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EFG-Hermes Investment Banking 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

EFG-Hermes Investment Banking 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?

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EFG-Hermes Investment Banking Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    EFG-Hermes Investment Banking 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 EFG-Hermes Investment Banking 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."

  2. 2.

    If you joined the team here at EFG-Hermes Investment Banking, 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."

  3. 3.

    We pride ourselves on our interdepartmental teamwork here at EFG-Hermes Investment Banking. 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 EFG-Hermes Investment Banking 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 #1

      "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 EFG-Hermes Investment Banking and know that they would have high expectations out of my work."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "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."

  4. 4.

    At EFG-Hermes Investment Banking, 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?

      Customer interaction is the name of the game at EFG-Hermes Investment Banking as they rely on excellent customer to service to retain and grow their client base in a cutthroat market. For this question, your interviewer is looking to get a sense of how you use your communication skills to your advantage in your work and how those skills will benefit EFG-Hermes Investment Banking. As you answer and talk about your experiences in communication methods, try to show that you thrive on client interactions and have the ability to be both persuasive and trusted with those interactions.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "Looking back on my career, I can honestly say that success as an Advisor is really due to my passion for finance and my desire for interactions with other people. Being a people person at heart, I love working with clients in any way possible. My communication style with clients is to get to personally know them so I can relate my advising to them personally. While I definitely prefer to interact with my clients face-to-face, I do have a lot of experience communicating both over the phone and email as well. If hired for this position, you'll see very quickly that I have excellent writing skills."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "As you can see from my resume, I have taken advanced training courses in public speaking and written communication to help further me in this career field. In my early days in finance and making the move to financial advising, communication skills were my area that needed the most professional development. Today, I am confident in my abilities to work one on one with clients directly in person, over the phone or through email and have experience handling clients in all three ways. In my current role, I'd estimate that over 50% of my interactions are through email with the remaining interactions split between face-to-face meetings and phone calls."

  5. 5.

    What statistical analysis tools do you have experience working with?

      As a successful and resourceful Data Analyst, your interviewer at EFG-Hermes Investment Banking 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 #1

      "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 #2

      "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."

  6. 6.

    If I were to hand you $100,000 to invest today, where would you put that money and why?

      As a simple tool to gauge how you will both satisfy clients and make a profit for EFG-Hermes Investment Banking, your interviewer is looking to hear how you would invest money right now if given the chance. While there is no right or wrong answer for this question, show them your knowledge of breaking up assets based on age if possible. As well, don't hesitate to call out your knowledge of specifically allocating funds into different sectors or individual businesses or industries. In the end, make sure to give a full explanation of why you are choosing what you are to sell it to your interviewer.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "If the money was given personally to me to invest for myself, I would go for a 50-50 split between stocks and bonds being that I'm 37 years old. This would provide a good mix of funds that could be placed into aggressive IT and healthcare type stocks with a lot of growth potential while keeping half safe in the bonds market."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "Being that I am young and willing to wisely be aggressive with money invested for myself, I would look for gems in certain industries like social media and internet retail sales. Amazon is expected to see prosperous growth and so are places like Pinterest and Facebook. I'd be wise with these investments while being sure to pay close attention to futures forecasts as those could change quickly, meaning a shift in my direction as well."

  7. 7.

    At EFG-Hermes Investment Banking, we are always looking for bilingual skills from our staff to better suit and expand our client base. Do you speak any other languages fluently?

      This is a straightforward question where your interviewer is looking to simply see if you could the additional skill of being bilingual to the team at EFG-Hermes Investment Banking. If you are, it could be potentially highly marketable to new clients. If being bilingual is required for the job, you would likely see those details in the job advertisement. Feel free to speak openly and honestly for this question and an answer of no for this question shouldn't disqualify you from candidacy for the position if it is not a requirement.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "Other than three years of German back in high school many years ago, I do not speak any other languages fluently. Even with those three years of schooling in the language, I couldn't hold anything other than a very basic conversation in German."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "From my time in the military, I did receive formal training from the Department of Defense in Chinese and Mandarin. I used these languages for over two years as an interpreter and I would still consider my skills to be very fluent in speaking and fairly fluent in writing. Do you see these as useful skills for the team here at EFG-Hermes Investment Banking?"

  8. 8.

    When would an investment in commodities make sense for a client that you were working with?

      Prior to your interview, it is important to prepare for very market specific questions like this one where your interviewer will be looking to get a sense that you have the knowledge about particular markets like commodities, annuities and private equities. When you answer a question like this, try to give your interviewer an answer that shows that you understand the basic details of the market, when it is useful and what its downsides are to prove that you know situations where it can be very beneficial to a potential client.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "In my experience, commodities have made the most sense to use as a hedge when I am concerned about a potential upcoming crisis. I've utilized the gold market at times and it was very effective during the recession back in 2008. Gold prices have always tended to rise when the markets fell and some very high profile clients I worked with at that time were very pleased with their results while others lost a substantial amount in the market."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "Commodities are always an interesting consideration because of their spectacular performance at times. But, because they don't receive dividends and aren't a great hedge bet over time, there are only a few scenarios where I utilize them. Crude oil markets are a great example of a short term buy in commodities when a production increase or decrease is announced."

