Clean and organized working environment, decent salary, and a position one can get withing any special education or working experience. No wonder that a role of a bank teller belongs to popular career choices all around the world. Dozens of people typically apply for each job opening in any major banking institution. That makes your situation more difficult, regardless of the questions you will face.

What’s more, working experience or education does not make a huge difference in this case. You’ll get an excellent training before starting the job, so previous experience isn’t required. Your interview answers, and your ability to demonstrate the value you can bring to the bank as their new teller, will decide whether they will hire you, or someone else for the job. Let’s have a look at the questions you will face.

 

Why do you want to work as a bank teller?

Interviewers try to find out if you understand the role of a teller, if you know what will be expected from you. You should focus on customer service and sales, on a good level of customer satisfaction.

Tell them that you enjoy talking to people, uncovering their needs and desires, and matching them with products from banking portfolio (or you believe you’d enjoy doing it). You can also emphasize your interest in the banking industry, or your passion for the world of finance in general. Show us that you really want the job, and not just need one.

Alternatively you can talk about some job you’d like to have in a future, perhaps managing the banking branch, or specializing on certain type of clients or financial products. Show them that you have some goals, and know what you want to achieve in your professional career. Yet you have to start from the bottom like everyone else, from the job of a teller.

Sample answers:

I like to work with people and money. These things are uniquely combined in a daily job of a teller. On a top of that, I would be proud of working in such a reputable institution like your Bank. Those are the main reasons for my choice.

Every one of us has some skills and is good in doing something. I am good in pitching people, in uncovering their needs and desires and matching them with banking products. On the top of that, financial products have always be a great interest of mine. People want to do what they do well. That is why I want to get the job of a teller and did not apply for another role.

 

Why did you choose our bank, and not one of our competitors?

Say that you like the working environment, and the way tellers and personal bankers approach the customers of the bank. If you have an account with the bank, you can stress your satisfaction with the customer service (and with everything else). Tell them that you would be proud to become a member of their team.

You can also praise their product portfolio, values and goals they promote in the bank, employee benefits, or anything else that caught your eye on their job offer. At the end they should get an impression that their bank is your first choice, even if in reality you do not care, and would accept the job with any other financial institution.

Sample answer:

I fulfill the requirements and believe that I fit the company culture well, from what I have observed as a client of this bank. That’s why I prefer to work at XYZ Bank, and not anywhere else. I submitted applications to two other banks, but I would accept a job here immediately, even if I get interview invitations from the other two banks.

* Do not forget to check also: How to overcome interview nerves and ace an interview.

 

How would you convince the prospect to take a loan (or open an account, or prolong their credit card, etc) with us?

It can be either a question, or (more commonly) a role play. You will play the teller (or a banker, if they ask you to do something tellers typically aren’t responsible for), and the interviewer will play the client. Try to uncover their needs with the set of targeted questions. Explain, in a simple language which everyone should understand, how the product will help them to achieve their financial goals, or to satisfy their financial (and other) needs.

Most job seekers are afraid of a role play, but you should realize that they do not expect to be blown away by your sales pitch. You will learn everything in the training program, and all they want to see is that you have some courage (and won’t refuse to do the role play), and understand the very basics of any successful sales talk–asking questions, trying to understand the needs of the customer, and matching them with the most fitting banking product.

Sample answer:

I would try to uncover the needs of the prospect in question and match them with the products or services we offer. At the end of the day, our goal is to make sure they are convinced in their mind, that make the decision themselves. After that, I would look for the options to upsell, according to the situation and their needs. In any case, individual approach is the key here, understanding what the client really wants and needs, and starting from there.

What are your salary expectations?

Try to emphasize that the job itself motivates you. Salary is not the deciding factor–after all, bank tellers do not earn exceptional salaries.

To say that you would accept their offer is probably the best option, since banks offer the same starting salary to every new teller, and unless you present some strong arguments, you won’t succeed while trying to negotiate a better offer, or some benefits you would not get otherwise.

