- 'I am very grateful as my income has now increased substantially.'
(Mr P, Bristol)
- 'Flexible enough to take on short term campaigns and filled our vacancies in record time.'
(Major Life Company)
- 'Professional and reliable service nationally.'
(Major Bank Assurer)
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Remember that the purpose of a CV is to get an interview and that you will only get one chance to make a good first impression at an interview, so it is vital that you are confident and well-prepared before you walk through the door. We believe that you should treat each interview as if it was the only job opportunity that you have after all it is a big step in your life and it should be treated as such. Here are just some items that will help ensure you present yourself in the best possible light.
“Preparation is the Price of Superiority”
Preparation is the key to a successful interview. You will be more confident and better able to answer questions if you have done your research. An important aspect of preparing for interview is finding out some details about the company in question, by visiting its website, reading about it in relevant trade journals, looking through its last set of accounts or getting hold of its last official report. By doing this you will be well placed when it comes to thinking up some questions of your own.
First Impressions Count!
Always ensure that you are smartly dressed and well groomed, wearing neutral and dark tones. Women should wear light make-up only and both genders should only allow a slight hint of perfume or after shave. Use positive, strong body language to convey confidence. Greet interviewers with a firm hand shake and a smile, maintaining eye contact without staring.
Research has shown that in terms of first impressions:
55% is based on appearance
38% on tone of voice
7% only, on what is actually said
Looking and sounding the part is critical
In the few days before the interview, start drawing up a list of possible questions. You will definitely be asked if you have any, and it pays to make sure your questions are intelligent and incisive. Type your questions neatly on a sheet of paper, with space for written answers. When the interviewer asks if you have any questions, produce the sheet and ask if they mind if you take some notes. This demonstrates that you have gone to the trouble of preparing questions and are interested in the answers.
Here are some suggested questions:
- How will I be measured?
- Tell me about this year's plans
- What training and development opportunities exist?
- What promotion opportunities are there?
- Why has the current person left?
- Have you a role profile?
- What targets and objectives will I have?
- Tell me about the reporting lines and structure
Always keep your questions short and to the point. Interview questions for banking or finance jobs should demonstrate a good working knowledge of the sector. You should also be prepared to be asked at least some of the following questions. Make sure that you have considered them and have answers ready.
- Tell me about yourself?
- What do you know about us?
- Where do you see yourself in five years time?
- What can you bring to the party?
- What are your major strength and weaknesses?
- Why did you leave your last job?
- What motivates you?
- What do you value in your life?
- Are you in employment talks with anyone else?
- What remuneration package are you looking for?
- Are you in good health?
- What do you do with your spare time?
- Why should I hire you?
Remain calm throughout the interview. The interviewer is looking for thoughtful and considered answers - not a rushed response.
Express enthusiasm and interest in both the company and the opportunity. Finish with an upbeat remark, stating your reasons for wanting the company and the role.