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National Bank of 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

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

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National Bank of Canada Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    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 National Bank of Canada, 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."

  2. 2.

    Why do you want to pursue a career in the banking industry?

      Before your interview, take some time to think through your career goals. National Bank of Canada is looking for motivated individuals who want to grow within the company. Share your career plans. Talk about how this position will help you achieve your goals!

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "I am passionate about the field of finance and accounting, mixed with an unwavering passion for quality customer service. The banking industry allows me to tap into both areas and have a lot of fun making positive customer experiences along the way."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "Careers in banking run in my family! My mother was a banker and my father, a financial advisor when I was growing up. It always fascinated me how smart they both were. It's in my blood!"

  3. 3.

    If a customer at National Bank of Canada had increased savings as their main personal financial goal, what steps would you take with them to get them started down the right path?

      As you look to interview for a Personal Banker position with National Bank of Canada, be sure to expect a question or two that really digs into the technical abilities that you would bring to the position in the form of a hypothetical situation that you will likely face in this role. This question is allowing your interviewer to gain insight into your knowledge of sound financial savings philosophies so be sure to talk about important aspects of a customer's finances that can impact their ability to save. As you answer, express that you would use a logical, yet tailored, approach with each customer in this situation.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "After I had done my due diligence in getting to know the need's of the customer, my first step would be educating them on setting a personal budget that allows for savings. I would take a keen look at their monthly income versus their monthly expenses while also taking into account their variable spending on a monthly basis. Often, by simply doing this, customers are dumbfounded by how much wasteful spending they have going on in their lives. While the customer makes the final decisions on how to best handle, I can use my expertise to help guide them on their savings journey."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "The first and most important step to this process is helping the customer truly see their financial situation by delving into their income and expenses. Based on that analysis, the customer then decides which of the factors of income and expenses can be altered to help increase their savings. From there, I would work with them on the best methods for saving and would take a personalized approach to recommending savings accounts or money market accounts with National Bank of Canada."

  4. 4.

    What customer service experience do you have that would greatly benefit the customers at National Bank of Canada?

      As the face of the organization for a lot of customers that will come through the lobby and drive-through of National Bank of Canada, your interviewer expects that you'll be able to bring your A game to the job every day when it comes to customer service. To get an idea of your customer service experience, your interviewer is asking this question. As you prepare for your interviewer, try to think of customer service experience you have that would most apply to being a successful Teller. Talk about your duties when it came to serving customers and putting a smile on their face with each interaction that you had. Don't hesitate to use a real world example of a time you went the extra mile to provide the best service possible.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "Being a people person by nature, I've always thrived in roles that put me face to face with customers at any place of employment. During my high school years, I was a waitress at a local restaurant on the weekends. During these busy times, I quickly learned how the little things can go a long way with customers that I would see on a regular basis. Knowing their usual drink orders and little things about them helped spark great conversations with them and, ultimately, their overall satisfaction with their dining experience. If hired here with National Bank of Canada, I'd look to bring that same customer service attitude to your team."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "My current role in a large call center places me on the phone with consumers that are usually having either technical issues with our products or just overall unsatisfied with our products. Over the past two years in this role, I've learned how reflectively listen to customers that had a negative experience and how to quickly troubleshoot their problems with ease. As well, I've grown a very thick skin to not take things personally when consumers are downright mean about their products. I can imagine that in a bank setting, upset customers can be at their worst because finances are one of the most stressful things for people and I would be very confident in my ability to work with those customers."

  5. 5.

    If hired for this role here at National Bank of Canada, how would you manage your daily tasks on the job to ensure that your work is completed in a timely and efficient manner?

      Your interviewer is posing this question to gain insight into how you use resources and technologies to keep you on track in your work and to also get a sense for how you prioritize the small details in the work that you do. As you answer the question, be very specific as you describe your ability to multitask many duties throughout a given work day and talk about the tools that you use to keep yourself on track in your work. As you talk about this process for yourself, don't lose sight of your focus on the small details in your work and discuss why doing things in detail is important in the work that you do. Make sure to talk about real world examples that you've used in the past that you feel would be helpful in this role as a Teller with National Bank of Canada.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "I consider myself to be highly organized in my work and I do this by using my calendar
      and task functions within Microsoft Outlook. I schedule time each day for my daily tasks and it doesn't take me very long to have a quick understanding for how much time is needed to complete the routine tasks on a daily basis. I always make sure to allow for enough time for each task to be done as thoroughly as possible. Then, for the tasks that pop up from time to time, I always make sure that I add those to my to do list quickly."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "In my current role, I print a daily checklist of my duties and begin working on that list as soon as my day starts. Some of the tasks have a prerequisite task that day, so I have my checklist prioritized by needs from the top. I have found this method to be extremely useful in helping me make sure that my duties are handled each and every day and I wouldn't hesitate to utilize something similar if hired for this role with National Bank of Canada"

  6. 6.

    The banking industry is built on trust and this is no different at National Bank of Canada. Do other people you have worked closely with consider you to be trustworthy?

