The interview process is one of the most important processes to become proficient in during your life and career. There isn’t one interview that will be exactly like another; there are many variables from the types of questions asked, the flow, the person or people conducting the interview, the opportunity and company the interview is for, and many others. To take your interviewing a step further, it is imperative to be seen positively through not only the interviewer’s lens, but also the lens of integrating into the firm’s practice, culture, and clientele. Intensified research on the firm, (mission, team, clientele, etc.) extensive communication of your skillset and interest as it applies to the opportunity and firm, and polishing your holistic personal presentation are some tips to augment your interview preparation and success.
When firm owners describe their ideal candidate, one of the most essential requests that they have is for the candidate to be able to service and care for their clients in whichever capacity the position entails. Each firm has a unique model and client base that they serve; this often includes niches for people who may have financial planning needs specific to qualifiers in their lives, i.e. retirement planning, college planning, and clients who own businesses to name a few. The lens that a firm owner views you through in a firm that has a niche for retirees may vary greatly from the lens that a firm owner whose firm specializes in college planning. They are imagining the knowledge, background, and interpersonal connection that would be ideal to work with their clients.
To aid in a firm owner seeing you through the lens of someone they could see working within the firm and with their clients, the following can be considered:
- Intensified research: Proper research is imperative in your success during the interview process. Be sure to look at the groups of clients the firm aims to serve primarily and any initiatives surrounding this or adjacent groups. Also, consider knowledge and ideas you may want to implement to further develop established initiatives as a way of assisting the firm owner’s envisionment of you in the role.
- Extensive communication: Communicate any experience, interests, or research regarding the firm’s clientele or approach to planning can assist a firm owner in envisioning you as the candidate they should hire.
- Practice: Practicing responses to common interview questions can help you be prepared for any nervous jitters that may arise during an interview. Preparing responses to commonly asked questions like “Tell me about yourself”, “Why financial planning?” and details of your education and professional experience can set the tone for a confident and successful interview.
- Personal presentation: Take the saying “put your best foot forward” and apply it to each facet of your personal presentation. You want to present yourself as polished and professional not only through your physical appearance but also through your confidence, phone/email/video call etiquette, and communication style.
Ultimately, interviewing is a constantly calculated process that requires different knowledge and preparation at different times. Preparing for an interview should go further than printing your resume and creating a good first impression; it is also being intimately familiar with the opportunity and firm beyond your general ability to complete the tasks. It is also being aware of yourself and what you are able to contribute. Each hire is an integral part of a team’s culture, client happiness, and growth and that is met with firm owners doing their due diligence in vetting candidates for hire. To be seen through the lens of someone that is the ultimate hire: do diligent research, communicate your skills and potential contributions, express any genuine interest you have in their niche work, establish any keynotes that will ensure your ability to serve their clients, and put your best self forward.
If you’re interested in beginning your journey in financial planning or are looking to make a change, submit your resume here or check out our list of top-tier opportunities in financial planning firms nationwide here. The team at New Planner Recruiting is eager to help you on your way to ultimate career success.