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Accordion Partners Interview
Questions

28 Questions and Answers by Ryan Brunner

Published April 22nd, 2020 | Ryan has over 10 years of experience interviewing
candidates in the healthcare, public service, and private manufacturing/distribution industries.
Question 1 of 28
The day-to-day life at Accordion Partners can be hectic and stressful at times. If hired for this role, how would you keep yourself motivated when working with stressed colleagues and pushy clients?
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How to Answer
The daily life at Accordion Partners is naturally very fast paced and because of that, both the colleagues and the clients that you may be working with have potential to be stressed, needy and downright mean at times. For this question, your interviewer is looking to get a sense that you would be able to work in this type of environment. In your answer, talk about the fact that you are cognizant of what this job entails as far as personal interactions go and talk about times where you have worked successfully through situations like this in the past. As well, don't hesitate to talk about your own personality traits that help you thrive in these types of situations.
28 Accordion Partners Interview Questions
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  1. The day-to-day life at Accordion Partners can be hectic and stressful at times. If hired for this role, how would you keep yourself motivated when working with stressed colleagues and pushy clients?
  2. We pride ourselves on teamwork here at Accordion Partners and this role in Client Services relies on teamwork. What are the top qualities would you would bring to a team based atmosphere here?
  3. How do you believe your coworkers would describe you?
  4. If you joined the team here at Accordion Partners, how would you build relationships with those that you would be working closely with?
  5. If you were having an interaction with a client here at Accordion Partners and you weren't able to answer their question or solve their problem on your own, how would you handle that situation?
  6. What SDLC models are you familiar in working with?
  7. What software programs do you use in your current work and how adaptable would you say that you are in learning and using new programs?
  8. Accordion Partners strives for client loyalty to keep us running strong into the future. What do you feel are the keys to retaining clients for the long haul?
  9. If hired to this role here at Accordion Partners, what do you see as one initial hurdle you will have to overcome in your first weeks on the job?
  10. In this role with Accordion Partners, we will rely on your organized and methodical approach to provide financial analysis reporting. What does your current reporting process consist of?
  11. What programming languages would you consider yourself fluent in?
  12. Here at Accordion Partners, we are expecting someone with strong leadership skills to take this role. How would you describe your management style?
  13. One huge philosophy that we believe in at Accordion Partners is professional development. How have you worked to develop yourself professionally throughout your career?
  14. Think back over your career up to today and tell me about the most difficult day on the job you encountered. What made the day difficult and how did you handle that situation?
  15. Take a couple of minutes to sell this notepad to me.
  16. At Accordion Partners, we expect our advisors to be available to speak with clients in person, over the phone and through email. What are your experiences in working with clients through different communication methods?
  17. If you noticed that a company's balance sheet was showing increased amounts of accounts receivables, what future impacts to that company would you consider to be feasible?
  18. What experience do you have in the different types of software maintenance?
  19. What software analysis and design tools do you have familiarity working with?
  20. At Accordion Partners, we pride ourselves on providing the best overall customer experience. Talk about your customer service experience and explain why it will help our clients here.
  21. We pride ourselves on our interdepartmental teamwork here at Accordion Partners. If hired for this role, what kind of team player could we expect you to be?
  22. Accuracy is important to us at Accordion Partners. Do you always double check or proofread your work?
  23. At Accordion Partners, our Financial Analysts have to often work under a tight deadline. Talk about a time you had to work under a tight deadline in the past. How did you handle that situation and what made it a success?
  24. Discuss a time that you worked a client through a difficult financial situation. What were the keys to making it a success for the client?
  25. Why would our clients here at Accordion Partners want you to be their financial advisor?
  26. Have you ever run into a situation where a company had a positive cash flow but was still in critical financial trouble?
  27. Can you think of a situation where raising debt over equity would be beneficial?
  28. We want our advising team at Accordion Partners to be happy and healthy. How do you manage the day to day stress of being a financial advisor?
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15 Accordion Partners LLC Answer Examples
1.
The day-to-day life at Accordion Partners can be hectic and stressful at times. If hired for this role, how would you keep yourself motivated when working with stressed colleagues and pushy clients?
The daily life at Accordion Partners is naturally very fast paced and because of that, both the colleagues and the clients that you may be working with have potential to be stressed, needy and downright mean at times. For this question, your interviewer is looking to get a sense that you would be able to work in this type of environment. In your answer, talk about the fact that you are cognizant of what this job entails as far as personal interactions go and talk about times where you have worked successfully through situations like this in the past. As well, don't hesitate to talk about your own personality traits that help you thrive in these types of situations.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Being a person that thrives in a fast paced work environment, I have the ability to handle stressed colleagues with a grain of salt. As you can see from my resume, I've spent the last five years in the manufacturing industry where my department worked under tight deadlines all of the time. If I noticed that a colleague was under stress, I offered my help if I was able to and down the road that was usually reciprocated back to me. This unselfish attitude and realizing that someone else's stress wasn't directed at me was the key to maintaining personal health and balance on the job."
Ryan's Answer #2
"In my current role in client services with a large hospitality group, some days can go off the rails and it feels like I'm working with enraged customers all day long. I have the attitude that their anger isn't directed towards me, but I'm the face of the company that they are currently working with and I need to do my job in helping solve their issue. While I do have great resources at my hand to help solve customer issues, I think that taking the time to get to know all of our management team and how they solve problems is key as well so I know who to put customers in touch with if needed."
2.
We pride ourselves on teamwork here at Accordion Partners and this role in Client Services relies on teamwork. What are the top qualities would you would bring to a team based atmosphere here?
At the heart of this question falls your interviewers need to determine how well you will work with others on the team at Accordion Partners. You will be working with high level advisors and managers that are under a lot of pressure to perform in their jobs and your communications with them will either alleviate some of that stress or add to it. To ensure that your interviewer walks away from your conversation knowing that you are a team player that keeps the end goals of the company in mind, focus your answer on your effective communication skills, your knowledge of everyone's role on the team and your knowledge of what your role on the team will be.

