Do you have the courage to be yourself during a job interview, or do you memorise a ‘speech’ beforehand? If you do the latter, it might be wise to change your strategy. Recruiters tend to prefer candidates who are open and sincere. So don’t hide but show that you are aware of your strengths and weaknesses. That takes courage, but you’ll be glad you did. Being hired for a job on the wrong grounds will get you nowhere.
Don’t hide but show that you are aware of your strengths and weaknesses.
Diane van Galen Last - van Leeuwen Recruitment Business Partner Retail & Private Banking
The odds that you will be hired based on a slick speech are slim. I can always tell straight away when someone is reeling off a story: their words are polished and their message superficial. Recruiters use the STAR method for interviews. STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action and Result. The idea behind this method is that past behaviour is the best predictor for future behaviour. So hypothetical examples won’t get you far. We want to know what you’ve actually done.
Personality is more important than knowledge
In today’s rapidly changing world, we select candidates based more on competencies and personality than on knowledge and expertise. If you’ve just completed your studies, it’s quite possible you’ll need a refresher course within a few months. So we are looking for flexible, future-proof candidates. People who genuinely enjoy learning new things and changing along with an organisation that is continuously improving.
Future-proof and reliable
I think that every organisation needs future-proof employees, but banks do in particular. The financial crisis made people lose trust in banks. We are looking for people who can help restore that trust. People who listen and put customers first. That goes not only for customer-facing staff, but for the rest of the organisation as well. In the end, everything we do affects our customers.
Diane’s three job interview tips
Be aware of your development areas and how you can work on them. This will show your willingness to change and improve.
Always be open and sincere, even if you think your honest answer might not be exactly what the recruiter wants to hear.
Think carefully about your personal examples relating to the competences stated in the job vacancy. What was your role, what did you do and what was the result?