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10 Questions for a banking job interview


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In today's banking profession, there is more crossover in customer service, business advising, online banking and traditional branch responsibilities than ever before. Interviewers who question prospective employees want to be sure they can handle a variety of duties and introduce customers to new services.

In addition to general interview questions about a jobseeker's experience, career goals and work styles, bank interviewers may ask more specific questions to determine a candidate's understanding of the banking industry and the job for which he or she is applying.  Here are 10 questions a jobseeker might encounter.

Why did you choose banking as your profession? This question allows jobseekers to focus specifically on their interest in the banking industry and highlight related experience and skills. These may include strong math and communication skills, enjoyment gained from customer service, as well as interest in finance and the monetary system.

What are your career goals, and how do you plan to achieve them? Being able to pinpoint a career track, whether in bank management or financial services, shows the interviewer that the candidate is committed to learning and growing within the industry and isn't merely looking for "any" job. Candidates should also explain what they see as the learning steps within the bank structure to get them to their goal.

Why do you want to work here? This is a good opportunity to show the firm what one knows about the company. The interviewer wants to know the candidate appreciates how the firm stands apart from its competitors and within the community.

What do you think the biggest trends in banking are right now? Homework is the key to knowing what is developing now in the banking profession. If possible, job seekers should mention some banking service they are especially familiar with and can link directly to their own work experience and talents.

What are some of the main issues a start-up company may face? Advising small business owners or people who are developing business ventures has always been an important role at most banks. Understanding some of the basic entrepreneurs' needs, such as financing their business, having working capital to fund purchases and establishing credit to make purchases shows an interviewer the candidate has some knowledge of this side of the banking business.

Can you explain how rising and falling interest rates could impact our customers? Interest rates are directly tied to many aspects of banking, from interest rates earned on savings accounts to interest rates charged on loans and mortgages. Having a general idea of how changes in interest rates could affect customers and being able to explain this in layman's terms gives the interviewer an idea of how the job hunter might answer the question for a customer.

Do you work better alone or in a team? What interviewers want to know is how job seekers interact with others and how much direction they need when they work by themselves. Try to convey how one should interact well with co-workers at various levels of authority, and also how to stay productive on a solo assignment.

How have you handled privacy and security issues in previous jobs?  Banking industry personnel have access to personal customer information and to large sums of money; therefore they must be trustworthy and respectful of client confidentiality.  Candidates should be able to describe their respect for this privacy and their knowledge of their employers' security and privacy policies.

What can you do for the company that other people can't? An answer to this question should promote both the jobseeker's work experience and how it dovetails with the bank's mission. Talking about one's work ethic and personal attributes as they relate to banking service also is a good idea. 

What does customer service mean to you? Guiding customers through the maze of banking services, including online banking and a wide selection of financial products, requires a strong sense of customer service at all levels within a bank staff. Jobseekers need to convey to the interviewer a strong appreciation for and willingness to meet customers' needs.

Last Updated: 11/08/2010 - 11:34 AM

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