Ryan's Answer #1
"As with any team that I have worked on in the past, my priority is knowing that everyone has an important piece in the overall success of the team. In customer service, this is knowing who to contact with the right questions and who to guide customers to when needed. This ensures that our work is done efficiently on our end of things and that our customers are handled efficiently and effectively. If hired here at Accordion Partners, my first goal would be to get to know everyone on the team that I would work with, what their roles are and how to best communicate with them."
Ryan's Answer #2
"My top quality is my ability to communicate, both verbally and through writing. I have excellent interpersonal speaking and listening skills and my past colleagues have always appreciated this. Here at Accordion Partners, your clients would appreciate this in my work as well. I am a very efficient and effective written communicator as well and this would be very beneficial at a company like Accordion Partners, where your offices are spread throughout the country and I can imagine that email communication is vitally important."
3.
How do you believe your coworkers would describe you?
The interviewer would like to know how you are seen by your colleagues. Select approximately three words that truly define who you are. Be sure to choose words that radiate positive thoughts!

Ryan's Answer #1
"I believe that my coworkers, if asked, would describe me as a reliable person who is always ready to submit the best work possible. My work ethic has never been questioned, and I am very proud with the work that I have submitted in my career, so far."
Ryan's Answer #2
"Here are some other great keywords you could use:

- Encouraging
- Caring
- Knowledgeable
- Reliable
- Focused
- Honest
- Assertive
- Tenacious
- Motivated
- Ambitions
- Conscientious"
4.
If you joined the team here at Accordion Partners, how would you build relationships with those that you would be working closely with?
For this question, your interviewer will be looking to get the sense that you would be proactive about getting to know your colleagues and fitting into the culture of the organization. Use a personal approach to talk about ways that you have done this in the past and how you would do it if hired for this position. Talk about the importance of relationship building in your line of work and how it helps the overall good of the organization if you take the initiative to do this.

