Members Area
E2W Connecting Women in Financial Services Men For Inclusion
Open Menu

Women in Financial Services Blog

E2W Recruitment Tips and Insights

E2W Recruitment Tips and Insights

Mark.Freed / 27 Nov 2017

In the summer of 2017, E2W carried out a survey of its’ members on their experiences of the recruitment process.  Several gender-recruitment influenced questions were asked including the impact on the process of having a female hiring manager. 

“Notably, those with a female hiring manager were less likely to be asked inappropriate questions, less likely to feel at a disadvantage because of their gender, more likely to have a positive impression of the firm as a place for women to pursue careers post-interview, and were more likely to be offered the job.” Mark Freed, CEO E2W, taken from the survey.

However, the survey also highlighted that 11% of women were asked inappropriate questions by female hiring managers and 11% felt that their gender was a disadvantage whilst being interviewed by a woman.

Ellen Ogbodo tells E2W that she has similar experiences to report.  Ellen is a risk and compliance contractor with a strong pedigree thanks to her CV that spans several well-known financial institutions. 

She explained to E2W how female interviewers often did not help her to relax in interview and through their questioning style “backed me into a corner and made me feel attacked”.  Ellen has tried dressing differently, wearing flat shoes and trousers, in an attempt to win over the women across the table, but she still feels more comfortable in interviews with male hiring managers.

Male interviewers are much more straightforward and avoid the politics, Ellen opines, as they ask more open-ended questions and allow her to speak.  Ellen confesses that she feels “broken” by past experiences and is now reluctant to apply for jobs if there is a female hiring manager.  

E2W Career Coach Rhian Bowler Responds

How to deal with feeling uncomfortable and threatened at interview

  • Try and think through tricky scenarios beforehand and how you would manage the situation.  Develop phrases and answers, and practice them.  Having tools and techniques prepared will build your confidence and help you feel empowered
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification if the question isn’t clear
  • Try and avoid being defensive, as interviewers will probe further when they sense you may be hiding information and you are showing you are uncomfortable
  • Try and acknowledge and manage your emotions.  Why are you feeling attacked?  Is it the question?  The way it has been framed?  Do you feel insecure about your answer?  Don’t react to the situation, but respond calmly
  • Frame your answer to demonstrate the positive skills you can offer, even if slightly different to the question.  Always show what you can do, and position your weaker experience carefully
  • Always remain polite and respectful.  Don’t be afraid to manage situations and find a way to communicate if the panel are being unfair or difficult.
  • Always wear clothes that make you feel comfortable and empowered.  Try and find out the company culture and dress code before the interview so you feel prepared.

E2W offer Recruitment and Coaching services.  For more information please contact the Recruitment team, or Rhian Bowler, Coaching,

I really like this article     

Back to blog