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Active International Interview
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27 Questions and Answers by
| Ryan has over 10 years of experience interviewing
candidates in the healthcare, public service, and private manufacturing/distribution industries.

Question 1 of 27

We pride ourselves on our interdepartmental teamwork here at Active International. If hired for this role, what kind of team player could we expect you to be?

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Active International Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    We pride ourselves on our interdepartmental teamwork here at Active International. If hired for this role, what kind of team player could we expect you to be?

      In the financial world, teamwork at an organization is the key to success and life at Active International is no different. As you talk about your abilities and experiences in being a great team player, try to highlight certain themes like building trust, gaining respect and being a subject matter expert as part of a larger team. Don't hesitate to show flexibility in your ability to both lead others and be lead by others and use examples of times that you've done both. To seal your answer for this question, talk about your desire to work as part of a team and do your research on this position to find out what types of colleagues you will be working with.

      Ryan's Answer

      "My colleagues that I work closely with would tell you that I'm knowledgeable in my area of expertise to contribute to the much larger team and do so without hesitation. As well, I'm able to communicate effectively, take direction and run with when needed and always willing to help out other areas if I have free time. I understand that I would be working very closely with the Advising staff here at Active International and know that they would have high expectations out of my work."

      Ryan's Answer

      "I prefer to work in an environment that promotes teamwork and collegiality. If I were fortunate enough to join the team here, I want you to know that I love being in a leadership type role on a team where I can delegate work and help train others to better the organization. As well, I also thrive in a role where I am the minion and taking direction from others. I'd say that my key skills in working as a team are my ability to friendly, honest and trustworthy with my team."

  2. 2.

    In your experience as a Financial Analyst, what do you feel is the best metric to gauge a company's future stock performance?

      As a Financial Analyst with Active International, you will be relied upon by clients to provide the best risk and reward opportunities for them to have the most successful investments While there are many great metrics to use and no right answer for this question, your interviewer will be looking to hear that you are confident in why the metric is important by talking about the details of it. The confidence that you project to your interviewer will carry over to your work with clients and your interviewer will be keying in on this aspect of you answer.

      Ryan's Answer

      "While there are many excellent metrics to consider for the future of a stock performance, the one that I weigh the most heavily is the price earnings to growth ratio. I prefer the PEG ratio because of its consideration of expected growth rate where simple P/E calculation doesn't consider that. This calculation is specifically great when looking at a wide array of companies within an industry to level their playing field."

      Ryan's Answer

      "Being familiar with metrics like free cash flow, payout ratio, debt-to-equity and price-to-sales, all can be very useful depending on the situation. In a recent economic downturn like we've had recently, I've relied heavily on the debt-to-equity measurement to measure future performance. As we've seen with many large retailers recently, a simple look into their debt would've shown the potential for disaster in their stock."

  3. 3.

    If hired to this role here at Active International, 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

      "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 Active International. 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

      "Understanding that my role here at Active International 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."

  4. 4.

    To help us understand your need for initial training and orientation in this role with Active International, can you tell me what financial software you have familiarity working on?

      Financial software, in particular software geared towards financial analysis, is widely available to the industry with many options available for use. While this won't be a make it or break it question to see if you are experienced with the program that Active International utilizes, your interviewer will be looking to hear that you have experience on some of the available systems and that you are ready and willing to take on the challenge of learning something new if hired for this role. In the end in answering this question, make sure that you reiterate that you have the ability and the desire to learn a new program if needed to be successful in this role.

      Ryan's Answer

      "Over the past ten years, I have pretty extensive experience working on Windham Portfolio Advisor and a program called LogicGate. Windham is a program that is used by my colleagues that are building client portfolios and I work on the risk management pieces with each advisor. LogicGate is a program that I completed an RFP to bring on to my department and it has helped us immensely. I do consider myself to have a very high technical acumen surrounding new software. Right now, what programs are your Risk Analysts using?"

      Ryan's Answer

      "Being a computer junkie in my spare time, I have a wide array of experience with many of the different types of financial and risk analysis software. I'm a big fan of the MATLAB program because of its ability to build my own algorithms and customize the data analysis within the program. This has significantly impacted my firm in my current role. With my firm recently moving to an Oracle platform, I've become very familiar with Oracle Crystal Ball over the last two years and really like its ability to visualize forecasts."

  5. 5.

    As a Business Analyst at Active International, you will be tasked with working with diverse teams of stakeholders on different projects. How do you handle stakeholders that are difficult and bullheaded?

      Leading a project team will put you in front of many differing personalities and you need to have the ability to work with every type of personality to be successful in this role at Active International. While your interviewer may not be telling you that you will work with a difficult person because they know of a few, they're more looking to see how you utilize your communication and problem solving skills to make the situation better for everyone. As you answer this question, feel free to use an example from the past that highlights how you used your interpersonal skills to work effectively with a difficult person on a project team.

