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Export Development Canada 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

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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Export Development Canada Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    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?

      For this question, your interviewer is looking to test your ability to be analytical and resourceful in a specific situation where you had to dig further to solve a problem. Prior to your interview, try to think of a time in the past where you encountered this specific situation and talk through it by laying out the problem and walking through the step-by-step approach you took to solve the problem. Try to be as detailed you can as you explain how you thought the problem out and worked hard to use the resources you could to help solve the problem. Your interviewer will be relying on these fine details to truly see how you will perform on the job with Export Development Canada.

      Ryan's Answer

      "Back when I first joined my current organization, I was taking a role that had been vacant for many months and I had to start with a backlog of work along with the regular daily activities. This customer service role included logging daily visitors and calls and the interim rep only kept brief notes. After taking the time to walk through training and getting running on my own, I realized that the current workload wouldn't allow me to catch up on the backlog of work that had been missed. While I had ideas of how to play catch up on the work, I approached my supervisor with a few ideas and we settled on having me log hours from home on our system as overtime to get caught up. I worked with our IT staff on getting set up on our network from home and was more that willing to help out with some extra hours."

      Ryan's Answer

      "Working for a large financial institution, our advisory staff help cover for each other when we are on vacation, sick or simply out of office for the day. We typically team up in group of three to help provide coverage for each other. A couple of months ago, I fielded a call from a colleague's client while she was away on vacation and completely out of phone coverage. The client had several questions about their personal finances that I couldn't help resolve off the top of my head. I let them know that their advisor was away on vacation but I would take the next hour to research their questions and get back to them shortly. This was a very acceptable path of action to the client and I took the time to get their questions answered quickly."

  2. 2.

    If hired here at Export Development Canada to work with our clients on wealth management strategies, what would you consider to be your preferred wealth management strategies?

      While this is certainly a very open ended question that you can run with, your interviewer will be looking to hear that you are passionate about creating strategies for your clients in your answer. No matter how you answer the question, speak with knowledge and passion and always tie your answer back to doing what is best for your clients based on their situation.

      Ryan's Answer

      "Having guided many previous clients on very successful wealth management strategies, those successes have always relied upon setting goals and creating budgets that guide people towards those goals. I take the time to know and understand my clients, their short and long-term goals and guide them through setting realistic goals and plans for achieving those goals. Along our journey together, I consistently evaluate progress towards goals and reevaluate budgets if ever needed down the road."

      Ryan's Answer

      "I would consider my forte in the field to be wealth preservation for late career individuals nearing retirement. I have a lot of experience in creating wills and estate plans, career exit planning and cash flow planning post-retirement for my clients. While I consider this my forte, I also love to work with individuals early and mid-career as well."

  3. 3.

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

      Your job as a detailed and proficient Data Analyst requires you to take proper steps in the data validation process to ensure that data used is accurate and clean. Bad data in the financial industry can have a costly impact and your job will be to ensure that doesn't happen. For your answer to this question, discuss the importance and your method for both data screening and data verification as part of the validation process. Also, be sure to talk about any programs that you utilize during the validation process.

      Ryan's Answer

      "With any large analysis project and performing data validation, my first step is to create a detailed plan for the data needed. This plan will define the required data to be validated and set the way for the remaining steps. The next steps are to validate the information in the database and then the formatting of the data. Finally, prior to validating the data, sampling needs to be done to ensure that a small sample meets the requirements of the project. Being very proficient with many validation programs, I consider myself very proficient in both QuerySurge and Datameer but remain open to learning any new programs here at Export Development Canada."

      Ryan's Answer

      "Here at Export Development Canada, your Financial Advisors rely on the most accurate and up to date data to present to clients and I would take great pride in my job as a Data Analyst to provide the best data possible. To validate data, the two important steps I would take are data screening and data verification. I am very confident in my ability to work with algorithms that screens large sets of data for their accuracy. On top of that, I have worked with a few of the different data verification programs like Experian and Sage Intacct."

  4. 4.

    Accuracy is important to us at Export Development Canada. Do you always double check or proofread your work?

      Double checking and proofreading are essential parts of a job well done. Assure the interviewer that you are diligent when it comes to submitting good, clean, work.

      Ryan's Answer

      "Spelling and grammatical errors are a pet peeve of mine. I will triple check my work if there is time! I feel that it is imperative to submit error-free work."

      Ryan's Answer

      "I do my best to put great work out, at all times. I believe in double checking my work although I must admit that I have fallen victim to the odd mistake like the best of us!"

