The financial sector offers promises of high paying jobs, a respected career path, and the ability to use applied, practical math every day. If you’re analytically and logically inclined, few career paths fit you as perfectly as getting into the banking world. It’s a competitive field, especially as you rise up through the ranks, so it’s essential you prepare for every interview by going over possible questions and practicing your answers.
Many interview questions are rehashing the information you provide on your resume and C.V., as the interviewer wants to hear the answers directly from you to judge whether you really know what you’re talking about. When the interviewer is hiring for a non-entry level position, she confirms that your previous responsibilities match up with the requirements she seeks in an applicant. Some questions that the interviewer asks in this category includes:
- Have you worked in the financial sector before?
- What responsibilities did you have in your previous position?
- What is your educational background?
- Do you have experience with banking compliance and regulation issues?
- Have you been in a money handling position in the past?
- Do you have experience with the stock market?
Some interviewers like a hand-on and practical approach to interviews. Instead of sitting there and playing 20 questions to get a feel for whether you’re a good match or not, you’re given the task to sell the interviewer on a product or service. Investment bankers, loan officers, and even bank tellers need to be able to sell. The interviewer chooses this approach to give you the opportunity to show off your skills, to see if you are familiar with the products the company offers, and to gauge your confidence. Some examples of sales scenarios the interviewer could ask include:
- Hard selling a business bank account to a new customer.
- Convincing an existing customer to use financial adviser services.
- Explaining the benefits of opening a credit card through the bank.
- Calling a warm lead to expand on the benefits of a home equity line of credit.
Subject Matter Knowledge
The interviewer delves into specific topic areas to see how competent you are with the skills that the job title requires. Some questions that the interviewer asks when he’s testing your knowledge could include:
- Knowing the differences between the products that the bank offers.
- Being familiar with standard procedures related to the job position you’re seeking.
- Explaining specific processes such as each required step in opening a bank account, or the protocol associated with handling an irate customer.
- Showing competency in a niche market that the bank focuses on, such as small business loans or rural development loans. While many banks do have a broad range of products for mass appeal, there’s usually at least a few small niches that they put extra effort into. If you aren’t sure what these niches might be, take a look at the local area. If it’s a bank in a rural area, they might provide service to a lot of farmers with farm equipment loans. An urban area might cater to luxury businesses.
What questions have you been asked during a banking interview?