Research and Relax: Initial Interview Prep Guide

Research and Relax: Initial Interview Prep Guide to make your initial interview a slam dunk Of the hundreds of candidate conversations we have each month, more than 75% tell us they've NEVER thoroughly prepped for an initial interview. For many, this results in a mediocre interview and a low success rate on nabbing a second round! Here are the TOP 4 TIPS to make that first interview a slam dunk: 📌Research. You want to have a high-level understanding of the company and interviewer(s); do your research! Gathering this information will help you form many of the questions you want to ask in the meeting. Most candidates don't go beyond this step when preparing for an initial interview. So, while research is an important step, it shouldn't be your only step! 📌 Write down and prioritize all of YOUR questions. Don't worry about the nitty gritty in the first meeting -- only ask what you need to know to determine if a next round is worth your while. 📌Relax – don’t put undue pressure on yourself. Remember: it’s a first meeting, not a job offer! Taking a first meeting only shows the person that you’re interested enough to talk, nothing more. The more relaxed you are, the more organic the back-and-forth will be, yielding a higher likelihood of getting that second round. 📌Be prepared to ask for what you want! As you’re finishing the interview, be sure to let them know that you’re interested in learning more, then ask what the next step, or steps, is/are. Don't feel awkward about asking this question, showing your go-getter mentality and willingness to take that next meeting will separate you from other candidates. So, how often are YOU actually prepping ahead of an interview? Let us know how we can help you in your search for your next position. Drop a comment below with any other advice or pointers you utilize for interview prep, or share this post with your network if you found it useful! Thanks for your time, and we wish you all the best in your initial interview!

The Employer-Driven Marketplace

The tables are turning! Here are the four signs we're seeing that suggest we're now in an EMPLOYER-driven marketplace: 1) 7 out of 10 banks, based on our research, are concentrated on controlling costs as recessionary headwinds increase, significantly decreasing the number of options for candidates. Because banks are looking for ways to decrease overhead, it's tougher to substantiate any new hire unless that person can significantly move the needle. 2) Over half of the candidates we’ve surveyed that have made a change in the last quarter did so for either a lateral move, a modest raise of less than 10%, or even took a step back in compensation for a better culture fit. We haven't seen this trend in nearly a decade, suggesting the salary bubble may be about to burst. 3) Banks of all sizes across the US, from community to national, continue to shed 10%+ of their workforce. Some of these roles end up being refilled, but all at a lower salary than previously paid. 4) We’re getting calls from many LIFO - last-in-first-out - candidates who now find themselves out of work, often because of the high salary they came in at relative to their lack of tenure and subsequent output. Unfortunately, when banks no longer have the desire to extend credit, many newly hired performers find themselves highly paid with little performance to show for it, through no fault of their own. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. Are you seeing reasons why we’re not yet in an employer-driven marketplace? As always, if you’d like to connect and discuss more, please reach out to Lee CampbellMark MahanClayton Neal or Ben Richards. We'd love to hear from you!

Which Camp Are You In?

Over the past several months of talking with the c-suite in banks from 0-100B, it's interesting how the approach to this marketplace falls squarely into two camps. Here are the two statements we often hear: -this is the time to hunker down -- hold off on new loan growth in favor of reviewing the current portfolio, and make sure we're controlling costs by running as lean as we can. -this is the perfect time to cherry pick the best loans and aggressively hire the best lenders. More banks seem to firmly be in the "hunker down" camp than in the growth camp, but it's fascinating how there seems to be very few executives that don't fall into one of the two camps. Interestingly, most of the banks hunkering down haven't considered how working with a recruiting firm could actually help create efficiencies, while the growth-oriented banks are already partnered closely with us. The opportunities to work with a recruiting firm, however, exist in both camps: -banks looking to hunker down still have a need to ensure their succession plans are in place at every level of leadership. They also need to make sure they have the right leaders currently in place, as well as the best people in place in every function. There are always areas to upgrade the level of talent in the bank, thereby creating a more efficient and lean organization. -banks looking to grow need to know new bankers in a new market where the cost of funds is more favorable; or, perhaps they need to create a new layer of leadership that allows the CEO to delegate certain duties and responsibilities. Whichever camp you fall into, whether it's "hunker down" or "grow", we'd love to hear from you and discuss how we can partner with you to take advantage of these uncertain times together.