Interview Preparation For Financial Services Professionals

What makes it any different from job searches anywhere and for any other sector? Well, for a start there is a very definite skill set required to get you through the door, ally that with a set of specific qualifications and heavily pre screened references and credit checks then its no wonder that many say that the job search for the financial adviser is the next most stressful lifetime decision after moving house. Learn more about Portafina

The object of this article series is to make this process a little less stressful and to try and assist you in getting the job that you want!

Firstly, one of the most important things to do is to prepare by researching the company you are interviewing for.When anyone attends an interview they are being judged not only on their qualifications and experience but, more importantly, how they present themselves and the impact made on the interviewee. It is a fact that in financial services recruitment people who are less experienced but are better prepared will have a far higher chance of getting the job. something like 90% of people do not prepare for their job interview and of course, that preparation, especially in financial services recruitment should include researching the company you are potentially trying to work for. Its vitally important that you are one of the 10% that do the job properly.

What do the majority of financial advisers or IFA roles entail? Of course there is the advice part of the role, that goes without saying but there is also a very heavily sales focused aspect to any financial advisory or IFA role and the chances are that if you are trying for a financial advisory position, you will have some sales experience and consequently some sales figures and performance indicators. These must be gathered together in one folder and taken to the interview, ready to hand over when the interviewer requests any demonstrable indications that you have sold something before. Good strong sales figures are the mainstay of any financial advisers toolkit when searching for new employment and they must be to hand and ready to go.

The third important aspect of any¬†financial services, financial adviser or IFA interview is the interview questioning. there is a staple within financial services recruitment that the interviewing organization need to know that the potential employee will have the correct competencies for the role. Therefore competency based questions will often be used to determine whether or not that is the case. A competency based question will often go along the lines of “tell me about a time you have motivated a colleague?” or something similar. There is a definite way to answer these questions and it follows the STAR structure – S-situation, T-task, A-action and R-result. You must answer the question historically and giving a S or situation that you have encountered, a T or task that you have had to overcome, the A or action put in place to overcome that task and the R or result that came about from that action. Its a simple structure to follow but it could be the difference between you securing the financial adviser or IFA job you want or not getting your dream job. Financial services recruitment has particular foibles but they along with any industry peculiarities can be overcome with good preparation.

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