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BackOffice Associates Interview

25 Questions and Answers by
| Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.

Question 1 of 25

Tell me about a time where you had to analyze a set of data and then make a recommendation.

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BackOffice Associates Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    Tell me about a time where you had to analyze a set of data and then make a recommendation.

      In the tech industry, you will often be looking at data, analyzing it, and making recommendations based on what you see. BackOffice Associates needs to hire those who can easily take on sets of data, large or small, and make educated recommendations based on what they see. You can talk about your attention to detail and sharp focus when it comes to data and analytics.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "When doing annual reviews with my clients, I analyze the past year's ROIs, trends, and overall data. I then make recommendations for improved efficiencies for the upcoming year. I will make recommendations based on resources and pricing, but also make suggestions on new ways in which we can be creative, like consolidating resources, to save cost when possible. I managed two of the most significant accounts in the office, so my recommendations were fundamental to our bottom line, and I'm happy to report that they were consistently adopted, resulting in more business."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "My current employer wanted to know the exact impact our social media campaigns were making. I gathered our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter data for him and created a short PowerPoint presentation from the data. My recommendation was to increase our keywords in the geographical areas where our ads received the highest click-through rates. My research and recommendations certainly helped as our social reach grew exponentially in the following months."

  2. 2.

    Which risk factors do you consider the most important when it comes to data migration projects?

      There is a multitude of things to consider when planning and executing a data migration project. These could include:

      - Operational procedures
      - Technical assets and risks
      - Unexpected downtime
      - Estimated project duration
      - Performance issues with employees
      - Unforeseen data losses or corruption

      Discuss these potential risks with the interviewer, showing that you have an understanding of what's at stake, and what you may encounter during a data migration project.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "There are many important factors to consider during a data migration project. First, I always take into consideration the existing operational procedures, software, and technology. If any of these pose potential risks, I will guard against them as much as possible. The other most important factor, in my opinion, is to look out for data corruption which can cause significant data corruption."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "I have always taken a human approach and do believe that one of the most significant risk factors to consider, during a data migration project, is the employees themselves. If there are performance issues, a lot can go awry. When I begin a new project, I always start with ensuring the employees involved are fully trained and professionally invested."

  3. 3.

    Which tech blogs do you subscribe to?

      This question is out of interest, but also to see if your 'likes' are similar to those who work at BackOffice Associates. The hiring authority also wants to know that you keep up to date on the software and tech industry by utilizing reputable sources. Discuss the blogs you subscribe to, or the websites you have bookmarked, or even the industry related podcasts to which you subscribe.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "TechCrunch and DigitalTrends are my two go-to resources. In addition to subscribing to these two blogs, I also belong to a couple of software and technology groups on LinkedIn. These groups offer insightful conversations while allowing me to network with those in my area with similar interests."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "I always have my eyes out for new resources and would love it if you have some suggestions. Currently, I subscribe to Wired and Mashable, but I also round out those resources with Harvard Business and other business based resources. I like to keep my information reputable and well-rounded."

  4. 4.

    How do you prioritize multiple projects when they all seem equally important?

      When working for BackOffice Associates, you will need to take on multiple projects or clients at a time. They are a busy organization and need to know that you can keep up with their pace. Prioritizing is a skill that requires practice. There are many approaches you can take.

      Here are some suggestions:

      1) Make a list. By thinking through and writing down each item that needs completion, you can better visualize your approach.
      2) Mark what is urgent or essential. Take into account deadlines and meetings. If a project management tool is available to you, like Trello or Asana, utilize its features to keep yourself organized.
      3) Order each task based on effort and estimated value.
      4) Consider due dates and how long it will take to do each item.

      When answering this question, show the interviewer that you have a system in place that helps you to think through what needs to happen, and when. The better you can prioritize, the more productive you will be, making you an asset to BackOffice Associates!

