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Encore Capital Group 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

What do you feel are the primary features and benefits of the Java programming language?

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Encore Capital Group Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    What do you feel are the primary features and benefits of the Java programming language?

      As a company that utilizes Java, Encore Capital Group and your interviewer want to make sure that you have an understanding of the Java programming language and they do so by asking this question. Obviously a language packed with unique features, talk about the features that you can speak the most knowledgeably about and tie your direct experience to.

      Ryan's Answer

      "When I started working with Java three years ago, the first huge benefit was the fact that the Java syntax was based on C++. At that time, I had a great working knowledge of C++ and my transition to Java was absolutely seamless. The other amazing feature that I've come to appreciate with Java is how robust the memory management is in exception handling and automatic garbage collection."

  2. 2.

    Give an example of a time that you brought an innovation to an accounting practice for an organization. What was your motivation to do this?

      With this being a pretty open ended question, your interviewer is allowing you to have the opportunity to showcase your ability to think creatively and outside the box when it comes to your accounting experience. Whether you implemented a new technology or developed new processes to work more efficiently, make sure that your interviewer walks away knowing that you are an innovator in your work.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "Two years ago, I led the charge for my organization to integrate all of our systems together. Of course selfishly, my intent was to positively impact our accounting department by integrating our CRM and ERP systems into our accounting system. After walking through a stringent request for proposal process where we looked at many different vendors, a new interactive system was chosen that every department in the organization could work off of. To this day, we are still seeing the benefits in sales, production and finance. While struggles certainly happened at first with implementing new systems, the small headaches were well worth the benefits we are seeing now."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "When I took my current position six years ago, I began leading a finance department ten people. At that time, my employees were what I considered to be jacks of all trades, but masters of none as they were all doing different accounting and finance tasks with the departments that they worked directly with. Within a couple of months as the manager, it was easy to see that different processes among my employees were causing major troubles. Immediately, I created new job descriptions and placed my staff into task specific roles within the finance department. There were struggles with staff learning to work with new departments at first, but a focused work effort for each individual made our department much more fluent and efficient for our internal and external customers."

  3. 3.

    The day-to-day life at Encore Capital Group 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?

      The daily life at Encore Capital Group is naturally very fast paced and because of that, both the colleagues and the clients that you may be working with have potential to be stressed, needy and downright mean at times. For this question, your interviewer is looking to get a sense that you would be able to work in this type of environment. In your answer, talk about the fact that you are cognizant of what this job entails as far as personal interactions go and talk about times where you have worked successfully through situations like this in the past. As well, don't hesitate to talk about your own personality traits that help you thrive in these types of situations.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "Being a person that thrives in a fast paced work environment, I have the ability to handle stressed colleagues with a grain of salt. As you can see from my resume, I've spent the last five years in the manufacturing industry where my department worked under tight deadlines all of the time. If I noticed that a colleague was under stress, I offered my help if I was able to and down the road that was usually reciprocated back to me. This unselfish attitude and realizing that someone else's stress wasn't directed at me was the key to maintaining personal health and balance on the job."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "In my current role in client services with a large hospitality group, some days can go off the rails and it feels like I'm working with enraged customers all day long. I have the attitude that their anger isn't directed towards me, but I'm the face of the company that they are currently working with and I need to do my job in helping solve their issue. While I do have great resources at my hand to help solve customer issues, I think that taking the time to get to know all of our management team and how they solve problems is key as well so I know who to put customers in touch with if needed."

  4. 4.

    Which accounting platforms are you familiar working with?

      Coming to work for Encore Capital Group as an accountant, your interviewer is looking to hear how fluent you are in working on the technical side of the job. Talk about your experience in working with some of the many accounting programs. No matter which programs you are familiar working with, make sure that your interviewer has the clear understanding that your readily adaptable to working on any program and that you understand the importance these platforms play in your work.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "As you can see from my resume, my experience over the past 15 years has placed me in a few different industries. With each industry has come experience working with many accounting software programs. I have worked in Infor, QuickBooks, Net Suite and Patriot Accounting over the last five years alone. While they all have their features and benefits that are catered to each industry, I've found myself able to learn systems proficiently and adapt my work to the needs of the systems. If hired here at Encore Capital Group, you can rest assured knowing that I would pick up any systems with ease."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "In my current role, I work exclusively with SBS Financials Suite. I love its ability to custom create reports that are reusable over time and adaptable to be able to use with different internal customers. I also love the budgeting and electronic invoice approval features of this system. In knowing other systems like Workday and QuickBooks, I am confident in my ability to pick-up and work on just about any system quickly and efficiently."

  5. 5.