Ryan's Answer #1
"From my first day on the job, I would take the time to break the ice with my colleagues by introducing myself and setting up an individual meeting with each person. In the past, I've done these meetings over lunch or in an office where I've had questions prepared for me to get to know the person both personally and professionally. I want to ask my colleagues what they expect from me and what I can expect from them. I've found that these conversations really help to open up doors for working with each other moving forward."
Ryan's Answer #2
"Being the new person on the job can be a very high anxiety time for some people, but I love the opportunity to break the ice with my coworkers by making that first contact. I think it's important to get to know each other on a personal level because we spend so much of our lives together in the workplace and I am a caring person that wants to know how last night's soccer game went for the kids. Beyond that first ice breaking conversation, my work relationships are then bonded through my work ethic and helping others on my team to show that I am a true team player."
5.
If you were having an interaction with a client here at Accordion Partners and you weren't able to answer their question or solve their problem on your own, how would you handle that situation?
As the forward facing client services representative with Accordion Partners, you may be asked serious financial or market related questions that either don't know or aren't qualified to answer. In those situations, you will be expected to explain to the customer how that question will be answered and then deliver a timeline on when it can be answered. In the end, the customer wants to know the clear path to ease their mind and it will be your job to do just that.

Ryan's Answer #1
"In my current role in Customer Service with Metropolis' largest automotive dealership, I frequently get asked questions that our sales, finance and service staff have to give the final stamp of approval on in answering customers questions. In these situations, I have a great amount of knowledge where I can prepare the customer for speaking with the right person while also ensuring them that the sales, finance or service staff will provide the final answer. Then, I work quickly to get them to the right person."
Ryan's Answer #2
"In a situation where I didn't know an answer, I would ensure the client that we have the right staff in place that would be able to help them quickly and efficiently. I would communicate to the customer what the next step would be and if that would be me putting them directly in contact with someone or me taking their contact information and having someone get back to them. In the end, setting the right course and timeline would be important for every customer when I faced this situation."
6.
What SDLC models are you familiar in working with?
As a software engineer, you are very familiar with the software development life cycle. For this question, your interviewer is looking to hear what models you have worked on in the past. While there isn't necessarily a right or wrong answer to this question, try to show your flexibility to working with different SDLC models by bringing up your past experiences. Then, show you have knowledge of different models like the waterfall model or agile model. It is also a good idea to use this question as an opportunity for you to learn more about Accordion Partners by asking your interviewer which model they work off of.

Ryan's Answer #1
"During my training in software engineering and in my early career, the waterfall model was the standard. In this model, each phase of the development process happens in a set order and projects using this model are easily managed. But over time, as the development projects that I have led have become more complicated and intricate, I have implemented the spiral model. This model has allowed the ability of end users to give feedback early on and often during development and helps to build a more customized product to our customers."
Ryan's Answer #2
"In my current position with XYZ Company, my department utilizes the agile model in development life cycle. Since our products are so tailored to the needs of our customers, we get a working product very early on in the process and then I work hand in hand with customers to fine tune the software moving forward. It is a very effective model that has built a great reputation for our software among customers. I also have familiarity working with the iterative model and it has similar advantages to the agile model. If I were hired here at Accordion Partners, can you expand on what models you use here in your software development life cycle?"
7.
What software programs do you use in your current work and how adaptable would you say that you are in learning and using new programs?
Overall, your interviewer is simply looking to hear that you have a good grasp on programs to use to make you more efficient in your work and to do this, talk open and honestly about the programs that you currently use and talk about in what context that you use them. If at all possible with this role, try to research what additional programs you may have to learn if given this opportunity to join Accordion Partners and reassure your interviewer that your computer skills are fluent enough to pickup quickly if needed.

