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What do you know about the company?

Give 6 points.

1. A charity, 12 years old
2. Creating a movement around responsible investment
3. To protect communities and the environment
4. Grew out of a campaign by People & Planet that helped Britain's largest pension fund adopt a responsible investment policy
5. Then became FairPensions which ranked big UK pension firms for responsible investment
6. Want to promote the idea that long-term thinking is the best way to maximise healthy returns


What is meant by 'responsible investment'?

Give 4 points.

1. Transparent
2. Accountable
3. Positive social and environmental impacts
4. Value for money


Why do you want to work for SA?

Give 3 things.

1. Share the organisation's drive to promote responsible investment

2. Determined to grow my knowledge of sustainable business

3. Appreciate SA's work on greenwashing in biomass


For 'why do you want to work for SA?', you said:

'I share the organisation's drive to promote responsible investment'

Expand on that. Give 6 points.

- Fair amount of experience as an ecologist - literature review, RA, MRes

- Really passionate about it but made me feel powerless

- In our society, those with money have the power

- All very well my being knowledgeable about the ecological effects of climate change, but if those with money don't care then very little will change

- SA actively engages with these groups on their level

- Fundamentally important for reaching climate targets


For 'why do you want to work for SA?', you said:

'I'm determined to grow my knowledge of sustainable business'

Expand on that. Give 7 points.

- Did online courses in GE and SF

- Found them super interesting but as a scientist it's a new area for me

- I really want to be knowledgeable about these topics so I can engage with investors on their level

- Actually seem credible, so I can influence them

- Only so much you can learn through a screen

- I want to learn by doing

- From the website, SA employees have interesting backgrounds very different from mine, so would love a chance to work alongside and learn from them


For 'why do you want to work for SA?', you said:

'I appreciate SA's work on greenwashing in biomass'

Expand on that. Give 7 points.

- Forests are an emotive subject for me

- Most people have no idea how much human societies depend on them, often in hidden ways

- Having studied that in detail, I think we should be doing everything we can to protect them

- Greenwashing is frustrating for two reasons

- Lack of education: easily rectified

- Intentional: exploitative

- It needs to stop and I appreciate SA's efforts to raise awareness as forests are so precarious atm


Why are you interested in the role?

1. My field of interest/expertise

2. Chance to actively engage with investors

3. New area of campaigning to explore


When asked 'why are you interested in the role?', you said:

'It's my field of interest/expertise'

Expand on that. Give 4 points.

- CC is arguably the biggest challenge our species has ever faced

- I want to do whatever I can to help

- I want to be able to look back at this time period and say I tried to make a difference

- I know a lot about CC, but that knowledge is useless unless I do something productive with it


When asked 'why are you interested in the role?', you said:

'It's a chance to actively engage with investors'

Expand on that. Give 3 points.

- Engaging directly with investors will be new to me and I find the prospect really exciting

- It's a chance to learn a lot about what drives them/the decisions they make

- And also for my work to have tangible impact, I find that really motivating


When asked 'why are you interested in the role?', you said:

'It's a new area of campaigning to explore'

Expand on that. Give 6 points.

1. At UCL and Lush, the campaigning was informal as just chatting to ordinary people - relaxed, personal

2. I've learnt a lot through my volunteering with Greenpeace, as lobbying my MP has been more formal, but still relies on that personal connection in that we talk about shared experiences/locally-relevant things in our constituency

3. Influencing investors/businesspeople would be a new facet of campaigning for me

4. People really relate to emotive content, for example sharing a story about your personal experiences, but it would be strange to do that in a professional setting

5. Keen to learn how to be persuasive but still formal and professional

6. I suppose its about identifying what they care about and marketing it in the appropriate way e.g. more logical, facts/data based

But that's what I want to find out


Why should we hire you?

1. Extremely driven: I've realised the importance of sustainable business, I want to learn more about it and this is a wonderful opportunity to do so, so I will do everything in my power to succeed in this role

2. Analytical skills: can draw on my science background to solve problems/explore new ideas, will also give me credibility when talking about climate

2. Inter-disciplinary perspective: have studied CC from scientific, economic, health and social perspectives, am emotionally intelligent, therefore can empathise with a range of stakeholders which is useful in solving problems


What is your superpower?

Give 9 points.

Interdisciplinary perspective

- Nothing is ever clear cut
- There are so many ways to look at a situation
- E.g. oil palm workers in Malaysia
- I make a real effort to consider situations from all sides
- Have studied CC from scientific, economic, health and social perspectives
- Emotionally intelligent, can draw on that
- Means I can communicate with different stakeholder groups to identify common ground
- Useful to this role as, to create better SF products, we need increased communication between different groups like scientists and businesspeople
- Confident I can do that


What are your strengths?

