Personal bankers work in retail banks. Serving as the face and sales force of the financial institution, they help individual customers meet their banking needs by providing advice, explaining options and recommending the most appropriate financial services. They offer and discuss new checking and savings accounts, car loans and mortgages, along with ancillary products such as overdraft protection. Personal bankers may also provide insurance and investment products or refer clients to agents within the institution who can assist them with additional financial products.
Interviews for personal banking jobs typically focus on the responsibilities and core skills required for the position, such as financial knowledge and strong customer service skills. Most positions in personal banking are not considered entry-level, although there are some entry-level positions, so interviewees should be prepared to describe any relevant education or experience in customer service, sales, finance or banking in great detail.
The following are a few questions that are likely to come up during a job interview for a position in personal banking.
- Personal banker job interviews focus on personal financial knowledge and customer service skills.
- A common interview question: “How do you choose products to offer customers?”
- Another common question: “How do you deal with difficult or confused customers?”
- Third common question: “Why do you want to work at our bank?”
“How do you choose specific products to offer customers?”
This is one of the most common interview questions for personal bankers and to answer it correctly you need to have a solid knowledge of the bank’s products and their benefits, uses and returns. Personal bankers often have a lot of influence over their clients, and the position’s responsibilities are equal parts customer service and sales.
The more knowledgeable you are about the products you sell, the more successful you will be. It is critical to have a clear understanding of each individual customer’s needs and financial situation in order to best identify the products that are most beneficial to them.
“I enjoy listening to and getting to know my clients, building long-term relationships with them. By taking the time to understand their goals and needs, I am better able to identify what products will help them succeed and grow.”
Bank customers often feel more comfortable discussing and purchasing financial products with someone they know. By emphasizing that you want to build long-term relationships, you’re communicating that you’re not only looking to sell, but you’re also looking to cultivate long-term customers.
“How do you deal with aggressive, demanding or confused customers?”
Personal bankers work with a wide variety of clients, and as they are the face of the entire institution to clients, it is vital that they present themselves professionally at all times. Impatient, judgmental or temperamental people are not likely to have a successful career as a personal banker.
You must have the ability to adapt your approach and adjust your sales techniques for each client. While one customer might want to sit down and chat before getting down to business, another might just be trying to open a checking account before their lunch break is over. Discuss your ability to clearly change your communication style to best meet your client’s needs.
“My passion for helping people achieve their financial goals is much stronger than my ego. Every client deserves my respect and I pride myself on my professionalism and integrity. I am confident in my communication skills and am comfortable changing my approach if needed.”
The bank relies on personal bankers to represent the company in a positive light at all times. By putting the needs of the bank’s customers above your own, you show a genuine commitment to their best interests and prove that you are a team player. Interviewers are looking for candidates who can demonstrate a passion for personal finance, as well as strong interpersonal communication skills and a desire to help people succeed.
“Why do you want to work at our bank?”
This – a typical question for any position in any field – can be particularly difficult, as you may feel that one financial institution is as good as another. But try to make a convincing case that this particular bank means a lot to you and you have reasons to choose them over the competition (besides the fact that they are hiring). Research the place and its products and try to single out the ones that are unique and that you admire. Cite their reputation and their clientele.
“It might go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: XYZ Bank has such a good reputation in the industry—it sets the gold standard for institutions that care about individual customers, and those are the people I want to serve.” . in particular, I admire the bank’s marketing methods and the innovative products, such as A, B and C, that it has introduced to the public over the years.”
With this answer, you can demonstrate that you’ve done your homework on the company and are familiar with it – never a bad thing in the interviewer’s eyes. Of course, you should try to relate the items you cite to your own experience and expertise. This answer can also naturally lead to where your career is and where you see yourself in five years – another common personal banker job interview question.