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Advice and Insights for Finance Professionals
Updated: 13 hours 35 min ago

The do’s and don’ts of an eye catching job description

Thu, 07/14/2016 - 12:03

Writing a job description may not be the most exciting task as a hiring manger, but it’s one of the most important ones. Your job description is one of the first interactions a candidate has with your company and with thousands of others to compete with, you need to ensure your description captures the attention of competitive talent. With less than a minute to capture their attention, a compelling description of the role is not just encouraged, it's necessary.

There are right ways and wrong ways to write an eye-catching job description. Follow the tips below to make sure you’re on the right track.

DO use formatting. Formatting is one of the most important and underrated elements of a job description. As long as you don’t overdo it, emphasizing certain areas of the job description with bold, italicize, underline or even colors is a great way to make your job more visual. Focus on parts of your job description that might be different from the typical one for that role. Need an accountant that wears hats beyond accounts payable/receivable? Bold or italicize those responsibilities to ensure candidates see it if they're just skimming through.

DON’T use hard-to-read colors. If you do incorporate colors into your job description, make sure the colors are easy to read on a computer screen. Navies and dark greys, for example, are professional and easy to ready yet different enough to make your description pop. Stay away from yellows, oranges, neon colors, etc and make sure you can easily read it on both your phone and computer before posting publicly. Remember, the colors you choose are part of a bigger company brand so don't pick them too carelessly.

DO think outside the box. When was the last time you saw a job description that made you excited about applying? Was it your typical list of job requirements and responsibilities? Most postings that truly catch the eye of a job seeker have an "IT" factor. Whether it’s a sense of humor, a killer company page, or a video invite to apply, don’t be afraid to add some factors that go outside the traditional job description box and really showcase your company's voice.

DON’T forget your company description. One of the most common mistakes in a job description is to exclude a company description. You’re not just selling someone on a position, you’re selling them on their new home. The finance industry has long hours, no matter the role, so emphasize what makes your firm different from all the others. An investment banking analyst is an investment banking analyst. Why is your program different? Are there any benefits that are unique to your firm? Do you value certain qualities above others? Differentiating your brand will not only help you stand out, it will draw candidates that fit better within your company culture.

Attracting the right talent starts with the perfect job description. Don’t be afraid to test out different templates to see which ones resonate more with candidates (just make sure it’s for the same job when testing). See which ones work, and make sure to incorporate the tips above to set your company apart from the rest of the crowd.

The post The do’s and don’ts of an eye catching job description appeared first on Career Resources.

How to perfect your millennial interview

Thu, 06/23/2016 - 11:00

Millennials are growing up. The oldest are in their 30s now, and many of the others are graduating college and entering the workforce. Is your interview process attuned to them?

To perfect your millennial interview, you'll need to take into consideration their unique expectations and perspectives. Here are some tips for properly shaping your interview to achieve success:

Paint a big picture
Perhaps more than any generation in history, millennials are especially concerned with the social impact and public good of their employer. According to The Deloitte Millennial Survey 2016, millennials prioritize providing services and goods that make a positive difference to peoples’ lives over growth and profit maximization.

"Millennials are a socially conscious generation, and your interview needs to reflect that."

How does this translate to the hiring process? In an interview, you must communicate to millennial applicants how your firm - and their position in particular - plays a positive role in the industry. When interviewing candidates for investment banking jobs, for instance, you might play up how these jobs mean building savings and retirement funds for thousands of people nationwide.

Discuss long-term goals and career growth
Firms too often fail to highlight the benefits of hard work and loyalty during an interview. Talented millennial candidates have a number of firms vying for their attention, and they certainly aren't afraid to seek other options if you fail to woo them. It's important that you lay out a plan for advancement from the start. Build an idea of a future with your firm.

Instilling a sense of value early on pays dividends later. By presenting candidates with achievable rewards for their effort, you lay the groundwork for a shared sense of purpose. And don't hesitate to bring up salary or bonuses. Millennials have no problem frankly negotiating finances, so you shouldn't either.

Focus on flexibility
Work-life balance is of well known importance to the millennial generation. As the age cohort that embraced smart phones and social media, they are always connected with friends and family - even while they're at work. Within reason, firms can do a lot to attract great millennial talent by embracing this.