      While the easy route for this question would be to simply answer yes and move on, your interviewer will be looking for you to talk about a specific situation or two where you proved your ability to be trusted in the workplace. Take the time to think about a time where trust was instilled in your beyond your normal job duties and explain the situation to your interviewer. Be sure to explain why the situation was important, what you learned from it and how it helps you be seen as a more trustworthy candidate for this role at National Bank of Canada. In the end, remember that the ability to be trusted as a Teller with National Bank of Canada is one of the premier qualities that your interviewer will be looking for in an ideal candidate for the role.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "If you were to ask any former colleague or manager that I have worked with, they would all say that I am worthy of any trust you would instill in me. In my current role, my manager has given me the duty of physically transporting our daily bank deposits and has given me a set of office keys and the code to the security system as a backup to our management staff. In my five years with the organization, I have proved myself to be trusted with these duties through my error free work, great attendance record and honesty."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "I have always put it on myself to try and cross-train and learn as many roles with companies that I have worked with in the past. As well, I've always strived to become an expert on all total process at any given job. Because of this extra effort, my current manager has asked me to be a department representative on a few different committees in my current organization. As well, I've also been asked to lead a few process improvement projects within our department. My manager has directly told me that I was asked to take on these extra responsibilities because of the trust that he has in my work ethic and my overall knowledge of our organization. If lucky enough to come work for National Bank of Canada, I would bring this same attitude to the team here."

  7. 7.

    The banking industry can be stressful. Tell me about a time when you worked in a high-pressure situation.

      While working at National Bank of Canada you might find yourself stressed by customers or the fast pace of the work environment. Think of a time where you produced your best work under pressure to showcase how you shine under high-pressure situations.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "When I was working as an administrator at a financial firm, I worked in a very high-pressure environment. There was one case that was highly sensitive and required me to pay extra attention to detail. I had limited time to prepare the paperwork, but I was still able to support the lawyer and the client, by staying calm and carefully providing everything they needed. I asked questions to clarify the deadlines that needed to be met and set daily goals to meet them."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "Almost every day in my banking career has been filled with high-pressure situations. When I am faced with a stressful situation, I remind myself to slow down, breathe, and assess the situation before jumping in with both feet. Customers seem always to appreciate my calm and methodical approach."

  8. 8.

    How would you respond to a customer complaint?

      The interviewer would like to be assured that you can professionally handle customer complaints. Give an example of a time you helped resolve a customer's issue.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "A customer called me very frustrated about an issue with their bank account. I listened and told them I would be happy to help. I asked more questions to understand the problem and then suggested once I had a better idea of what might solve it. The customer was very relieved and grateful that I took the time to listen and make sense of the issue. I plan to provide consistent customer service in the same way when I work for National Bank of Canada."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "Each customer complaint is unique; however, I have been trained to handle them all with the same method. Listen, be empathetic, and use phrases such as 'If I understand your concern...' and repeat their words back to them. This method has always worked for me."

  9. 9.

    We want our advising team at National Bank of Canada 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."

  10. 10.

    As a Personal Banker at National Bank of Canada, how would you select products to suggest to our customers?

      At the heart of the role of a Personal Banker falls your ability to use your sales skills and customer service skills to match products that best suit each individual customer's needs. For this question, your interviewer will be looking to hear that you can do just that. As you answer this question, highlight your ability to learn and know the entire catalog of financial products you would have at your disposal and then switch to your sales skills mode where you talk about tailoring packages to each individual based on their needs. To really sell your interviewer on your ability, try to use a real world example where you used features and benefits to meet someone's needs in a sales related situation.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "To do this effectively, I would rely on my ability to get to know my customers and their needs and I do this through confident and friendly conversation with them. Once I know their needs and goals moving forward, I can then take a wise approach to our product base to get them involved with the products that help them meet their goals. Last year, I did this with a customer that I had over a years worth of history with. Through both email and in-person conversations, I learned that early retirement was definitely a goal of his and I used the benefits of our IRA accounts to help him open one and thrive moving forward."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "If hired for this role at National Bank of Canada, my first goal would be to learn the entire package of personal accounts, savings, loans and investment products that customers here can take advantage of. Armed with that knowledge, I would then rely on my ability to get to know my customers and what they find important to them to help them grow and thrive into the future. I believe that my background in sales will help me to match the great products here at National Bank of Canada with each individual's needs because I've done this in both the automotive sales industry and the food industry."

  11. 11.

    Discuss a time that you worked a client through a difficult financial situation. What were the keys to making it a success for the client?

