PREPARING FOR INTERVIEWS: SOME THOUGHTS

I’ve helped prepare a lot of people for interviews – regulatory interviews where the individual is up for approval by the PRA or the FCA and interviews as part of regulatory visits, as well as interviews that have nothing to do with financial services.  I’m often asked for tips and here are a few; it really isn’t the full set.

1          Prepare – it’s an obvious point, but there’s no substitute for preparation and that takes time.  Do your background reading and research.  Speak to people who can give you insights.  Go in there knowing you’ve covered all bases.

2          Think about the questions you might be asked – there’ll be some obvious ones but think laterally too.  What might you be asked?

3          Nail the bit about you – first questions are usually general ones:  what you do and your background.  They’re questions that set the scene for what follows.  Prepare answers to a range of these initial questions.  A very small percentage of people I help prepare for interviews have a strong response to the first question; in percentage terms, it’s in mid-single figures.  If you answer a first question strongly, it will give you confidence for the rest of the interview.

4          Use examples – they bring a two-dimensional response to three-dimensional life.  There’s no substitute for them.

5          Have your questions ready – you’ll almost certainly be asked if you have any questions and you need two or three up your sleeve.  You don’t need to ask them all – you could look as though you’re trying to take over the interview – but you don’t want to find that you’ve forgotten the one question you had ready.

6          Be confident – when you go into the interview, you should be confident that you’re in the best position you can be to give it your best shot because you’ve prepared, thought about potential questions, have examples ready …  You get the idea.

 

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