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McGrathNicol Services Pty Ltd 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

Accuracy is important to us at McGrathNicol Services Pty Ltd. Do you always double check or proofread your work?

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McGrathNicol Services Pty Ltd Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    Accuracy is important to us at McGrathNicol Services Pty Ltd. 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 #1

      "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 #2

      "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!"

  2. 2.

    In SQL, how do you explain the differences between clustered and non-clustered indexes? Can you name a time that you used each?

      McGrathNicol Services Pty Ltd uses indexes to improve query performances within their software and for this question, your interviewer is looking to hear that you have a basic understanding of both clustered and non-clustered indexes. Explain the differences between the two types of indexes and be sure you can either speak to relevant times that you've used each or when would be the appropriate application to use each.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "In the simplest of terms, a clustered index order records in a table the way that they are physically stored. There can only be one clustered index per table. Non-clustered indexes do not store data to match the physical order that it is stored. Rather, it can hold up to 249 indexes per table. Both types come with their own benefits over the other. In my experience, clustered indexes are suited best for programs that use primary key as an identity integer column. On the other hand, non-clustered make the most sense for programs that need JOIN and WHERE clauses within them."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "In my experience, clustered indexes are faster to read but very slow when it comes to update data within. Non-clustered indexes are just the opposite in that they are slower to read but much fast to insert new data into them. In my current role, I mostly use clustered indexes when large numbers of rows need to be retreived and when insert operations are important. Most other times, I will use non-clustered as the standard."

  3. 3.

    To help us understand your need for initial training and orientation in this role with McGrathNicol Services Pty Ltd, can you tell me what financial software you have familiarity working on?

      Financial software, in particular software geared towards financial analysis, is widely available to the industry with many options available for use. While this won't be a make it or break it question to see if you are experienced with the program that McGrathNicol Services Pty Ltd utilizes, your interviewer will be looking to hear that you have experience on some of the available systems and that you are ready and willing to take on the challenge of learning something new if hired for this role. In the end in answering this question, make sure that you reiterate that you have the ability and the desire to learn a new program if needed to be successful in this role.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "Over the past ten years, I have pretty extensive experience working on Windham Portfolio Advisor and a program called LogicGate. Windham is a program that is used by my colleagues that are building client portfolios and I work on the risk management pieces with each advisor. LogicGate is a program that I completed an RFP to bring on to my department and it has helped us immensely. I do consider myself to have a very high technical acumen surrounding new software. Right now, what programs are your Risk Analysts using?"

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "Being a computer junkie in my spare time, I have a wide array of experience with many of the different types of financial and risk analysis software. I'm a big fan of the MATLAB program because of its ability to build my own algorithms and customize the data analysis within the program. This has significantly impacted my firm in my current role. With my firm recently moving to an Oracle platform, I've become very familiar with Oracle Crystal Ball over the last two years and really like its ability to visualize forecasts."

  4. 4.

    When have you shown a willingness to learn a new method or new approach to solving a problem?

      It is a great skill to have when you can approach a problem in a new way. Discuss with the interviewer your ability to approach a problem using modern methods.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "When our company came under new management last year many new methods and policies came into place. I was able to learn many new approaches to our challenges in sales and customer management. I quite enjoyed the process."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "In my current position, I am faced with learning new sales methods and client approaches on a regular basis. I am always the first to embrace these new sales pitches because I truly believe the bigger diversity we can offer our clients, the better."

  5. 5.

    A key task in this role with McGrathNicol Services Pty Ltd is assessing an organization's weighted average cost of capital. Are you familiar with WACC calculations and when have you used them in the past if you are?

      Whether you have direct experience with WACC calculation or not, the first important thing that your interviewer will be looking for is that you understand all of the values that are used to calculate it and why it is important to calculate. Be sure to explain your understanding of the calculation. Then, if you do have experience, talk about the context of the work that you did surrounding utilizing WACC calculation and what resources you used to ensure that accurate data was used in the calculation.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "In my current role, I utilize weighted average cost of capital calculation in the financing projects my firm undertakes. Basically, the WACC helps us determine if a project is worthwhile to see a future return. My role as the risk analyst is the gather the data for the formula. I am well versed in calculating the cost of equity and cost of debt for companies and determining market values of those numbers. In the end, a great rate is determined that can be a win-win situation for my firm and the companies that we finance."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "I do have some familiarity with WACC calculation when I've worked with evaluating mergers and acquisitions for potential clients. Luckily in the that times I've worked with the calculation, my colleague had a very detailed WACC calculator built into an excel spreadsheet and our role was gathering the important data to include in the calculation. This included debt to capitalization, equity to capitalization, cost of equity and cost of debt. In my time as a Financial Risk Analyst, those figures have been my everyday life. If hired for this role with McGrathNicol Services Pty Ltd, my experience in this realm will help with your WACC calculations as you make important decisions moving forward."

