How to prepare for your first interview in Banking and Finance

Andrea Soh August 27, 20193 mins read

Interviews are your chance to make a positive and long-lasting first impression on your potential employer.

They might have been impressed with your credentials on paper, but there is still a lot of work to do if you want to get the job. It is your chance to highlight your skills and show why you would be a great asset to their company.

Do's:

1. DO SHOW THAT YOU ARE COMMITTED


One of the key considerations that the employer would like to see is your commitment level. Interview processes in the banking and financial industry are long and tedious, and it is no wonder that hiring managers always look out for the candidate’s commitment to the role. They would then assess if you are looking to grow your career in this company in the long term. Do give your motivating factors for wanting the job and convince the hiring manager that you are in it for the long run.

2. DO PREPARE 3 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR INTERVIEWER


It is important that you have a few key questions ready to ask the interviewer at the end of the interview. By doing so, you are showing that you have a keen interest in the position and have been actively listening throughout the interview. In addition, great questions can impress the hiring manager and make you stand out!

3. DO HAVE AN INTERVIEW PREPARATION SESSION WITH YOUR RECRUITER


There are several benefits to being prepped by your recruiter before you go in for your first interview. Firstly, your recruiter will be able to share more information and give you a clearer understanding of the company, team structure, role and what the client is looking for. Secondly, you will have an opportunity to have a practice interview session and build confidence in a safe environment. After which, your recruiter will be able to give you tips and advice on your presentation, which would ultimately increase your chances of performing well and securing the role.

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Don’ts:

1. DO NOT TURN UP UNPREPARED


Appearance matters for any interview across all industries. Moreover, in the Banking and Finance sector, the way you dress and present yourself will be heavily reflected on you. As fundamental as it sounds, always do a check in the mirror before leaving the house, ensuring that you look presentable from head to toe. Also, give yourself ample time to travel as you do not want to be rushing to the interview, showing up drenched in perspiration and looking flustered.

2. DO NOT LET MONEY BE YOUR ONLY CONSIDERATION


No doubt, compensation is important when considering the job opportunity. However, it should not be the only deciding factor when pursuing the role. Candidates who constantly ask for more with regards to the remuneration package can be seen as greedy. At this level, it is more important to look at your career prospects and what you can learn from this company than focusing on salary alone. You will also be a less preferred candidate in this case as you will be likely to move to another firm that offers you a larger sum.

3. DO NOT MISREPRESENT


In this era of technology, it is very easy to access any kind of information online. Spanning from tax records to education certification, making a false claim about your background can easily be fact checked. Prior to on-boarding, all banks would perform a thorough background check on the candidate. We have seen candidates who have falsified their education and employment details and needless to say, it came up during the background check. They were not only called out for misrepresenting, but it was also tough for them to look for a new job as they already had a bad reputation in the market. 
 

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Andrea Soh - R1879795's picture
Associate Consultant | Cyber Security & Technology Governance
asoh@morganmckinley.com.sg

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