Offer the options of telecommuting or occasional four day work weeks. Working from home a set number of days every month is another big draw. What's essential is that your firm adapts to changing generational circumstances. Millennials place a lot of value on having a life outside of work, and you'll need to accommodate that if you're going to attract top talent.

A work-life balance is essential to attracting top millennial talent.

Emphasize firm perks
While an industry benchmark salary is always going to be important, millennials care less about money than their parents did. What they want instead are great perks. If your firm is going to stay competitive with other employers, you'll need to offer the same high level perks.

These include, but are not limited to, time allocated for exercising in the company gym, extended paid personal time off, tickets to local sporting events and travel opportunities. Keep an eye on what the industry leaders are offering and construct your perks/benefits package accordingly. You don't need to offer it all, but you do need enough to keep pace.

Make it personal
Top millennial applicants are smart, passionate and eager to talk about where they see themselves in your firm. Let them do it. Talk about interests both inside and outside of work. Chances are that your questions will reveal a prospective employee has much more to offer than what was described in his or her resume.

When you ask questions, make some of them relevant to the candidates tastes and personality. Business Insider, for example, recommended asking millennials to describe their work ethic by relating it to a favorite TV character, or to choose which TV office sitcom they would most like to work in. These questions are fun but they also give you an insight into a candidate's creativity and personality.

As important as all these factors are to keep in mind, it’s even more important to remember what your firm is willing to give. If you’re not giving these perks and benefits to your current employees, you’re bound to get some backlash by offering it to younger hires only. In order to truly perfect your millennial interview, know ahead of time what you’re willing to offer for the best candidate and make sure you’re not setting a precedent that you can’t meet moving forward.

The post How to perfect your millennial interview appeared first on Career Resources.

The interview guide for first-time hiring managers

Tue, 05/24/2016 - 12:00

It is generally agreed upon that job interviews are stressful. What is less discussed is how nerve-racking the process can be for hiring managers, particularly those who are doing it for the first time.

Considering how costly a bad hire can be, it's important that hiring managers hit a home run their first time at bat. Here are six steps to make finding the right candidate easier:

Understand the position
Before an interview begins, you must understand the requirements, duties and nuances of the open position. Even if you’ve been recruited to interview candidates for different departments, make sure you do your homework. If conducting interviews for technology jobs for example, study your firm's software and programs. Talk to tech colleagues about the position requirements and what they're looking for in a co-worker.

If you’re interviewing a candidate for a different type of role, stick to behavioral interview questions as opposed to technical ones. It's best to target one or two essential personality requirements for an open position. Assess each candidate for their viability based on these qualities. Remember, however, that not every requirement must be met from the start. With a solid foundation, employees can pick up new skills as they grow with your business.

Know what you're looking for
Don't waste your time interviewing candidates who aren't a match for the role. Set yourself up for success by first drafting an accurate job description. This will help narrow down the number of resumes you receive and better ensure their suitability.

An effective job listing identifies the traits of an ideal candidate, including both hard and soft skills. It emphasizes the position title, responsibilities and expectations in clear language. Understanding the position well is a prerequisite to a great job description. You'll appreciate the effort you put in later on, as the description helps you to draft focused interview questions.

Recognize your company's culture
The difference between a good hiring manager and a great one is often decided by their grasp of company culture. Have you bought into your firm's values and beliefs? Chances are the answer is yes. That's why you're in this role, trusted with securing talent for your firm's future.

Look for the qualities your company espouses in job candidates. You are in the best position to recognize them. Take the time to learn about each interviewee's background and assess their personalities. Do they align with their potential work environment? Are their non-measurables well-suited to the role? The interview is your opportunity to decide.

Be prepared
You may be nervous for your first interview, but don't rush into it unprepared. From organizing paperwork to establishing an interview team, you want everything ready to go before the candidate arrives. Enlist the assistance of colleagues whose judgments you trust. They can help you thin the candidate herd.

Preparing a list of questions ahead of time is crucial. Don't go into an interview counting on winging it in the moment. You'll likely find yourself losing focus or forgetting the answers to questions. Instead, draw up a plan and keep it in front of you throughout the interview. This will help you stay in control and keep track of the process.