Sample answer:

To be honest I do not have any particular expectations. I will be happy to start with the standard salary you pay new tellers here. Down the road, once I prove my skills and great attitude to work, I am sure there will be an opportunity for promotion, or at least for a salary raise.

 

Tell us about a time when you had to deal with an angry customer.

A good teller stays calm regardless of what’s going on in the bank (of course armed robbery is an exception :)). You should be able to look at the problem from the perspective of a client, and get over any bad words in a flash. They were rude and that’s it. Time to move on to a new client.

If you have no experience with irate customers, you can say what you would do if you met one in your job. Your attitude matters more than the particular situation you narrate. And the attitude to present is the following one: Customer is always right, and you would do everything to make sure they leave the bank satisfied, and you won’t lose them.

Sample answer:

I have never had such an experience, since this is my first job application. However, if it happened in a bank, I would most likely try to understand why they got irate, listen carefully to their words and just then I would try to calm them down, using all information I had from them. I would definitely not argue with them—that would hardly help. I count with this behavior in a bank, and irate customers would not make me upset in job. We should simply try our best with each one, and then move on to the next one with a clean sheet, regardless of what the previous customer has said to us.

 

What motivates you the most in this type of work?

Job of a bank teller can be repetitive and boring. You will have some formulations which you have to repeat with each and every customer, like a robot. What’s more, in the majority of banking institutions tellers have much narrower scope of responsibilities than personal bankers, and you cannot really expect many surprises in your daily routine.

But you can still say that you love to talk to people, and the nature of the job will motivate you. Or you can opt for a more honest answer, talking about goals you follow in life–buy this or that thing, provide for your family, send your children to a great school, etc. One way or another, ensure them that you know why you wake up to work each day, and your goals will help you to get over any eventual crisis of motivation.

Sample answer:

To be honest with you, I prefer routine jobs. Once I learn to do things, I do my job well and have good feeling about doing it. Jobs where you have to learn new things every day are not a good choice for me. I simply prefer routine jobs, as I am not the most creative person in the world. However, once I learn to do my tasks well, I enjoy doing them and can do them on a high level day in day out. I also always keep my goals on my mind–why I go to job, the lifestyle I hope to have, and so on. It definitely helps with the crisis of motivation.

 

Other questions you may face in your bank teller interview

  • How would you describe an ideal colleague? / How would you describe an ideal boss?
  • What do you like to do in your spare time?
  • Tell us about a time when you went above and beyond.
  • Describe a situation when you did not agree with the opinion (or decision) of your superior or supervisor, and knew that they were wrong. How did you handle that?
  • Describe a time when you struggled to communicate something to your boss, colleague, or to a customer. How did you manage to get your message over?
  • What is the biggest mistake you’ve made in your career?
  • What would you do if you won a lottery?
  • Describe the situation in which you were able to use persuasion to successfully convince someone.
  • Tell me about a time you had to comply with a policy or procedure that you did not agree with.
  • Describe a situation when you had to meet a tight deadline.
  • Tell me about a time when you were overwhelmed with work.

Special tip: Not sure how to answer the behavioral questions, “tell us about a time when…”, “describe a situation…”, etc? Have a look at our Interview Success Package, where you’ll find up to 10 premium answers to 30+ behavioral questions (+ more), basically everything a hiring manager can throw at you in a Bank Teller interview.

What’s more, these are premium answers, not available to general public. They will help you stand out in an interview and outclass your competitors–something you typically have to do, when trying to get such a popular job as the one of a teller…

 

The right personality

One more thing I want to talk about before bringing this article to a close. You should try to show them that you know what it takes to be a good teller. Try to demonstrate your listening skills, ask relevant questions, show enthusiasm for the job, and understanding for the rules they have in place.

Remember that they will provide you an excellent training, and you will learn how to handle the daily job. Bank managers know that they can train you. They know that they can help you become a great teller, guiding you and teaching you.

But they can not change your character, your personality–that’s why they put great emphasis on it, and try to hire people who have the right mindset and attitude. You can demonstrate it with great answers to behavioral questions. I hope you will manage to do so, and wish you best of luck in this competitive interview!

Matthew

 

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Matthew Chulaw
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