Preparing for your next interview

Before you interview for a career in finance, there's a number of preparations you have to take. Simply studying the kind of questions you'll be asked isn't nearly enough. Particularly if you're applying for sought-after industry careers, like finance jobs, you need to take extensive preparatory measures should you book an interview. 

Study the firm in question
The first thing you need to do is study the business you'll be interviewing with. You should obviously know the responsibilities expected of you should you book the job – but you should also have a general sense of how the company operates on a day-to-day basis, before you arrive for your first interview. One of the easiest ways to impress a hiring manager is to show them that you have a general interest in their organization that goes beyond your desire to work there. By studying up on company policies and products before your first interview, you can illustrate that you have that exact interest. 

Know your resume word-by-word
Your resume should essentially be your greatest hits, a list of your most impressive accomplishments. What it can't do is tell your story for you. So you'll want to know the facts on your resume inside and out – specifically so that you can craft a narrative out of the information listed.

Your job is to convince the hiring manager that you're the perfect individual for the job at hand, whether it's a finance career or something different altogether. The way to do that is by convincing them that your past experience makes you ideal for the position you've applied for. You can do this by turning your experiences into a narrative: go through your prior jobs, one-by-one, and explain how each one of them helped you to gain skills that will be necessary in your next job. The only way to do this, however, is to intently study and analyze your resume well before you arrive for an interview.

Contact an employee of the firm
This is perhaps the most important part of preparing for an interview – and likely the one completed by applicants the least often. You should always complete whatever steps necessary to have a conversation with an employee at the companies to which you apply. Not only will they be able to tell you what the corporate culture and daily life at the office is like – they'll be able to tell you, in extensive detail, what to expect during your interview. That's an advantage you can't afford to pass up.

Be ready for technical questions, as well as personal ones
Often, the individuals applying to finance careers – whether they're data-based careers like investment banking jobs or more communications-based positions such as investor relations jobs – aren't even coming from a finance background. More often than ever before, firms are hiring individuals from other sectors, or who have spent the past years obtaining liberal arts educations. Yet that doesn't mean that you won't be expected to show off some finance-industry prowess in your interview.

So you need to study up on the technical details and day-to-day tasks involved with the positions you're applying for. Always expect that you'll be asked to demonstrate your expertise during the interview – finance firms won't want to wait until your first day to see if you're qualified for the job, they'll want you to prove your skills on the spot. So study up, and be ready to take some tests and complete some assignments on the day of your interview. If you prepare well enough, you'll be sure to land a job quickly.