A relationship banker is a finance professional that helps clients make decisions regarding their bank accounts. They also enlighten them on the bank policies. In this position, your main role is customer retention while creating more business for the bank. To be successful in this role you will need a degree in a business-related course and working experience in a financial institution. Have a look at the 20 questions below that will help you prepare for your banking interview.
1. Why Are You Interested In This Role?
The interviewer wants to gauge your motivation for the role. Share what made you submit an application and how you will benefit the bank.
“I am interested in this role because I believe the combination of my educational background, skills, and experience will help me create more business for the bank. My skills are particularly well suited for this role. I see this as a great opportunity to put my sales skills to practice and upsell the company’s products. It is also a chance to grow and learn while we both benefit personally, professionally, and financially. This is a great opportunity to contribute to a forward-thinking bank.”
2. What Are The Roles Of A Relationship Banker?
Do you have an understanding of what role you will play in the bank? This is what the interviewer wants an answer to. Keep your answer in line with the job description and explain how you will be able to handle the role.
“A relationship banker assists customers open checking and savings accounts. They also help clients in applying for credit. They also refer customers to other finance specialists within the bank such as mortgage and loan officers. They help resolve credit and debt issues on customer accounts. They also do data entry and other administrative issues. They also use the bank’s software to offer solutions to clients’ queries. I have experience handling these roles and I believe I will be the best-suited candidate for the role.”
3. What Are The Qualities That A Relationship Banker Need To Be Successful?
What attributes do you need to display in this role? Share what qualities will make you successful in this role.
“This role requires a person with great attention to detail. Since you deal with client finances, there is no room for error as that will mean losses for both the client and the bank. Excellent customer service skills are also a key attribute as you have to interact with customers. You also need to have a knack for numbers as that is how you communicate with the clients. You should be engaging and friendly. This will enable clients to trust you and be able to share their financial needs so that you can offer solutions. You also need good judgment as it will enable you to classify the risk index of the client. Risk management is key in banking. You also need to have integrity as you deal with sensitive information in your role. You should be reliable, accountable, and trustworthy for customers to trust your advice with their money. These are qualities I have worked at developing in my career and believe will greatly benefit the bank.”
4. What Major Challenges Did You Face During Your Last Role? How Did You Manage Them?
How well do you manage challenges? The interviewer wants to know how you work with challenges. Give a challenge and explain how you were able to navigate through it.
“The major challenge I have faced is clients with very high expectations. In the wake of technology and the increase in Fintech startups, customers expect faster services from banks. I once had a client who was applying for a credit facility and wanted the approval to be done immediately. They had been used to fast approvals from mobile application loans and expected that the bank would do the same. I had to explain the bank’s process and that it would take at least 48 hours for the approval process to be done. She understood the process and waited for the time to lapse. In the wake of technology, customers are increasingly asking for faster services yet the bank has to follow certain procedures to ensure due diligence is done. This is a challenge for bankers in the current times.”
5. Describe Your Daily Routine As A Relationship Banker?
The interviewer is interested in how you will structure your day. Put your planning and organizational skills to work when answering this question.
“I prefer to follow a daily schedule when it comes to my work. On a typical day, I expect that I will be working with current clients while also creating new relationships with new clients. I will follow up on client needs that need action and liaise with the relevant personnel to ensure that their needs are met. I will also communicate progress to the clients and the next steps the bank will take or if they need to provide further information. I will also meet new clients to see how we can serve them better. I will also communicate to them the products and services that could be beneficial to their needs. A few hours a week will be spent visiting the clients to assess any projects being financed by the bank and their completion levels. In my spare time, I will also research industry trends and assess what our competition is up to. This information is relevant in serving the clients better and improving their overall experience.”
6. Describe Briefly About Your Experience
Experience is great in determining your ability to handle the role effectively. Share the experience you have while outlining how that can assist you in this role.
“I have over eight years of experience in the financial services sector. I started out working in customer service where I gained valuable experience in the products and services offered and the key banking regulations that need to be enforced. This experience made my transition to relationship banking easy. I have been a relationship banker for four years and I have developed excellent selling and customer experience skills to better help the clients. I believe that this experience will be beneficial in my role here.”
7. What Kind Of Strategies And Mindset Is Required For This Role?
To be successful in this role you need to have a specific mindset and strategy. Explain to the interviewee the strategy and the mindset that will ensure you succeed.
“Bankers need a shift in mindset from traditional banking. You need to shift from selling to serving. Today’s client expects more than just being sold a product or service. You should also shift from features to solutions. Customers expect solutions to their problems not just a range of products and services. Explain to them how the product or service will solve their problems. The mindset should also shift from information to tapping into the client’s emotions. This requires that you are strategic about the services that you offer and understanding the clients well.”
8. What Is The Biggest Challenge That You Foresee In This Job?
You need to do research on the employer and anticipate the challenges that you may encounter. The interviewer is interested in the challenge you expect to encounter and how you will counter it when given the role.
