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Making a good impression can help you get the job. The interview is your chance to show potential employers that you're the person they're looking for. Make the most of your interview process, determine if a job is right for you and learn how to shine.

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  • Research the company in which you are interested. Doing a little homework helps both you and your interviewer save time. You can find information on many companies online.
  • Understand your strengths and needs. A bit of pre-interview introspection will help you when you're asked to explain why you're the best candidate for the job.
  • Think about your past extracurricular or work experience. Having all of your relevant experiences ready will increase your confidence and help sooth pre-interview jitters.
  • Make extra copies of your resume. Don't assume that everyone you meet will have your resume.
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  • Arrive on time. First impressions are important, and arriving on time can only help your chances of getting the position you want.
  • Make your answers and questions direct, clear, and concise. Be sure to answer the interviewer's questions concisely. Give specific examples and anecdotes to highlight your skills and experiences.
  • Emphasize the positive. When discussing your background, and in general, use positive language. Negativity is a turn-off for many potential employers.
  • Ask informed questions, make comments, and pay attention.
  • Send a thank you letter. Sending a thank you letter shows that you have good manners, reminds the interviewer of your meeting, and emphasizes why you're the best candidate for the position.

While there's no guarantee that you'll be asked the following questions, you may want to prepare for them as they can help you handle a variety of interview situatuions confidently.

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  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Why are you interested in this position?
  • Describe your personality.
  • Can you work overtime or on weekends?
  • Can you travel?
  • Why are you leaving your current position?
  • What kind of position are you looking for?
  • What are your career goals in the next five years?
  • What steps have you taken to accomplish them?
  • What do you consider to be your career path?
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  • What are you major strengths?
  • What are your greatest weaknesses?
  • What does the word "success" mean to you?
  • Define your ideal job/boss/department?
  • What interests you most about this kind of work?
  • What do you know about our organization?
  • What do you think determines a person's success in this position?
  • Based upon what you know about our industry right now, how does your ideal job match up with this position?
  • How do you ensure that your work is error free?
  • What have you done for your professional development in the last three months?
  • What kinds of job activities do you find most boring? Most exciting?
  • What are the standards of success in your job? What have you done to meet or exceed those standards?
  • How do you know that the quality of service you provide has met your customers' needs and expectations?
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  • Tell me about the last time you came up with an idea that improved a situation or solved a problem?
  • Tell me about the last time you had to go above and beyond the call of duty in order to complete a job?
  • Have you ever made an unpopular/fast decision with little information? What happened?
  • Tell me about a situation where you had to deal with a difficult client or customer. What did you do?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to give someone difficult feedback. How did you handle it?
  • Describe your most significant accomplishment for which you received recognition. What was it? What did you do? What was the result?
  • Describe a situation in which you gave your all but failed. What did you learn?
  • Tell me about a complaint you have received from a customer. How did you respond?
  • Tell me about a time when you weren't pleased with your performance. What did you do?
  • Give me an example of when you had to quickly learn new information?
  • Recall a time when you were unable to meet a commitment. How did you handle it?
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  • How can you add value to the organization in this position?
  • What are the biggest decisions you have made in the last year? How did you go about making them? What alternatives did you consider?
  • Provide an example of how you adapted your leadership style to your organization's culture?
  • Have you ever put together a team, a work group, or task force? Describe how you went about it and why you made the choices you did?
  • How do you determine the best coaching strategy for each of your direct reports?
  • How do you keep track of your department's performance against your business plan? What do you do when you are not meeting the plan?
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Part of the interviewing process is deciding if a position is right for you. Some good questions:
  • What are the "unadvertised" aspects of this job that aren't contained in the formal job description?
  • What characteristics would help a person succeed?
  • What are the most challenging aspects of the job?
  • What kind of training and development would I receive?
  • Tell me about the people I would be working with?
  • What's the most exciting aspect of the position?
  • What's the career path for this position?
  • Do you have any questions about my background that I haven't answered?
  • What's the next step?