By Oli Ottey

Whilst interviews will vary from one company to the next, nailing these core preparation points put together by our Director, Oli Ottey will stand you in good stead for any product control, fund control, or valuations interview at any business. When you combine this with the role, company and interviewer specific preparation, you’ll have a great chance of making it through to offer stage!

Interview Advice

  • Motivations for leaving and reason for applying – have a well thought out, layered answer to this question. Wanting a pay rise, long hours and difficult boss are not good enough reasons. They can form part of a bigger answer, but should not be the main reason you give.
  • Think about the role you are applying for. What do you bring to the table in terms of your skills and strengths. What does the role offer you in terms of challenge, development and medium-term career goals. If you can show that you’ve thought about this and you will impress your interviewers.
  • Always focus more on the positives of the role and business you are applying to, rather than the negatives of the business you are leaving.
  • Think about the culture of the business you are interviewing for. How does that align with you as a person, your values and what you want from a business you work for.
  • Never say you have learned all you can in your current role. There’s always more to learn and nobody is the finished article. This can come across as arrogant and doesn’t demonstrate a growth mindset.
  • Read back through the job spec and the responsibilities. Have examples prepared for those you have performed in the past. Do extra reading on those you haven’t. If you know anyone that performs a similar role that can help with your preparation, speak to them.
  • It’s fine to ask about progression, but get across your interest in the role you are interview for, your willingness to work hard and the excitement you have for the opportunity.

Your CV

  • Always have an achievement section on your CV for each role. This is what you’ve done above and beyond your day job. Projects, process improvements, recognition awards, etc. This helps you get in the mindset of selling yourself and what you’ve done in an interview. It also guides the interview itself towards your areas of strength, as interviewers will naturally ask you about them.
  • Think of what you would be discussing if you were going for a promotion internally. An interview can be very similar as you are selling your strengths.
  • Read back through your CV before any interview. Every single bullet point, every product mentioned, it is fair game for questions. Make sure you can back everything up.
  • Read back through your CV through the eyes of an interviewer. Try to think about what questions you might ask if you were interviewing someone with this CV.
  • For every financial product on your CV, you should be able to; define it, explain why someone would trade it, explain how it’s valued and explain the risks associated with it.

General Advice

  • Read up on the company. Recent news, recent results etc.
  • Go in with some prepared questions on the role/business/team.
  • Ask a couple of questions based on what you’ve heard in the interview. This shows you’ve been listening, are engaged and curious.
  • Smile, show your personality and try to enjoy the experience. Interviews are real opportunities and should be viewed as such.
  • If you are interviewing over a video call, or over the phone, make sure you are still injecting energy into your responses.
  • Read up on the STAR technique for answering competency-based interview questions.
  • Never guess an answer to a technical question. If you don’t know, try to work it out, but tell the interviewer that’s what you’re doing. If you have no idea, ask for a hint.
  • Remember you’re being interviewed because the interviewers want you to do well. They have a role to fill and they liked your CV.

If you have any questions on the above, please contact Oli Ottey:

Oliver Ottey

oliver.ottey@goodmanmasson.com
+44 (0)20 7019 8867

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