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Prepare your compliance job interview

If you're preparing for a Compliance job interview, you need to think of certain key elements in order to set yourself apart from the crowd and impress your interlocutor.

There are three minimum requirements when preparing for any interview, which are listed below. If you want to take it further and go beyond what's expected of you, read further on for more advanced preparation tips.

​The 3 Minimum Requirements

Read the company's website

Focus on key areas of business for the company. Read the values and company mission or about us sections. In short, read the entire website if you have the time.

Have a look at competitor websites to see what the company is up against. It gives you context on what the company may need and whether the company is the right cultural fit for you.

Read the Job Spec

Seems obvious, that’s because it is. You need to know what you’re getting into, both for the interview and for your life choices. Write down any questions you have about the job that aren’t answered by the job spec.

Cross Reference Your CV

Ask yourself the question: how can I add value to this company? Then read through your CV again and try and pick out what would be most important to your interviewer and whether anything that the interviewer would find important is missing from your CV that you can bring out in the interview.

Also prepare any accomplishments or projects that aren’t visible on your CV, for example ‘I designed and implemented a new surveillance system to improve the efficiency of the compliance team.’

Ultimately you are trying to prove that you will add value to the team so anything that can show value would be worth noting. This is really key because 9/10 interviews in this space consist of in-depth discussion around your CV/experience.

Advanced Tips

​Ask Your Recruitment Consultant

Give them a call or send an email with a list of questions. You want to know the format of the interview process and any key information, like who will be conducting the interview. The more information and tips you can get from your consultant, the merrier.

Google News Search and FCA Register Search

Do your due diligence. You want to know if the company is in the news. This could either be a good topic of conversation or a conversation to be assiduously avoided.

You also want to know generally about the key players in the business and you want to know the interviewers’ profiles back to front. This includes checking who is registered under the SMCR provisions on the FCA website as well as looking at the regulatory permissions that the firm has and who they are regulated by internationally.

Practice Answering Standard Questions

I would suggest practising this with a friend, it tends to bring out the weaknesses/strengths in your explanations. I won’t list all the standard questions here, there are many, but here are a few:

  • Why do you want to join our company?

  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?

  • Why should we employ you?

  • What is the biggest problem you have faced and how did you overcome it?

  • What is your greatest achievement to date?

  • Why did you leave your last employer?

Some standard compliance focussed questions could include:

  • How would you handle difficult situations with the business, e.g. a situation where you learned an employee violated the company's regulatory policies?

  • What are the key regulations that affect our business coming up in the next 12 months?

  • What are some of the compliance inefficiencies in your current team?

  • Describe any regulatory project experience you have had and what role you played.

  • In relation to compliance, what are some of the key issues facing our company?

  • How effective has MiFID II or X policy been?

It is useful to be aware that some compliance interviews with the business or non-compliance senior management can take on a more commercial tone. Business interviewers will be looking for Compliance Officers to show judgement; that they are commercially aware and sensitive to their needs whilst also strong enough to say no. Ideally they would like an interviewee to demonstrate some product knowledge (although not always).

For any further advice, get in touch with one of our consultants.