Common questions in financial services interviews include:

  1. What are the current trends in the financial services industry?
  2. Why are you looking for a role within financial services?
  3. Why do you want this particular role in this particular business?
  4. Describe a situation where you worked under pressure
  5. Do you have questions for us?

Read on for advice from our experienced financial services consultants on how to prepare for these and other questions.

Interviewing at any stage in your career can seem daunting. However, if you’re able to demonstrate your passion for your profession and showcase your knowledge of the sector, then you’re likely to be one step ahead of the competition.

Preparation is key and being able to anticipate certain topics, tasks and questions will always help you maintain your focus and overcome nerves.

When interviewing for a financial services job you will of course be quizzed on technical expertise relevant to your role but there are some commonalities.

Financial services interview questions.

'What are current trends in the financial services industry?'

The level of detail required for this question will depend on the seniority of your role. If you have been working within the industry for a long time you will be expected to know what is happening within the industry.

If you are new to the industry you need to demonstrate you took the time to research the organisation and are able to make a connection between changes in the industry and the services the company offers.

'Why are you looking for a role within financial services?'

The interviewer wants to know that you have the ambition and energy that is usually associate with candidates in the industry. You need to be able to say more than just you're an international and/or highly regarded organisation. Talk about the industry, what attracts you to it and any emerging trends that may have an impact on the company or the industry that make this role more interesting or challenging.

'Why do you want this particular role in this particular business?'

Firms want to know that you’ve done your research, and that you have an interest in their strategy and direction.

Adam Thorpe, operations director of Randstad Financial Services said: “Most interviewees forget to research the company and find something interesting to discuss with their interviewers.

"Don't just look at the company website. Search for news articles the mentioning the company and statements from regional, national or international managers. 

"Read its most recent annual report for pointers on what the future holds."

Finally, make sure you focus on why you want this job rather than why you want to leave your current one. Interviewers do not want you to focus on the negative aspects of your current working situation.

'Describe a situation where you worked under pressure'

The point of this question is to see how well you can handle pressure and your ability to solve problems. The interviewer also wants to see, based on past behaviours and actions, that you have the ability to do the job as well as fit well within the team. 

Don’t forget to use 'I' rather than 'we'. The interviewer wants to know what you have done and your achievements. 

'Do you have questions for us?'

You should always have questions prepared to ask the interviewer. Focus on questions that highlight your interest in the company and the industry, and not just on compensation and benefits.

The interviewer wants to see you can initiate a conversation and that you are passionate about the role.