According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov), in 2006 the banking industry employed more than 1.8 million. Out of these job, 7 out of 10 were in commercial banks. The banking industry has a wide range of jobs and positions available. Tellers still make up a vast majority of the employees, but other bank positions take up a large sector in the job industry in general.
Careers in finance span a large number of positions, in commercial banking, financial planning, private equity and more. As you prepare for your job interviews, practice possible questions and answers to help you compose yourself. You'll formulate the best answers before your finance job interview so you can get the career you want.
- “Tell me about yourself.” This is often one of the first questions a hiring manager will ask during an interview. Although it may seem personal, a potential employer doesn't want to hear your life story. Instead, tell him about yourself as it relates to a career in finance. Briefly list your college education and the positions you've held recently.
- “How has your education prepared you for this career?” Employers want to know that you are proficient in the various math principles involved in financial careers. List the classes that you took that can help you with the job position. Spend time discussing the subjects that you excelled in over all others. If you had a 4.0 grade point average in advanced accounting, mention this to the hiring manager.
- “Why have you chosen a career in finance?” Avoid answering this question with a personal anecdote. Show your enthusiasm for the career with your answer. Even if you got into finance because your parents made you, it's best to leave this out. Example: “My love for numbers and organization led me to an education in investment banking. I've wanted this as my career ever since.”
- “What are your strengths?” Limit your answer to one or two examples for this classic interview question. Explain your strengths in finance, such as attention to detail or multitasking. Tell a brief story of how you used it in previous finance positions. Don't list more than two strengths as this may be perceived as over-confidence by the hiring manager.
- “What are your weaknesses?” Never say that you have no weaknesses in answer to this question. Instead, tell the hiring manager of one weakness. Pick a weakness that could be acceptable to a potential employer. Also list how you're working to improve that weakness. Example: “I sometimes find it hard to concentrate toward the end of a long day working on client financial accounts. I've since started going for a five-minute walk outside during my lunchtime and that helps to keep me focused.”
- “Where do you see yourself in 10 years?” Although you may want to retire or work for a different company in 10 years, leave this out of your answer. You should also avoid saying that you want the interviewer's career. Instead, mention how you still want a career in finance. Example: “I'd like to hold a high position in corporate finance in 10 years, using my skills with math and corporate accounts.”