With over 12,000 employees, Charles Schwab is a major financial services employer. Its services include investing, retirement planning, banking and lending. Schwab prides itself on the service it provides its customers and is selective with the people it employs. Whatever position you are applying for, your selection process is likely to follow a pattern.
The Interview Process
Interviewing for a position with Charles Schwab follows a standardized, predictable sequence. The process begins with initial screening on a telephone interview. For candidates who pass the screening, the next step is an in-person interview. Since Charles Schwab is a company dedicated to teamwork, you will probably interview with numerous people -- the hiring manager, potential coworkers and business partners. Candidates who are still in the running will then have a background check and possibly some assessments before being given an offer.
Tell Me About Yourself
Virtually every interview with any company begins with the question, “Tell me about yourself.” Don’t give your life history. The interviewer wants to know what you offer Schwab professionally. If you are a fresh college graduate, share some of your academic experiences as they relate to the job you are applying for at Schwab. Otherwise, summarize your latest employment experiences, relating your past performance to the job requirements. Do not use a script that you found in a book or online. Interviewers have probably heard most of them. Use your own words.
Charles Schwab Questions
You will be asked questions to assess your knowledge of Charles Schwab and your desire to work there. Some will be to the point. “Why do you want to work for Charles Schwab?” and “What do you know about Charles Schwab?” Other questions will probe the depth of your knowledge further. “Tell me about some of Charles Schwab’s products and services. What do you like or dislike?” Expect a couple of questions that relate to your personal skills and qualities. “What can you do that other candidates cannot?” or “How would you be an asset to Charles Schwab?” Though you may get some of these questions from any potential employer, you need to prepare responses that are tailored specifically for Schwab.
Fielding Difficult Questions
During the interviews you will be asked some difficult questions. You should answer these without stumbling or resorting to canned answers. Prepare some success stories before your interview. Have several that are success stories and several with good learning experiences. Then when confronted with a tough question you can respond with, “That reminds me of the time...” or “That’s difficult to say, but let me tell you...” You will have a more successful interview if you practice your answers.
Thomas Metcalf has worked as an economist, stockbroker and technology salesman. A writer since 1997, he has written a monthly column for "Life Association News," authored several books and contributed to national publications such as the History Channel's "HISTORY Magazine." Metcalf holds a master's degree in economics from Tufts University.