Why this matters:

The answer to 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. If their answer is too short, too long, or too muddled, it may leave customers confused.

What to listen for:

  • Understanding that checking accounts are transactional and designed for daily use
  • Knowledge that savings accounts are rainy-day funds, designed to earn interest
  • Customer service skills with the ability to communicate benefits and use examples

Why this matters:

Fraud costs financial institutions hundreds of thousands of dollars every year. Preventing fraudulent activity is an important responsibility, so bank tellers must be familiar with common methods for spotting fakes and feel comfortable using these methods in front of customers. Candidates may relate specific experience identifying instances of fraud and responding appropriately.

What to listen for:

  • Experience comparing check numbers using magnetic ink character recognition lines
  • Familiarity with how to use tools like a counterfeit pen to confirm the legitimacy of cash
  • Vigilance, close attention to detail, and willingness to follow procedure every transaction

Why this matters:

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. Handled poorly, a situation like this could damage customers’ impressions of the bank, and could even pose a threat to the teller and other staff members.

What to listen for:

  • Indication that the candidate would alert a manager, rather than approaching the person
  • Demonstrated ability to quickly and tactfully handle sensitive situations
  • Understanding that integrity and safety are of utmost importance

Why this matters:

Money can be a touchy subject for people, and it’s not uncommon for bank tellers to encounter the occasional upset or angry customer. The ability to listen, express empathy, and seek resolution are essential skills your candidate should possess. How they handle the situation will reflect on the organization as a whole, so it’s crucial to find someone who knows how to de-escalate — rather than exacerbate — a difficult situation.

What to listen for:

  • Active listening skills, empathy, and a desire to reach an understanding
  • Past experience and comfort working in a customer service environment
  • Knowledge of de-escalation tactics and interpersonal communication skills

Why this matters:

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. Candidates who take pride in their work will always look for opportunities to do more than is expected of them, leaving customers smiling.

What to listen for:

  • Customer service experience that reflects a strong work ethic
  • Passion for making customers feel valued and satisfied
  • Commitment to providing the same high level of service for every customer

Why this matters:

Anyone tasked with dealing with large amounts of money has to be vigilant about following the proper protocols. Banks have very strict policies and procedures for their staff, so you need to know that a candidate can stick to them, even if someone is putting pressure on them to do otherwise.

What to listen for:

  • Experience having judgment, ethics, integrity, or commitment tested
  • Adherence to proper procedure and recognition of the rules
  • Willingness to inform a superior about ethics-related situations

Why this matters:

This question probes at a candidate’s intrinsic motivations for applying and can help you screen for a candidate who is likely to stay with the company for a longer period of time. Maybe they’ll say the bank’s reputation drew them to the job or appreciate your company’s commitment to honesty and transparency. Or maybe they are a customer themselves and love the friendliness of the tellers.

What to listen for:

  • Resourcefulness in researching the company’s core values prior to the interview
  • The ability to identify what sets your bank apart from competitors
  • Expressed desire to advocate for your company when conversing with customers

Why this matters:

Attention to detail is a crucial soft skill that all bank tellers must possess. A sloppy teller may inadvertently hand over more cash than the customer withdrew or miscount the amount that they hope to deposit. That’s why great candidates will have multiple systems in place for protecting the best interests of the bank and its customers — like counting bills when they come out of the drawer before counting them out to the customer.

What to listen for:

  • Performing multiple checks and balances to ensure accuracy
  • Belief in the importance of using systems to prevent errors
  • Experience handling large sums of cash on a regular basis

Why this matters:

In a public-facing role, it’s important for bank tellers to be friendly and approachable. If they don’t really like working with people, this may not be the right role for them. But if they feel energized by encounters with others and are a natural at putting people at ease, they’ll likely be a great asset to your organization.

 

What to listen for:

  • Examples of working well with others and providing excellent customer service
  • Nonverbal communication skills, such as smiling or nodding with interest
  • Understanding of how their love of people makes them better at their job
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