Interview preparation

Without sufficient preparation, interviews can be difficult and stressful – and even when fully prepared, they can be an intense experience. By taking the time to prepare well, and keeping our list of core competencies in mind, you should be confident of a good performance.

Know what we’re looking for. We evaluate each candidate against seven core competencies, a term we use to describe professional qualities and business skills. We see these core competencies as essential building-blocks for success at UBS.

Practice makes perfect. The best way to improve your interview skills is to use them. If you have not had much interview experience, participate in interview workshops on campus, and practice interviewing with friends, family, a professor or a business associate. The more you do it, the better you’ll get.

Know your area. You do not need to be an expert, but you need to demonstrate a degree of knowledge and focus on the business area for which you have applied. You should know about the firm in general, have a basic understanding of the markets in which we operate and have a more detailed understanding of your chosen business area. Asking insightful questions is a great way to begin a good conversation and promote dialogue.

Know our people. Make sure you attend one of our campus presentations or events and meet with representatives from UBS. Get a sense of who we are, how we operate as an organization and what our current and future priorities are.

Relax and be yourself. If you’re properly prepared , you have no reason to be nervous. Think of the interview as a focused conversation. There is no need to put on an act or try overly hard to impress.

Be open and honest. We want to know about your ideas. We are also curious about your interests and experiences, and what you have learned from them. We want to know more about your thought processes, in particular how you resolve issues and address problems. Who you are is important to us, so let us know.

Listen and think. Listen carefully to the question, and think about what the interviewer is really asking. Do not be afraid to take your time when answering. Repeating or rephrasing the question or asking for clarification can be a good way to help you compose your thoughts.  

Don’t pretend you know. If you don’t know something, just say so. The ability to ask when you do not know is a strength, while bluffing is a weakness – and can be dangerous if you are caught out.

Open up. Don’t limit your answers. Open-ended questions give you the chance to express yourself, so be thorough and give appropriate examples in your responses.

Be direct. On the other hand, try not to be long-winded in answering specific questions. Brevity can be a virtue, especially when time is a factor, so get to the point as quickly as you can.