      Ryan's Answer

      "Honestly, one of the things that I love the most about being a Business Analyst is the mix of people that I get to work with and if I took an honest look back over time, I'd say that every team that I was a part of had at least one difficult person to work with. In those situations, I rely on an empathetic approach that really tries to narrow down what makes that person tick on the job. With that knowledge in hand, I can then touch them in a relatable manner and even provide them with work that suits their needs the best."

      Ryan's Answer

      "Just recently, an executive with my company was the final decision maker and stakeholder on a sales project and she had some very unrealistic expectations for the project from the start and she wasn't afraid to let me know. To best handle this situation, I listened to all of her thoughts on the project and asked a lot of follow up questions to get her sense of the project. After that, I asked for a couple of days to rework some design of the project. When we had our follow up meeting, I educated her on a few legal aspects of the project that wouldn't fit into her mold. She thanked me for the insight and we were off on the right path from there."

  6. 6.

    What is your familiarity with debt-to-equity ratios and what would you consider a good debt-to-equity ratio?

      For this question, your interviewer will be looking to hear that you understand the basics of calculating a debt-to-equity ratio and why it is used. In your answer, be sure that you talk about the ratiosd importance in considering debt financing. As well, if you have familiarity with ifferent industries and what is considered a reasonable ratio for each industry, be sure to talk about that as well because what is considered reasonable can differ widely between industries.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I am very familiar with debt-to-equity ratio calculations and know that ratios lower than 1.0 are desired to consider a firm financially stable. When I've worked with ratios exceeding 1.0, I've provided further examinations of the industry and the organizations stance within the industry to further determine their overall risk to hopefully provide a win-win situation."

      Ryan's Answer

      "Simply put, the debt-to-equity ratio is found with two easy figures found on a company's balance sheet: their total liabilities and shareholder equity. Swaying away from the norm, I know that the financial and banking industries often have to consider debt-to-equity ratios higher than 2.0 to be common and acceptable due to the large amounts of loaned money and high financial leverage by those institutions. "

  7. 7.

    The clients of a financial firm like Active International can display an arrange of emotions when they work with our Client Services team. How would you handle a situation where a client was very angry?

      Whether due to a large amount of money lost on the market or a client feels they were ill-advised by an Advisor, your job as a Client Services Representative will at some point or another deal with a very angry client. For this answer, your interviewer will be looking to hear that you do what is necessary to stay calm and stay focused on finding a resolution. If possible, use a specific example of a time you had to do exactly this and explain how effective communication was critical in making the situation right for the client.

      Ryan's Answer

      "As you can see from my resume, I've spent the last three years in customer service relations for a large insurance company. As you can imagine, a large majority of my customer interactions were with upset customers. I've been called names that I can't repeat here in this interview and my key to working through these situations was to remain calm and not take things personally. Like the financial world, the insurance business is a very life altering experience and a loss or damage to an item is very stressful. I tried to put myself in the customers shoes, see things from their perspective and do my best to ease their situation. In this role with Active International, these same skills would be vital for me to find solutions or the right person to talk to if needed."

      Ryan's Answer

      "First and foremost, an active listening approach is the first step to lowering the tension from an angry customer. A couple of months ago, we had a very angry customer come onsite to complain about a defective product that cut his hand pretty badly. The customer came onsite to complain even before receiving emergency care, which was apparent that he needed. First, I let him release his anger and it was not a pretty sight. Then I calmly repeated back what he had said and then explained what our policy allowed me to do at that time. Looking back, my sincere approach and calm demeanor helped calm him down and later that day, my manager had a formal complaint sent to the manufacturer and we were assured that they'd be in contact with the customer."

  8. 8.

    At Active International, we expect our Business Analysts to put extra emphasis into the risk management aspects of their project work. How have you performed risk mitigation and risk avoidance in your previous roles as a Business Analyst?

      The financial field is often posed with great risks and Business Analysts must always factor potential risks into the equation of any project that they work on. To get a better idea of how you will do this if hired at Active International, your interview is giving you a chance to talk about your knowledge of risk and how you have worked with risk mitigation and risk avoidance in your previous positions. If new to the financial services field, it is important to show that you know that common risks can be systematic, operational, legal and credit related.

      Ryan's Answer

      "As you can see from my resume, my Business Analyst experiences come from the software and manufacturing industries where common risks were associated with systematic and operational faults. Similar to the finance industry, I also have experience in helping mitigate legal risk. In my current role, I mitigate legal risk by working with a team of legal experts to know the laws and then develop a series of what-if questions to propose potential scenarios. Based on the what-if scenarios, we can implement specific requirements into the project to help minimize potential risk."

