Recently, I had the chance to attend a group interview for an internship at a well-renowned financial consulting firm.
In my last article, I discussed what I learned at a career information session for a job at the same firm. This article will examine the next step in the process and help you understand what to expect when you’re interviewing for a job as a financial consultant.
Of course, not every interview will be just like mine, but my experience is a good starting point for you to prepare when you’ve set your sights on a career-hatching opportunity.
The group interview put me in a room with three other candidates. Each one of us was dressed in formal business wear.
We were escorted to a boardroom, where we met with the firm’s regional director. He discussed the Canadian Securities Course (CSC) and the Investment Funds In Canada Course (IFC) (both of which are provided by the Canadian Securities Institute if you are interested in obtaining your mutual funds sales license).
The regional director then gave us some background information about the internship and started asking questions. As there were 4 of us being asked questions, the interview was a little different than a traditional one-on-one interview – the division director had six questions that he asked at random while rotating among the group.
These are good questions to consider for just about any interview, so I’ve provided some tips here to help you brainstorm your own answers.
1. What’s one thing on your resume that you absolutely want me to know?
Pick some work experience that relates to the position you’re applying for and describe your major duties and achievements at that previous job.
This is a good chance to talk about your personal successes in the workplace or any achievements that you were especially proud of while working at that job.
2. What’s one thing not on your resume that you want me to know?
Discuss something more personal, such as your community involvement or club memberships. This shows you are an outgoing ‘people person’ and have a wide social and professional network, essentials for a financial consultant.
If you’ve had to overcome anything particularly tough or unusual to achieve something, then this is the time to explain it! Were you selected out of many applicants for a single job opening? Did you recently achieve a significant goal that you can relate to this job? Share it!
3. What three traits do you have that will make you a successful financial consultant?
Refer to my previous article about the must-have traits for a financial consultant and pick things like: you have a strong work ethic, you’re personable and can relate to others and converse easily and you have the ability to probe clients for more information to look for sales opportunities.
The key here is to back up every trait with some solid examples from your experiences.
4. What are three characteristics of your ideal career?
A good place to start when preparing for this interview question is the company’s website, which can help you find out what makes them a leading employer.
This is a great question to show the interviewer your personality and what makes you happy when it comes to work. Love playing hockey? Mention that you’d want to work somewhere with a great work-life balance so you can continue your hobbies.
Remember that the interview isn’t just about convincing the firm that you’re the right employee – you’re also looking for the right employer. A firm that fits your values and lifestyle will make you a better employee.
5. What attracted you to the job posting?
Again, be genuine. Explain where you found the posting and how you felt when you saw it.
Drawing a personal connection to the posting will reinforce how serious you are about it.
Mention the appeal of the posting, such as the firm’s reputation, the opportunity to gain certain types of work experiences and the potential to launch a long-term career with that firm. Positive association can go a long way, so if someone else referred you to the job then mention it!
6. What motivates you?
Simply saying money makes you sound greedy. Instead, talk about earning recognition for your hard work, your goal-driven attitude and your desire to excel at what you do.
If you love working on a tough project and seeing it through to the end, then tell them – it will let them know what a hard and dedicated worker you are.
Advice from the Regional Director
After the interview, I asked the Regional Director to share his advice for finance students.
He suggests, “Get an internship in something you know you’re passionate about and can use as a learning experience. An internship is not just something to put on your resume. Use the experience to figure out: is this really the right field for me? Be a sponge: absorb as much knowledge and skills as possible. And don’t be afraid to ask questions!”
Ready to launch a career in Financial Services? Check out TalentEgg’s Financial Services Career Guide!
Photo credit: bpsusf