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Morning Coffee: CEO’s top interview tips for jobs at OCBC

OCBC job interview

Have they turned mistakes into success?

Are you intending to apply for a job at a Singaporean bank this year? You are not alone – an increasing number of candidates are considering leaving global firms for local banks.

Helpfully, for those of you who end up interviewing with OCBC, Samuel Tsien, the firm’s CEO, has told the Straits Times about some of the key skills and personality traits that he most admires in his employees. Here’s how to impress at an OCBC job interview:

Show you appreciate the value of mistakes  

Don’t just big up your achievements at the interview – give an example of how you succeeded after making a mistake. Tsien told the Straits Times that having a more tolerant attitude towards mistakes would promote innovation, creativity and eventual success. “I would go beyond encouraging people to learn from their mistakes. I would rather put it this way – be more tolerant of mistakes, from yourself as well as others.”

Demonstrate your cross-cultural expertise

Like DBS and UOB, OCBC is expanding regionally, in particular in Greater China. This means OCBC needs people “with more regional exposure, who have a deeper understanding of different business practices and a greater tolerance towards cultural biases”, Tsien told the newspaper. So show you can read between the lines when dealing with clients and colleagues and understand the nuances of cross-cultural communication.

Stress your team-working skills

Tsien likes to employ people who are grateful for the work that their colleagues put in – showing “appreciation” is essential in banking, he says. So when framing your interview answers, acknowledge the contribution of others to your accomplishments – don’t just say you did it all yourself.

Be confident

Above all, don’t be hesitant with your OCBC job interview answers. Tsien says two essential traits are prerequisites of success in banking: self-confidence and determination.


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Image credit: Tomwang112, iStock. Thinkstock

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