Interview advice for permanent compliance jobs.

Before you attend your interview for your potential compliance 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 cultural fit or skill set.

Important points to remember when going for an interview:

• Know your CV inside out. 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’ve done some in-depth research into the company that you’re interviewing with.
• Never speak negatively about a previous boss/colleague/company, always turn any negatives about your current/previous role into a positive, i.e. “I’d 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’re an expert in something, unless you really are. This could lead to repercussions further on in the interview process.

Questions you may be asked – always have examples prepared.

• As a compliance professional, how would you respond if you became aware of a colleague committing market abuse?
• What date were UK companies required to adhere to the MiFID directive?
• What particular challenges would result from compliance sitting with the rest of the business?
• What changes have you noticed in the post MiFID environment?
• Who is the current United Kingdom regulator?
• Who in compliance should hold the CF10 and CF11 functions?
• What does JMLSG stand for?
• Why is there a need for Chinese Walls within an organisation?
• Where or in what ways is your current company policy captured and documented?
• Tell me about a time when you have consciously gone against company procedures. Why did you do this? What happened?
• How do you ensure compliance with company policy within your own area of responsibility?
• Tell me about a time when you had to make a decision where there was a possibility of an adverse public reaction. How did you manage the situation?
• Have you ever tried to raise issues about internal methodologies that you thought may have been unlawful or not in accordance with professional principles? If so, what happened?
• Have you ever faced a situation when you had to take a longer way of doing something in order to adhere to proper professional standards? Tell me more about it.
• How would you manage a situation where you believed that something was not in compliance with professional ethics? Have you ever faced such a situation? If so, tell me more about it.
• What would you do if you saw a valued customer behaving in an unethical manner?
• What do you feel have been your major career achievements to date? Is there anything that you would change about your career choices so far?
• What is the most difficult situation you’ve had to face within the workplace?? How did you tackle it?
• What do you like about your current position?
• What do you dislike about your current role? (Remember, counterbalance any negative comments with a positive one.)
• What would your current/last employer say are your strengths and weaknesses? (Again, counterbalance a negative with a positive)
• What appeals to you most about this position?
• What do you enjoy about working in this industry?
• Give an example of when you’ve worked under extreme pressure, and how you coped with this.
• How do you measure your own performance?
• Are you a self-starter? Give me examples to demonstrate this.
• How do you feel about working extended hours, possible weekends and the possibility of having to travel for this position?
• What style of management gets the best from you?

Competency questions you may be asked when interviewing for managerial or supervisory roles:

• 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’ve given 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’ve fully researched the company with whom you’re interviewing. The key points below are some areas where you should be knowledgeable:
• Who are they and 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?
• 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 the financial services world 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!