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5 Personal Banker Interview Questions and Answers

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Q:

How do you deal with a difficult customer? What steps do you take to calm down angry customers?

A:

A personal banker is in the service industry. Unfortunately, they do not get to choose their customers and have to deal with everyone who comes into the bank. A good personal banker will maintain their calm when dealing with even the toughest customers. You will want to find a personal banker who can act on their own to keep a difficult situation from escalating through their own tact and diplomacy. What to look for in an answer:

  • Skill in tactfulness and diffusing difficult situations
  • Thick skin to handle nasty customers
  • The knowledge of when to walk away

Example:

"When dealing with difficult customers, I recognize that I will have to swallow my pride. I try to keep customers happy to a point."

Q:

Give three pieces of knowledge that you have that will demonstrate your financial literacy.

A:

A personal banker is expected to have deep financial knowledge. They will be called upon to use this knowledge on the spot. You cannot risk that the personal banker will give the wrong advice because that will reflect negatively on the company. You want to get the candidate talking about the nuts and bolts of finance. While they do not sell complex investments, they must know the products they sell. What to look for in an answer:

  • Financial knowledge that goes beyond the superficial
  • Specialized training in financial instruments
  • Evidence that they have sold many different products

Example:

"I always devote time to reading about the latest in financial products. Some of the more complex financial products I am familiar with include....."

Q:

Name a product that we do not offer that you would add to our offerings if given the choice.

A:

The personal banker's answer to this question will show the depth of their knowledge beyond the standard financial products that everyone sells. If the banker is well-versed and stays informed about new financial products, they will be better equipped to offer the right products to your customers and be able to explain them. They may explain other products that another bank offers that your company can consider offering as well. What to look for in an answer:

  • Knowledge beyond just the standard products
  • Thinking beyond their role and as an entrepreneur
  • Commitment to continuing financial literacy education

Example:

"At my previous bank, we offered certain nontraditional mortgages that gave customers additional options. I was able to learn and sell those products, and I believe offering that product is worth looking into for your company."

Q:

When you meet a new potential client, how do you assess their financial needs in order to recommend products?

A:

The personal banker must recommend suitable products for customers. The potential hire will have to make assessments sometimes shortly after meeting the customer. Your bank could get in trouble if the personal banker makes a wrong recommendation so you will want to know the process that they use to make decisions. The recommendation must be made based on the client's needs, and the candidate will need to quickly learn their needs. What to look for in an answer:

  • Ability to get to know clients
  • The desire to act in the client's best interests
  • Solid relationship-building skills

Example:

"I always make sure to have an in-depth personal conversation with the client and ask all the necessary questions before I make any recommendations."

Q:

What is your knowledge of different types of loans that the bank offers?

A:

Depending on the size of your institution, the personal banker may also sell mortgage and other loan products. If your bank is smaller, there is a good chance that you will not have dedicated mortgage specialists on staff and the personal banker will be the one selling these products. Personal bankers who can fill many roles will end up being valuable to you as their versatility will increase options. What to look for in an answer:

  • Knowledge of different mortgage products
  • Experience selling many different products
  • Ability to apply this knowledge to a client's needs

Example:

"I am comfortable wearing different hats since I have experience selling many different products. If I do not know something, I will ask questions."

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