    If hired to this role here at Encore Capital Group, 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 #1

      "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 Encore Capital Group. 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 #2

      "Understanding that my role here at Encore Capital Group 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."

  6. 6.

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

      You have likely gained many valuable skills in your career. Share with the interviewer which skills you value the most. Be sure to include skills that will potentially benefit this potential new employer.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "In the past few years I was able to upgrade my education while still working full time. The biggest skill that I gained was my ability to multi-task as I worked the dual role of employee and student. I also have strong skills in a variety of Microsoft programs such as PowerPoint and Excel."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "There are many skills I gained in my most recent position as I had a great training program and my boss was a strong mentor. If I had to choose three top skills I would say that the biggest ones were effective multitasking, solid closing skills, and cold calling abilities."

  7. 7.

    If you were having an interaction with a client here at Encore Capital Group and you weren't able to answer their question or solve their problem on your own, how would you handle that situation?

      As the forward facing client services representative with Encore Capital Group, you may be asked serious financial or market related questions that either don't know or aren't qualified to answer. In those situations, you will be expected to explain to the customer how that question will be answered and then deliver a timeline on when it can be answered. In the end, the customer wants to know the clear path to ease their mind and it will be your job to do just that.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "In my current role in Customer Service with Metropolis' largest automotive dealership, I frequently get asked questions that our sales, finance and service staff have to give the final stamp of approval on in answering customers questions. In these situations, I have a great amount of knowledge where I can prepare the customer for speaking with the right person while also ensuring them that the sales, finance or service staff will provide the final answer. Then, I work quickly to get them to the right person."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "In a situation where I didn't know an answer, I would ensure the client that we have the right staff in place that would be able to help them quickly and efficiently. I would communicate to the customer what the next step would be and if that would be me putting them directly in contact with someone or me taking their contact information and having someone get back to them. In the end, setting the right course and timeline would be important for every customer when I faced this situation."

  8. 8.

    Do you have experience working with different CASE tools? If so, what do you have experience with?

      The world of software engineering has greatly benefited from advancements in computer aided software engineering tools. Because Encore Capital Group is at the forefront of the industry, your interviewer will be looking to hear which tools you have experience with. Make sure not to concern yourself with providing a correct answer here, but rather focus on your flexibility to learn new aides when needed while explaining what you have experience with.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "In my current role, I regularly utilize both diagramming and web development tools. The diagram tools assist our software projects by outlining the system data and components in a graphical form for us and this saves us a great amount of time while also being very reliable. The web development tools greatly help me visualize site changes that I am making because I don't have a deep background in web development. If hired for this position, I'd look forward to learning other CASE tools for prototyping, quality assurance and maintenance."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "During my career and in my experience with CASE tools, most of my experience is in the lower CASE elements that focus on coding and testing the software after initial development. CASE tools have certainly made life as a software engineer more efficient and effective and I'd look forward to learn any new CASE tools if hired for this position here at Encore Capital Group."

  9. 9.

    If hired for this position here at Encore Capital Group, how would you coach our clients to be more detailed in their accounting practices?

      As an accounting professional, you know that a detailed approach to your work is necessary in ensuring that work produced is accurate. Inaccuracy in accounting practices can have significant impact on an organization. As you look to join Encore Capital Group, you will be put in a position to teach others the importance of accuracy and methods for ensuring accuracy in their accounting practices. Talk about how you would go about doing this from a high level overview and make sure you give your interviewer the impression that you have the ability to teach accuracy to the clients of Encore Capital Group.

      Ryan's Answer

      "Accuracy in accounting practices requires a methodical approach and documented procedures for staff to follow. If hired for this position, my first priority with clients would be to ensure that procedures are in place for staff that entail details on data entry, data confirmation and re-checking work after it is completed. I have a lot of experience creating custom procedures for accounting departments and I would always make sure that department leaders know that they are ultimately responsible for the work that is being put out by their staff."

  10. 10.

    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?

      Overall, your interviewer is simply looking to hear that you have a good grasp on programs to use to make you more efficient in your work and to do this, talk open and honestly about the programs that you currently use and talk about in what context that you use them. If at all possible with this role, try to research what additional programs you may have to learn if given this opportunity to join Encore Capital Group and reassure your interviewer that your computer skills are fluent enough to pickup quickly if needed.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "In my current role, I currently use a program called Zendesk that is an interactive customer support tool. When we started to use this tool a little over a year ago, I was very quick to learn and utilize all of the great functions of the program and have since become a trainer for new staff that join our team. As well, I'm very fluent in the entire Microsoft suite of products and would consider myself an expert on the Outlook, Excel and Word programs."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "I consider myself very agile when it comes to using and appreciating the vast amount of software that is available to Financial Advisors today. In my current role, I solely use RightCapital as a financial advising tool with my clients. I really love its ability to help in the budgeting and comprehensive planning processes with my clients. I'm also very familiar with the MoneyGuidePro tool and have used it successfully in the past. If hired for this role, you can consider me an open book when it comes to learning and effectively utilizing any programs needed."

