With the end of the year approaching, you may be searching for new career opportunities. As a financial services professional, you are in luck! With the unemployment rate at a 49-year low, there are plenty of opportunities available. In fact, it is fairly common to be invited to interview with multiple firms in this current job market. In order to land one of these roles, however, you need to be properly prepared for your next financial services interview.
According to Paul Herman, a Senior Managing Director within The Execu|Search Group’s Financial Services division, part of this preparation involves knowing what financial services interview questions you should and should not ask. “While your resume will land you the interview, your level of engagement during the meeting can help you secure the job,” he says. “Asking smart questions not only shows that you’re engaged in the conversation and interested in the role, but it can also help you determine if this is the right fit for you.”
Looking to make a strong impression on your next financial services interview? Here are 4 questions you should and should not ask:
Start off by asking them if they have any concerns about your background. “While the interview might have gone well, the hiring manager has a lot to think about once you walk out that door,” says Paul. “If you are lacking a skill or some experience, for example, these factors might come into play when they make their decision. Asking this question can prevent that from happening since it gives you the perfect opportunity to address these concerns.”
Regardless of how highly you prioritize compensation and your schedule, asking about these factors during an early round financial services interview can severely harm your chances of landing the job. “Asking too early about salary, vacation days, benefits, or your hours can indicate that the role isn’t your top priority,” warns Jesse Blumenau, an Associate in The Execu|Search Group’s Financial Services division. “Since you want to focus on why you are the best fit for the role, you’re better off waiting until you’ve reached contract negotiations to ask about these technicalities.”
While company values and culture vary from firm to firm, all companies care about how new hires will interact with the rest of the team. Since financial services professionals place a high value on energy and interpersonal skills, asking about the people you’ll potentially work with can help you stand out in an interview. “This question not only demonstrates your interest in learning more about the role, but it can also help you see how you fit into the bigger picture,” says Paul.
There’s a fine line between asking about your growth potential and asking about other openings at the firm. “Inquiring about other job openings implies that you aren’t interested in the role you’re interviewing for,” says Jesse. “While you want to express your desire for professional development, you don’t want to do this at the expense of missing out on a good career opportunity.” Instead of inquiring about other jobs at the company, ask questions about advancement opportunities and internal training programs.
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