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Calamos Asset Management Interview
Questions

28 Questions and Answers by Ryan Brunner

Published April 24th, 2020 | Ryan has over 10 years of experience interviewing
candidates in the healthcare, public service, and private manufacturing/distribution industries.
Question 1 of 28
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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How to Answer
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 Calamos Asset Management.
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1.
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 Calamos Asset Management.

Ryan's Answer #1
"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about updating reports for my advisors that I work closely with because what may be valid and real one day may be out of date the next."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 #2
"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 Calamos Asset Management would really help advance your data analysis practices within my first six months on the job."
2.
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."
3.
What data cleaning methods are you familiar with and comfortable using if hired for this role at Calamos Asset Management?
To improve data quality and increase overall productivity of a system, Calamos Asset Management relies on their data analysts to use data cleansing methods to ensure quality data exists in their software. Be open and honest with the ways that you've helped ensure quality and accurate data in the systems that you've worked with while also showing that you have an open mind to learning and utilizing more methods if hired for this position.

Ryan's Answer #1
"In my current work, I use a very methodical fashion in cleaning data for finished systems. My first step is to remove duplicate and irrelevant observations within the data. Then I scan the data to remove extra spaces, convert numbers stored as text into numbers and remove duplicate data. These steps help ensure clean and accurate data and I never overlook them. If hired for this position, what methods does the current data analyst team her at Calamos Asset Management utilize?"
Ryan's Answer #2
"I am familiar with many methods used in the cleansing of data. The initial monitoring of errors within a system is very important to identifying where errors occur and give insight into how to fix corrupt data. I have utilized the tools within Domo software to validate data accuracy and scrub for duplicate data in my processes as well. Being very proficient in data analysis, I'm very open to learning new methods as well if hired for this position."
4.
How many boxes of macaroni n' cheese were eaten in the United States last year?
er Questions like this during your interview are meant to test your ability to deduce an answer from a very limited set of information and assumptions. You and your interviewer both know that it would be impossible for you to know or even calculate the correct answer, so your interviewer is solely looking for the factors that you use in extrapolating the answer that you give. In your answer, be as detailed as possible in why you are making the assumptions that you are when coming to a final answer.

Ryan's Answer #1
"In knowing that the population in the United States is around 325 million people, my biggest factors in determining my answer will be that children between the ages of two and ten consume 75% of the mac n' cheese each year and that the other 25% is consumed by ages ten and above. The other factor is that the kids eat one box per week and the ages over ten eat two per month. So, I'll determine that there are 80 millions children between two and ten and figure that they'll eat 4.2 billion boxes. Then I'll determine that there ere 240 million people over ten that eat two per month to get 5.7 billion boxes of mac n' cheese. When added together, I'd say the final answer is right around 10 billion boxes of man n' cheese are eaten in the US each year."
Ryan's Answer #2
"My estimate of this number would factor in the total US population over three years old, the people that eat macaroni n' cheese to be around 280 million people. Then, I'd factor that in the summer, each person eats one box per week and in other seasons they eat one per month. During the summer, the population would consume 3.4 billion boxes and during the other three seasons, they would consume 2.5 billion between all people. This would add up to right around 6 billion boxes eaten in the United States last year."
5.
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 Calamos Asset Management 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 Calamos Asset Management."
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 Calamos Asset Management, 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."
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