[Blog] Bfs Insider Information

Insider Information: A recruiter’s insight on the current job market

Published on 20th October 2019

The Banking & Financial Services industry has been one of the most sought-after for jobseekers. It is known to provide great benefits, attractive remuneration packages and a solid platform for career development. Rita Lee, Principal Consultant from Ambition’s Banking & Financial Services recruitment team, shared some very valuable information that she has learnt as a recruitment consultant.

Continue reading to find out more about the job scene in the Banking & Financial Services industry.


  1. What steps can professionals take to find out which aspect of the Banking & Financial Services industry would be suitable? How can they decide on a career path?

Before making any decisions, professionals should start off with research on the Banking & Financial Services industry. By reading the latest news or any reading materials available at their fingertips, they would be able to gain a better understanding of the financial market as a whole and how it functions.

It is also recommended to browse different job boards to learn about the duties and responsibilities for the positions they might be interested in.  In doing so, they will be able to understand what the role encompasses and what is expected of them.

LinkedIn is also a very useful and underutilised tool to gain insight into the possible career paths of different positions. There is an abundance of career-related content on this platform on top of seeing the career paths many established professionals have taken to get to their current roles.


  1. What sector is up and coming in the Banking and Financial Services industry? What roles are currently in demand?

Private Equity and Virtual Banking are the sectors that are still promising in the Banking and Financial Services industry. Relatively higher demand can be seen for fund accounting positions in private equity firms or private equity fund services provider as well as marketing positions for virtual banks.


  1. As a recruiter, you work with many companies and candidates. Based on your experience, what are some of the candidates’ expectations that you think should be adjusted?

From what we have gathered from working with many different companies, it is much easier for candidates to land their preferred job when they have more flexibility with their salary expectations.

As a recruiter, we will suggest that candidates be more flexible and reasonable when it comes to salary expectations and should also consider other criteria. This could include elements such as working culture, career prospects and job nature instead of insisting on unreasonable increments on their salary package.


  1. a. Can you list 3 questions that candidates struggle with the most during an interview?

These are the top 3 questions candidates often struggle with:

1)            What is your career goal?

2)            What is your weakness?

3)            What is your biggest challenge at work or in life?


b. What is the best way to tackle these questions?

1)            To approach this question, it is important to know if the employer is looking for someone aggressive or stable. Candidates can gauge this by going through the job description and understanding what is required of them to identify what the hiring manager is looking for.

Alternatively, candidates can answer this question in two parts – short term and long term (i.e. 3-5 years). For short-term goals, candidates can share with the interviewer how they intend to outperform the role and how they can contribute to the company. As for long-term goals, it helps to determine what the interviewer is looking for before laying any cards on the table.


2)            This question can be tricky and candidates should tread carefully. Although they are asking what your weakness is, do not answer with a weakness that may have a significant impact on your work performance. If you do, this could put you in a tight spot with difficult follow-up questions.

Candidates should tackle the question by sharing any experience they might be lacking for the job but can swiftly pick up or weaknesses that would not have any significant impact on their work performance.


3)            To answer this question, candidates should describe a significant challenge in their life which they have already proactively overcome. The answer given should show how the candidate has managed to overcome this challenge and the lessons learnt from this challenge.


  1. What attributes do employers look for when hiring?

Apart from having a relevant CV, there are several other attributes employers would focus on. Employers’ minimum expectations would usually encompass candidates’ understanding of the role and the company. It is therefore really important to do the necessary research and be well-prepared before the interview.

In addition, attitude is also very important. Candidates should be humble and communicative during the interview. They should try to maintain enough interaction with the interviewers as it should be a two-way conversation rather than a Q&A session.

Towards the end of the interview, candidates should also have some relevant questions ready to ask the interviewers to show their passion and interest in the role.


  1. How can candidates make the most of their recruiters?

In order to make the most of the recruiters, candidates should first build a good relationship with their recruiters. Therefore, I would suggest candidates work with at most 2-3 recruiters at a time.

Recruiters usually have a better understanding of the position or the candidate the employer is looking for. Candidates can consult recruiters on writing or amending their CVs based on a particular job or seek their guidance before the interview.

They can also seek advice from their preferred recruiters to understand more about the market before making a move or any major decisions. Candidates who are actively looking can also suggest that the recruiters share their profiles with their close clients for any potential opportunities that are coming up!


To find out more about the available opportunities in the Banking & Financial Services industry, reach out to any of our consultants here: https://www.ambition.com.hk/disciplines/banking-and-financialservices-jobs