1. Visualise and enact change

2. Analytical

3. Building relationships


For 'what are your strengths?', you said:

'Visualise and enact change'

Expand on that. Give 4 points.

- Positive: lots of bad things are happening but if we gave into them, we'd never do anything. There's also lots of amazing things happening, change is possible!

- Inspirational: I try to lead by example in my personal life to inspire others, and spread that message positively not through shame e.g. baking vegan treats

- Resilient: pretty unshakeable inner composure, tend to recover from setbacks quickly and turn them into a positive learning experience

EXAMPLE: climate action - studied it, made changes in my personal life (vegan, buy second-hand etc.), volunteering, talk to friends/fam about it,


For 'what are your strengths?', you said:


Expand on that. Give 6 points.

- Seek and analyse information

- From diverse sources, including people

- Cost-benefit analysis of different options

- Inform decisions on best available evidence

- No evidence: direct experience, valid testimony, common sense

EXAMPLE: python project


For 'what are your strengths?', you said:

'Building relationships'

Expand on that. Give 7 points.

- Open person
- Genuinely interested in other people and learning about their experiences
- Emotionally intelligent, helps me relate to people
- Have a good memory, remember details about people's lives
- Sincere, helps to build trust
- So tend to form relationships easily

EXAMPLE: colleagues across the College at ICL


What two skills do you need to improve?

Explain how you are actively working on them.

Too detail focused, over-analyse to the point where I struggle to make a decision: realising the importance of parking something to create space for perspective, e.g. going for a walk during job applications

Working against a mental timer because I'm so focused on being productive: realising its okay to pause for a moment, e.g. pen/paper during interviews


How would you research something?

Give 6 points.

1. Set a clear objective
2. Establish what kind of data you need and which info sources are most relevant
3. Try to conduct with no pre-conceived ideas
4. Seek info from as many diverse (yet relevant) sources as possible
5. Seek perspectives from experienced colleagues if possible
6. Be sure to look at all viewpoints to avoid bias


After doing research, how would you make a decision/recommendation?

1. Do a cost-benefit analysis of all available evidence

2. Assume you will be questioned on it - prepare to justify your decision


What makes an effective campaign?

Give 5 points.

1. Know your audience: think about their interests/what they will respond to (e.g. type of media used) - don't assume everyone cares about the same things you do

2. Build rapport: identify shared experiences, evoke emotion - but be aware of the context

3. Have a body of evidence ready: facts/data to support your argument - sceptics will question you on it

4. Make the issue relevant to whoever you are trying to persuade - why should THEY care about it?

5. Explain the benefits - to them and wider society


How would you communicate effectively?

Give 8 points.


- Mixed media – target different learning styles

- Simple bullet points- more digestible

- Appropriate level of jargon - accessible

- Speak slowly, clearly – easy to follow

- Flyers/handouts/email the PDF – something to refer to

- Links to more info – encourage further reading

- Qs at the end – check understanding

- Adapt language/level of detail – builds confidence


How would you solve a problem?

Give 5 points.

- Do my research: you can't solve a problem you don't understand

- Ask teammates: brings diverse perspectives

- Use info to brainstorm all possible solutions and their impacts

- Be creative: write down everything that comes to mind, even if it seems silly

- Do a cost benefit analysis to help me choose


What motivates you?

Give 2 points.

1. Learning: there are so many fascinating things to learn about, I like changeable environments because there's always something new to experience

2. Helping others: very empathetic person, enjoy other people's company, find helping them very rewarding


Describe a colleague who inspired you and why.

Give 6 points.

- Not respected by her male subordinates because she was female, an immigrant and non-religious

- They constantly undermined her and wound her up

- She handled the whole thing with admirable grace and composure – never got flustered/angry, never sunk to their level with childish insults, firmly held her authority over them, didn’t give in to pressure

- Worked harder than they did to show what she was capable of

- Still had humility – helped them when they were in need

- She showed me a) how to be a good leader and b) how to rise above other people’s behaviour


What do you think is the biggest challenge for sustainable finance?

- A lack of universally agreed criteria, regulation and certification for sustainable finance products and ESG principles is concerning

- Leads to practices like greenwashing

- Obviously there are guidance frameworks e.g. the Green Bonds Principles

- But I would love to see an internationally agreed, certified framework that is enforced

- It would be a massive, complex undertaking but I think it would greatly benefit the sustainable finance market


Where do you see yourself in five years?


Project manager somewhere in the environmental charity sector working with businesses to improve their environmental footprint


Data analyst working for a charity, green tech company or even a bank helping to green their portfolio