Graphic that shows three different types of interview questions you should be asking.

Use these questions to identify a candidate’s technical knowledge and abilities

Use these questions to determine how a candidate handled situations in the past

Use these questions to assess a candidate’s personal traits and cognitive skills

Why this matters:

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 or too long or if it comes across as muddled, they may leave customers confused.

What to listen for:

  • Candidates should 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.
  • Top answers will highlight the primary benefits that each type of account offers.

 

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 it and feel comfortable using them in front of customers.

What to listen for:

  • 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.

 

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 members of staff.

 

What to listen for:

  • Answers should indicate that the candidate would alert the appropriate person, like their manager, rather than approaching the person directly.
  • Top answers will demonstrate that the candidate can quickly and tactfully handle sensitive situations.

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. 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:

  • Listen for signs that the candidate listened to the customer’s complaints and responded with empathy and understanding.
  • A candidate who seems uncomfortable with dealing with these customers may not be suited for the bank environment.

 

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:

  • Listen for signs that the candidate is passionate about making customers feel valued.
  • Ideally, they will make it clear that they strive to provide the same 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:

  • A strong answer will indicate that the candidate immediately realized the request went against procedure and took appropriate steps to set things right.
  • Answers may mention explaining the correct procedure to the person or informing a superior about the situation.

Why this matters:

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.

What to listen for:

  • A great response will show that the candidate shares (and has researched) the employer’s core values.
  • A candidate who can quickly identify what sets your bank apart from your competitors will likely be able to do the same for customers who are on the fence.

 

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 a system in place for protecting the customer’s—and the bank’s—best interests.

What to listen for:

  • Listen for references to performing multiple checks, like counting bills when they come out of the drawer before counting them out to the customer.
  • Candidates should also show a keen understanding of why a system like this is so important.

Why this matters:

In such 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:

  • Top candidates will provide an example of how this makes them better at their job.
  • Pay attention to their body language. Great candidates will listen closely when you’re speaking and display visual cues of interest, like smiling or nodding.