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4 questions to ask in a banking interview

So, you’ve got to interview—you’ve nailed the questions they’ve asked you, charmed the partners, got all the mathematics right and generally smashed it, so the job’s yours right?

Not necessarily. The last part of the interview, and arguably one of the most important, is often overlooked by candidates—and this can be fatal. We’re talking of course, about the point where they turn around and say, "And finally—do you have any questions for us?"

Here’s a handy cheat sheet to nailing the last part and walking out of there with your head held sky-high.

Show you’re open to further questioning

This is a fairly new one in the industry, showing just how quickly things move. Careers experts have seen a new trend emerging which suggests that showing you’re not infallible and allowing the experts to grill you on another topic is becoming more popular amongst successful candidates. Asking something such as "is there anything you’d like me to expand on" or if there are "any areas you’d like covered in more detail" shows that you’re open to further questions and that you’re willing to come back to any areas they thought you struggled with—displaying confidence, competence and openness.

Thinking about the future

The days of the 15-minute-job in finance are very much over, and companies are looking for employees for the long-haul. A good way to show that you’re one of these people and that you’re looking for somewhere to build your career long term, is to ask about the role in the future, and how your position might change and expand over the course of your time in the company. Asking what challenges you might face a year down the line shows the employers that you’re thinking about sticking around.

Show you know about the company

This is the time-honoured classic, displaying an innate and researched knowledge about the company to display your keen interest in their affairs. Keep it open-ended and let the interviewer have the pleasure of talking about their own company for a little while—have a particular deal or change that the company have overseen in its recent past in mind and ask about that, trying to work the interviewer themselves into the frame so that they can expand upon something: people love talking about things they’ve done!

Question your interviewer

A high-risk but high-benefit strategy, this one has to be handled with tact and empathy as you need to judge the situation first. If you have built up a cordial relationship over the course of the interview, asking about your interviewer’s personal experience of the firm can play right into your hands as it allows you to go into depth about the pros of the company whilst maintaining your interest. However, if the formalities have not been breached, and the whole interview remains slightly impersonal, this can backfire majorly, and make you seem intrusive and inappropriate. An extremely useful weapon in the arsenal, but handle with care! 

By Jack J Collins

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