interview tips for permanent banking operations, investment and private wealth management jobs

Before you attend the interview for your prospective permanent banking job, It’s essential that you read through all the interview preparation information available to you, and ensure that you’re fully prepared for your interview. In the current marketplace, employers can afford to be increasingly particular about who they employ, so preparation is as important as a cultural fit or skill set.

important points to remember when going for an interview:
• Know your CV thoroughly. You could be quizzed in detail on any aspect of your previous work history, education, experience or systems skills. Be prepared to discuss and provide lots of examples to back up your experience. 
• Ensure that you have done some in-depth research into the company that you’re interviewing with.
• Never speak negatively about a previous boss/colleague/company and always turn any negatives about your current/previous role into a positive, i.e. “I would like to move to a bigger company as my previous company was quite small, however, this did mean that I had maximum exposure to all aspects of the business.”
• Don’t say you are an expert in something unless you really are otherwise this could lead to repercussions further on in the interview process.
• When you’re talking about your skills and experience please ensure that you always refer back to your own personal experience. For example “When I was part of the settlements team I was responsible for settling trades, I liaised with clients, and I implemented new reporting systems…….” rather than “as part of the settlements team we were responsible for…..” This emphasises your achievements and experience as an individual.

core competency questions you may be asked – always have examples prepared

• Describe a situation you were involved in recently that required you to communicate with people at a senior level.
• Tell me the last long-term goal you set yourself and how you achieved it.
• Give me an example of how you provided a service to a client/stakeholder which was beyond their expectations. How did you know what they expected? How did you respond?
• Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult client.
• Give me an example of a decision that you have made which benefited the client, but not yourself.
• Tell me about the last problem that you couldn’t solve. (Remember, always turn a negative into a positive.)
• Give me an example of a client that you have developed an effective win/win relationship with. How did you go about building the relationship?
• Describe the last time you were under pressure. What did you do to keep the level of stress manageable?
• Describe a time you created a strategy to achieve a longer-term business objective.
• Give me an example of a time where you had to balance getting a job done well and getting it done effectively. How did you balance these two factors?
• Tell me about a time where you voiced a concern or disagreement with a co-worker, and what was the outcome?
• Tell me about a time where someone has been unhappy with you or how you work. (Remember to always turn a negative into a positive).
• Where do you see yourself in 2 years and how do you plan to achieve this?
• When have you influenced important decisions and how did you achieve this?
• When have you highlighted a problem, investigated it and resolved it?
• Give some examples of objectives that you have set yourself, and how you have ensured that you have achieved these goals.
• To what do you owe your present success?
• Why should I hire you and what makes you think you can handle this position?
• What do you see as your strengths and weaknesses? (Always back up a weakness with a positive).
• What are your reasons for leaving your past/present job? (Don’t be negative about previous employers).
• How would your previous employer describe you?
• Tell me about the most mundane part of your job. What have you done to make it more interesting and challenging?

competency questions you may be asked when interviewing for a managerial role

• Give an example of a difficult or sensitive situation that you have had to communicate with others.
• Tell me about the last person you coached and how you helped improve their skills or job performance.
• Describe a time when you provided negative feedback to someone about their performance.
• Give an example of a time when you recognised that a member of your team was performing below the required standard. What did you do?
• Describe a recent situation in which you convinced an individual on your team to do something.
• Describe a situation when you needed to change a decision which had already been made.
• Describe the last thing you did to improve performance and/or productivity on your team.
• Tell me about a time when you had to take the lead in a group so that it achieved its objective.

questions about the company:

Before your interview please ensure that you have fully researched the company with whom you’re interviewing. The key points below are some areas where you should be knowledgeable:
• Who are they are what do they do?
• What is their mission statement?
• Have they won any awards recently?
• Research any recent press releases
• What are industry commentators writing about them online? (You can find this out by Googling them).
• How do they describe their company culture?
• What is their product coverage?
• What is their share price history?

you may be asked:

• What do you know about the firm and why does it appeal to you?
• What do you feel are the main issues facing our sector over the next couple of years?
• What interests you about our organisation?
• Why do you feel that this company can offer you a career, rather than just a job?
• If you had an offer from one of our top 3 competitors why would you choose our organisation?
• What are the main differences in our products and services compared to our competitors that would attract you to our organisation?

questions you can ask the interviewer:

Sometimes at the end of an interview, your prospective employer may ask you if you have any questions. Here are a few that might be appropriate:
• What are the company’s short and long term goals?
• What do you like most about working for this company?
• Do you have any particular reservations about my application for this position?
• Ask the interviewer what their background is. Remember, people love talking about themselves.

Good luck!