"Questions should reveal information not divulged by an application."

Ask the right questions
Direct, open-ended questions that invite candidates to explain and expand on their work histories are the essential tool of every great hiring manager. Remember that questions should reveal information not divulged by an application. Don't be afraid to press on issues candidates seem hesitant to explore.

You might ask a candidate how they organize their time, or what they enjoyed about their last workplace. Questions that expose behavior and competency are useful as well. For example, you could ask them to elaborate on a moment where their leadership proved critical in successfully managing a large project.

Take down notes
Write down important points as the interview progresses. These include new information, relevant details and potential red flags. Once the candidate has left, build out the notes you've taken with overall impressions from the group. An even better option is to record these notes electronically since paper resumes are easily lost.

If you don’t have a recruiting technology to help you consolidate candidate feedback, create an excel document for each position. By recording this feedback, you’ll be able to jog your memory when sitting down and reviewing candidates once more before making the hire.

Your first interview as a hiring manager may seem daunting but sticking to these tips will help anyone become their own recruiter.

The post The interview guide for first-time hiring managers appeared first on Career Resources.

What you need to know about hiring Generation Z

Thu, 05/19/2016 - 10:02

Hiring managers take note - Generation Z has arrived. This cohort born between the mid 1990s through 2010 will account for 20 percent of the workforce in just four years. Are you prepared for them?

Recruiting and retaining Generation Z isn't as easy as just carrying over the strategies created to address millennials. They come with their own specific set of experiences, behaviors and expectations that hiring managers must take into account to be successful.

"Generation Zers are driven by a strong desire to work for themselves."

In late 2014, Northeastern University led the way with an extensive survey of Generation Z. What they found was surprising. A highly self-directed group, Generation Z is driven by a desire to work for themselves exceeding that of any other cohort before them.

"A new generation of Americans is on the rise: highly entrepreneurial, pluralistic, and determined to take charge of their own futures," said Northeastern President Joseph E. Aoun.

Firms must begin to prepare for this new wave of professionals. Rather than wait for 2020 to implement a hiring strategy, here are four things you need to know about hiring Generation Z.

Money is important to them
The Great Recession had a deep impact on Generation Z. They came of age when the economy was at its weakest point in recent memory. Seeing their parents lose their savings and be forced to put off retirement left an indelible impact on the generational consciousness.

While millennials are willing to take a lower salary in exchange for other benefits, Generation Z places a higher importance on money. Debt, particularly that accrued for student loans, weighs heavily on their minds. In order to attract top talent, you'll need a very competitive salary and benefits package.

They are always connected
Generation Z is composed of digital natives. They've grown up with technology at their fingertips. Instant access to information and a do-it-yourself problem solving mentality dictate how they behave both at work and in their private lives. Despite their reputation for hiding behind screens, however, Generation Z actually prefers face-to-face communication.

Despite their reputation, Generation Z prefers face-to-face conversations.

Text, social media and email are all important for staying connected, but Generation Z flourishes when they can develop authentic relationships with management. Hiring managers shouldn't hesitate to be personable with them in interviews. Talk in person and keep solely digital conversation to a minimum.

They expect to be rewarded for loyalty
Generation Z doesn’t think that they'll be promoted overnight, they do expect to be rewarded for their hard work and loyalty. Unlike millennials who have depended on part-time and contract work, those in the upcoming generation foresee only working for about four companies over the course of their careers.

Four employers in a lifetime is probably unrealistic. Generation Z's expectations for what life will require of them, however, is soberingly pragmatic. According to U.S. News & World Report, the majority predict they'll have to work harder than past generations for a successful career. More than half also expect that they'll be working until age 70.

Feedback is desired
Like the baby boomers before them, Generation Z workers are loyal, realistic, motivated and prefer talking over texting. Where they differ somewhat is an openness to feedback. While the next age cohort is more than capable of managing their own projects in hedge fund jobs and other high-energy positions, they actually desire input from management.

How does this play into the hiring process? Generation Z wants to know that they can make a positive impact on your business. In your pitch, play up their responsibility and offer a vision of where the candidate's career path would go in a future with your firm.

The post What you need to know about hiring Generation Z appeared first on Career Resources.