Ryan's Answer #1
"In my current role, I currently use a program called Zendesk that is an interactive customer support tool. When we started to use this tool a little over a year ago, I was very quick to learn and utilize all of the great functions of the program and have since become a trainer for new staff that join our team. As well, I'm very fluent in the entire Microsoft suite of products and would consider myself an expert on the Outlook, Excel and Word programs."
Ryan's Answer #2
"I consider myself very agile when it comes to using and appreciating the vast amount of software that is available to Financial Advisors today. In my current role, I solely use RightCapital as a financial advising tool with my clients. I really love its ability to help in the budgeting and comprehensive planning processes with my clients. I'm also very familiar with the MoneyGuidePro tool and have used it successfully in the past. If hired for this role, you can consider me an open book when it comes to learning and effectively utilizing any programs needed."
8.
Accordion Partners strives for client loyalty to keep us running strong into the future. What do you feel are the keys to retaining clients for the long haul?
Businesses in financial advising are constantly pushing the limits to ensure that they retain clients and Accordion Partners doesn't take client retention lightly. One slip up and a high profile client will be taking their business to a competitor. For this question, your interviewer will be looking to hear that you understand your role in the customer retention equation and how you take pride in that in your everyday work. Make sure to hit on the point that doing the small things, like prompt communication and follow up, go a long way towards keeping clients happy.

Ryan's Answer #1
"I learned a few very important things from a senior mentor early in my career that I still hold near and dear to my heart to this day. First, clients expect me to be responsive to their needs to ensure that they keep their business with me. Because of this, I return phone calls and emails as soon as I can, even if that means in the evening, the early morning or on a Sunday afternoon. These small actions go a long way in showing my clients that I care. Another key to the success of my long-term clients is my ability to set and manage expectations for them. Clients desire to have a plan and know what that plan entails and I pride myself on my ability to work with them to set goals and a plan to achieve those goals."
Ryan's Answer #2
"Having lost clients in the past that went to another firm, I take that pain personally and do everything I can do to ensure long lasting relationships with my clients. For me, the first key to long term success with my clients is a proactive approach. I don't wait for clients to get in touch with me to make changes to their portfolio, I reach out to them. This action alone shows my clients that I am working for their best interest. Another action I take that shows my worth to my clients are goal tracking and quarterly progress reports that I send out to them. This is particularly helpful for clients that are working with me in their first two years."
9.
If hired to this role here at Accordion Partners, what do you see as one initial hurdle you will have to overcome in your first weeks on the job?
At the heart of this question, your interviewer is asking you to take an honest look inside of yourself to discuss what you feel is the biggest learning curve you will have if offered this position. This will give your interviewer a sense of how to handle your onboarding process if hired for the position and give them a sense that you have the ability to see what your biggest need would be. Similar to the what is your greatest weakness question, the key to answering this question is humbly pointing out a flaw that you may see and making a plan for how you will overcome that flaw.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Having put a lot of thought into this even before submitting my resume for this position, I realize that my greatest hurdle would be making the leap as an Auditor into the financial focused industry. My five years of experience out of college have been focused on management and technical consulting services, but I feel that I've built a very good knowledge base and experience for this role here at Accordion Partners. If given the opportunity to join your team, my initial focus would be to get enthralled in auditing in the financial industry and I'd do this by being attached at the hip to my colleagues and taking the time to talk one on one with a lot of other staff to help better understand what they'll expect of me in this role."
Ryan's Answer #2
"Understanding that my role here at Accordion Partners would have me working with the entire advisory staff, the first hurdle would be getting to know everyone on that team and showcasing the skills that I could bring to their work. If hired for the job, I would hope to be invited to team meetings where I could introduce myself and my role with the team and I'd invite an open conversation with the entire team."
10.
In this role with Accordion Partners, we will rely on your organized and methodical approach to provide financial analysis reporting. What does your current reporting process consist of?
Providing the clients of Accordion Partners with detailed reports will be a key part of this position and your interviewer will be looking to gauge your ability to be organized and detailed while also utilizing your critical thinking skills to provide the best reports possible. In your answer, keep a focus on the techniques and tools that you use to do your job in ensuring that clients are receiving the most accurate and detailed reports possible. As well, let your interviewer know that you are willing to learn new ways and new technologies to help onboard yourself to their team quicker.

