Tips and advice when interviewing for Client Services jobs
We recently sat down with Vanguard recruiters and asked them to share tips and best practices for interviews. In this segment of the Recruiter Q&A Series, Kendall Walsh provides insights and advice for candidates interested in pursuing a Client Services opportunity.
1. How did a Marketing major end up at Vanguard?
If you would have asked college me where I saw myself after graduation, I would have said at a marketing agency supporting big campaigns, not working in the financial industry. I graduated with a degree in Marketing, so when I pictured my career, I envisioned a job closely aligned with what I had studied for four years. What I quickly discovered was that I could not find the right fit in a company to really start and launch my career. Enter Vanguard. I had heard so much about the company, and after talking to a representative at a college career fair, I was hooked! The mission of Vanguard, as well as its client ownership structure, blew me away. The representative talked to me about the different career growth opportunities and I realized that Vanguard was so much more than just a financial company – it was a place where someone from any background could launch a dynamic career.
I decided to apply, and here I am four years later! I joined Vanguard in August of 2016 in Client Services within our Retail Investor Group, where I attained my Series 7 & 63 licenses – something I never thought I would do! I found that I truly enjoyed helping our clients through their investment journeys and had grown confident in speaking about finance. In fact, the only time I talked about investments prior to accepting my role at Vanguard, was when my grandparents would tell me to open a Roth IRA. I now know how to do that and why it’s important!
I wanted to help others experience the same life changing career growth, so I continued my career at Vanguard by moving into Global Talent Acquisition within Human Resources. I have spent the last three years in Talent Acquisition, holding various positions. Currently, I recruit for our Retail Investor Group, where I first became a crew member. Each day I am able to talk to people who are looking to start their career in Client Services and learn and grow within the financial field.
2. What best practices can you share around interviewing at Vanguard?
Someone once gave me advice on interviewing that has stuck with me all these years. They told me that there are only two parts of an interview you can control – the beginning and the end. These parts of the interview are where you get to lead the conversation and include the information you truly want to focus on. At the beginning of an interview you will typically be asked to introduce yourself and provide information on your background. This is your moment to shine! On average, spend a minute or two highlighting related experiences and skills you want the recruiter and interviewer to be aware of. Make sure to also share why you want to work for the company and do your research ahead of time. Demonstrate passion for the opportunity—there is a noticeable difference between reciting facts found online and having a true desire for the mission and values the company holds. To wrap up the interview, have 3-5 questions prepared for your interviewer. These questions should be well thought out and should allow you to reference more information about yourself as well. For example, “I really enjoy volunteering and in the past have been a part of XYZ organizations – does your company offer opportunities to participate in volunteer efforts?”
3. How do you recommend candidates prepare for an interview in Client Services?
A career in Client Services is rewarding, whether this is your first job out of college or a mid-life career change. If you are a recent graduate, you might not have much “real world” work experience, and that is okay! You can pull answers and experiences from school, extra circulars, or part-time work. Do not discount part-time work because you have likely developed very valuable skills from these opportunities. When answering questions, share the most relevant experience that demonstrates the competencies the interviewer is asking for instead of only focusing on your internships that you think sound “fancier”. Choose the best answer for each question!
In Client Services, remember that you will most likely be the voice and/or face of the company for their clients. Therefore, companies will be looking for someone who can represent them well and showcase effective communication and problem solving skills.
4. Is Client Services the right career for you?
Clients are the heart and soul of Vanguard, and that’s why we invite you to help us change the way the world invests through the many career opportunities we offer. My time in Vanguard’s Retail Investor Group taught me so much about the company, our clients, and the industry overall. But don’t just take it from me, go check out what our crew members in client services have to say about their experience.
-Kendall Walsh, Client Services Recruiter