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Old 11-07-2013, 05:26 PM
 
533 posts, read 1,045,315 times
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I know I ask a lot of questions! It's because I'm a Martha Stewart level perfectionist and a worry wart! I met a ton of different company representatives at a job fair, and there was one very well known financially related company there. I briefly spoke to the guy who was there and gave him my resume, I walked away from the table thinking that nothing would probably happen because he didn't seem impressed... well... I got a phone call from a woman asking me to come in for an interview with that guy I met. Oh, and it turns out he's, like, the senior regional manager or something of the company!!!! WHAT?! I'm so surprised I made any sort of impression. I have no finance related experience (other than my econ degree) and have always seen myself working in nonprofit or something instead of the corporate world.

Anyway, the job is an entry level training program in a finance related field. I need help getting ready for this interview, lol. All of my past job interviews have been with HR or recruiters. Never an executive. So it's important for me to make a good impression. I'm a female and in my early 20's so I want to be taken seriously and not come across as an idiot.


1.) What color shirt should I wear? I have a grey suit and my friend is telling me to wear red because it's "powerful" but I don't want to look overwhelming because I'm also pretty tall for a female. Should I wear a plain button down shirt? Or a blouse? I have a blouse that I like but it kind of has a ruffle on the collar.

2.) What kind of questions should I be expecting other than the ordinary "What's your weakness" stuff. I know different industries sometimes ask different questions (like sales asks stuff like "Can you sell me this pen?" etc. So are there any questions that are common in finance related interviews?

3.) Like I said, I'm a college grad aged female. My personality is very chipper and happy, and I'd say my voice expresses that. I definitely have a feminine and happy sounding voice. And just looking at my resume it's obvious that I'm young and don't have a lot of experience. What can I do to ensure that I'm taken seriously?

4.) What all should I bring to this interview besides myself?

5.) Are there any absolute "DON'Ts" that you can think of?


I honestly feel so lucky to have this opportunity, I can't even believe it. I've never seen myself working in anything finance related, but this seems like such a great opportunity.
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Old 11-07-2013, 05:48 PM
 
24 posts, read 70,201 times
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To help answer the questions, it would be helpful to know what type of position it is. You don't have to share the company name, but what's the title or function of the role?
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Old 11-07-2013, 06:02 PM
 
533 posts, read 1,045,315 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unemployedtruggle View Post
To help answer the questions, it would be helpful to know what type of position it is. You don't have to share the company name, but what's the title or function of the role?

It's an entry level financial analyst training program.
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Old 11-07-2013, 06:17 PM
 
Location: Western Washington
12,341 posts, read 11,357,126 times
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Nobody is going to make their hiring decision based upon the color of your shirt. Most things coordinate with gray, choose something that makes you comfortable. Conservative always works in an interview, which is not to say no ruffle, but I am saying you do not want to be the most flamboyant dresser in the room.

Questions could be all over the board. I am not a finance industry guy, so I cannot give you any specific thoughts. But entry level trainee jobs are usually looking for personality/character/potential more than any specific industry knowledge. Your degree seems to be enough to make you minimally qualified, so be confident in that.

I would ask questions designed to determine your initiative and reliability. Off the top of my head:
-tell me about a time you took charge of a project.
-your boss has a big presentation due tomorrow. An important client calls and demands to speak to him. What do you do?
-you are responsible for ending the office at 8:00 am. Describe your morning routine and how you will make sure that you are on time.
-tell me about a time you had a conflict with your boss (or professor, or some other superior). What was the problem and how did you resolve it.

Bring a portfolio with notepaper. Have 6-8 questions you can ask about the position written down. Don't make them about you (how much vacation time), but make them about the company. Maybe... I see that your company's mission statement is X. What this the primary way this position contributes to the fulfillment of that mission.

Do some research on the company. Drop some tidbits during the interview showing you have done this research. ....I note that you are particularly strong in X area, as shown by your latest 10-K filing. Do you think that you can do better, or are you focusing more on Y at this point?

Good luck.
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Old 11-07-2013, 06:19 PM
 
2,697 posts, read 3,477,247 times
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Can you find someone to practice an in person interview with? That would help you a lot. Practice, practice as much as possible in a mock interview.

Put your cell on vibrate and put it away during the interview. Bring a few hard copy prints of your resume in a folder or laptop-sized case or and maybe a business card.