The benefits of temporary staffing

Tue, 05/17/2016 - 09:56

Hiring quality finance professionals is time-consuming. From writing job descriptions to reading resumes to conducting interviews, hiring managers can often spend weeks searching for the perfect candidate. The search is worth it, but it comes at a cost.

Empty desks take a toll on efficiency. They also cost firms money in lost business. Thankfully temporary staffing provides an immediate solution to firms trying to bridge the gap between employees.

Would your firm benefit from temporary assistance? Find out below.

Improved productivity
Reputable temporary professionals are motivated, goal-oriented and determined to succeed within a short time frame. They aren't showing up to just sit idle. The Atlantic reported that in a 2014 Harris Poll of full-time employees at large U.S. companies, respondents said they only spent 45 percent of their workday on primary job responsibilities. The rest of the time was spent sending emails, attending meetings or on activities unrelated to work.

Temporary professionals consistently put their time toward tasks at hand. Rather than engage in office politics or the myriad other distractions that disrupt productivity, they are engaged in the duties you've contracted them for. Firms looking to boost their efficiency at peak business periods would do well to consider temporary staffing.

Allows staffing flexibility
Every company goes through workload and workforce fluctuations. Demanding projects and busy periods are inevitable, as are employee illnesses and unexpected departures. Temporary staffing gives firms the flexibility they need to adapt to changing situations without forfeiting high performance.

Consider a situation in which one or more of your firm's accountants resigns during tax season. Rather than rush to permanently fill the open accounting jobs, you can instead call up temporary accounting professionals to fill in until the workload returns to normal. Then you can worry about hiring a full-time accountant when the season dies down.

Short-term specialists
Firms occasionally face important projects that call for expertise none of their current employees have. Rather than hire a full-time professional whose role may be limited upon the project's completion, hiring managers should look to a short-term specialist. These individuals are well-suited to initiatives of finite time and focus.

"Paying a temporary specialist or consultant saves firms money without sacrificing talent."

Paying a temporary specialist or consultant saves the firm money without sacrificing talent. There is also the chance that, should a professional prove especially effective, your business can enlist their services on a more permanent basis. What's so appealing about temporary staffing is that you aren't forced to choose.

A built-in trial period
Much of short-term staffing's appeal is that it allows firms the opportunity to evaluate a hire on an interim basis. Many businesses employ temporary professionals as a cost-effective means for recruiting and testing the worth of new employees before signing them to full-time contracts.

Some firms prefer to rely on the services of a temporary specialist who has proven to be an asset in the past. Others use short-term staff as a stop-gap solution until their hiring team recruits an ideal candidate for an open position. In short, there's no one right way to use temporary professionals. Their utility is adaptable to circumstances.

Not yet ready for a full-timer
Growing firms regularly find that to operate at peak efficiency they must expand their staff. The decision can be difficult however for companies hesitant to make long-term commitments. Temporary professionals allow an effective middle ground. They give firms a comfortable staffing solution without forcing both parties into a big contract.

If your firm is looking to expand but nervous about doing so, consider engaging employees on a temp-to-hire basis. You fill an immediate demand for personnel and leave making decisions about full-time employment to the future, when your firm's hiring position is clearer.

The post The benefits of temporary staffing appeared first on Career Resources.

Should you use social media for a reference check?

Tue, 05/03/2016 - 09:06

It wasn't so long ago that the idea of checking a job candidate's social media accounts as part of the hiring process was utterly discounted. Doing so was thought of dubious value to understanding an applicant's professional viability. In the last few years, however, that has seriously changed.

How a candidate acts on social media isn't just a reflection of their professionalism and personality. Their online behavior can also be a sign of how they will represent your business as an employee. The evaluation potential of social media is obvious and many employers are already incorporating it into their recruiting strategy. In a recent survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, 43 percent of organizations reported using social media to screen job candidates - an increase from 2013.

Others are more hesitant. Some hiring managers wonder if social media checks are on shaky ground legally. Is looking at a candidate's Facebook and Twitter accounts the same as asking them about religion or marital status? Is there a good reason firms shouldn't check social media during the hiring process? In most cases the answer is no. But you still need to proceed with caution.

