Tag Archives: Bank Tellers

Know Your Teller Applicant, and Know The Whole Person on the Teller Job

“We hire people for their skills, but the whole person shows up for work.”  This piece of overlooked wisdom is from Chester L. Barnard, an American businessman. We tend to focus on a teller applicant’s job skills and experience and overlook or downplay the fact that this is a person, a unique individual with her own personality and preferences for how work is done.

Good cash handling skills are a requirement for a teller, but a teller is also your bank’s point of contact with many of your customers.  And, while your customers expect their tellers to handle their money accurately and in a timely fashion, they also expect to be treated well as a person, not just handled with cool efficiency as a “customer.”

That means that to insure repeat business and new business in the form of referrals to the bank, customers must like the way they are treated.  And that means that tellers must show an interest in the customer as a person, actually get to know the customer and interact with the customer on a person-to-person level, not just on a teller-to-customer level.

Some tellers just naturally like people and enjoy forming friendships with customers.  Other tellers, not so much.  While the interview will give you a pretty good indication which teller applicants are not likely to be good at customer service, unfortunately it is not as good at indicating which applicants will be good at pleasing customers.

A better way to evaluate customer service skills is to use an objective pre-employment test to help you see which applicant has a natural preference for customer service, which ones can learn to give good customer service and which ones just don’t feel like it is up to them to make interactions with customers a positive experience.

Objective test data, when added to interview impressions, give you a more balanced picture of what you are likely to see on the job in the way of customer service skills.  Using this balanced approach, you have a better idea of what the person you interviewed will look like once the “whole person” settles into the teller job.

For a free copy of Dr. Helm’s booklet, “How to Use Pre-Employment Tests in Bias-Free Hiring and Promotion Decisions,” call Helm and Associates at 800-886-4356 or email at khelm@helmtest.com.


Kurt Helm

Dr. Kurt Helm is an industrial/organizational psychologist. His firm, Helm and Associates, Inc. has been developing, validating, and marketing pre-employment tests and professional development systems since 1981.

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