“The challenge I expect to encounter is the impact of the pandemic on banking products and services. Clients have learned quite a few lessons from the pandemic and they are unwilling to take up some products. There is also a declining number of customers due to job losses and also the great resignation. Clients are looking to be very reliant on their day-to-day lives. These will impact how I will handle the relationships with different clients. I will have to study the trend of the client in detail in order to offer worthwhile solutions that will grow them personally and their businesses.”
9. How Do You Stay Motivated In Your Work?
The interviewer is interested in how you stay motivated in your work. Give a plan or the strategies that you use to enable you to stay focused.
“I maintain my motivation by ensuring that I set myself goals that I keep inching closer to in my work. I like to break them down to ensure that I am working to meet them. I push myself through discipline to achieve my goals. I believe that discipline supersedes motivation in most cases. I also like close collaboration with colleagues in the service of the clients. Client feedback is also instrumental in keeping me motivated. I enjoy when they feel that the relationship is mutually beneficial and it has enabled them to achieve their personal and business goals.”
10. Describe A Time When You Failed In This Role And The Lesson You Learnt?
Failure happens from time to time. The lessons we learn are the most important in ensuring that we create a meaningful impact in our work. Share with the interviewer a failure that you encountered and the lessons derived from it. Make the lessons flow naturally.
“In my first year as a relationship banker, I handled a client who was not able to articulate his needs well. It turned out that whatever I understood was not how he had expected. From this, I learned to ask a lot of questions even when I thought the client had given every relevant information needed. I also ensure that I explain to them what I have understood so that they can confirm if we are on the same page. This has worked well in my career and I have not had issues of misunderstanding client requirements again.”
11. Why Do You Feel You Arethe Most Suited For This Role?
This is your chance to sell yourself. Put your sales skills to work. You need to package yourself as an attractive candidate who is the perfect fit for the role.
“I am the best fit based on the personal attributes, skills, and experience requirements on the job description. I am a self-starter, confident, and a great salesperson. Over the years, I have developed my communication and interpersonal skills that will enable me to serve customers better. I adapt quickly to changing environments and therefore will be able to deliver on my role quickly.”
12. Share With Us Your Greatest Achievement.
Highlight the career moments you are proud of. Make it something related to the role at hand.
“The greatest achievement I have had in my career is surpassing sales targets every quarter. To achieve this I was attentive to client needs and suggested financial products and services solve them. I have had success suggesting related products because clients may not be aware that you offer them. For example, clients may be unaware of the insurance services offered by banks.”
13. As A Relationship Banker, How Will You Handle A Difficult Customer?
The interviewer is interested in your interpersonal skills. They want to know if you can also get easily agitated by the client. Your facial expressions when answering this question may sell you out. Be genuine and give a plan on how you will handle this customer.
“I will listen attentively to the client without any interruptions. Once they are done I will assure them that I have understood their concern and offer a plan of action for the solution that will satisfy their needs.”
14. How Will Your Former Colleagues Describe You?
Other people’s descriptions of us give a glimpse of who we are. Focus on the strengths that are especially beneficial to this position.
“My colleagues would say I am a planner who is committed to achieving results. They will say I am goal-oriented and attentive to details as I tend to pick even the smallest details.”
16. How Do You Determine A Client’s Needs?
The interviewer is interested in how you can identify a client’s needs. Share the strategy that works for you.
“First I assess the products and services that they currently have. After this, I ask probing questions to determine the problems or challenges they have. Then I suggest products or services that will solve those challenges. At times I can also offer suggestions based on my assessment of their needs as the client may not even be aware that they need a certain product or service. I point out the need and offer solutions. This has also enabled me to sell to the clients.”
17. Describe Your Communication Skills.
Communication is very important in this role. The interviewer is interested to know how well you put your points across.
“I have excellent written as well as spoken English. I get my points across effectively as well as efficiently. I am friendly and always make a point to know if the customer understands the points I am putting across. I have had no issues with being misunderstood by either clients or my colleagues.”
18. How Did You Grow In Your Previous Position?
The interviewer is looking at the skills that you were able to develop in your previous role. Ensure they fit in with the current position.
“In my previous role, I learned some invaluable skills that I will be bringing on board if selected for this role. I was able to develop excellent communication and interpersonal skills which are useful for this role. I was also able to develop my selling skills through the internal training the bank offered. These skills I believe make me a great addition to the team here.”
19. Why Do You Want To Work With This Particular Bank?
Your answer to this question should highlight the strong points of the bank. Share what makes the bank attractive as an employer.
“I want to work here because this bank is a leader in the financial services space. I like the innovative products it offers and its ability to change fast based on the changing business environment. I also know that the bank cares about its brand, employees, and customers.”
20. How Do You Plan Out Your Day?
Planning is key in this role. Share away you will use to make sure you stay on top of your to-do list.
“I like to use a calendar to schedule my tasks. For the repeat tasks, I indicate them on the calendar. I check the calendar once in the morning and also in the evening to ensure I stay on top of my tasks. I also use this system to monitor my long-term goals. Once I break them down, I plan the tasks and schedule them in the calendar. This way I do not lose sight of what I should work on.”
These questions and sample answers will assist in your preparation. Do your research on the bank and tailor the above answers as needed. Confidence and enough practice will assist you in acing the interview.