Last updated on March 19th, 2020 at 07:11 am

Branch manager sounds cool, doesn’t it?

The classy job title attracts a lot of people. More often than not, you will compete with a dozen other job seekers in your interview (or even with more).

You should prepare for a long interview session, consisting mostly in screening and situational (behavioral) questions.

Some technical questions and a personality test can sometimes catch you off-guard, but you won’t necessarily deal with them in your interview.

Let’s have a look at the four parts of the common interview process for branch manager job.

 

First part of the interview – screening questions

Interviewers use them to understand your motivation, your communication skills and other soft skills important for the job. Basically they try to get a good grasp of your personality-who you are, what you do, what you dream of, what you want to achieve in your life.

  • Why branch manager? (Focus on your relevant working experience, or skills and abilities. Stress your motivation and understanding for the position. Explain how you can help them to achieve their goals as a bank.)
  • Tell us something about your previous experience. (Stay relevant. Talk to the point. Speak about things you achieved–in terms of both tangible and intangible results for the business. If you have no experience, ensure them that you understand the expectations, and feel ready to take care of your working duties)
  • How do you imagine a typical day in work? (Say that you plan to spend most of your day on the sales floor, observing the situation in the branch, giving advice to employees, helping them, or even serving customers. Just some part of your day (and typically a smaller one) should be devoted to administrative work, to planning and reporting, etc.)
  • Why do you want to manage our branch, and not a branch of one of our competitors? (Honest compliment will never harm anyone. Tell them why you like them, and what they do better than their competitors. Make them feel great about themselves!)
  • What do you consider your greatest weakness as a manager?
  • Why should we hire you, and not one of the other applicants?

Special Tip: You can also download the full list of questions in a one page long .PDF, print it, and practice your interview answers anytime later:

 

A woman in white shirt interviews for a job. The interviewers, man and woman, lead the interview. The man holds the resume of the job candidate in his hands.

Second part – behavioral (situational) questions

Interviewers try to understand your attitude to various work-related situations and to challenges you can face in your daily job, while asking you these questions. Let’s have a look at some.

  • How do you go about hiring new staff? What criteria do you set for your new employees? (First of all, do not panic when you hear the question. Leading an interview is much easier than succeeding in one :). You can say that you will always consider the existing team, and whether the new person will fit in, as well as their attitude to work, their motivation and skills.)
  • hat was the toughest managerial decision you had to make in your career? (Try to describe some difficult decisions, and ensure the panel of interviewers that you would not allow your emotions to affect your decisions. You would always do the best thing for the company–even if your resignation was that thing.)
  • How would you establish a good rapport with new and existing clients in the area?
  • How would ensure to comply with all regulations and applicable laws?
  • Describe a situation when you struggled to communicate something to one of your sub-ordinates. What did you do to get your message over?
  • How do you plan to monitor the performance of your staff members in this bank? (Setting goals for each employee (weekly, monthly, quarterly goals), ideally tangible ones, and later compare their real results with the desired target, is a relatively simple and generally applicable system of monitoring staff performance…)
  • What information would you use to forecast sales revenues of the new branch?

 

Third part – short case studies and technical questions

  • Imagine that we gave you a key from our new banking branch. You were the first and only employee of the branch. What steps would you take to ensure that the branch did run as soon as possible? How would you progress?
  • How would you motivate your subordinates in the branch, without offering them a raise, or any other form of financial compensation?
  • What do you consider the main challenges you will face when leading the branch of our bank? Describe how you’ll address such a challenge.

 

Personality and IQ tests, conclusion, answers to all questions

Job interview in a small company. Three interviewers are listening attentively to the job candidate.In some cases you may deal with a personality test, and sometimes also with an IQ test in this interview.

However, there isn’t really a way to prepare for the tests in advance. Focus on things you can prepare for, things you can control–your interview answers.

Success in an interview (or a failure) is not a question of luck. The better you prepare for your interview, the greater your chances to succeed will be.

If you are not sure how to answer the questions, or experience anxiety before your interview, you can have a look at a new eBook I wrote, the Branch Manager Interview Guide (published in 2020).

Multiple great answers to all difficult questions will make your life much easier on a big day. You will find some sample answers directly on the product page, so it makes sense to check it out even if you do not plan to purchase anything. Thank you!

Matthew

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Matthew Chulaw

Matthew has been working in international recruitment since 2008. He helps job seekers from all walks of life to pursue their career goals, and to prepare for their interviews. He is the founder of InterviewPenguin.com website.
Matthew Chulaw

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