      Ryan's Answer

      "From an early point in my career as a Business Analyst, I learned that a solid analysis process is the key to reducing any risk in a project. Two areas that apply the most are scope creep and impact analysis. To reduce scope creep and avoid any risks associate with it, I ensure that all stakeholders understand the scope of the project from the start and that I check in to validate the requirements as frequently as I can."

  9. 9.

    In this role here at Active International, we will rely on you to conduct thorough presentations with clients. How would your rate your overall presentation skills and why would you give yourself that rating?

      Solid communication and presentation skills are an essential part of a job as a Financial Analysis and this position with Active International is no different. To show your interview that you will have what it takes to get hired for this role, talk about your experience in delivering meaningful presentations to a group. Be sure to emphasize your delivery style and your comfortability in speaking in front of others and stress that you understand the importance that communication plays in your role as a Financial Analyst.

      Ryan's Answer

      "Hopefully from this interview you get the sense that I am a people person by nature. In my current role, I make financial presentations to our largest clients and was asked to do this several years ago by my current Director. He saw my ability to capture a crowd through my confidence, my educational demeanor and my wittiness to use humor in my presentation skills. If hired for this role, I'd love the opportunity to work with the clients at Active International to do the same."

      Ryan's Answer

      "I pride myself on my ability to communicate clearly and effectively with my colleagues and my clients on a regular basis. With my colleagues, I don't hesitate to talk in person, over the phone or through email when needed. With clients, I have a great way of talking in terms that are understandable and knowledgeable for them to understand complicated items. These skills definitely translate over to my presentation skills when required. A few weeks ago, I presented to a group of investors that were very engaged and asked a lot of questions. I was able to effectively navigate all of their questions to make the presentation a success for all who attended."

  10. 10.

    What statistical analysis tools do you have experience working with?

      As a successful and resourceful Data Analyst, your interviewer at Active International is expecting you to be knowledgeable and well-versed in the many tools available to you. In your answer, be sure to show diversity within particular programs like SAS and SPSS while also explaining that you are very proficient in Microsoft Excel. On top of the programs, talk about any experience you have with programming and database language like SQL and Python.

      Ryan's Answer

      "In my current role, most of my analysis is handled in SAS and I've really grown to appreciate the program's ability to to manage large data sets and create predictive modeling in the financial field. From a past job, I have experience on SPSS and also with the SQL programming language to build robust databases. Of course, I have received expert level training in Microsoft Excel and consider myself a master of the program."

      Ryan's Answer

      "Having been in the field for over 15 years, looking back at the technological advancements in the tools that we use is very amazing. I consider myself very fluent in both the Sisense and KISSmetrics programs. I also have a good amount of experience in Crystal Reports."

  11. 11.

    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?

      At the root of this question, your interview will be looking to hear that you understand how the different lines on a company's balance sheet are related to each other. In your answer, be sure to point out your understanding of this as your job as an analyst with Active International will rely on your ability to do so.

      Ryan's Answer

      "An organization's lines on a balance sheet all have impact on other lines. In the case that I was made aware of an increase in accounts receivable for an organization, I would note that cash flow could be directly impacted and give a higher chance that the organization didn't have enough money to operate. As well, the reduced value of assets is a real possibility for that organization."

      Ryan's Answer

      "In reality, an increase in amounts receivable can have both a positive and negative impact. In the short term, accounts receivable show up as current-period revenue and have a positive effect on income statements. But over the long-term, a large increase in amounts receivable has a negative impact on cash-flow for the company."

  12. 12.

    Among the common issues that are faced by Data Analysts in their work, which one or two problems do you feel really challenge analysts in the financial industry?

      While the challenges faced by general data analysts makes for a pretty long generalized list, this question is allowing your interviewer the chance to see your critical thinking skills by having you talk about which challenges you feel will be critical in the financial field. While there isn't necessarily a right or wrong answer in this question, make sure that you are able to speak intelligently about your answer and provide ways with how you can meet the challenges in your work with Active International.

      Ryan's Answer

      "From my two years of experience as a Data Analyst in the financial industry, of course the common issues of overlapping data and duplicate entries did come up. But I've found the biggest issue to be the collection and implementation of real-time data to be the biggest hurdle. With markets continually changing on a daily basis, I've had to be diligent about updating reports for my advisors that I work closely with because what may be valid and real one day may be out of date the next."

      Ryan's Answer

      "Having some very close contacts that are already working in the financial field in data analysis, I understand that manual data tracking can be a pain point due solely to the time needed to complete. Being highly educated in automated processes and utilizing machine learning in other industries, I think the knowledge I could bring to the team here at Active International would really help advance your data analysis practices within my first six months on the job."

