How to Prepare for a Job Interview in the Risk Sector
Technical acumen and academic qualifications may get you through the door, but once you’re sitting across from your interviewer the real work begins. For candidates wanting to work in risk, your interviewer is looking beyond the hard skills to whether you fit with the company culture and thus whether your soft skills, too, are up to par.
Your interview marks an opportunity to create a connection with your employer, highlight your personal strengths and demonstrate your value-add. So, research, rehearse and excel.
Make research an art as you bone up on the company’s products and services, their strategic goals, career development programs, target markets, and structure. You want to walk in knowing that company better than they know themselves. Their website, media releases and annual reports offer a trove of facts and figures to inform your research. Reading around the company from indirect sources online and in the commercial and trade press will round out your view. Understanding the broader picture of how the company is faring amid the current regulatory climate will help direct your expertise and shape your answers around questions on key industry challenges and further reforms.
Know your CV inside and out. You want to be able to direct a thought-out response to any question your interviewer fires at you around your own experience. More than that though, you want to be able to identify where your experience qualifies you for the risk role you’re interviewing for. Listen to the question properly before answering, don’t assume it’s about one thing and jump in. Take the time to think about your response. Make sure you have specific examples readily available that correlate your experience with the job description. This will also indicate to the interviewer that you’re thinking strategically about your career in risk and that your motivations for the role transcend financial compensation.
Don’t underestimate the importance of statistical and mathematical knowledge. This is an area where candidates in the quantitative risk space, in particular, fall down so make sure you’re prepared to answer those technical questions. Demonstrate creative thinking that sets you apart from the rest of your risk peers. Answer questions in such a way as to confirm that you are able to deliver immediate results. This demonstrates for your interviewer your ability to solve specific problems and thus how useful you’ll prove to be across different areas of the business.