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BlackArch Partners Interview
Questions

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

At BlackArch Partners, our clients are the lifeblood of our business and we do everything in our power to make them happy. What does the term customer service mean to you in your work?

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BlackArch Partners Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    At BlackArch Partners, our clients are the lifeblood of our business and we do everything in our power to make them happy. What does the term customer service mean to you in your work?

      No matter what position you are interviewing for at BlackArch Partners, your interviewer is looking to hear what customer service means to you in your work and how you apply that philosophy in your everyday work life. In essence, they want to hear your story as to why solid customer service is important to you. Prior to your interviewer, be sure to really think about this question to apply what is important to you in how you go about your work. Whether you talk about problem solving or making people happy, this should be reflected in the work that you do.

      Ryan's Answer

      "A pursuit of a career in the financial field really suited my two passions in life of mathematics and problem solving. In this role, helping clients solve problems in an efficient manner and with a smile on my face would be the drive to succeed that I need. At the end of the day, if I see that my work helped a client grow their wealth and achieve their financial goals, I know that it was a job well done."

      Ryan's Answer

      "As a people person by nature, I have an innate ability to do what is needed to give customers the best experience possible when I'm working with them. This means that I reflectively listen to their needs and concerns and do what is necessary to help them based on what I heard. In my interactions with customers, I am positive, pleasant and nurturing by nature and I've found that customers are very receptive to my style off communication with them. If hired for this role at BlackArch Partners, you'll quickly find that dedicated customer service is one of top qualities that I will bring to you team."

  2. 2.

    This position at BlackArch Partners has generate a lot of interest from applicants. What do you feel is the one quality that sets you apart from others we are speaking with about this position?

      This question is the perfect opportunity for you to highlight the one key quality that makes you the best person for this position, so be sure to really think about what this one quality is ahead of your interview. While there are many ways that you can take you answer to impress your interviewer and seal the deal for you in getting the job, be sure to avoid making assumptions about the other candidates in your answer. As well, be sure to avoid anything in your answer that points to this job being convenient for you personally or the fact that you'll be getting compensated for this work. Those are quick ways for you to go to the bottom of the candidate ranking list.

      Ryan's Answer

      "As I've talked about during this interview process and from what you can see on my resume, I have all of the technical skills needed to grow your financial advising practice here at BlackArch Partners. What sets me apart from my competition is my drive to succeed in this industry and I'd love to bring that drive to BlackArch Partners to help working with your highest profile clients possible. Growing up and continuing to this point in my life, I've always been a very competitive person. I've played many team and individual sports my whole life and my drive to win in those has definitely carried over to and been a huge benefit in my work as a Financial Advisor. I'd love to bring this competitive spirit to your team."

      Ryan's Answer

      "From what I understand about this role in Client Services with BlackArch Partners, my day to day work will include a lot of client interaction and I really feel like the job description was written with my skills and abilities in mind. But the thing that will really set me apart for being the perfect fit for this role is my experience on the sales side of things where I spent five years of my working career in the retail sales industry. In sales, I have developed key skills like product knowledge and selling skills that would be very beneficial to this role."

  3. 3.

    How would you define what working capital is for a company and what does its measurement mean?

      As a Financial Analyst with BlackArch Partners, you will be asked to help measure working capital of organizations. In your definition that you provide to your interviewer, ensure that you give them at least the basic definition of the calculation being current assets minus current liabilities. Then, talk about real situations that you've used the measurement to make critical decisions in the work that you've done in the past. This will confirm with your interviewer that you have the ability to use the measurement in this job.

      Ryan's Answer

      "In my current role, we measure working capital to gauge the ability of a company to pay off its debts quickly. In working with many industries, from retails to the public sector, the determination of a company's ability to do so based on calculation can differ greatly from industry to industry. To calculate, a range of line items from the company are used to take their current assets minus their current liabilities. In the retail industry, seasonal spikes in business create the need for a much higher working capital and if hired for this role, I have a great understanding of each industries specific needs."

      Ryan's Answer

      "In a very broad sense, working capital is found by subtracting an organization's current liabilities from their current assets. In my current role, I utilize a more focused calculation of adding accounts receivable plus inventory and then subtracting accounts payable. The more focused calculation give a better idea of total working capital for organizations when trying to get a better overall picture of their health and efficiency when projecting out towards the future."

  4. 4.

    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 BlackArch Partners 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."

  5. 5.

    What tools do you currently use to help you be a more efficient and effective Business Analyst?