      Anonymous Answer

      "ALWAYS. Where I’ve been working for the last 10 years of my career, caution is part of the company’s culture. On top of that, being part of multi hundreds of millions of dollar projects, it goes without saying that scrutiny and double checking are essential to avoid any costly mistakes."

      Marcie's Answer

      Great! It sounds like you're already used to being very careful when it comes to your work, and your answer is very emphatic and straightforward, which is good. It's also a positive that you mention working on such costly projects, which is impressive and something that will stand out to the interviewer. If you are able to cite any examples of when you caught an error that saved money or a customer, don't hesitate to add that to your answer as well.

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  5. 5.

    Are you familiar with KYC and how it impacts our business at Export Development Canada?

      Prior to your interview, it is important to know and understand the principles of KYC. To start, KYC stands for Know Your Customer and these are steps taken by financial institutions to establish customer identity and understand the nature of the customer's activity to further assess money laundering risks with that customer. For your answer to this question, give your interviewer the sense that you know the basic premise of KYC and how it impacts your work that you do while also highlighting the important elements of a KYC program like customer identification and ongoing monitoring.

      Ryan's Answer

      "Over the recent years, my work as a Financial Advisor has moved to heavy load of phone and online work and steps in customer identification have included things I needed to be cognizant of. Even though I know even the fine details of my clients' voices, I must have clients confirm personal information over the phone before discussing details with them. This personal info can include full names, date of birth, address and social security number. Because money laundering and identity theft have become so prevalent in the past ten years, I take these important steps in my work very seriously."

      Ryan's Answer

      "I am very familiar with the Know Your Customer ethical guidelines in financial advising and have received a lot of formal training surrounding it. When opening new accounts for clients and maintaining them down the road, the KYC Rule 2090 is essential for me and my firm to keep records of facts on each customer and know if any other people have the authority to act on the customer's behalf regarding their finances. I love the fact that the KYC standards have helped build robust client profiles within our systems and these help make my financial decisions with them much better."

  6. 6.

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

      Talk about your attention to detail and sharp focus on data and statistics. If the job requires you to take an analytical approach to solving problems, think back on your experience to offer up an example. Give as much insight into your process to show you are capable of taking an analytical approach to problem-solving.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I worked for a financial firm last year and had a client who was looking for investment recommendations. I gathered data on the stocks they were interested in, sorting through trends and historical data to determine the most promising returns."

      Ryan's Answer

      "As a financial service professional, I am always analyzing information before creating a path of recommendation for my clients. I am highly skilled when it comes to data analysis. My abilities stem from my statistics and analysis related courses while obtaining my Bachelor's degree in finance."

      Anonymous Answer

      "Where I spent the last ten years of my career, thorough analysis is an integral part of our daily jobs; it’s part of the company’s culture. For example, during the cost-cutting initiatives that we were getting recently, we had to analyze each measure quantitatively and qualitatively and to come up with recommendations about which one of these measures would be most suitable for the business unit in question."

      Marcie's Answer

      In this case, the example you cite is very relevant to the question asked - great job! Perhaps consider providing more details about the measures you analyzed and the final outcome of the analysis.

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  7. 7.

    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."

      Anonymous Answer

      "I think what helps me the most in a challenging situation is to be able to keep my cool and not to let emotions take control of the situation. I remember when I took over the bid manager position, I had to coordinate the tasks of a large proposal team who develops the bid. One of the engineers was someone who couldn’t handle pressure easily and who became very nervous and aggressive in such situations, which made it hard for me to approach him and coordinate his work with the rest of the team to meet the deadlines. I guess what helped me deal with this challenge is that I didn’t take his behavior personally, I didn’t allow myself to think that this is something against me, I put myself in his shoes, knowing his character, and I changed my approach in talking to him. Instead of sending him emails to follow up on his tasks, I would allocate 15 min to go talk to him, reassure him that I am on his side, and that I understand the pressure is not easy, and that he can get help from other colleagues if he needed. This increased the trust between us and made the communication much easier."

      Marcie's Answer

      You have provided a very effective and strong answer to this question. Great job! The example you give definitely outlines a challenging situation, and you clearly explain how you managed your colleague. Your answer shows that you are empathetic, resilient, and adaptable. Excellent.

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  8. 8.

    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

      "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

      "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."

