For the initial stage I submitted a CV & Cover Letter. From what I've learnt, these firms really don't expect you to know a ridiculous amount for Spring Weeks as you're literally first year students. With that being said, it never hurts to be prepared. Learn at least the basics (If you're in global markets, learn about derivatives. IB, learn about IPOs etc). What these firms really do care about is your interest. Let them know just how interested and engaged you are on the internship by scheduling meetings, asking questions and getting involved.
How to respond for success
In regards to my cover letter, I did in-depth research into the firm, learning about various schemes, their corporate social responsibility etc. When writing your cover letter you want to explain 3 key things: Why you're interested in the firm, why you're interested in the role you applied for and why you're suitable for this role. There may be other things you wish to include/structure your cover letter but I find this way the easiest.
Why are you applying to this firm? - Research their core values, corporate social responsibility (potentially ESG schemes) and explain how these relate to you. E.g. One of the reasons I applied to Goldman was their innovative ethos, as shown by their '10,000 Small Businesses' program. I then explained how this innovative mindset coincides with my own and gave an example of when I displayed it.
Why are you applying for the role? - Explain why that role in particular speaks to you. If you can, tell them previous events/programmes you've done, this shows that you are genuinely interested in this field.
Why you're suitable? - Perhaps analyse your skill set and previous work experience. Note, work experience doesn't have to be in the work place, extrapolate the skills needed in other areas of your life to make them relevant. This can even be you captaining a sports team, this shows that you have leadership skills and can work in a team.
Expect anywhere up to a 2-3 month wait before advancing to the next stage.
This took about 10/15 minutes. With HireVue, you have an online video interview where your answers are recorded. A question appears on the screen, followed by a timer in which you will have some time to prepare your answer (usually about 30 seconds but can be as long as 2 minutes for longer questions). I ensured that I had some competency questions written out (i.e. a time I worked in a team) I also ensured to research both the company and role I was applying for.
Why are you applying to this company for this role? Name a time you set yourself high goals, elaborate on why you set yourself these goals and the outcome? Name a time you worked in a team?
How to respond for success
I made sure that every answer I gave was linked to my personal life. For example, when explaining why I am applying to the firm/role, I will touch on the ethos of the company or the skill required for the role and highlight how this ethos/skills coincide with my own by giving examples. For example, when asked why I was interested in a sales role I touched on the paternalistic aspect for catering for client needs and interests, underlining communication as an essential skill. I then added colour on my job at Explore Learning as a tutor and my experience as a senior in Taekwondo where I take on this paternalistic role analogous to the one in sales, further emphasising the communication skills I developed during these experiences. In regards to competency based questions (name a time you worked in a team), I used the STAR Method, Situation, Task, Action, Result. This is a great way to really set the scene as well as cover the important areas the question is aiming to probe. I would also stress the importance of really researching the company, if appropriate, you can incorporate some of your findings into your answer.