I think dull (conservative) colors to wear would work in a financial/banking type of interview. Navy blue, black, white, gray, etc.

Last edited by maus; 11-07-2013 at 06:35 PM..
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Old 11-07-2013, 06:28 PM
 
935 posts, read 1,088,983 times
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Wear a simple blouse -- maybe a soft lavender or light blue or else just a plain cream shell --- maybe a simple string of pearls. It is better to look like you are making your BEST effort rather than be underdressed. Make sure you are well groomed -- not too much makeup or jewelry or perfume. Check that your shoes are in tip top shape.

You have already made a good impression but practice your LISTENING skills. Listen to the questions - give yourself a moment to think before answering. If you have little experience emphasize your INTEREST in the field, your DESIRE to learn and build a career in the business and your WILLINGNESS to work hard and take direction. Make sure to let the intereviewer know of some past work related experience where you were complimented for the job you did and find a way to tie it into this new job. If nothing else make sure to emphasize that you get along well with other people and can take constructive criticism. Say you have a good work ethic and MEAN IT -- say you can come in early and stay late if necessary and MEAN IT. Ask about opportunities for advancement.

It is great to be cheerful and smiling but remember to also look serious -- you are talking about a serious matter -- a good job in a field with lots and lots of competition. Try not to giggle or laugh too much or use young slang --don't say LIKE all the time. Make sure your grammar and posture are correct.

You may think that these things don't matter but please believe me when I say they matter very very much. Be super polite -- make good eye contact and remember your best manners.

Finally tell them you WANT the job and that you would take it if offered. Do some research on the company -- make sure you know everything that you can learn in a short time about the company and its practices. Find out the median salary at THAT company and if asked you should state that as your "negotiable" starting salary.

Do NOT BE LATE. Get there early -- sit at a coffee shop if necessary but do not be late.

Good luck and I hope you land the job!
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Old 11-07-2013, 06:30 PM
 
1,237 posts, read 3,289,747 times
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1. No one cares what color your shirt is. Wear a suit.

2. Check the company's website - sometimes they actually tell you what to expect for interviews (i.e will they be asking behavioral based questions 'tell me about a time when...', abstract questions, or field related). Otherwise, be prepared for all of it.

3. Be professional. Be prepared, be smart. I've never had a problem being taken seriously and I was in your boat once. Oh! And have a firm hand shake!

4. Always bring copies of your resume - they may not have it, more people may need it, ect. As stated above, have questions for them. I like to ask about the culture of the group, turnover rates (it's a bad sign if they have high turnover), what kinds of projects they have going....key into cues from the interviewer. Don't be afraid to ask questions as you go - if they mention something. My latest mentioned a computer software upgrade so I spun off that and asked about what system they use, mentioned my experience with similar upgrades and systems, ect. It can be a conversation, doesn't have to be question/answer.

5. Don't ask about salary/benefits/ect unless they bring it up. Don't chew gum, don't bring your phone in (or keep it OFF), don't be late, ect ect.

Good luck! Stay calm and it'll be fine.
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Old 11-07-2013, 06:38 PM
 
Location: Western Washington
12,341 posts, read 11,357,126 times
Reputation: 20679
Quote:
Originally Posted by swmrbird View Post
I like to ask about the culture of the group, turnover rates (it's a bad sign if they have high turnover),
^^^^^^^^^
Such an excellent point. Worst mistake of my life was ignoring high turnover for one position I took.
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Old 11-07-2013, 06:58 PM
 
533 posts, read 1,045,315 times
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Thank you so much everyone! I'm going to do everything I can to prepare for this.

Does it really matter if my purse and shoes match/don't match? My shoes are black (closed toe, 2" heel, leather) and I have this really nice purse. It's dark brown Dooney and Bourke - don't worry, there are no visible logos or trendy decorations, it's a rectangular shaped purse and very classic and simple looking... but it's dark brown.

I don't want to buy a cheap purse because it's hard to find one that looks "elegant/classic" because they usually have decorations or crazy pockets and fringe... Should I look for a matching one anyway?

I'm definitely going to practice interviewing via FaceTime and Skype with my friend who lives across the country, she's already agreed to it because she wants me to have a job so I can finally afford to go visit her! lol
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Old 11-07-2013, 07:02 PM
 
3,620 posts, read 3,561,855 times
Reputation: 1512
if the employer is wells fargo, run
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