How to approach interview questions at Deutsche Bank
Deutsche Bank's recruitment process has previously involved multiple stages, which could take the form of interviews or other kinds of assessments that relate to your chosen business area. While it's impossible to predict what impact coronavirus will have on interview processes over the coming months, as of September 2020 Deutsche Bank's graduate recruitment information still mentions meeting in person and face-to-face interviews.
Below we provide some examples of possible interview questions, based on what past candidates have reported and what we have gleaned from our knowledge of the bank. There's no guarantee that the bank will ask these questions, but you can use them as a starting point to prepare for your interviews. It's also advisable that you think about other questions that you could be asked (about your skills, CV and understanding of the job role and industry) and how best to answer them.
Deutsche Bank example question: Why do you want to work for Deutsche Bank?
How to answer: One possible approach here is to mention something that differentiates Deutsche Bank from its competitors and is relevant to the job that you’ll be doing. Why, for example, does working on the trading floor at Deutsche Bank differ from working on the trading floor at one of its competitors?
Potential follow-up question: Why do you want to work in this division?
Deutsche Bank example question: Tell me about one instance where you provided a service to the client but the client was unhappy
How to answer: Deutsche Bank’s interviewers have also been known to ask, ‘Tell me about a time when you failed’. Let’s deal with that first as there is some overlap between that and the question above. Your approach should include what you learned or what you would do differently given the chance. Failure is expected – you can learn a lot from having done something incorrectly the first time.
Show that the failure helped you to develop; focus on the skills you’ve improved since that time. For example, if you failed to complete a project before the deadline, how have you improved your time management skills since then?
Now the difference between that and the question about the unhappy client is that it involves a customer who might be angry, sad, personally disappointed or upset on behalf of another. And, of course, a repeated failure with a client is not wanted or expected, particularly an error of the same kind.
You’ll need to identify not only the source of the upset but its precise emotional content and state how you dealt with that. It’s also good to acknowledge how you felt about the situation and how you dealt with that, particularly if you felt that the complaint was unfair.
Next, the bank will want to know how you separated emotion from fact and got to the bottom of the problem, and what you did about it. Finally, what was the outcome?
Potential follow-up question: Tell me about a time when you have exceeded expectations.
Deutsche Bank example question: What happened in the X market yesterday?
How to answer: One of the trickier commercial awareness questions, this shows just how up-to-date your knowledge of financial markets needs to be.
‘X’ represents whatever markets are most applicable to the post to which you have applied. If you claim to know about the division you’re applying to, you should at the very least be aware of the markets it operates in.
Your answer should be direct, but not so concise that you fail to express the reasons behind the movements in the markets. Do you understand the factors that affect the markets? Only the best candidates will cover this in their answer.
Potential follow-up question: Why are these issues important for Deutsche Bank to be aware of?
Deutsche Bank example question: What is the banking/trading outlook for 2021?
How to answer: This is another commercial awareness question, but asks you to take a broader look and think about how political developments and social issues in the wider world could affect the financial world. (Note: consider factors outside of the UK as well as within it.)
Potential follow-up question: How should our division respond to the outlook?
Deutsche Bank example question: What is one thing not on your application that we should know about?
How to answer: The first thing is not to panic although perhaps, in part, you might be being tested to see how you react to a leading question.
This is a great opportunity to reveal a pleasant surprise, and one which has a bearing upon your selection for the role. One strategy is to reveal something a little bit more personal about something you’ve already told them. For instance, perhaps they know you’ve excelled in a hobby or some aspect of study but not that you’ve succeeded despite a hardship or difficulty.
Or there’s the brand new revelation. Perhaps it’s your life’s ambition to visit all the major capital cities of the world in the next few years, and that’s a sign of your global outlook. Say more: what is it about travel that broadens your horizons? What have you learned by being ‘globalist’?
Potential follow-up question: Why did you omit this information from your application?
Deutsche Bank example question: Tell me about a recent piece of news involving Deutsche Bank that has interested you
How to answer: ‘Most recent’ does not necessarily equate to ‘best’. Recent news is relative to the world in which it operates – a recent deal could be in the last week or it could be in the last three months; it all depends on the context in which you present it.
Whatever news you reference – a recent merger, a press release from Deutsche Bank and so on – you should be able to show that you researched this in more detail before coming to interview.
Don’t just regurgitate what you hear in the news; it’s better to give your own analysis of the situation. Make it relevant to the division that you’ve applied to. If you talk about a tax issue when you’re applying for a role in the risk department, things might look a little odd.
Potential follow-up question: How would you use this information in your daily working life?
Deutsche Bank example question: What have you done in the past that makes you suitable for this role?
How to answer: Once again, this is all about keeping things relevant. Tie in your knowledge of the specifics of your graduate role and match it up with examples from your past. Ideally you’ll be able to show knowledge of the markets and, at least, a little bit of experience in the tasks that you’ll be doing as part of your job.
In addition to the factual details, you should also be able to emphasise aspects of your character that make you stand out. Show that your attitude and values will fit in with Deutsche Bank and with the division you’ll be working in.
What kind of traders does Deutsche Bank want? Do you need to show a level of patience in your role within operations? Will an inquisitive mind help you in your role? You should be asking yourself all of these questions, and more, if you wish to be properly prepared for this question.
Potential follow-up questions: What skills are vital for the role? How do you see your career developing in the future?