You’ve found the role that’s ideal for you. Now, all you have to do is convince a hiring manager that you’re the right candidate for the job.
There are plenty of ways that applicants can improve their chances of getting the job offer, from working with a specialist recruitment company like Rebus, to carefully structuring their CV and cover letter. Of course, one of the most important things you can do is make sure that you nail your interview.
Though you may not be able to predict every question a hiring manager will want to ask you, you can prepare for some of the queries common in most financial interviews.
Find out the Interview Style
Importantly, when you’re preparing for your interview, it’s worth speaking to your recruitment company and asking what interviewing style the business uses. This will help you to structure your answers appropriately. For instance:
- Competency-based and behavioural interviews ask you to demonstrate how you may perform in a future role, by discussing things that you’ve done in the past. For instance, a question may be: “Tell us about a time when you worked successfully in a team.”
- Structured interviews include a specific series of questions intended to test a candidate’s communication skills, leadership potential and more. Questions may include: “How will you help our business accomplish its financial goals?”
- Unstructured interviews are far more informal and often feel like a simple conversation with a hiring manager. Questions may include “Tell us about yourself,” or “What caused you to apply for this role?”
While the nature of your answer may change for each type of interview, it’s always important to give specific examples where possible. For instance, if a hiring manager asks, “What can you bring to this role,” think back to the job description. Look for any requirements the business had, like the ability to analyse financial performance, then show your analytical skills with an example from your past.
With the interview style in mind, here are 8 questions you can prepare for.
1. What Do You Know about our Business and Industry?
Financial employees need to show attention to detail and research skills in everything they do. This question allows your hiring manager to discover how much homework you did before the interview.
Learn as much as you can about the company through their website, and the job description. You can also ask a recruitment agency like Rebus for extra help if you need it. Your answer may be:
“I know you’re a leader and innovator in your space. You’ve been working on improving your agility lately, and I feel I can help with that as I have experience working according to agile frameworks like Scrum.”
2. Why Do You Want to Work Here?
With this question, your hiring manager is looking for signs that your values meet the expectations and needs of the business. This is your chance to show that you’ll fit with the company culture of your new financial employer. You might say something like:
“I believe I’d work well in this particular company because you use the latest accounting software, and I’ve always had a passion for technology. I also noticed that you have a great CSR initiative.”
3. What Can You Bring to this Position that Others Can’t?
Ultimately, a hiring manager wants to know that you’re the right person for the role. They’ll be looking for particular skills and competencies, which you can usually find listed on the job description. However, they’ll also be searching for skills and abilities that make you stand out.
For instance, you might say: “I have the leadership skills and accounting background you’re looking for, but I’ve also undergone training in cybersecurity. I helped my previous employer improve their security standards and reduce the risk of a breach.”
4. Tell me About a Situation You Should Have Handled Differently
Hiring managers know that even the best candidates aren’t “perfect”. There’s a good chance that you’ve made mistakes in the past. The important thing is that you’ve used these mistakes to learn and enhance your career. This question helps leaders to assess your ethical compass and your ability to own up to your mistakes.
Don’t give any examples that hit too close to home here. If you failed to perform when meeting client deadlines and the company just lost a significant customer because of poor punctuality, you might end up building some negative associations.
5. What Hurdles Have You Overcome?
How have you made it to where you are today? Here’s your chance to show your hiring manager that you can take the initiative, solve problems and perform under pressure.
Remember to provide a specific example that relates to the requirements of the role and discuss the results of your hard work. For instance, maybe you had trouble with a new piece of accounting software and invested in extra training to overcome that issue.
6. Do You Match Our Competencies?
Always use the job description to get a better insight into the kind of employee your hiring manager is looking for. Make a note of any key terms that frequently appear such as “attention to detail” or “leadership skills.” These are the competencies the employer will be testing for.
When the time comes to explain how you embody the key competencies of the company, remember to use the “STAR” approach to explain situations where you showed those skills or characteristics in the past:
- S: Explain the “Situation”
- T: Talk about the “Task,” and the challenges you faced
- A: Describe the “Action” you took to get your result
- R: Demonstrate the “Results” of your behaviour.
About Rebus Financial Recruitment
Rebus Financial Recruitment provides a specialist and focused recruitment service to its customers, which historically range from a wide variety of organisations including SME’s to large PLCs.
We strive to offer both the client and candidate a seamless recruitment experience. Using our expertise, we get to the heart of employer and employee needs; and, in doing so, we match the two perfectly. To get in touch call us on 01282 930930.