  11. 11.

    What SDLC models are you familiar in working with?

      As a software engineer, you are very familiar with the software development life cycle. For this question, your interviewer is looking to hear what models you have worked on in the past. While there isn't necessarily a right or wrong answer to this question, try to show your flexibility to working with different SDLC models by bringing up your past experiences. Then, show you have knowledge of different models like the waterfall model or agile model. It is also a good idea to use this question as an opportunity for you to learn more about Encore Capital Group by asking your interviewer which model they work off of.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "During my training in software engineering and in my early career, the waterfall model was the standard. In this model, each phase of the development process happens in a set order and projects using this model are easily managed. But over time, as the development projects that I have led have become more complicated and intricate, I have implemented the spiral model. This model has allowed the ability of end users to give feedback early on and often during development and helps to build a more customized product to our customers."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "In my current position with XYZ Company, my department utilizes the agile model in development life cycle. Since our products are so tailored to the needs of our customers, we get a working product very early on in the process and then I work hand in hand with customers to fine tune the software moving forward. It is a very effective model that has built a great reputation for our software among customers. I also have familiarity working with the iterative model and it has similar advantages to the agile model. If I were hired here at Encore Capital Group, can you expand on what models you use here in your software development life cycle?"

  12. 12.

    How do you believe your coworkers would describe you?

      The interviewer would like to know how you are seen by your colleagues. Select approximately three words that truly define who you are. Be sure to choose words that radiate positive thoughts!

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "I believe that my coworkers, if asked, would describe me as a reliable person who is always ready to submit the best work possible. My work ethic has never been questioned, and I am very proud with the work that I have submitted in my career, so far."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "Here are some other great keywords you could use:

      - Encouraging
      - Caring
      - Knowledgeable
      - Reliable
      - Focused
      - Honest
      - Assertive
      - Tenacious
      - Motivated
      - Ambitions
      - Conscientious"

  13. 13.

    What software analysis and design tools do you have familiarity working with?

      As a software engineer for Encore Capital Group, your interviewer wants to hear that you have experience in utilizing tools that you make you more proficient in your work. Dig back on your past experiences and talk openly about your experiences with the different analysis and design tools that are available to help you be better in the work that you do. In the end, make sure that your interviewer understands that you are proficient in the use of these tools and open to learning and using new tools as well.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "As my career and experience in software engineering has grown over the years, I've come to really appreciate and utilize these tools that are available. A great example of this would be my recent education and use of Structured English for designing insurance claim software for a large auto insurer. The simplicity of the structured decisions in the program were a perfect example of a program that could utilize the tool and the end product ended up very functional for our customer."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "I have great working knowledge in creating and reading data flow diagrams. To help with both our own sales staff and with customers, DFD's have been super helpful and I consider myself very proficient in creating them. I've also recently been introduced to decision tables to aid in product testing. I was working on a new system that involved some very complicated business rules and the decision table helped outline everything perfectly for our testing."

  14. 14.

    The clients of a financial firm like Encore Capital Group 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 #1

      "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 Encore Capital Group, these same skills would be vital for me to find solutions or the right person to talk to if needed."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "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."

  15. 15.

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

      In an ever-changing field like financial services, Encore Capital Group 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."

  16. 16.

    What do you feel is one of the top issues that is faced by data engineers today?

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  17. 17.

    Working on the insurance side of our business here at Encore Capital Group, we'll expect you to be creative in your approach with clients. Give an example of a creative way that you worked with a clients and explain how it benefited everyone in the end.

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  18. 18.

    What programming languages would you consider yourself fluent in?

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  19. 19.

    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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  20. 20.

    We pride ourselves on teamwork here at Encore Capital Group 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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  21. 21.

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

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  22. 22.

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

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  23. 23.

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

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  24. 24.

    How long will it take you to make a meaningful contribution to our team at Encore Capital Group?

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  25. 25.

    At Encore Capital Group, we pride ourselves on providing the best overall customer experience. Talk about your customer service experience and explain why it will help our clients here.

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  26. 26.

    In this role with Encore Capital Group, your communication with clients may not always be pleasant conversations. How do you handle tough conversations regarding insurance claims?

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  27. 27.

    If you joined the team here at Encore Capital Group, how would you build relationships with those that you would be working closely with?

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