Interview Help - Escaping Ops / Back Office

john104's picture
Rank: Chimp | 13

Hi everyone,

I was hired right out of college working a commercial lending operations position in the back office at a fairly large bank (EUR185B AUM). As most operations roles go, this one became very repetitive and also has minimal room for growth. I have been working the same role for the past two years and have been trying to jump to a role working in capital markets, investments, equity trading, or something in a revenue generating capacity for the past six months.

My problem and question is this - Most employers hiring for a role outside of ops will discard a resume belonging to an operations professional, knowing it is a menial and simple job and one that is constantly being outsourced. Is there anything I can say in an interview that will demonstrate to a potential future employer that I am worth taking a risk on? Or is there a route you would recommend for somebody like me trying to get out of the back office?

Any and all responses are greatly appreciated. Thank you

Comments (6)

Jul 13, 2015

I would say that if you're looking for advice on what to say during an interview, then your ops experience isn't the issue.

If you've applied for a job and got an interview, they have surely seen your resume and background, so they know what experience you have.

If you're not getting past interview stage then I would say it is your interview skills.

Have you thought about doing an masters in finance?

Jul 13, 2015

I have thought about doing a master's, but I'm afraid completing the degree will just land me a job higher up in operations, being as that is the only banking experience I have. I figured it would make more sense to go for a masters after landing a more meaningful role.

Also, sorry I should've clarified - In the interviews I've landed, there seems to be an almost immediate disinterest once they've become fully aware of my day-to-day. I try to tailor my job responsibilities to each posting, but once the interviewer understands what makes up the majority of the tasks in my position, my chances of getting called back seem to plummet.

Jul 13, 2015

also, if you speak down on ops in interviews the same way as you have in this thread it is 10000% not going to help you at all. it really isn't that bad.

Jul 13, 2015

I don't speak down on ops in interviews. No one likes a disgruntled employee

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Jul 13, 2015

I would contact the interviewers for feedback just to make sure it isn't your past experience. You might find that you could put more of a spin on your experience too.

I'm also in the back office, I am definitely going to do a msf or mba. I think the ops experience along with a msf can only make you look less risky as you say.

From an employers perspective I think the majority would rather hire someone that's worked in a financial institution (developed communication, analytical skills, teamwork etc) over someone fresh out of university with no work experience. Plus don't forget with the msf you will get a chance to do an internship.

Jul 20, 2015