closeup of ocean with pastel sunset

Advice for Your Compliance Interview

If you are preparing for a compliance job interview, you need to think of certain key elements in order to set yourself apart from the crowd and impress your interlocutor.

There are three minimum requirements when preparing for any interview, which are listed below. If you want to take it further and go beyond what is expected of you, read further on for more advanced preparation tips.

The 3 Basic Things You Must Do Before a Compliance Job Interview

If you are about to interview for a role within the compliance sector - more specifically within financial or professional services - you should start with paying attention to the three elements below.

1. Read the Company's Website

Focus on key areas of business for the company. Read the values and company mission or even the "About us" section. In short, read the entire website if you have the time.

Have a look at competitor websites to see what the company is up against. It gives you context on what the company may need and whether the company is the right cultural fit for you.

2. Read Carefully the Job Description

Seems obvious, because it is. You need to know what you are getting yourself into, both for the interview and for your life choices. Write down any questions you have about the job that are not answered by the job description and make sure to cover all of them towards the end of the interview.

3. Cross Reference Your CV

Ask yourself the question: how can I add value to this company? Then read through your CV again and try and pick out what would be most important to your interlocutor and whether anything that the interviewed would find important is missing from your CV that you can bring out in the interview.

Also prepare any accomplishments or projects that are not visible on your CV, for example "I designed an implemented a new surveillance system to improve the efficiency of the compliance team".

Ultimately you are trying to prove that you will add value to the team so anything that can show value would be worth noting. This is really key because 9/10 interviews in this space consist of in-depth discussions around your CV and past professional experience.

Advanced Tips for Your Compliance Job Interview

1. Get More Information from Your Compliance Recruitment Consultant

Give them a call or send an email with a list of questions. You want to know the format of the interview process and any key information, like who will be conducting the interview. The more information and tips you can get from your consultant, the merrier.

2. Google News Search and the SEC's EDGAR Filings

Do your due diligence. You want to know if the company is in the news. This could either be a good topic of conversation or a conversation to be assiduously avoided.

You also want to know generally about the key players in the business and you want to know the interviewers' profiles back to front. This include a thorough search on the SEC's EDGAR website, where are company filing documents can be found.

3. Practice Answering Standard Questions

I would suggest practising this with a friend, it tends to bring out the weaknesses and strengths in your explanations. We won't list all the standard questions here as there are many, but here are a few to get you started:

  • Why do you want to join the company?

  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?

  • Why should they employ you?

  • What is the biggest problem you have faced and how did you overcome it?

  • What is your greatest achievement to date?

  • Why did you leave your last employer?

Some standard compliance focussed questions could include:

  • How would you handle difficult situations with the business, e.g. a situation where you learned an employee violated the company's regulatory policies?

  • What are the key regulations that affect our business coming up in the next 12 months?

  • What are some of the compliance inefficiencies in your current team?

  • Describe any regulatory project experience you have had and what role you played

  • In relation to compliance, what are some of the key issues facing our company?

  • How effective has MiFID II or X policy been?

It is useful to be aware that some compliance interviews with the business owner or non-compliance senior management can take on a more commercial tone. Business interviewers will be looking for Compliance Officers to show judgement; that they are commercially aware and sensitive to their needs whilst also strong enough to say no. Ideally, they would like an interviewee to demonstrate some product knowledge (although not always).

For any further advice, get in touch with one of our consultants.