Recruiters at Deutsche Bank understand the importance of effective communication. It’s key to candidates presenting themselves well at interview and making the right first impression. Here they offer their insights to anyone thinking of embarking on a career in banking, on how communicating clearly can help achieve success at interview.
‘Some people think of it as a ‘soft’ skill, but good communication is a critical ability you should be cultivating,’ says Faye Woodhead, who manages Graduate Programmes and Employer Brand at Deutsche Bank. ‘It’s something that can make all the difference in an interview. All the experience and knowledge in the world isn’t much use if you can’t build a rapport and explain to the panel why that knowledge and experience counts.’
You can break good communication down into five essential principles:
Take the time before an interview to make sure you know your CV inside out. If you’ve included details of a job or a project that’s a few years old, you should be prepared to talk around it – so don’t take your knowledge for granted.
When you’re on the spot, it’s easy to start a sentence without any clear idea of where it’s going to end. But few interviewers will think any less of you if you pause, take a breath, and come up with a considered response to a tough question.
In banking, it’s important that you can make the best use of other people’s time by conveying important information quickly and concisely. An interview is the perfect opportunity to demonstrate this skill; resist the temptation to speak at length, or offer extraneous detail. Answer the question you’ve been asked as succinctly as you can, and wrap it up quickly.
Develop the self-belief to express yourself without apologising for having an opinion. Dropping the caveats doesn’t mean being conceited or self-important – it just means making a case for what you believe. It’s a fine line, but be careful not to talk down your achievements out of modesty.
Listening is just as important to good communication as speaking. Make sure you take in what other people say to you, and respond to it thoughtfully. Whenever possible, refer back to something that’s come up earlier in the interview or application process to demonstrate that you’re fully engaged with it.