MERJE sponsored the Conduct Risk Summit in London in September. We put together this guide to effectively preparing for interviews for Risk and Compliance positions for delegates of the event.
Edward Manson, Director at MERJE recruitment consultancy, discusses his five top tips when being interviewed for a Risk or Compliance role.
Preparation is key
“What can you tell us about the company?” is a question that comes up frequently in interviews. You won’t be expected to know everything about the organisation that you have applied to work for, but it could reflect very poorly on you if you are unable show a basic understanding of what the company does. Make sure you’ve had a thorough read through of the company’s website in detail, including the About Us section. Showing that you have read up on the company, including its history and recent news, exhibits a willingness to understand the company’s strategies, culture and values, and will hopefully stop any awkward silences when they ask you about the firm. Use your recruitment contact to also assist you with knowledge around the team, product development and focus and structure of the firm. We always share information and insider knowledge we have through the connections we have.
And don’t forget to brush up on the latest regulatory news and legislative reforms. There may be something which has been recently reported on that could have an impact on the company, so showing some knowledge of wider compliance issues will position you strongly.
Study the job spec and think of the wider context outside of the role
It also makes sense to fully get a grasp of the role. You should have been given a detailed job spec that gives an idea of the specific responsibilities and where it fits within the wider structure of the business. Read through it carefully and try to find examples of your skills and experience that match the points within the job spec. Risk and Compliance roles can be very technical, so making sure you have examples of your specific technical experience pre-prepared can relieve the pressure of trying to remember them when in the room.
Think of the different skills and behaviours that this specific role will need for someone to succeed and research them further. Have they produced any reports which includes their Key Risk Indicators? Do you know anyone that works there that can give you some insight to their Compliance or Conduct Risk framework? Can you highlight some issues that the Risk team may be facing or will be in the future? Placing the specifics of the role in to a wider Risk or Compliance context may well give you the edge in an interview, so make use of search engines, reports, magazines and journals to stay up-to-date. Also consider who you know that works at the firm or used to work at the firm and could give at least some information.