We speak with Will about securing a role with Lloyds Banking Group, how he built up his commercial awareness before the interview and his three top tips for Bright Network members looking to follow in his footsteps.
Why a role with Lloyds?
When researching for a risk management placement as a technical analyst, I spent a lot of time comparing Lloyds with other banking groups. This role particularly stood out to me even though I don’t come from a financial background, my analytic skills learnt during my time in the laboratories allowed me to demonstrate transferable skills. Lloyds stuck out for me for having a keen eye on giving back to the community, be that on a small or larger scale. They give employees the opportunity to go and volunteer, committing 720,000 hours to give back. This really resonated with me because I currently volunteer with Disability Advice Service Lambeth as part of a volunteering scheme with Kings and is important for me to satisfy this aspect of my life. In addition to this, Lloyds wholeheartedly admitted that their efforts to close the ethnic pay gap were not good enough (6.1% at the time of writing). A group of people that are willing to hold their hands up and admit they need to improve; is the culture I want to be involved with.
How did you build your commercial awareness before the interview?
I started developing my commercial awareness and embedding myself in Lloyds culture a week before the final assessment centre. I spent this entire week understanding Lloyds corporate strategy, and how to apply this to my role and understand if Lloyds was the right fit for me. I prepared a variety of interview questions based on my role, their strategy and a plethora of competency-based questions and ensuring I knew how to apply each situation to what the interviewer was asking. I thought the STAR technique was trivial, however this really helped me to keep on track and ensure I effectively answered the question.
How did Bright Network help you secure this role?
Bright Network helped me during the application process by sending me daily reminders of when the deadlines were coming up. In addition to holding a variety of virtual events to build my confidence when faced with an interview.
What top three tips would you give Bright Network members looking to follow in your footsteps?
Just be yourself! At the end of the day, you are a human and aren’t expected to give robotic answers. Most interviewers are looking for a genuine response as opposed to a pre-learnt one and it will shine through. I also found when talking about situations and my skills that I could convey this easier if I was passionate about the subject. Soft skills are just as important as hard skills and may even set you apart!
- Read up on their corporate strategy and realty get a feel for their culture. This really shows your willingness to join their company and the motivations you have. Even grab some figures to show you’ve done your research and really impress the interviewer with the depth of knowledge.
- Practice and dress for the occasion. I made sure I had questions phrased differently for each competency-based question so the wording wouldn’t trip me up and I rehearsed in all settings to make sure I was comfortable. Regardless of lockdown, still, fully dress up to improve confidence.