      While the tools that Business Analyst use can vary greatly between industries and even companies, your interviewer is looking to get the sense that you are a resourceful employee that has a good working knowledge of many different types of software programs. While being honest in your answer, try to show diversity in your answer by talking about data specific software, word processing software, presentation software and any other programs that you see fit for this role with BlackArch Partners.

      Ryan's Answer

      "Being very computer proficient, I consider myself an expert on the Microsoft products like Excel, PowePoint, Access and Outlook to help perform my job effectively. As well, I have very good knowledge of SQL databases as well. If hired here at BlackArch Partners, are there any standard software products that I would be required to work on and learn?"

      Ryan's Answer

      "In recent years, my department has started using Tableau and it has been amazing with its ability to visualize data for our internal and external customers. I've had many hours of training within the program that was tuned for business analytics and I can't say enough good things about the program. On top of Tableau, I also use Microsoft Excel and Crystal Reports on a regular basis."

  6. 6.

    What statistical analysis tools do you have experience working with?

      As a successful and resourceful Data Analyst, your interviewer at BlackArch Partners 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."

  7. 7.

    Have you ever run into a situation where a company had a positive cash flow but was still in critical financial trouble?

      At the heart of this question, your interviewer is looking to dive in and take a look at your critical thinking skills. While positive cash flow is usually a very good sign of a company's overall ability to settle its debts and handle future financial challenges, there are some situations where all isn't as it seems when looking at a company with a positive cash flow. Whether you have run into this situation or not, it is important for you to point out that you are aware of situations where a positive cash flow can be misleading.

      Ryan's Answer

      "If hired for this position, you can rest assured that I know all considerations necessary when looking at cash flow for an organization when determining their overall financial health. A cash flow statement can often show positive cash flow when they take on new cash from loans or long-term debt. While these items do show up as positive on the cash flow, they don't accurately reflect the profitability of the organization."

      Ryan's Answer

      "I have come across this situation with a company that was selling off a large chunk of inventory. At the same time, the company was delaying their payables. This showed a very skewed positive cash flow but the real story behind the curtains showed a company that was in serious trouble of keeping its doors open."

  8. 8.

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

      To begin for this question, make sure that you can define a long-term liability as obligations that are due beyond one year and into the future. Then, consider major factors like bonds, mortgages, leases and other items that factor in to an organization's long-term liability. Last, try to explain why the measurement of long-term liabilities are important is an important factor in considering the overall financial health of an organiation.

      Ryan's Answer

      "While long-term liabilities aren't an immediate issue on a companies working capital, the can become an issue if long-term liabilities pile up too high for some organizations. While often overlooked, items like mortgages, fleet vehicle loans and annuities can add up over time and are always items that I consider when looking at the overall health of an organization."

  9. 9.

    Talk to me about a challenging situation you had to handle on the job that involved another colleague. How did you handle that situation?

      At the heart of this question, your interviewer is looking to hear how you use solid interpersonal and relationship building skills to diffuse a difficult situation with a coworker when on the job. No matter what situation that you talk about, make sure to focus your answer on a positive mindset and the steps that you walked through to turn a potentially hazardous situation into a good one. As well, talk about lessons learned from that situation that you keep with you to this day on the job.

      Ryan's Answer

      "A couple of years ago, we had hired a new Junior Advisor on to our team and I was tasked with being his mentor. Having mentored several other thriving Junior Advisors prior to him starting, I was excited for the opportunity. Within the first week of him being on the job, I overheard a colleague of mine talking very openly about his disdain for the hire of this new Advisor and witnessing him personally criticizing him in a face-to-face encounter. Immediately, I spoke to my colleague in a private office about my concern over his actions and words towards the new Advisor. Having been a part of the interview process and his early mentorship, I knew that he had the skills to succeed and I reiterated that to my colleague. After agreeing to back off on any private criticizing of the new Advisor and a promise to help mentor him, I learned that direct conversations are the best way to handle workplace conflicts."

      Ryan's Answer

      "f"A couple of years ago, I approached a colleague that had missed a deadline or a big audit we were conducting and she completely blew up at my during our conversation. At first, I was very taken aback by her response because I had never witnessed that from her in many years of working together. While remaining calm, I allowed her the opportunity to vent to me and it turns out that she was going through a lot of things in her personal life that were impacting her work. While keeping our project deadlines in mind, I also took a personal approach in letting her know that she could bring these issues to me as both a colleague and a friend and we could work through them together in the future. This approach is vital to any conflicts that can arise with colleagues and one I don't hesitate to take when needed."

  10. 10.

    Can you think of a situation where raising debt over equity would be beneficial?