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I aim to be as effective and efficient as possible and make sure I can use all minutes of a day for a project. I have a few things going at once most of the time. I am the lead on some, the delegator on others, and the reviewer on another, for instance. This way, by splitting up the work to the appropriate parties, both my team and I can be the most efficient with our time."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "I love to keep running lists of everything that I need to do, big or small. Mostly because I love crossing things off of the to-do list, but also because it helps me keep track of everything. Lately, I've started utilizing a free project management software that I use to make those lists, categorize the tasks, and mark them by the level of urgency. I take care of the most time-sensitive issues first and then move along to the equally important, but perhaps less time-sensitive to-dos. I also estimate how long each task will take, so if I have a few minutes in between projects, I can tackle the quick to dos and use that time effectively, rather than use it to figure out 'what's next.'"

  5. 5.

    What is your favorite data management tool at the moment?

      This question offers an excellent opportunity for you to discuss the tools that you use in the workplace, and also to learn about new tools of which you may not be aware. Discuss which data management tools are your favorite at this time and if you are comfortable, as the interviewer about theirs in return.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "There are many amazing tools available for data management, and new options coming out all the time. Right now, I appreciate Power BI from Microsoft. It is a powerful business analytics service, and I love the interactive visualizations and intelligence capabilities. I love to learn about new choices in data management tools. Could you share with me your current favorite?"

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "Collibra is a tool that I currently use on a daily basis and one that has made my job significantly easier in many aspects. The tool is related more to data governance, allowing me to access and control data in a way I never thought possible. Are you familiar with the program? I would be happy to hear of any other recommendations you have as well."

  6. 6.

    How would you explain SSL Encryption to someone who does not have a background in tech?

      The interviewer would like to see that you can easily describe SSL Encryption. The better you understand the concept, the more easily you will be able to explain it to someone else. Keep your reply straightforward.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "SSL is short for Secure Sockets Layer. Most websites should have an SSL Certificate, which adds an encryption link between a web server and a browser, allowing for a more secure connection for website visitors. It's a fundamental step that prevents a lot of hacking, identity theft, and other data security issues."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "When someone is not familiar with the concept of SSL Encryption, I tell them to look at the URL of the website they are visiting. If the URL starts with 'https' instead of 'http,' it means the site is secured using an SSL Certificate. The added 's' is a good thing, as it means your data is secure."

  7. 7.

    Walk me through your experience in databases, predictive modeling, and business intelligence. In which of these areas are you best versed?

      Depending on the role you are targeting with BackOffice Associates, be prepared to discuss your specialty. Ideally, you will have experience in more than one area. Discuss which fields of data analysis you bring the most experience. Remember, this question is an opportunity for you to convince the interviewer that hiring you would be the best choice. Show confidence!

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "Of all three categories, I am most experienced in business intelligence; although I do have a full understanding of predictive modeling also. My specialty is in BI which drew me to your job posting, requesting this type of focus. I have eight years' experience as a BI specialist, training others in the field, and working in a client-facing role for the bulk of those years."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "Hands down, predictive modeling is my specialty. I was excited to see that BackOffice Associates was seeking someone with expertise in this area. I am passionate when it comes to using statistics to predict outcomes, and I especially enjoy teaching my clients how to analyze data for this purpose."

  8. 8.

    BackOffice Associates often introduces new tools. Have you ever helped to implement a new tool or program?

      Statistically speaking, employees resist change. The interviewer would like to know that you can embrace change, and take the initiative to help your coworkers welcome change as well. Show that you are happy being an engaged part of your company, and team; even when changes are present.

      Perhaps a new company policy was coming into place, and you helped to make sure everyone had a full understanding of those policies. Maybe a new software was implemented, and you trained as an SME, ensuring everyone had a reliable resource when they needed assistance. In your example, be specific about what you did, and the impact your actions had - whether short or long term.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "Last month our company introduced a new data visualization program. I was already familiar with the program because I had used it in a previous role. I offered to do employee training on the program, and my boss agreed to it. I took a lunch hour to give my presentation and then offered myself as the subject matter expert, moving forward. The introduction went very well, and my boss was thankful for my help."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "Last year, after becoming six sigma certified, I led the initiative to implement six sigma into our project management processes. I knew that it could be a useful tool for our team. Do you apply six sigma principles at BackOffice Associates?"