      Anonymous Answer

      "In terms of skills, my last role has definitely sharpened my Excel skills. On the other hand, it also helped me enhance my reporting skills, especially because I was reporting directly to management, so it has to be concise and clear. I also had to multitask in order to stay on top of the preparation for CFA level 1 and level 2 exams while keeping up with my responsibilities at work."

      Marcie's Answer

      This is a great answer! You've chosen to mention three skills that will undoubtedly be valuable to the interviewer: Excel, preparing executive-level reports, and multitasking. It's also good that you bring up the CFA level 1 and 2 exams because it reiterates to the interviewer that you've taken and passed them. Nice job!

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  9. 9.

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

      This common interview question put you in a tough spot where you should talk about your ultimate career goals while also balancing the needs of the position that you are interviewing for and the needs of Export Development Canada. Prior to your interviewer, try to research the job and Export Development Canada to the point where you can match your career goals with they Export Development Canada offers. While your interviewer is looking for a long-term fit for the position they are interviewing you for, it is okay to set your sights higher as long as your goals meet that of the organization's goals. If at all possible during your answer, point out that long-term success with Export Development Canada is vitally important to you.

      Ryan's Answer

      "Now that I am to the midway point of my career, I am looking for my next move to be my final move in finding my work home until I retire. As a successful Financial Advisor today, I want to focus on continuing to grow my skills in advising clients on retirement and private wealth management and it sounds like I'll have that opportunity here at Export Development Canada. As I continue to grow in my skills and prove my worth to you, a long-term career goal is to be in management where I could oversee the work of Junior Advisors and mentor them towards success."

      Ryan's Answer

      "A career in risk analysis has been a dream for some time and this opportunity with Export Development Canada is really my dream job. If hired here, my goal for the next five to ten years would be to continue to hone my skills and help the work of the department to a point where it is growing and becoming more effective. Down the road, I'm really in a position to be an open book when it comes to where my career with Export Development Canada would go from there."

      Anonymous Answer

      "Well this job will be a horizontal move for me. My priority in the near future is going to be about gaining experience and knowledge in this field as much as possible. After this phase, I believe things will take their natural course in case a promotion opportunity presents itself."

      Marcie's Answer

      I think it's great that you've emphasized how interested you are in gaining experience and knowledge, particularly since you're trying to enter a new industry. But you also show initiative and drive because you mention the desire to one day be promoted if the opportunity arises. Perfect!

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  10. 10.

    What is the most attractive thing in your eyes about this role with Export Development Canada?

      For this question, your interviewer is looking to gain insight into what you know and like about Export Development Canada 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 Export Development Canada 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 Export Development Canada 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 Export Development Canada, this is definitely a place that I'd love to be a part of as you continue to grow and prosper into the future."

      Anonymous Answer

      "When I was planning my career shift to infrastructure investment, I was worried about the level of ethics in the financial industry. Working for a company like EDC dedicated to the development of local businesses and maintaining high values while serving the community is something not common in the finance industry, and it is very reassuring for me."

      Marcie's Answer

      It's great that you want the organization you work for to espouse a high level of ethical behavior, especially in the financial industry. This should impress the interviewer who will also be happy to hear you compliment EDC. Since the question specifically refers to the role at EDC, is there anything you can mention in particular about the position that appeals to you as well?

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  11. 11.

    What approach do you take in giving financial and wealth advice to your clients? Why does this approach suit your clients the best?

      For this question, your interviewer is looking to get down to the nuts and bolts relating to the exact method you approach clients with financial advice. Prior to your interviewer, be sure to put thought to your approach and be able to explain why this is both beneficial to your methods and to your clients. Whether you use verbal methods, printed document, email communication or any mixture of the three, be sure you can speak to your method confidently.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I am a firm believer in having a typed up plan that is very detailed for my clients. When coming up with a financial plan, I take the time to present my clients with a written plan and have them review it prior to meeting in person. This gives them time to review information and prepare questions for me ahead of time. My clients have always appreciated this approach and I've included a couple of examples in my portfolio for you."

  12. 12.

    If hired for this role at Export Development Canada, how would you help make sound investment decisions for our clients?

      While certainly an open ended question for you to run with, your interviewer is really looking to get a sense that you are resourceful in your decision making processes and that you don't rely too heavy on quantitative or qualitative information to make decisions. In your answer, talk about the sound use of data while also relying on your experience and judgement to help in your decision making processes. As well, if you are open and experienced in a team based approach among fellow colleagues, talk about that as well.