  9. 9.

    One huge philosophy that we believe in at EFG-Hermes Investment Banking is professional development. How have you worked to develop yourself professionally throughout your career?

      In an ever-changing field like financial services, EFG-Hermes Investment Banking 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."

  10. 10.

    As a professional in the financial services industry, you must have great integrity. Do you consider yourself an honest and trustworthy person?

      Due to the sensitive nature of your work, honesty is a core requirement in everything that you do. Assure the interviewer that you are an honest and trustworthy person, worthy of employment with EFG-Hermes Investment Banking.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "I have often been told that I am one of the most trustworthy people out there. In addition to being raised to always make the right choice, I have no fear when it comes do delivering honesty. You are more than welcome to check in with my references as well. They will speak highly of my character."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "Integrity is very important in the financial services industry. Yes, I absolutely consider myself to be honest and trustworthy."

  11. 11.

    In this role with EFG-Hermes Investment Banking, 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 EFG-Hermes Investment Banking 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 EFG-Hermes Investment Banking, 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."

  12. 12.

    In your work as a Portfolio Administrator, what kind events cause you the most stress on the job?

      The high demands of a position as a Portfolio Manager or Administrator bring a lot of stress. Market volatility, greed, underperformance and tough clients can all contribute to a high level of stress in this field. For this question, your interviewer is looking to gain insight on how you handle these stress factors on the job by having you talk a bit about what types of things cause you stress. While you talk openly about what it is that causes you stress or discomfort, make sure that you also talk through how you handle that stress in a safe, healthy and good for business manner.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "While overall market volatility does stress out a lot of Portfolio Administrators, I have a very good way of explaining this volatility to my clients to the point where it doesn't stress me out. For me, any stress that I feel is usually put on me by myself in having very high expectations for my work with clients. To help alleviate this stress, I've learned over time that the goals and expectations that I put on my work have to be realistic and attainable when they sometimes weren't early on in my career."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "In reality, our work as Portfolio Managers for our clients is almost like trying to do the impossible. We are relied upon to make sound decisions for clients based on insufficient information, all while trying to maintain confidence in our decisions. This in itself is a daily stressor on the job and one that I don't take lightly. To help myself with this daily stress, I've learned to accept mistakes as they happen, own up to them with clients and work hard to alleviate those mistakes to put my clients back in the best position possible."

  13. 13.

    At EFG-Hermes Investment Banking, 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 EFG-Hermes Investment Banking 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 #1

      "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 #2

      "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."

  14. 14.

    We want our advising team at EFG-Hermes Investment Banking to be happy and healthy. How do you manage the day to day stress of being a financial advisor?

      The daily stressors of a career in financial advising can be burdensome, overwhelming and lead to burnout on the job. To get a sense that you can handle stress in a safe and healthy manner and be able to come to work each day with a clean slate, your interviewer is looking to delve into your personal life a bit to see how you manage stress. When answering, you can certainly talk about the things you do on the job to keep as stress free as possible, but also be sure to talk about the things that you do outside of work to avoid burnout. Point out that you have the resources and ability to care for yourself to keep you at the top of your game on the job.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "To begin with on the job, I consider myself very excellent at handling stress. Being a goal oriented person, I find happiness in obtaining goals and consider any necessary stresses in pursuit of a goal healthy. Outside of work, I am a very active person that trains for marathons and spends a lot of time outdoors with my family. I find that these activities help cleanse my mind and heal my body to prepare for a new week on the job."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "When I maintain a healthy diet, exercise regularly and spend as much time as possible outside of work with my children, any unnecessary work stresses are put on the back burner and often relieved immediately. I'm a firm believer in a healthy work-life balance, even though it can be very tough to do in our field. Having the ability to answer a client email or phone call during off hours while unwinding has made our work lives better as well."

  15. 15.

    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 #1

      "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 #2

      "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."

  16. 16.

    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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  17. 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?

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  18. 18.

    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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  19. 19.

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

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  20. 20.

    Take a couple of minutes to sell this notepad to me.

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  21. 21.

    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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  22. 22.

    If hired to this role here at EFG-Hermes Investment Banking, what do you see as one initial hurdle you will have to overcome in your first weeks on the job?

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  23. 23.

    In working with financial data here at EFG-Hermes Investment Banking, what are the steps you would take in the data validation process as part of your work?

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  24. 24.

    The day-to-day life at EFG-Hermes Investment Banking 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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  25. 25.

    In this role here at EFG-Hermes Investment Banking, 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?

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  26. 26.

    Here at EFG-Hermes Investment Banking, we are expecting someone with strong leadership skills to take this role. How would you describe your management style?

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  27. 27.

    Why would our clients here at EFG-Hermes Investment Banking want you to be their financial advisor?

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