Two women and a man sitting at a table, working on a laptop.
Tell me about your cash handling experience.

Some candidates may not have worked in a bank environment before, but many roles require the handling of cash. Their answer should demonstrate that they’re comfortable around money, can count cash efficiently and accurately, and are capable of balancing a cash drawer.

 

In your eyes, what are the key differences between checking and savings accounts?

This question tells you instantly whether the candidate has the basic knowledge required for this job. But it also gives you an idea of how well they will communicate financial concepts, like interest and monthly fees, to the bank’s customers. Do they clearly lay out the main differences, like the fact that a checking account is intended for daily use while a savings account is for a rainy day? Do they give an indication of the primary benefits that each type of account offers?

What steps can you take to detect fraudulent checks and counterfeit money?

Preventing fraudulent activity is an important responsibility, and bank tellers must be familiar with common methods for spotting it. Common answers may include comparing a check number against the number in the magnetic ink character recognition (MICR) line and using a counterfeit pen to confirm the legitimacy of cash. Listen for answers that show the candidate is vigilant and pays close attention to detail.

What would you do if you saw a coworker stealing from their drawer?

To work in a bank, honesty and integrity are essential. But it’s also important that a candidate knows how to approach sensitive situations with tact and good judgment. Their answer should indicate that they quickly alerted the appropriate person, like their manager, rather than approaching the person directly, which could lead to a public conflict.

In your last position, tell me about a time that you had to deal with an angry customer?How did you resolve the situation?

Money can be a touchy subject for people, so every bank teller will encounter an upset or angry customer from time to time. A candidate who seems uncomfortable with dealing with these customers may not be suited for the bank environment. Listen for signs that they listened to the customer’s complaints and responded with empathy and understanding. If they sound like they themselves are quick to anger, they’re likely to only exacerbate a difficult situation.

Tell me about a time when you went above and beyond to provide exceptional customer service.

Bank tellers play a crucial role in cementing customer loyalty, so you want to know that your candidate is dedicated to providing a great experience for everyone that walks through the doors. Do they sound passionate and proud when they describe the steps they took to make the customer feel valued? Ideally, they will make it clear that they strive to provide the same level of service for every customer.

Tell me about a time when you were asked by another staff member or customer to do something that went against the company’s policies? How did you handle the situation?

Banks have very strict policies and procedures, so you need to know that a candidate can stick to them. A strong answer will indicate that they immediately realized the request went against procedure and took appropriate steps to set things right, whether that was explaining the correct procedure to the person or, if necessary, informing a superior about the situation.

Why do you want to work here over other banks?

This question probes at a candidate’s intrinsic motivations for applying and can help you screen for culture fit. Maybe they’ll say the bank’s reputation drew them to the job, like its commitment to honesty and transparency. Or maybe they are a customer themselves and love the friendliness of the tellers. A bad answer here will indicate that they don’t really know much about the bank itself, while a great response will show that they share (and have researched) the employer’s core values.

When you’re handling a large amount of cash, how do you ensure accuracy?

Attention to detail is a crucial soft skill that all bank tellers must have. Listen for references to performing multiple checks, like counting bills when they come out of the drawer before counting them out to the customer. They should also recognize why a system like this is so important to protect the customer’s—and the bank’s—best interests.

Do you consider yourself a people person? Provide an example of when you went above and beyond to help someone in a work setting.

In such a public-facing role, it’s important for bank tellers to be friendly and approachable. Pay attention to the candidate’s demeanor to get an idea of their interpersonal skills. Do they listen closely when you’re speaking and appear happy to answer the question? Do they display visual cues of their interest, like smiling or nodding? An ideal answer will also give an example or two illustrating why they’re a people person, like the fact that they can easily put others at ease.