10 Common Banking Interview Questions and How to Answer Them

A career in banking can offer global opportunities, financial security and a dynamic work environment. It can also be a highly competitive sector, which requires individuals to go above and beyond to achieve long-term professional growth and advancement. It should be no surprise, then, that the interview process can also be quite demanding.

If you have an interview coming up, be sure to wise up on these 10 common banking questions.

1. “Why did you choose a career in banking?”

By asking this question, hiring managers are hoping to get a better idea of your personality and professional objectives. Learning about what motivates you and why you do what you do can help them understand if you would be the right fit for their company and determine whether you meet the criteria for that role.

The best way to convince them is to talk about the ways banking is compatible with your personality, and which aspects of this industry appeal to you.


Banking was an ideal career choice because I enjoy challenging work. Ever since I was in school, I have been interested in subjects such as business and finance, and I found that, through banking, I can combine elements from both areas and utilize them across multiple projects.

My decision to pursue a career in banking was solidified after completing my internship at Central Bank during my postgraduate studies. During that time, I discovered that I thrived in fast-paced environments that require hard work and collaboration.

2. “Why would you like to work at our bank?”

Companies want to make sure that they’re hiring individuals who are not just highly skilled but also motivated to work for them.

When tackling this question, make sure to mention specific aspects of the banking organization that drew your attention. Doing so will demonstrate that you have done your research on the company and highlight your interest in the role.


What stood out to me when I came across this job opening was the opportunity for growth and advancement.

ABC Banking has always been a leader in investment banking, and I believe an important reason for this is that your organization invests in its employees, dedicating time and resources to ensure that their skills are up-to-date with industry developments. Your company culture and dedication to your workforce were some of the biggest factors that motivated me to apply for this role.

3. “What is your greatest strength?”

This is a quite common interview question, so it’s prudent to be prepared with a good answer. In fact, this is a great opportunity to highlight your skills and professional background which, in turn, will help you stand out from other candidates.

It’s important to choose a strength that is relevant to the job you’re interviewing for and make that connection through your answer.


I would say that one of my greatest strengths is my analytical and problem-solving skills. In the banking industry, attention to detail and the ability to analyze financial data are crucial.

In my previous role as a financial analyst, I was responsible for preparing detailed reports and forecasts for our high-net-worth clients. I consistently identified key insights that helped our clients make informed investment decisions. For example, I discovered an emerging market trend that led to a 15% increase in portfolio value for one of our major clients within six months.

4. “What are the signs that a customer is a problem debtor?”

Beyond behavioral questions, hiring managers are also likely to test your technical and industry-specific knowledge. This allows them to assess your skills and expertise, and decide whether you’re well-equipped for the role.


There are several key signs to look for when it comes to problem debtors, including payment delays, irregular account activity, credit report issues and collateral value decline. Identifying these early on allows the bank to take proactive measures and mitigate potential losses, as well as supporting the customer in managing their finances more effectively.

5. “What are the different types of commercial banks?”

Through this question, you’ll be tested on your general knowledge of the industry. While you should not provide a rehearsed response, being hesitant and uncertain could raise red flags for your interviewers. The trick is to find a happy medium where you are confident in your answer without sounding too mechanical or timid.


Commercial banks can be categorized based on their target clientele and the range of services they offer. The four main types are retail banks, corporate banks, community banks and investment banks.

6. “Can you share three different types of bank accounts and their differences?”

Similar to the above question, this one is meant to showcase basic awareness of the banking system. Conveying this information clearly and directly will show that you’re a seasoned professional with solid knowledge of your industry.


Some of the most common types of bank accounts include checking accounts, designed for daily transactions and managing personal finances; savings accounts, which are intended for saving money over time while earning interest; and certificate of deposit accounts, which act as savings certificates with a fixed maturity date and specified interest rate.

Each account serves a unique purpose, catering to different financial needs and goals, from everyday transactions and saving for emergencies to investing for long-term retirement planning.

7. “How would you help a customer struggling to understand a financial issue you are explaining?”

Customer service is a central aspect of many banking jobs, which is why many organizations prioritize hiring individuals with excellent communication skills. For example, being able to answer complex finance-related queries from people who have a limited understanding of banking procedures is crucial.

Your answer to this question, then, demonstrates your competence to work with and assist clientele effectively.


When helping a customer struggling to understand a financial issue, my approach would focus on empathy, clarity and patience. I would handle the situation by listening actively to understand the client’s specific concerns, breaking down information into simpler terms by using real-life examples, and utilizing visual aids such as charts and diagrams.

8. “Can you explain APR to me?”

A good way for hiring managers to put your customer service skills to the test is by having you explain technical terms to them as if they were the customers themselves. For this reason, make sure to focus on providing a simple yet informative answer.


APR stands for Annual Percentage Rate. It represents the yearly cost of borrowing money or the yearly return on an investment, expressed as a percentage. The APR includes not just the interest rate on the loan but also any other fees or costs associated with taking out the loan. This makes it a more comprehensive measure of the cost of borrowing compared to just the nominal interest rate.

9. “Tell us something about you that is not on your résumé.”

Interviewers spring this question on job applicants to test their ability to think on their feet. Plus, it allows them to get to know you beyond documents and qualifications.

You could take several paths with your answer, either by listing new traits or skills, sharing work or non-work experience, or focusing on your professional objectives and goals.


One thing you should know about me that is not on my résumé is my deep commitment to continuous learning and personal development. While my résumé details my formal education and professional achievements, it doesn’t capture the extent of my dedication to staying current in the rapidly evolving financial industry.

For example, in my personal time, I regularly read industry-related books, participate in online courses and follow influential financial analysts and thought leaders to broaden my understanding of emerging trends and technologies. Recently, I completed a course on FinTech innovations, which gave me valuable insights into how blockchain and AI are transforming banking services.

My passion for knowledge and self-improvement is a core part of who I am, and it drives me to excel and contribute meaningfully in any role I undertake.

10. “Do you have any questions for us?”

At the end of your interview, you’ll likely be asked if you have any questions of your own, ensuring that you have the opportunity to address any concerns you might have.

Being prepared with some questions is wise, and it will also show foresight, as interviewers will know you did your research ahead of time.


Yes, I do have a few questions. First, can you tell me more about the team I would be working with and how they collaborate on projects? Understanding the team dynamics is important to me, as I believe strong collaboration is key to success.

Also, what are the bank’s strategic goals over the next few years, especially in terms of innovation and customer service? I am very interested in how I can contribute to the bank’s long-term vision.

Final thoughts

If a career in banking is what you’re after, then you need to be prepared to impress companies and hiring managers alike. Taking the time to conduct detailed research before your interview and familiarize yourself with the above questions will bring you one step closer to that goal.

Can you think of any other common questions that are likely to come up in an interview for a banking position? Let us know in the comments section below.

This article is a complete update of an earlier version originally published on May 25, 2015.

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