Privacy concerns to keep in mind
Reviewing a candidate's online presence will naturally raise privacy concerns. There's no need to overreact though. Many of the laws that govern interviewing and hiring are also applicable to reference checks. Proceed with the usual limits in place and you'll keep out of legal grey areas.

Examining a candidate's online accounts can be invaluable, but it must be done carefully.

Lisa Bertini, whose law firm specializes in employment law, told The New York Times that there is actually relatively little case law on which to base social media screening decisions. In the absence of precedent, it's best to be cautious - but not overly so. Employers need to be careful not to draw conclusions solely based on social media – that is when it becomes illegal. Bertini gave the example of learning a candidate was pregnant from social media and using this to reject her. That's unlawful discrimination however you look at it.

With privacy concerns in mind, the fact of the matter is that it's better to deal with potential issues early than wait for them to surface after you've already made a hire. Say for instance that you're looking to fill investor relations jobs within your firm. If you find that a candidate is offensive to certain people based on race or gender on social media, that's a legally defensible reason to reject them.

Keeping bias out of the equation
Without meaning to, investigating a candidate's digital footprint can lead to bias in a hiring decision. A July 2015 report from the Social Science Research Network found that some employers do indeed exhibit bias based on social media screenings, which needless to say can cause any number of problems both legally and morally.

"Removing bias from the hiring decision is essential for giving every candidate a fair appraisal."

To reduce the risk of unfair attitudes, keep the social media researcher on your human resources team separate from those charged with making the hiring decision. That way any relevant information is included in the process without any personal bias attached. This division of labor is essential to the fair appraisal every candidate deserves.

If you're still feeling uneasy about using social media for reference checks, The Times recommended that you pose to yourself the following question: If the candidate were to ask you how you learned about potentially troubling online comments or content, would you be comfortable explaining it to them?

Utilizing social media to screen a candidate might be relatively new, but doing it ethically and effectively comes down to treating it as you would any other part of the hiring process - with attentiveness, respect and common sense.

The post Should you use social media for a reference check? appeared first on Career Resources.

5 ways to stay competitive while hiring

Tue, 04/26/2016 - 10:19

Though the Great Recession has largely faded in the rear view mirror, a number of hiring managers have yet to adapt their hiring habits acquired during straitened times. For years finding high quality people was relatively easy because job seekers had flooded the market. With candidates doing everything they could to land a job, hiring managers found themselves with all the power in the marketplace.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of job applicants per job opening hit 6.8 in July 2009. That number has since fallen to less than 1.5. In other words, where there used to be nearly seven job seekers for an open position, now there are barely more than one.

This much is clear: there are many firms looking to hire, but fewer professionals available. To address the imbalance, hiring managers need to update their strategies. Finding talent takes more than just reviewing job applications these days. Candidates know they're in control of the process, and the best ones can have multiple offers to choose from.

Your traditional hiring strategy isn't enough anymore. Here are some tips for bringing your approach into the post-recession age:

Offer a competitive salary
Offering an industry-competitive salary remains the most integral aspect of a successful hiring strategy. Korn Ferry Hay Group forecasted that global salaries would rise 2.5 percent in 2016, while starting salaries for professional occupations in the U.S. would increase by about 4 percent on average.

As you assess this year's hiring budget, make sure it's adequate to fill positions like investment banking jobs and compliance jobs at competitive rates. Today's job candidates will hold out for a compelling offer. Be sure your organization's salaries meet the benchmark.

Hire from within
Sometimes the best candidates are those who have already proven themselves on your team. When a vacant position opens, look to your own organization. Hiring from within typically takes considerably less time than looking for outside talent.

The adjustment period also tends to be brief, as the person is already well versed with your company's policies and culture. Internal promotion has the added benefit of demonstrating to the rest of your firm that hard work and solid results are rewarded with future career paths.

Add enticing benefits
Younger professionals aren't motivated by a great salary alone. More and more, employers are offering bonuses, perks and work-life flexibility to attract new talent and retain the people they have. Top candidates will often take a lower starting salary if the incentive of performance bonuses is offered.

"Your employees know best the benefits they value most, so ask them for input."

If you're unsure about what perks are most appealing, turn to your team for aid. Employees know best the benefits they value most. Retirement plans and healthcare coverage are still the most popular, but telecommuting opportunities and flexible scheduling are compelling as well.

