“Fail to prepare, prepare to fail” - Interview tips

Written by International Compliance Association on Monday November 11, 2019

Ashish Patel of Broadgate Search shares his best tips for acing your interview

In the last 50 years, we have seen a significant increase in the number of laws and regulations across all sectors that firms have to acknowledge and abide by.

Therefore, compliance has become an imperative operation within an organisation, regardless of its industry or size.

With this in mind, the market has become extremely competitive, therefore it is important to ensure you are fully prepared when attending an interview.

Before attending an interview, I suggest going through the job description in more detail. This will give you an understanding of what the hiring manager is looking for.

They could be looking for someone with experience in a specific regulation, someone with experience in setting up a new framework or even for someone to come in and help the team with their current operations.

With this in mind, think about your previous industry experience and how you could use it going forward.

A common mistake made in interviews is not providing clear and concise answers. Ensure you have prepared specific answers to questions which allow you to demonstrate your regulatory knowledge from your compliance qualifications or your industry experience, to the hiring manager.

Whilst knowing about the organisation and the position is important, it is equally important to update your knowledge of key industry insights and change such as the amendments to existing regulations.

Keep updated with the compliance industry by reading up on the latest media releases, materials from relevant regulating bodies or academic qualifications.

A prime mistake that candidates make during an interview is not asking enough questions. At the end of an interview, it is common practice for the hiring manager to say, “do you have any questions?”.

This is your chance to leave a memorable impression by asking relevant questions that can really give your interview the ‘wow’ factor.

Engaging interview questions allow for two elements:

  • Going the extra mile to find out more about the position or company
  • Demonstrate to the hiring manager that you have done your research and are keen on the job role

So, what is an ideal interview question? Here are a few examples that you could use during your interview:

Questions to ask about the job

It’s good to demonstrate an interest in the role to ensure you are showing the hiring manager that you are serious about determining your suitability of the job.

  • What do the day-to-day responsibilities of this job entail?
  • In your experience, what do you think are the main qualities for someone to excel in this role?
  • What is the company and team culture like?
  • If I was to be successful, what should my expectations be of the first three months? And yours, what would you expect from me in those first three months?
  • What is the typical career path for someone in this role?
  • Is there scope for promotion?
  • How do you measure performance?

Questions to ask about the company

It is crucial to do your homework, to make sure you know the basics e.g. top clients, office locations, products or services, or what the brand has been up to recently.

  • What can you tell me about your new product or service plans for growth?
  • I’ve read about how the company was established, are you able you tell me more about it?
  • What is the company’s vision for the next 5 years?

Questions to ask about the current job landscape

Demonstrate your confidence and understanding to the hiring manager of the current landscape, by asking the right questions to set you apart and give you a truly unique edge.

  • How do you see Brexit impacting your business?
  • What trends do you see dominating the industry?
  • How do you support diversity and inclusion?
  • What are your CSR (corporate social responsibility) strategies?
  • How does your company add value to society?
  • What are the largest risks your firm are facing?

Make sure you have read anything you can find about the company in relation to these questions so you can introduce the question by saying something like, ”I notice on your website/in relevant trade magazine or other media, the company does x or y…” in relation to CSR, for example.  Also, be ready to discuss these wider issues that you raise as questions to show your interviewers you have thought about them because they might expect further input from you.


  • What is the next step in the interview process?

With all this in mind, you should always ask questions throughout an interview – it shows engagement and can also make you feel more comfortable. You are not just attending the interview; you are interviewing them as a potential company to work for, you are having a conversation with them as potential colleagues. Additionally, have some interesting questions ready that you have prepared beforehand to ask at the end of an interview, and remember to think outside the box!

About the author:

Ashish Patel is an Associate Consultant at Broadgate Search. If you wish to discuss this article further, you can get in touch with him on [email protected] or +44 (0) 203 817 9757.

This article forms part of the #BigCompConvo - Join us as we explore and debate the latest challenges and issues facing you and regulatory and financial crime compliance professionals all over the world. If you’d like to contribute an article as part of the Big Compliance Conversation get in touch with us at [email protected]

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