  9. 9.

    How does data drive a business' success?

      Data-driven decision making is becoming a more significant topic every year. Companies can leverage data analytics to determine:

      - Productivity
      - Competitive analysis
      - How, when, and where products are used
      - Customer demographics
      - Pattern analysis
      - Business growth

      Talk to the interviewer about the ways that you feel companies can best use data to drive the success of their business.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "When I take a hard look at the many uses of data, I see that data can be collected in a plethora of ways to determine the success of a new product launch, competitive analysis, or patterns that occur, which may not be seen by the human eye. In my career, I have the most experience using data to help drive employee productivity and onboarding solutions which can save a company thousands of dollars."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "Data can drive every aspect of a business' success if approached and utilized correctly. In my experience, I have seen that companies underutilize what a full data analysis approach can do for them. Analytics programs should be set up for marketing, sales, employee productivity, product efficiency, competitive analysis and more."

  10. 10.

    Part of our business is in big data, which is continuously changing as new technology and products enter the market. How do you keep up-to-date on these changes?

      With the high level of competition in the data industry, companies are continuously introducing new products and services to remain relevant. BackOffice Associates would like to know that you will be proactive in educating yourself about the changes in the industry. Talk about resources you would use to remain informed to updates and changes in the data industry. Also, communicate that you understand the importance of remaining current on the continuously evolving industry.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "Keeping abreast of the changes in the data field is important if a company wants to remain competitive. Companies need to know what technology is offered in the industry, so they don't lose their clients to the competition. I remain informed through various online resources such as industry blogs, journals, and community forums. Also, conferences and seminars are also informative sources to learn about changes in the industry, and I do my best to attend these regularly when budgets allow. Also, it is important to ensure that knowledge is shared across departments within the company. I have found holding sessions such as 'Lunch and Learns' help with the internal knowledge sharing."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "Keeping informed of the technological advances of the data industry pushes companies to remain innovative themselves. I believe companies remain competitive by improving on the ideas of others. I remain informed through continuous communication with my network. Whether through email, online communities or social media, including LinkedIn and Twitter, I read articles from industry journals and information shared by my network. I believe it is important to be a part of an active network of professionals involved in data within their companies. Also, when my schedule allows, I attend networking events where I continually meet new industry professionals."

  11. 11.

    Have you migrated data to SAP or any other well-known enterprise software?

      The interviewer would like to have a better idea of the projects that you have been involved in throughout your career. Go back no longer than ten years, to keep your response relevant. The way that you respond will determine for the interviewer the size of projects that you have handled. If BackOffice Associates is looking for a candidate with robust experience in SAP or enterprise software migrations, you should very clearly display your expertise in this area.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I am a subject matter expert in enterprise software data migrations. As an SME, I have worked with, and am comfortable, in a variety of applications including SAP, Salesforce, and Oracle. Each come with their unique challenges, and I look forward to lending my expertise to these complex projects."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "In this past year, I have migrated data for one client, from a smaller software program, into Salesforce. The migration went smoothly, and I look forward to working on projects that include SAP, Oracle, and more."

  12. 12.

    What are the responsibilities of a data migration sponsor?

      Data migration sponsors are known to underestimate the depth of a data migration project often. The interviewer would like to see that you understand the responsibilities that a sponsor should have, giving you the ability to prepare and train if needed.

      To help a data migration project move smoothly, a sponsor should:

      - Assess the data, to see which approach is best
      - Have an accurate idea of scheduling, costs, and risks
      - Possess a full understanding of the contract, and their obligations
      - Have a project management group involved through the process
      - Make a communication plan for all stakeholders to follow

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "A data migration sponsor should be responsible for their full understanding of the project, as well as ensuring that clear communication is kept for the sake of all stakeholders. I also believe it's important that the sponsor assess the data initially, allowing them to have an accurate assessment of scheduling, costs, and potential risks related to the migration."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "A data migration sponsor has many responsibilities, most of which include laying the proper groundwork before the project begins, and also making a communication plan for everyone to follow. From my experience, the most seamless migrations also occur when the sponsor has a project management group involved in the process, from top to bottom."