Ryan's Answer #1
"In my current role, I utilize the Tableau program to provide live, up to date information to my clients. After using a simply built Excel program for many years, Tableau provides beautiful and easy to understand reporting that my clients can take and run with to make important decision. The connections and automations within the program have save me time and effort, allowing me to take on a much more robust client base. If hired for this role here at Accordion Partners, I also have familiarity with SAS and Spotfire and consider myself a very quick learner if I need to learn a new program."
Ryan's Answer #2
"When I need to provide reporting to clients or my firm, I ensure that the reporting includes all key risks and valuation. Today, we as Financial Analysts have so many great tools available to us and my current preference is a statistical program like Crystal Ball. When paired with the advance Excel sheets that I have created, and have been commended, my clients are always happy with the insight that I am able to provide."
11.
What programming languages would you consider yourself fluent in?
While this question gives your interviewer insight into the diversity of your programming language experience, they most importantly want to know that you are adaptable and able to learn on the fly if needed. Talk about the different languages that you consider yourself fluent in and, if possible, do as much research into Accordion Partners as you can prior to your interview and try to speak to the specific languages that they work with.

Ryan's Answer #1
"From the start of college, where software engineering grew into a passion for me, I've become very fluent in Java, JavaScript and C++. My current role has me working primarily with C++, but I pride myself on my ability and passion to learn new programming languages and would be able to do so if hired for this role with Accordion Partners."
Ryan's Answer #2
"During my training to be an engineer and then in my current role since graduating, a majority of my experience falls within Python. My current role delves deeply into artificial intelligence and Python is awesome with this advanced technology. As I understand it from talking to another engineer here at Accordion Partners, a requirement would be for me to learn Scala. Though I haven't worked directly with Scala, I believe my experience and willingness to learn would have me up and running in no time if hired for this role."
12.
Here at Accordion Partners, we are expecting someone with strong leadership skills to take this role. How would you describe your management style?
Prior to your interview, try to take a long, hard look inside your skills and styles as a leader of others and prepare to present the best management style possible to your interviewer that fits the role that you are interviewing for with Accordion Partners. Your answer should also involve solid research into the culture of Accordion Partners and the details of the role you are interviewing for. Some important things to touch on are your ability to promote a team atmosphere and your ability to delegate responsibilities when necessary.

Ryan's Answer #1
"My overall management style is the belief in building a positive team atmosphere. I'm a firm believer that each person and role brings a specific skill set to the ocverall goals and purpose of a team and I promote a team based atmosphere by larifying everyone's role on the team, keeping every person's objectives clear, rewarding great performers on the team and holding people accountable for their actions. If hired for this role at Accordion Partners, you can be assured that my promotion of a team based atmosphere would help achieve even higher goals than you have set right now."
Ryan's Answer #2
"I think that it is crucial for a leader of others to be flexible in their style rather than relying on just one of the canned management styles. I'd like to highlight my abilities to lead as being a manager that works to grow and develop my staff to help them achieve their career goals and a leader who is able to provide direction and authority when the time for it arises. By knowing my team well and promoting our goals, I have the ability to assign work to the right people and follow through with my team on meeting all objective necessary."
13.
One huge philosophy that we believe in at Accordion Partners is professional development. How have you worked to develop yourself professionally throughout your career?
In an ever-changing field like financial services, Accordion Partners knows that professional growth and development is vital to them staying at the forefront of their industry. For this question, your interviewer is looking to ensure that your values surrounding professional development match the values of the company. Use this question as an opportunity for you to highlight the many ways that you grow and develop yourself to be the best that you can be in your career. Highlight any continuing education you have completed, any societies or groups that you belong to and any publications that you read on a regular basis that will prove to your interviewer that you aren't comfortable being stagnant in your career.

