Sadly, the punk picked up my victory in an AI game-playing bot competition for a board game almost like connect-4. (It’s a pretty interesting game)
After explaining to him an algorithm called mini-max (which was fairly new to him), and the tricky heuristic…
punk: You know what I did not get an intuition that this can work.
I could see it in his eyes that he did not understand a thing about the mini-max, and he was claiming his intuition over the heuristic which was quite tricky to understand in 5 mins. He spits a few more stupid things like “Explain to me how are you actually predicting the future of your move”.
He totally looked like the self-claimed-theoretical-physicist who deeply puts a daily, hour long meditation on discovering “what is meant by time squared in acceleration!”
Luckily, The lady popped in with an intense sudden curiosity over another project of mine: Histogram normalization (At hardware level). I do not blame her for her discerning question — “So tell me, how does this technique actually enhance pictures”.
I told her the idea of increasing contrast and drew a histogram. It could have been dumbbell shaped, or of a random shape; And for no particular reason I made it a hill shaped one, and I went on explaining how the histogram is been flattene…
In the middle of my moment, With an intense visual orgasm and she screams: “Ohh which distribution is thatttt?”.
I tell her that its a histogram. It has nothing to do with any distribution. It could have been just anything — 1 hill, 2 hills, 10 hills (or boob shaped with nipples on top).
Sometimes I wonder why did GOD give women the boon of multiple orgasms. Her thirst wasn’t satisfied and she screamed the same question again; this time sweetly, with adorable hopeful eyes and slow drooping eyelids… That focussed gaze felt like intensely signalling me to give her that tingle.
The punk brain-farted too with repeated pounding of his pen over the innocent histogram as if saying: “She is asking about the distribution. Give her the damn distribution… give it to her…”
I had no choice! I said it “All right that accidentally looks like a normal distribution”. And her muscles got a deep sigh of relaxation all over her face…(maybe elsewhere too) and she moaned “Ahh! That feels right”. It was a relief for me too, except the next part of the discussion had nothing to do with my normalization, but was all about normal distributions and what coordinate of the curve has 5% of the area and such mathy facts over it!
(I understood something very deeply — What gives a GS lady an orgasm!)
This was the last round of the interview and this time they sent in the big boss with a pawn. Dismissing the pawn with a hand signal as if punishing his 2 second late entry, he starts reading my resume…
“So, — — — , The hacker of — — — … backdoor in campus network. Torrents…”
Me: Are u pretending to read my resume sir?
big boss: I have all information about you right here with me! Surprised! Eh! We were looking for you since morning. Anyways, Who taught you algorithms?
Me: Sandeep Sen Sir
big boss: Ohh he is still there, Did he teach you how to find the k largest element from an array.
Me: I tell him about the probabilistic method… and in half way, he takes control.
big boss explains to me with diagrams the alternate median of medians algorithm. I have to say that the diagrams were perfectly similar to the ones used by the professor in his lecture (BUT, he taught both the algorithms for the task!). Finally he says: “You didn’t see this in the lectures; This is awesome man, I still remember this!”
I wondered if I was supposed to pump his ego about his sharp memory! Lack of dopamine made me skip that stunt.
Me: Yes, I understand, But, I kind of liked the probabilistic algorithm better, as its easier to code and explain and they have same complexities.
Big boss (murmuring to himself): This algorithm is awesome man! It guarantees linear time.
I was frustrated. Because I had an intense desire to laugh my heart out on them, But I was on the other side of the table!
The rest of the interview was about puzzles, and I solved a couple and got my ass kicked into a final tricky puzzle, which he believed to be an algorithms question.
Obviously I wasn’t selected :D