Risk & Compliance: Interview Preparation Tips
The key to a successful trick in the interview preparation in the Risk & Compliance industry is Research, Review and Rehearsal.
Demands on the Risk and Compliance professionals are greater than ever before and organisations are placing a growing emphasis on hiring not only technically strong candidates but those with exceptional relationship management and stakeholder engagement skills. This is clearly a result of the growing desire to see risk and compliance professionals as “trusted advisors”. Interviews for risk and compliance positions are consequently not only an arena to test your technical knowledge but an opportunity to demonstrate how you relate and communicate under pressure.
Whether you are a risk expert or a compliance professional there are a number of key processes you can follow to give you the best chance of success.
Research = knowledge = confidence = credibility = success!
- Use the company website; annual & economic reports, and media releases to review all aspects of the organisation including; structure, leadership, products & services, strategic goals, target markets, past performance, corporate social responsibility initiatives and career development programs.
- Read as much third party information on search engines, newspapers, magazines, and trade publications to gain insight into the regulatory climate the organisation is operating within and ensure you are equipped to comment on key industry challenges and legislative reforms pertaining to your area of expertise. These might include but not be limited to; the APRA, ASIC and ASX websites; ACI website, GRC professional magazine, the AFR and the Morgan McKinley Risk and Compliance Community on LinkedIn.
- Speak to risk and compliance professionals who have worked for the organisation to acquire first hand knowledge of the company’s culture, vision, and values and to gain insight into the strengths, challenges and maturity of the discipline you will potentially be joining. This might include;
- Understanding the maturity of their frameworks
- Lines of defence
- Risk profiles and Key Risk Indicators
- Regional versus local reporting lines and associated challenges
- Robustness of models
By understanding some of these factors prior to interview this will allow you to demonstrate initiative and help you position your experience in line with their goals when talking about past achievements.
- Use LinkedIn or ask your consultant to understand the background and career paths of the people you will be meeting. If they come from a technical, regulatory or operational background it may give you insight into the questions and areas they will probing.
- Utilise your consultant to help build a picture of the division, team, key stakeholders and likely interview structure and questions. They can also give you insight into the Dos and Don’ts in interview (more about this in our interview preparation guide below) to ensure you leave the best possible impression.
- Spend time reviewing your resume against the job description. Identify specific examples in your background that are directly relevant and demonstrate you have both the experience and ability to do the job.
- Brush up on the technical elements of the role e.g. what specific systems, product exposure or skills are they expecting the successful candidate to have and make sure you have examples to demonstrate your knowledge and practical experience.
- Refresh your memory on the details of your roles with past and present employers. Have credible reasons for leaving previous positions and for the direction you have taken your career to date.
Rehearsing answers to questions will be critical to your success. An effective way to prepare your past experience examples that relate to the job requirements is to use the STAR format:
- SITUATION/TASK: Explain the context or circumstances
- ACTION: Describe what you did
- RESULT: Describe the outcome of your action
This will help demonstrate the specific action you took in a challenging situation and the positive results you achieved.
Be prepared to communicate why the role appeals, how you can add value and what sets you apart from other candidates. It may be beneficial to organise a mock interview with your consultant to really lift your confidence.
Prepare relevant and insightful questions to ask your interviewer to demonstrate your initiative, knowledge and enthusiasm for the role. These could be based around the company, the role, the interviewer, or the team. Just make sure they are unique questions that could only be answered through an interview.
Finally the interview is an opportunity for you to sell yourself. Be prepared to communicate why the role appeals, how you can add value and what sets you apart from other candidates. Revise your key achievements and use them to demonstrate the key attributes you can bring to the role.
- Confirm the time, date and location of the interview and name of interviewer(s).
- Get a good nights sleep.
- Plan to get there no earlier than half an hour before the interview time.
- Ensure your corporate attire is clean and ready to wear.
- If you are asked to bring certificates, references etc., get them ready before the day.
- On arrival ensure the receptionist knows you are there and who are meeting.
- Concentrate on the interview at the interview.
You have been invited in to interview because the hiring manager believes that your background and experience is a good match for the role. The interview gives you the opportunity to bring your experience to life and demonstrate the value this can bring to their organisation. Having prepared thoroughly you can be confident that you will perform at your best.
Remember every interview you attend is an opportunity to promote your brand. The Sydney risk and compliance community is small so regardless of whether the interview increases or decreases your interest in the role, make sure you manage the process professionally and leave all parties involved with a positive impression. You never know what opportunities might exist in the future, who people are connected to and what potential referrals could arise following the meeting.