  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 #1

      "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 #2

      "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."

  7. 7.

    What is the most attractive thing in your eyes about this role with McGrathNicol Services Pty Ltd?

      For this question, your interviewer is looking to gain insight into what you know and like about McGrathNicol Services Pty Ltd 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 McGrathNicol Services Pty Ltd 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 #1

      "Over the past couple of years, I've had an eye on pursuing a career with McGrathNicol Services Pty Ltd 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 #2

      "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 McGrathNicol Services Pty Ltd, this is definitely a place that I'd love to be a part of as you continue to grow and prosper into the future."

  8. 8.

    We pride ourselves on teamwork here at McGrathNicol Services Pty Ltd and this role in Client Services relies on teamwork. What are the top qualities would you would bring to a team based atmosphere here?

      At the heart of this question falls your interviewers need to determine how well you will work with others on the team at McGrathNicol Services Pty Ltd. You will be working with high level advisors and managers that are under a lot of pressure to perform in their jobs and your communications with them will either alleviate some of that stress or add to it. To ensure that your interviewer walks away from your conversation knowing that you are a team player that keeps the end goals of the company in mind, focus your answer on your effective communication skills, your knowledge of everyone's role on the team and your knowledge of what your role on the team will be.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "As with any team that I have worked on in the past, my priority is knowing that everyone has an important piece in the overall success of the team. In customer service, this is knowing who to contact with the right questions and who to guide customers to when needed. This ensures that our work is done efficiently on our end of things and that our customers are handled efficiently and effectively. If hired here at McGrathNicol Services Pty Ltd, my first goal would be to get to know everyone on the team that I would work with, what their roles are and how to best communicate with them."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "My top quality is my ability to communicate, both verbally and through writing. I have excellent interpersonal speaking and listening skills and my past colleagues have always appreciated this. Here at McGrathNicol Services Pty Ltd, your clients would appreciate this in my work as well. I am a very efficient and effective written communicator as well and this would be very beneficial at a company like McGrathNicol Services Pty Ltd, where your offices are spread throughout the country and I can imagine that email communication is vitally important."

  9. 9.

    What statistical analysis tools do you have experience working with?

      As a successful and resourceful Data Analyst, your interviewer at McGrathNicol Services Pty Ltd 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."

  10. 10.

    In your current work, what are the important steps you take in the data validation process?

      Depending on your training and your past roles prior to interviewing at McGrathNicol Services Pty Ltd, you may be familiar with one or two of the many trains of though regarding the steps of a data validation. Whatever formal process you are familiar with, be sure to check the boxes of discussing data screening and data verification as part of your process. Your interviewer will be looking to hear that you check those boxes as they are imperative in the software field.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "As I embark on a data validation process in my current role, my first step is to roadmap a detailed plan to keep on task. I utilize benchmarks and the expectations of key stakeholders as my guide. Once underway, I validate the database and the data formatting to ensure that data is properly screened for its overall health. Then, by finishing with sampling, tests are performed to hopefully show that the data is useful within the system."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "The most important steps in a data validation process are determining the data to sample, scouring the existing database and validating the final data format. My first step is to use my best judgment to determine if I will validate a sample or the entire data set. This determination is based on overall size of the set and the timeframe that I have to work on the project. Then, I take the time to screen data in the existing database to calculate the number of unique ID's and records to come into the system. Last, I have to verify that the source data matches the schema within the targe"

  11. 11.

    We are looking for the most motivated individuals to join the team here at McGrathNicol Services Pty Ltd. 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 McGrathNicol Services Pty Ltd. Prior to your interviewer, try to research the job and McGrathNicol Services Pty Ltd to the point where you can match your career goals with they McGrathNicol Services Pty Ltd 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 McGrathNicol Services Pty Ltd is vitally important to you.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "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 McGrathNicol Services Pty Ltd. 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 #2

      "A career in risk analysis has been a dream for some time and this opportunity with McGrathNicol Services Pty Ltd 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 McGrathNicol Services Pty Ltd would go from there."

  12. 12.