  13. 13.

    What is pervasive business intelligence, and what does it mean to you?

      Pervasive business intelligence, or Pervasive BI as it's often referred to, is a business' practice of empowering employees by allowing open access to information, and essential responsibilities around decision making. This practice is known to generate beneficial results for companies and also supports a positive company culture. BackOffice Associates knows that by making it easy for you to find information, the better you will be able to do your job. Talk about the term Pervasive BI, and what it means to you.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "To me, pervasive business intelligence means that information is widely spread through a group of employees, allowing them to have access to business data and intelligence, freely. I believe that PBI is an excellent practice as it fosters a positive workplace culture and helps employees to feel empowered."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "I was recently reading an article on pervasive business intelligence, where a popular survey showed that over 80% of senior employees and leaders wanted data and business information to be more accessible to them, in the workplace. The concept may be a new conversation to many, but it's an important one."

  14. 14.

    What is your approach to working with a large amount of information/data?

      When you work in data management, you will be required to handle large amounts of data and information, keeping it all organized and easily accessible to yourself, and other project stakeholders. The interviewer would like to know that you can successfully juggle and organize it all. If you would like to know more about BackOffice Associates's process, you can certainly ask.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I learned a technique years ago from a data science blog to take a three-tiered approach when working with large amounts of data, and information. I evaluate, define, and control. What this means is that I first evaluate the type of data that I have. I can then define and categorize it, allowing me to ensure it is organized and protected. From there, I can control its use and distribution. How do you prefer large amounts of data be managed here at BackOffice Associates?"

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "When managing large amounts of information, I create lists, and collections, so that the information is easy to find. I am aware of keeping the data stored as flat as possible. I also archive old information on a regular basis so that it is not a distraction. I want to learn more about how BackOffice Associates prefers the management of large amounts of information and data."

  15. 15.

    List for me the most common forms of cyber attacks.

      There is a multitude of cyber attack types, with hackers trying to find new kinds of attacks all the time. The interviewer wants to see that you keep yourself up-to-date on the world of cyber and data security. Discuss how you remain in-the-know when it comes to the topic of cyber attacks.

      Some types of cyber attacks include:

      - Malware
      - Denial-of-service (DoS)
      - Man-in-the-middle (MitM)
      - Drive-By
      - Phishing
      - Password
      - Eavesdropping
      - SQL injection

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "From my experience, the data security and cyber attacks I see and hear about most often include malware, password, and phishing attacks. With that said, I am familiar with over ten types of attacks happening in the industry today. Recently I attended a workshop on birthday attacks, and how a hacker can replace a users' message with their own. It's important to me that I remain up to date on the most common forms of cyber attacks, as it's everchanging and a real threat to businesses everywhere."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "In my current role, I work a lot around password and eavesdropping attacks, both passive and active. I commit to taking at least one course per year related to cyber attacks and changes in the data security industry. I look forward to bringing this knowledge, and desire for continued education, to BackOffice Associates."

  16. 16.

    Tell me a few of the data migration best practices that you follow on a regular basis.

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  17. 17.

    If BackOffice Associates hired you for this position, what are the first changes you would implement?

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  18. 18.

    What are your primary technical competencies?

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  19. 19.

    If you could give advice for on-time and on-budget data migration, what would you say?

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  20. 20.

    Please list three Linux server monitoring commands.

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  21. 21.

    In your opinion, is data a true asset for a business. Why or why not?

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  22. 22.

    Explain the difference between a black hat, white hat, and a grey hat hacker.

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  23. 23.

    What are the benefits of leasing a private data center vs. building one from scratch?

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  24. 24.

    BackOffice Associates fosters a collaborative working environment. When have you taken the time to teach an essential skill to a coworker?

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  25. 25.

    We offer services in areas such as asset optimization, customer experience, finance transformation, and risk mitigation. In which field of data management do you specialize?

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