      Ryan's Answer

      "In my current role, we have a great team that considers many factors in our investment decisions for our clients. Our engineers have developed mathematical models that gauge the markets and their propensity to shift over time. We have a team of market experts that rely on the new and current times to predict future fluctuations. As the Portfolio Managers, we weigh information from all of these teams to make decisions moving forward and this allows for the greatest confidence in our overall decisions."

      Ryan's Answer

      "While all of our decisions for our clients are based on assumptions, my experience has taught me to weigh in many different factors when making investment decisions. Looking at historical data to predict futures carries some weight and can be accurate at times, but having firsthand knowledge of different businesses and industries like I do helps put that historical data into perspective when trying to predict the future. If hired for this position at Export Development Canada, I'll have that ability to make the best decisions possible for your clients."

      Anonymous Answer

      "Though I haven’t worked in an investment-related job before, my understanding that a solid financial model is key to reach reliable investment decisions. On top of that, I believe that in case of energy projects, my experience in this field will help better assess opportunities and challenges in the project at hand."

      Marcie's Answer

      This is a good answer; however, consider adjusting the beginning of it so you don't start off with a negative ("Though I haven't worked in an investment-related job before...") Beyond using a solid financial model, you might also mention assessing risk and considering an appropriate mix/allocation of investments for their clients as well. Emphasizing your experience in the energy field will definitely be a positive for the interviewer.

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  13. 13.

    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

      "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

      "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."

  14. 14.

    If you notice right now, the time on that clock reads 12:15. What is the angle between the minute and hour hands on that clock?

      In any interview with a Financial Engineer or Quantitative Analyst, your interviewer will be looking to pose one or a few different math related questions to show you have the quick skills to come up with a correct answer. For this question, talk your way through how you solved the problem so your interviewer gets a sense that you have the ability to solved basic, and even advanced, math problems.

      Ryan's Answer

      "With each hour on the clock representing 30 degrees of the 360 degree circle, I'd use a starting point of 90 degrees for an angle for this answer. But then, I have to factor the hour hand now moving a quarter of the way between the 12 and 1 on the clock. with a quarter of that move being 7.5 degrees, the angle between the hands falls at 82.5 degrees."

  15. 15.

    At Export Development Canada we offer many different financial services. Which aspect of financial services are you best versed in?

      Walk the interviewer through your expertise that best relates to the business they specialize in. This is where it's important to have searched Export Development Canada prior to your interview! Be sure to finish by asking the interviewer the services they prefer you be versed in. This way you can overcome any potential objections later.

      Ryan's Answer

      "After researching your website I see that you specialize in Investment and Hedge Fund management. My specialty is definitely Investment management. Is there a certain specialty you are looking for in your next hire?"

      Ryan's Answer

      "I have a wide range of expertise when it comes to financial services. I see that Export Development Canada is looking for a candidate who brings experience in X, Y, and Z. I have expert level knowledge in all of these areas."

      Anonymous Answer

      "Where I spent the last ten years of my career, thorough analysis was an integral part of our daily jobs; it was part of the company’s culture. For example, during the cost-cutting initiatives that we were getting recently, we had to analyze each measure quantitatively and qualitatively and come up with recommendations about which one of these measures would be most suitable for the business unit in question."

      Marcie's Answer

      This is a strong answer. It's great that you're so well versed in conducting financial analysis and that you're able to provide a recent example of when you did this within your current position. Consider talking a bit about what the final outcome was in the example you cite, as the more detail you provide, the more memorable your answer will be to the interviewer. You might also talk about the specific types of analyses that you conducted.

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  16. 16.

    This position at Export Development Canada 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?

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  17. 17.

    At Export Development Canada, we expect our Economists to give regular presentations and updates to our advisory staff. What experience do you have presenting in front of a captive audience?

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  18. 18.

    What statistical analysis tools do you have experience working with?

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  19. 19.

    How can Export Development Canada motivate you on the job?

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  20. 20.

    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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  21. 21.

    How do you keep up to speed on changing trends and laws in the financial planning field?

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  22. 22.

    Data Scientist is a fairly new role here at Export Development Canada. Why do you feel that you can make the jump into the financial industry as a data scientist?

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  23. 23.

    If hired for this role as an Economist with Export Development Canada, we'll want you to have the tools in hand that you need to succeed. What computer programs do you find necessary and useful in your work?

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  24. 24.

    At Export Development Canada, 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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  25. 25.

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

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  26. 26.

    If hired for this role at Export Development Canada, 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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  27. 27.

    What statistical models are you familiar with and which do you feel would best apply to the financial field here at Export Development Canada?

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