Institute a referral program
Hiring managers can save themselves some time by implementing a referral program. Nobody knows your firm better than your employees. If they’re willing to recommend someone for a position, chances are that the candidate would be a better fit than a general applicant.

By offering employees rewards for finding and recommending potential hires, the size of the hiring net you cast grows. Rewards like a cash bonus or paid time off encourage workers to do part of your work for you. If you already have a referral program, now is an excellent opportunity to ensure it's channeling candidates to you properly.

Differentiate your culture
Part of what separates a successful hiring strategy from an unsuccessful one is evidence that your company's culture is special. Everything from your website to the initial pitch should work to convince prospective hires that you're offering something no one else can.

Your employees again provide an invaluable source for this information. Ask them what they find unique about your business. What do they like about working with your firm? Their answers will provide you with an honest evaluation of how you stand out in an industry full of competitors.

In today's talent marketplace, staying competitive while hiring is a must for any firm looking to capture the best people. An outdated hiring strategy will not only impact your ability to attract top talent, but hurt your bottom line in the long run.

The post 5 ways to stay competitive while hiring appeared first on Career Resources.

6 steps to conducting a reference check

Tue, 04/19/2016 - 08:58

So you believe you've found the ideal candidate for one of the compliance jobs your firm has been working to fill for weeks. They have the qualifications, personality and experience necessary to excel. Still, one essential step remains before the hiring process is complete: reference checks.

Reference checking allows hiring managers access to independent information about candidates' past performance. What's learned by speaking with references can relate directly to a position's key selection criteria. Of course, it also helps to validate information supplied by the candidate in the interview.

Here are six steps for conducting an effective reference check:

1. Inform the candidate references will be checked
Best practices call for hiring managers to inform candidates at the start that a reference check will be conducted. Let candidates know your process involves speaking with those who know them best. This will encourage honesty and correctness in the interview. There is also the chance that applicants with poor references will decline to proceed further, saving you valuable time.

2. Perform the check yourself
Busy hiring schedules often leave surrogates to conduct reference checks. That's a mistake. As a hiring manager, you alone know best what your firm needs in a recruit. Even the best HR departments cannot match your personal level of perception and judgment. You can pick up on red flag comments - or alternatively, promising ones - that would otherwise be missed until further on in the process.

As convenient as phone interviews are, there is no substitute for an in-person reference check.

3. Meet face-to-face if possible
As tempting as it can be to rely on email for communication with references, much is lost by doing so. If possible, important references should be met in person. Speaking to someone face-to-face gives hiring managers a distinct advantage over phone calls. A reference's body language or hesitancy to answer a question can say more than words.

4. Prepare a general script
Rather than count on a faultless performance in the moment, it's best to create a general script for each reference check. A planned approach to each interview will keep you focused and maximize the effectiveness of each question. You cannot count on a script alone, though. Be prepared to pursue new lines of questioning if that's the direction the interview takes.

5. Ask the right questions
There's nothing wrong with beginning a reference check by asking softball questions. They can help to ease any initial awkwardness and make both you and the interviewee comfortable. When pursuing more relevant lines of inquiry, however, monitor your word choice. For example, rather than ask a former employer what a candidate did wrong, prompt them to describe how the candidate might improve professionally, or, if given the choice, find out if they would rehire the applicant.

6. Check social media posts 
Though not necessary in every case, looking into a candidate's social media presence can prove illuminating. Publicly accessible Twitter or Facebook posts reveal character, interests and background beyond that found in a resume. Checking a LinkedIn profile also has the potential to inform you of additional references or even shared professional contacts.

The post 6 steps to conducting a reference check appeared first on Career Resources.

13 Interview Questions You Should Be Asking Finance Candidates

Wed, 04/06/2016 - 09:00

Looking for better finance hires? Well, it may be time to send your trusty interview questions back to the drawing board.

If your interview process is lacking strategic thought, you’re likely to miss out on valuable insight into your finance candidates. This approach — or lack thereof — could lead to making the wrong hires and future retainment issues. Posing a variety of particular questions will help you uncover the passion, cultural fit, work ethic, and problem-solving abilities of your potential finance hires.

