Top 5 hacks to prepare for your Compliance Interview

The risk and compliance sector in financial hubs like Singapore and Hong Kong are constantly evolving and growing increasingly niche. Companies need the right people in place to prevent them from being unnecessarily penalised for non-compliance.

We spoke to Cheryl Tan, Senior Recruitment Consultant of Huxley Singapore, to find out more. 

Do you plan on interviewing within the compliance space? If so, Cheryl shared five key tips for success.

  1. Prior research is crucial

Perhaps surprisingly, not all candidates do their homework before an interview. Be prepared – know about the company you are applying for, as well as the interviewer that you will be meeting (if possible). You can do this via Linkedin, or if you are applying through a recruitment firm like Huxley, get the information from your recruiter.

It’s useful to learn about the team you’d be joining – looking through their website and scanning for relevant news articles is a good way to do this.

Above all else, make sure to read through the job description thoroughly and prepare examples of how your experiences and achievements link to the role requirements.

A key tip for a compliance specialist would be to look up the license that is currently held by the company - you can find this information on the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) website.


  1. Stay updated on regulatory changes in the industry

The regulatory landscape is constantly evolving - hiring managers will be interested as to how you keep up to date with regulatory changes.

When asked, why not give examples of how you have helped a particular organisation to implement and improve compliance frameworks based on regulatory changes? If you’ve conducted any training, share what you have imparted to stakeholders on regulatory changes - and make sure to mention how it impacted the wider business.

It’s also a plus point if you have attended workshops, taken up courses or have done your research on updated regulatory manuals.


  1. Experience of strong stakeholder management

As a compliance professional, stakeholder management is key. Showcase your strong stakeholder management skills during the interview by sharing your experience in dealing with different departments or teams such as your front office colleagues, or others. Bring up examples of working with internal and external stakeholders to run compliance initiatives.

Share some examples of how you’ve dealt with difficult situations- for instance, in situations where a breach of regulations is detected, share how you would go about dealing with it.


  1. Experience working with regulators

Companies prefer candidates with prior experience dealing with regulators, so this is a common question that would come up in your interview. Regulators include MAS, Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) and more.

The key is to bring up examples in your current or previous role where you had to be the main point of contact between the organisation and regulators Also, if you’ve supported the team in applying for certain licenses under MAS or HKMA, make sure to mention this.

Experience in this area will also provide you with extensive knowledge of regulatory guidelines. Give examples on the frameworks and regulations that you are familiar with like the MAS 626, Banking Act, Securities and Futures Act, Financial Advisers Act and more. You will also gain a competitive edge if you possess the experience in drafting and implementing compliance frameworks from scratch.


  1. Knowing what to ask during the interview

It’s important to prepare a list of questions to ask during the interview - not only to show your interest in the role, but also to demonstrate your awareness of what a candidate should know.

Here are three main areas to focus on:

  • Company – what are their expansion plans, compliance culture, types of licenses held in different countries that will be under your coverage
  • Interviewer – Understand interviewer’s prior compliance experience, management style, specific compliance experience he/she is looking for etc.
  • Role – What will be your daily responsibilities? What is your specific coverage in compliance – this can be any of the following:
    • Regulatory compliance
    • Anti-Money Laundering (AML)
    • Know-Your-Customer (KYC)
    • Financial Crime Compliance (FCC)
    • General Compliance

Find out if there are any specific systems used that you should be aware of, and make sure you’re clear on s your reporting line as well as who you’ll be connecting with across different teams.


Still nervous about the interview?

Take the time to collect yourselves mentally to leave a confident impression in the conversation. As far as possible, think about questions that you would like to ask the company as well in a conversation. If it eases your nerves, try writing them down and having them beside you throughout the interview so you are fully prepared.

We’re happy to advise and support you in the introduction of video-based job interviews and also be here to provide you with other tips for your career aspirations. Feel free to reach out to us via the contact form below for a confidential conversation.

Get in touch

Whether you’re a professional looking for a job or a business seeking highly skilled talent, the team at Huxley are here for you.

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