Ryan's Answer #1
"I am a firm believer in being a life long learner in my work as a Data Analyst. As technology and times have changed over the course of time, I see it as very important to be learning and changing along with the times. Just over the past two years, the Data Fest and Data Summit national conferences and participation in these events on a yearly basis is super important to me to help me grow and develop."
Ryan's Answer #2
"In the financial field, I have to stay at the top of my game to compete with other advisors and keep clients happy and flourishing. To do this, I subscribe to and read many of the great publications that are out there. Some of my favorites include the Wall Street Journal, Money magazine and Forbes. I also subscribe to many others. As well, I am a member of NAIFA and I have attended the organization's Congressional Conference on a few occasions."
14.
Think back over your career up to today and tell me about the most difficult day on the job you encountered. What made the day difficult and how did you handle that situation?
We've all had our share of difficult days on the job and how we handle those days in particular can really make or break where our careers go in that position or with that company. Think of a particular day ahead of your interview that really outlines your ability to handle adversity and proves that you were able to handle it with grace rather than turning your uniform in and heading home for the day. Another important piece of your answer should be discussing what lessons you learned from that particular day moving forward that you still carry with you to this day.

Ryan's Answer #1
"It's funny that you ask this question because I can honestly say that my worst day on the job happened just a few short weeks ago. Upon arriving to work in the morning, I quickly learned that our entire network was down and we wouldn't be able to work within our CRM or other programs that day. Many of my coworkers were visibly upset and questioning how we would be able to do our jobs that day. Rather than joining the crowd and freaking out about the situation, I huddled our group together to talk about solutions to the workday after we found out that the network likely wouldn't be fully up and running until late afternoon. While some colleagues carelessly went home for the day, I helped brainstorm how we could keep our phone lines open and my boss was very grateful for my efforts that day. Looking back, what made this the most difficult for me was seeing how others responded so negatively over an issue that we had no control over."
Ryan's Answer #2
"Early in my career, I had a day where my entire office came down with the flu and I was left alone with the receptionist for the day. Being trained and working Financial Advisor, my colleagues also handled market analysis, retirement plans and insurance plans. At first, the receptionist and I went about our business. After being flooded with calls and in-person visits into our office, we connected again to talk about a plan moving forward. We discussed what types of calls she could handle and which ones I would handle and she triaged from there. I made contacted with my personal clients I had scheduled that day to reschedule and we worked well from there. If I couldn't answer a question for a client of one my colleagues, I ensured they knew that my colleague would follow up as soon as possible. Looking back, I learned that on days where you have to break routine like we did then that it was important to make a plan as early in the day as possible."
15.
Take a couple of minutes to sell this notepad to me.
To be successful in the financial advising field, one top key to success is your ability to sell your service to your clients. For this task, your interviewer will slide a notepad (or other item) to you across the table and ask you to sell it to them. First and foremost, your interviewer will be looking for you to project confidence in your pitch and your ability to find their own needs in what they're looking for in a notepad while you give them your pitch. As you sell them the notepad, be sure that you are confident, creative and that you ask questions of them. Overall, see this question as a fun opportunity to show your advising skills in a very nontraditional way and it will be a success for you.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Well Mr. Jones, I know in your line that you definitely in high need of notepads to help you succeed in your industry and I'm here to show you a new product we have put out to market that can exceed your needs. You'll notice that it features very wide margins that accentuate the note taking procedures for all who use it. You'll also notice that each individual sheet is carefully perforated to make separation from the binding an easy task compared to other notepads. The last feature of our new notepad is that it comes in many different paper colors that suit your needs. If you want, take this sample to your office for a week and put it to use. If you and your staff would make use of it, I can set you up with your first shipment in no time!"
Ryan's Answer #2
"Mrs. Jones, we at Notepads, Inc. are excited to announce a new line of notepads for our exclusive customers. If you can, tell me a bit about your frustrations with your current line of notepads that you use. Wow, thank you for that. I can tell that functionality, cost and supply are all issues that are of concern and I'm happy to tell you that this fantastic notepad meets your needs with the brightest white paper, narrow ruled, right priced and readily available features. I'd like to talk about you further about pricing and delivery options when you are ready."
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