  13. 13.

    How do you stay on top of new trends in the financial services industry?

      The interviewer would like to know that your passion for financial services goes beyond your work hours. Do you keep on top of industry news and trends on your off time? Assure the interviewer that you are well immersed in the industry.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I stay on top of financial service trends through a variety of blogs, news sites and financial magazines. My favorite finance news site at the moment is businessinsider.com."

      Ryan's Answer

      "I believe that it is crucial for me to stay on top of news in the financial services industry if I hope to be a success. I have joined multiple meet up groups to network with industry peers. It has really helped my network and given me insight into how other financial service professionals are making their careers flourish."

  14. 14.

    At Active International, 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?

      The financial field can sometimes be chaotic and stressful for analysts working on high pressure deadlines and the work life at Active International is no different. To test how you will perform in these situation if hired for this role, your interviewer will be looking to hear about a time where you did just that. No matter what the situation is that you discuss, be sure to show how you remained calm, focused and on-task to get the job done. Try and stress how you are resourceful and willing to utilize a team effort if necessary.

      Ryan's Answer

      "In my current role, I'm tasked with preparing some reports for our leadership team's bi-weekly meeting. Upon first taking that responsibility, I made sure that I kept myself organized during each work day and saving and prepping relevant information needed for their report. A couple of months ago, I was informed first thing in the morning that the meeting was being moved a week up to later that day due to some conflicts and vacation time for some of the team. Right away, I moved some things on my calendar to make this a top priority. From there, my regular organization of the materials needed made it easy for me to complete my job."

      Ryan's Answer

      "During my last semester of my MBA program last spring, I was nearing completion of my capstone project. The project was a case study of mergers within the manufacturing industry and was a great overall project to learn from. During the semester, my full-time job I was working to put myself through school was becoming much more demanding and parts of my project got postponed to a point where I was fearing not being able to complete it to the best of my abilities with the final due date approaching. Right away, I rearranged my work schedule to work half time and began plugging away at the final pieces of the project. To complete it, I had to sacrifice some outside weekend events with friends. While sad to do that at first, I learned some great lessons on time management, project management and sacrifice."

  15. 15.

    Pretend an old friend just awoke from a coma that lasted over 30 years. How would you describe the internet to them?

      A common tactic used in interviews for Risk Analysts is making you think on your feet. This brain teaser question, or any similar to it, will judge your thoughts processes to come up with an answer rather than what your final answer is as this is a very open ended question. As you provide an answer to this question, make sure that you explain why you are coming up with your answer and your thought process behind them. A solid thought process on your end shows that you can be analytical and while creatively solving problems using your critical thinking skills.

      Ryan's Answer

      "Just like my role as a Risk Analyst, the most important thing that I could do in this situation would be to relate it to everyday things that the person would be familiar with. I would explain that the internet is a combination of television, mail, telephone, the local library and an old computer all put into one place. Each one of those components would help explain things like email, YouTube and all of the other life altering things about the internet. To really throw them for a loop at the end to blow their mind, I'd have to let them know that their local grocery store is also available too!"

      Ryan's Answer

      "I think that the best way to make it easy to understand would be to start explaining it in its simplest format and then expand from there. I'd draw two neighboring houses and show how the computers in each house can connect to send electronic mail, pictures, videos and information to each other. Then, I'd expand this out over the entire world where we are all connected with all of the feature of the internet. A simplified approach like this is also necessary in our work as Risk Analysts in the financial arena and it really helps people grasp new and very complicated things quickly."

  16. 16.

    List the top 3 skills that you have acquired in your last role.

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  17. 17.

    When it comes to financial services, which focus do you find the most rewarding?

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  18. 18.

    If you joined the team here at Active International, how would you build relationships with those that you would be working closely with?

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  19. 19.

    In this role with Active International, we will rely on your analytical reporting skills on a regular basis. Why do you feel analytical reporting is important in the financial field?

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  20. 20.

    If hired for this position at Active International, what factors would you consider part as part of an organization's long-term liability?

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  21. 21.

    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?

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  22. 22.

    The day-to-day life at Active International 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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  23. 23.

    Here at Active International, we are expecting someone with strong leadership skills to take this role. How would you describe your management style?

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  24. 24.

    In this role with Active International, we will rely on your organized and methodical approach to provide financial analysis reporting. What does your current reporting process consist of?

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  25. 25.

    We pride ourselves on teamwork here at Active International and this role in Client Services relies on teamwork. What are the top qualities would you would bring to a team based atmosphere here?

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  26. 26.

    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?

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  27. 27.

    One huge philosophy that we believe in at Active International is professional development. How have you worked to develop yourself professionally throughout your career?

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