You need to have the right personality to enjoy the job of a phone banker. And exactly this will be tested the most in an interview–your personality, and your attitude. People who do not have stomach for this job will quit it in a week, or in a month. They will just suffer in work.
Being aware of the nature of the job, HR managers try their best to pick job seekers who enjoy talking on the phone, and who do not mind selling, and who can get over rejection quickly–especially repeated rejection. How do they choose these people?
Motivation, attitude, sales skills
They will inquire about your motivation, sales skills, the working environment you’d prefer, your knowledge of banking products, and your understanding of the job. Phone bankers do not only answer the calls and address the requests of the banking clients. They also try to up-sell the clients, and they collect information from them, trying to get valuable feedback that will eventually help them to make even more sales. Do you have the right personality for this position?
Interviewers will try to find it out, with the help of targeted questions (mostly situational and behavioral), and a role play. Let’s have a look at the second one now. (We will look at the common interview questions right after that.)
Role play in an interview
Role play is by far the best possible way of assessing your sales skills, and your readiness for the job of a phone banker. The interviewer will play a client of a bank (sometimes an angry client, or a simple one), and you will “play” a banker on the phone.
How do you answer the call? What questions do you ask the client? How do you answer their questions? Do you use an opportunity to sell them something? The interviewers will notice a lot of things while doing the role play with you…
Remember: They do not expect to hear an excellent sales talk from you (you will get a training before starting your job, and you will learn everything you need to know before that). But they still want to see whether you understand the basics of a phone call with a customer, and whether you are not afraid of the task ahead. And that is exactly what you should show in the role play–courage, curiosity, sales skills.
* Special Tip: Feeling anxious about the prospect of a role play in an interview? Learn how to overcome interview nerves and enjoy the experience instead.
Typical questions for the interview
- Why did you apply for this job? Tell them that you enjoy talking on the phone, that you believe to have the right skills to become a good phone banker, or that you’d love to work in banking sector. Alternatively you can point out your experience in the field–if you have any, of course
- What do you think makes you a good candidate for phone banker position? Try to list your skills and abilities. Tell them that you are patient, and do not mind spending a lot of time on the line. You can also say that you have a good understanding of other people and their needs, and possess decent sales skills.
- Give an example of you dealing with an irate customer and what you did to fix the problem.
- Talk about your successful sales experience. If this is your first job application, you can talk about selling your ideas to other people, either in school, or in the family. And if you’ve worked in retail before, narrate any situation when you made an unexpected sale, and made some extra money for your employer in the process.
- How do you imagine a typical day in work? Phone, phone, phone. Nice people, but also people who’d hang up (actually many of them), and people who’d be upset about your call. Show the interviewers that you do not wear pink glasses and see this job realistically–with both good and bad things that belong to the daily bread of phone bankers.
- How do you feel about spending eight hours a day in front of a computer? Tell them that you are used to spend a lot of time in front of a computer screen, that your eyes are used to it, and that you won’t struggle with your concentration at work.
- This job is repetitive. What would motivate you to do it well every day?
- Is there a group of people you find it difficult to talk to? You will be assigned to call to a certain segment of bank customers, so you can calmly talk about your preferences. At the same time, however, you should stress that while you prefer some groups of clients, you’re ready to handle any phone call, with any type of a client. Even if you find it difficult to call someone, you will still do it.
- How would you introduce yourself to the customer? Keep it simple and professional–your name, position in a bank, and reason why you are calling. You can emphasize that non-verbal communication also matters, and that you will try to answer each call (and make each call) with enthusiasm in your voice. Show the interviewers that you really care, and will do your very best to close some deals for them.
- This is random customer profile (interviewer shows you a sample profile of a bank customer of a bank, describing their age, occupation, marital status, and banking products they use at the moment). Which product would you offer them if they called you to process a routine transaction on their account?
* Special Tip: Download the entire list of questions in a one page long PDF, print it, and practice your interview answers anytime later:
Conclusion, next steps
Interview for a job of a phone banker belongs to interviews with average difficulty. In current economic climate you typically won’t compete with dozens of people for the job–only with a few actually, which makes your task much easier.
However, you still have to convince the HR managers about your readiness for the job, sales skills, and strong motivation that will help you deal with the negative aspects of this job. Read the following articles to continue your preparation for phone banker interview:
- Salary negotiation tips – Learn how to negotiate the best possible conditions of employment in your interview.
- Behavioral interview questions – Guide on how to answer some tricky questions you may face while trying to get a job of a phone banker.
- Interview attire guide – Dress to impress and succeed in your interview.