    Data Scientist is a fairly new role here at McGrathNicol Services Pty Ltd. Why do you feel that you can make the jump into the financial industry as a data scientist?

      As finance becomes more heavily reliant on data, the need for well educated Data Scientists is becoming a need at McGrathNicol Services Pty Ltd. And while your background may not be filled with experience in the financial field, it will be your job to convince your interviewer that you have the skills necessary to be strong Data Scientist while also having some great knowledge of the financial industry. Be open and honest of where your strong point fall and where you feel you have the most to learn while being open to making that progress in the field with McGrathNicol Services Pty Ltd.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "As you can see from my resume, I have a very strong educational and work background in data science. My work experience in the tech industry has helped me grow in many areas that can be beneficial to the team here at McGrathNicol Services Pty Ltd. I think that my experience in mining and cleaning raw data, paired with my experience in machine learning, could significantly benefit your clients that are seeking new and improved market data."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "My passion and skills for mathematics and computer science drove me to a career in data science and analysis. Up to today, these skills have driven me to create a brilliant start up company that I sold almost ten years ago and then to a career with a large online retailer. Knowing that the financial industry is growing in data analytics, now is the time to strike when the iron is hot. As I've set out on a career search in the field, I have been greatly impressed by what I have learned about McGrathNicol Services Pty Ltd and would look forward to help growing the data side of your business."

  13. 13.

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

      Being in the midst of the greatest technological revolution in the history of man, data engineers face many difficult issues in the work that they perform on a daily basis. While there are many directions that you can go with this question, be sure to focus your answer on something that you can speak passionately about. If you can research a common issue in the industry that McGrathNicol Services Pty Ltd works in, you may likely score some bonus points with your interviewer.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "Over the past couple of years, I've come to realize that one of the largest issues we face as data engineers is the large amounts of data that are needed to store and then draw information from. Here at McGrathNicol Services Pty Ltd, I can only imagine how big of an issue that is in the healthcare industry. I have a lot of experience with cloud based data storage and also server based storage."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "In my recent experiences, continuous, real-time integration is an issue that we will face each and every day moving forward. The need for fast paced information is certainly to blame for this. To stay on top of the continuous integration landscape, I am happy to hear that new and improved systems are being created to stay more real-time and up to the minute. Here at McGrathNicol Services Pty Ltd and working in the financial industry, how have you seen this need for real-time data impact your products?"

  14. 14.

    How can McGrathNicol Services Pty Ltd motivate you on the job?

      Every employer should know how each of their employees is best motivated. Talk to the interviewer about the variety of ways in which you are best motivated on the job.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "I am best motivated through words of praise and recognition for a job well done. I do like to know that my efforts are noticed. In my current position, we have a leaderboard, and I do like that concept because it creates a healthy bit of personal competition for me as well."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "I am a natural salesperson, so the best way to motivate me is through performance incentives. In my current position, I have been in the president's club for the past three consecutive years. I am highly motivated by the vacation that I am awarded annually."

  15. 15.

    Do you have experience working with data in a cloud computing environment?

      Over recent years, more and more companies are converting to cloud based computing services because the conversion allows them to save money and have better auditing trails. As a prospective data engineer with McGrathNicol Services Pty Ltd, your interviewer will be looking to hear that you are at least familiar with the concepts of working with cloud based data. Talk in details about the experiences you have while keeping your mind open to working with more in the future if hired with McGrathNicol Services Pty Ltd.

      Ryan's Answer

      "My current organization has been using Apprenda, a PaaS, that allows us to develop, test and maintain our software projects. I also have experience mining and converting data off of public, community and private cloud networks. If hired here at McGrathNicol Services Pty Ltd, I think I would bring a wealth of cloud based experience to the data engineering team."

  16. 16.

    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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  17. 17.

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

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  18. 18.

    Our clients here at McGrathNicol Services Pty Ltd expect top-tier service and products and we will expect you to do just that in this role. Have you ever went the extra mile for a client when it wasn't expected? Why did you do so?

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  19. 19.

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

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  20. 20.

    At McGrathNicol Services Pty Ltd, 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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  21. 21.

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

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  22. 22.

    At McGrathNicol Services Pty Ltd, 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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  23. 23.

    Talk about your experiences working with both fellow Analysts and Accountants within your own firm and with external partners. How do you feel that you will be effective in working with our external candidates in this role here at McGrathNicol Services P

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  24. 24.

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

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  25. 25.

    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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  26. 26.

    This position at McGrathNicol Services Pty Ltd 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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  27. 27.

    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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