Get more out of your interview by posing stronger general and industry-specific questions. Here are 13 questions you should be asking your finance job candidates today:

1. What motivates you?

This is your chance to detect what drives your finance candidates. Dig further to find out whether it’s about the money or the finance industry itself. Keep in mind, the desire to make money doesn’t necessarily equate to a  sufficient drive to succeed or real passion for the business. It often comes with limitations.

2. What is your greatest achievement?

For some finance candidates, the answer may be related to a specific project they undertook or an award they received. If they don’t share insightful details about why they feel this was their greatest achievement, be sure to question further. Ask yourself: Is this relevant to the role they’re interviewing for?

3. What can you bring to this role that you’re certain other applicants can’t?

Get to the bottom of why this candidate truly deserves your attention. It could be their previous experience in a related role, achievements within the industry, or even their unique personality. This question is also important for testing your candidate’s level of confidence — is it too much or just right?

4. What hurdles or obstacles have you overcome?

Posing this question will help you key into their ability to overcome adversity or challenges throughout their career. If you’re particularly interested in a piece of information on their resume, like a layoff, ask them directly about how they overcame that situation.

5. What would previous coworkers and managers say about you?

Zeroing in on how others perceive your interviewee is essential to finding out whether they’re a match for the position and your company as a whole. Jot down what your candidate shares with you and follow-up with their references to see if the descriptions match.

6. Where do you see yourself in five years?

It’s important to understand whether the candidate’s career path is aligned with the position to which they are applying. Bringing on a candidate who’s just looking for a “here and now” type of position won’t do you any favors in terms of a long-term hire. Watch out for cookie cutter answers that end up sounding more like wishful thinking than actual long-term plans.

7. Where do you get your finance news?

Do they read the Wall Street Journal every morning? Are they subscribed to alerts on MarketWatch? Knowing how a candidate keeps up with industry news can indicate two important things — it shows how much interest they have in the industry as well as how serious they are about working in finance. If they stutter or name a general news website, it may be a sign that they don't live and breathe finance.

8. Are you willing to work all hours?

Many candidates will answer yes to this, whether they mean it or not. When posing the question, watch their facial expression and listen for any insincerity. Raised eyebrows or widened eyes might mean they don't plan on working longer than the normal nine to five schedule. Their answer and reaction to this question will reveal if they're really willing to make sacrifices to achieve success.

9. Do you play sports?

Competitive spirit is crucial for thriving in the majority of finance roles. Playing sports, whether currently or previously, is a great way to determine whether your finance candidates have a competitive nature. Although collegiate athletes may bring a higher level of competition to the table, don't exclude those who may  have played club or intramural — competition is still competition.

10. What other industries are you looking into?

Are your candidates really interested in the finance industry, or are they just exploring their options? Passion for finance is essential to staying afloat in this industry. If they're not engaged with their work from the start, chances are they won't be when it matters.

11. What was the worst class you had in college?

And what would that professor say about you? These two questions will allow you to dig deeper into the potential weaknesses and challenges of your entry-level candidates. Since they might not have previous work experience, this is a great question to see how they handle situations they don't enjoy. While they may have hated their creative writing class, would their professor say they put their best foot forward in spite of it all?

12. If you could only pick one, what stock would you buy and why?

This is an industry-specific question that will give you a better sense how connected your candidate is to industry news. Are they a risk-taker, or do they play it safe? It also will indicate how well they follow the markets and economy, a necessity for roles both on Wall Street and beyond it.

13. What do you know about our company, our competition, and our industry as a whole?

Asking candidates to sum up your company and their industry knowledge will give you insight into how much homework they did prior to the interview. Candidates who “blank” on this question may be unfamiliar with your company and the finance industry as a whole, and applying to this role on a whim. You don’t want an employee who lacks the ability or desire to research.

Better interview questions are a key component in landing better finance hires. Carefully track their body language and reactions to the questions you present, as these are also effective indicators. Remember, you want a candidate who is truly passionate about the opportunity and not just trying to “win the job.” Always read between the lines.

If you're looking to hire the best finance talent for your firm, check out OneWire's recruiting solutions.

This article was recently updated and originally appeared on Undercover Recruiter.

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