Interview technique is a business skill that, like any proficiency, requires practice – However, unlike many other business skill sets your interviewing prowess is seldom used. If you haven’t had the opportunity to hone your interviewing skills, don’t be concerned; there are certain steps you can take to help prepare yourself:
It may sound obvious but you would be surprised at how many people get caught out on questions surrounding the content of their CV. As far as the potential employer is concerned, every piece of information you have on your CV is fair game and they will expect you to be able to answer questions on any CV-related matter – whether it be career history, academic/professional qualifications or even interests.
Go through your CV and make sure you can speak about each and every point you have mentioned. If you can’t talk about certain information contained in your CV because it was too long ago or the work you carried out was superficial, you may want to consider removing those details from the CV.
Although we will fully brief you on what to expect and provide you with any appropriate material for the interview, there are still areas of research you will need to carry out independently:
An interview is a two-way information gathering process – it is not only designed for the potential employer to find out about you but is also an opportunity for you to find out about the role, your potential employer, their department and the organisation – so don’t be afraid to ask intelligent questions. The interviewer will be expecting questions to be asked by candidates and the right type of questions convey interest, shows your positive traits and can affect the outcome of an interview.
Note: steer clear of questions surrounding the salary package (it may make you look greedy) or working hours (has connotations of clock watching). If you would like more details around these areas contact your Fleet representative.
It is important that you provide feedback on your interview to your Fleet consultant as soon as possible so that we can obtain client feedback for you. We strongly believe candidate feedback is important (whether positive or negative) so that, if required, you can adjust your approach. For this reason our consultants endeavour to obtain client feedback where possible.
Note: Please keep your Fleet representative informed of any other interviews you may be attending. Offers are generally only valid for 7 days – so in order to manage those interview processes and client expectations for which Fleet are responsible, we need to be aware of the timelines of your other processes so that they can all come to a conclusion at roughly the same time: therefore allowing you the opportunity to make an informed decision.
At some point during the interview process you will be assessed on the technical aspects of the role. By this stage you should have an idea as to the skills and business knowledge the position will require – so make sure you have examples prepared – e.g. if the interview is within Capital Markets have some examples of products from the asset classes for which the position is responsible including any derivatives and be able to demonstrate how they work. If interviewing for an Audit role, make sure you are aware of the risks associated with the business processes you will be reviewing as well as the controls that should be put in place to mitigate those risks. There is also a very good chance you will be asked to walk through how you conduct an audit, probably in relation to experience outlined on your CV – so be prepared!
Soft skill and competency-based questions tend to be similar in nature, only differing in the framework of the interview – with competency-based questions forming the main content of a formal structured interview process and soft skill questions forming part of a standard interview, which may also include technical and other more generic questions. These questions are behavioural based, generally constructed to find out more about your character as well as how you deal with certain situations and interact with people. Typical questions such as:
Most soft skill and all competency-based questions are based around your own real-life experiences so make sure you have examples to hand.
Soft skill and competency-based interview questions vary widely and depend on the competencies required of the actual role as well as the corporate culture of a company, e.g. some companies view leadership as a competency on its own whilst others prefer to split leadership into a wide range of components (creativity, flexibility, strategic thinking, vision, etc).
Below is a list of competency-based interview questions, ordered by competency. The list is by no means complete but will give you an idea of what you can expect to be asked.
There is no need to rehearse answers to all of these questions but do read through at least a few examples in each category and create your own answer.
If you require further guidance on interview technique please do not hesitate to contact your Fleet representative.
Adjusts to changing environments whilst maintaining effectiveness.
Q.”Which change of job did you find the most difficult to make?”
Conforms to company policies and procedures.
Q.”How do you ensure compliance with policies in your area of responsibility?”
Communicates effectively; listens sensitively; adapts communication to audience and fosters effective communication with others:
Encourages creative tension and differences of opinion; anticipates and takes steps to prevent counter-productive confrontations; manages and resolves conflicts and disagreements in a constructive manner.
Q.”Tell us about a time when you felt that conflict or differences were a positive driving force in your organisation? How did you handle the conflict to derive optimum benefit?”
Develops new insights into situations; questions conventional approaches; encourages new ideas and innovations; designs and implements new or cutting edge programs/processes.
Q.”Tell us about a project or situation where you felt that the conventional approach would not be suitable. How did you derive and manage a new approach? Which challenges did you face and how did you address them?”
Makes well-informed, effective and timely decisions, even when data is limited or solutions produce unpleasant consequences; perceives the impact and implications of decisions.
Q.”What is the decision that you have put off the longest? Why?”
Ability to make full and best use of subordinate, providing appropriate support.
Q.”What type of responsibilities do you delegate? Give examples of projects where you made best use of delegation”.
Understands and keeps up-to-date with local, national and international policies and trends that affect the organization and shape stakeholders’ views; is aware of the organisation’s impact on the external environment.
Q.”Describe through examples drawn from your experience how you measure and take account of the impact of your decisions on external parties”.
Modifies approach to achieve a goal. Is open to change and new information; rapidly adapts to new information, changing conditions, or unexpected obstacles.
Q.”Describe a situation where you started off thinking that your approach was best, but then needed to alter your course during its implementation.”
Acts based on his/her convictions and not systematically the accepted wisdom.
Q.”When did you depart from the “party line” to accomplish your goal?”
Ability to convince others of expressed point of view, gain agreement and acceptance of plans, activities or products.
Q.”Describe a situation where you were able to influence others on an important issue. What approaches or strategies did you use?”
Ability to maintain job-related, social, organisational and ethical norms.
Q.”Tell us about a time when someone asked you something that you objected to. How did you handle the situation?”
Acts as a role model. Anticipates and plans for change. Communicates a vision to a team.
Q.”Tell us about a situation where you had to get a team to improve its performance. What were the problems and how did you address them?”
Fosters an inclusive workplace where diversity and individual differences are valued and leveraged to achieve the vision and mission of the organisation.
Q.”Give an example of a situation or project where a positive outcome depended on the work and ideas of people from a wide range of backgrounds and ideas.”
Demonstrates an understanding of underlying organisational issues.
Q.”Describe a time when you failed to engage at the right level in your organisation. Why did you do that and how did you handle the situation?”
Deals effectively with pressure; remains optimistic and persistent, even in adversity. Recovers quickly from setbacks; stays with a problem/line of thinking until a solution is reached or no longer reasonably attainable.
Q.”Tell us about a situation where things deteriorated quickly. How did you react to recover from that situation?”
Takes calculated risks, weighing up pros and cons appropriately.
Q.”Tell us about risks that you have taken in your professional or personal life? How did you go about making your decision?”
Aware of other people and work environment, and own impact on these. Takes into account other people’s feelings and needs.
Q.”What problems have one of your staff or colleagues brought to you recently? How did you assist them?”
Contributes fully to the team effort and plays an integral part in the smooth running of teams without necessarily taking the lead.
Q.”Tell us about a situation where you played an important role in a project as a member of the team (not as a leader).”
For further advice on interview preparation please contact one of our consultants