      Debt and equity have a very closely bonded relationship with each other in relation to a company's finances. In most situations, raising debt can create too high of an amount of pressure to meet payments versus raising equity. But, there are a few key situations where there is a distinct advantage in raising debt over equity and your interviewer will be looking to hear that you understand at least one of those advantages to be tax shielding, reducing cost of capital and not diluting the stake for investors.

      Ryan's Answer

      "In the situations where I've advised an organization to increase debt, they've received a distinct advantage in a lower cost form of financing versus equity financing. In the end, this reduced the organization's WACC and came out to be a win for them."

      Ryan's Answer

      "Last year, I advised a manufacturer to take the debt over equity route when adding a new line of products that was guaranteed to be very profitable. This fact allowed the company to simply and quickly repay the loan plus interest while being able to reap the rewards of the extra profits. In that same case using equity, final profit would've been less."

  11. 11.

    What qualities do you feel a successful manager should have?

      Some great qualities of a manager are:

      - Being someone who people naturally want to follow
      - Exceptional interpersonal skills
      - Strong relationship building skills
      - Taking ownership for the team's errors and mistakes
      - Excelling at motivating others
      - Providing kudos/recognition to your team
      - Knowing how to select and hire the right people to join the team
      - Having a vision for the future

      These are just a few to get started!

      Ryan's Answer

      "I feel that a successful manager should be patient, strive to be a mentor, and be willing to receive constructive feedback from their team. As a manager, I want to have a team that trusts me and comes to me for professional development and coaching."

  12. 12.

    How long will it take you to make a meaningful contribution to our team at BlackArch Partners?

      If you were to be the successful candidate with BlackArch Partners, when do you expect to make a viable contribution to the organization? Talk to the interviewer about your plan to make a fast impact.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I am interested in making an impact on your organization right away and have already crafted a plan to make that happen. I am a very strong business development professional and I plan to take the territory and expand it to include additional rural areas. This should amount to a strong increase in revenue within the first 9 months of my on boarding."

      Ryan's Answer

      "My plan, if hired by BlackArch Partners, is to make an impact as soon as possible. I have researched this position and am very eager so I have created a 90 day impact plan that I would like to share with you."

  13. 13.

    At BlackArch Partners, 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 BlackArch Partners, 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."

  14. 14.

    As a Business Analyst at BlackArch Partners, 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 BlackArch Partners. 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."

  15. 15.

    What is the most attractive thing in your eyes about this role with BlackArch Partners?

      For this question, your interviewer is looking to gain insight into what you know and like about BlackArch Partners and how they will be able to help you meet your career goals. In your answer, try and stay focused on the alignment of your values with the organization's values and demonstrate that you've done your research on BlackArch Partners and the job you are interviewing for. To try and maintain positivity in your answer, try not to talk bad about a previous employer as that can make you sound like a difficult employee and raise a red flag for your interviewer.

      Ryan's Answer

      "Over the past couple of years, I've had an eye on pursuing a career with BlackArch Partners because of your reputation as a forward moving financial institution and your commitment to the communities that you do business in. As a person that believes in togetherness and helping others out where possible, these are values that I hold very high and would bring to the team here."

      Ryan's Answer

      "As I enter the midway point of my career, my job search has been focused on finding an employer that I can spend the rest of my career with and someday retire from. Looking at the history, culture and growth of BlackArch Partners, this is definitely a place that I'd love to be a part of as you continue to grow and prosper into the future."

  16. 16.

    Our clients here at BlackArch Partners rely on our experts to help find new and unique sources of business funding. How would you be able to assist our clients with their funding needs?

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  17. 17.

    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?

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  18. 18.

    How do you believe your coworkers would describe you?

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  19. 19.

    Give me an example of a time that you had to solve a problem without having all of the necessary information at hand to do so. How did you handle that situation?

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  20. 20.

    In this role with BlackArch Partners, 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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  21. 21.

    As we work with clients on assessing potentials mergers and/or acquisition, valuation is an important skills to possess. How would you go about placing a value on an organization for a client?

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  22. 22.

    We are looking for the most motivated individuals to join the team here at BlackArch Partners. Where you would you like your career to take you in the next five to ten years?

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  23. 23.

    At BlackArch 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?

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  24. 24.

    If hired for this role at BlackArch Partners, I want to be sure that I'm hiring a motivated individual. What motivates you in your daily work and your career?

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  25. 25.

    Tell me about a time where you had to analyze information in order to make a recommendation.

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  26. 26.

    In working with financial data here at BlackArch Partners, what are the steps you would take in the data validation process as part of your work?

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  27. 27.

    Give an example of a time that you had to resolve a difficult situation with a client or customer. What were the keys to coming to a successful solution?

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