      Your interviewer is posing this question to see how you will handle a situation where a client at National Bank of Canada is working through a difficult time. As you talk about how you managed that situation, your interviewer will be looking to hear that you have the interpersonal skills to be effective from the client's perspective. In your answer, be sure to explain the importance of an empathetic approach with your clients and how that approach helps them get through a difficult time.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "During the recession in 2008, I had a very large client call to request that all of his funds be pulled out of the stock market. Knowing that this move was a very poor strategy, I needed him to hear that in most personal and educated way possible. With an active listening approach, I repeated back what he had told me and I reiterated that he wanted to sell them at a low price and hopefully buy them back down the road at a high price. This made the client take a pause and think. This was my opportunity to talk about market history and the odds that his stock prices would rebound over time. He decided to keep his funds in the market at the time and a few years down the road, he called to personally thank me for the sound advice. The fact that I took a personal approach while educating him in the process to make his own decision was the definite key to success in this situation."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "Sometimes in this field, difficult conversations have to be had with clients and when I need to have them, I use a very personal and empathetic approach. A great situation where this happened was with a client that wasn't meeting their personal retirement goals to be done working at age 62. At the point we were working together, she was 55 years old. After a quick assessment of her finances, I talked to her about letting her two kids be responsible for their own college tuition. As a mother, her intuition was to support her children in every way possible but the reality was that it was hurting her own goals. Simply put to her, I told her that there are no loans available for retirement and that she was doing both herself and her kids a favor by taking the route I suggested."

  12. 12.

    What do you want to accomplish at National Bank of Canada?

      Set some goals so that you can share how this position at National Bank of Canada will help you to achieve them and how you will add value to National Bank of Canada along the way.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "First and foremost, I want to deliver top quality service to customers of National Bank of Canada and perform my responsibilities with best in class service. I want to work at National Bank of Canada because I want to become a financial advisor. Starting out as a professional banker will give me valuable experience resolving client account issues and providing financial assistance, from investments to savings and travel advice."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "My primary goal is to achieve a leadership position within the banking industry. To do this, I will continue my related education and take any training opportunities that come my way."

  13. 13.

    How do you stay organized?

      Staying organized is essential to make sure that you are thorough and pay attention to details, to keep customers happy. It is also necessary for accomplishing your daily tasks behind the scenes. Share a few tools that have helped you stay on-task and on-time.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "I prioritize my workload against deadlines to stay organized, always putting the needs of customers first."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "I work closely with my peers to share responsibilities and ensure key tasks are delegated out, should there be an important deadline to consider."

  14. 14.

    How would you handle communication with a customer that was visibly upset?

      In this position with National Bank of Canada, you may be faced with a customer that is upset and/or mad at the situation they are in. Because of the shoes you will be filling as a Teller, you will be expected to help deescalate the situation through solid and effective verbal communication with the customer. As you answer this question, talk about your ability to remain calm, cool and collected in any situation and explain how you take an empathetic approach with any person that you will work with in this role. If you have an example of a time that you were faced with this situation, don't hesitate to walk your interviewer through that situation and how you handled it.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "Having worked in customer facing roles for my entire career, I have handled many angry customers and feel I have a great method in the way that I communicate with them. First, I start by hearing them out and letting them vent in any means that they want. From there, I calmly repeat back the key points and then begin brainstorming solutions for them. By maintaining a calm demeanor during these situations, angry customers are often able to calm down rather quickly. After I understand the customer's needs, I take all steps necessary to help solve their problem. If this entails bringing in another colleague, I don't hesitate to do so in a team based approach."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "When this happens in my current role, I make sure that any other duties I am currently working on are put on hold so I can give full attention to that customer. Last week, I was the only person on staff handling a busy lobby when a customer came in very upset with a vehicle that they had just purchased. I immediately put the phones on hold to take the time to listen to their concerns. After hearing the causes of their frustration, I had them wait in our lobby and I went and talked to our Sales Manager. He made time for the customer immediately. In these instances, providing swift action to help alleviate any further issues is the most important thing that can be done."

  15. 15.

    How would you rate your ability to learn new software programs on a scale of 1 to 10?

      In today's digital age, a majority of bank transactions are handled through digital software and for you to be successful in this role, your interviewer will expect you to be a very fast learner of any new programs that you would be required to work with at National Bank of Canada. To give your interviewer a sense of how well you would be able to do this, talk about times where you've had to learn new software programs on the job in the past and talk about your best methods for learning on the job. As well, you can openly talk about the programs that you currently feel that you are proficient at as well to give them an idea of what type of training you would need if hired.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "I would say that my ability to learn new software programs is easily ranked as an 8. I am very proficient at word processing programs and the entire Microsoft Suite of products. I'm also very proficient at the cloud based point of sale program that I use in my current role. When hired at my current job, I need about a day of side by side training with my mentor and I was up and running with no problems. I rated myself an 8 simply because I have room to grow in learning software in the banking industry but feel very comfortable in my ability to learn quickly if hired at National Bank of Canada."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "I would honestly rate myself a 9 for this question solely based on my prior history of mastering programs with my current banking institution. During my five years in my current role, I began by training on SAP programs and was able to pick up and run in my role as a Teller very quickly. Recently, we made an institution wide switch to the Oracle suite and my transition there was very smooth!"

  16. 16.

    At National Bank of Canada, our Personal Bankers work with clients from all different walks of life. How do you handle working with many different personalities throughout the day?

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  17. 17.

    Due to the continued explosion of the digital world, National Bank of Canada is becoming more virtual on a day to day basis. What job duties would you see as being fluent in this role as a Teller with us?

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  18. 18.

    What experience do you have in multitasking different duties in any of your prior work experiences?

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  19. 19.

    What has been the most stressful situation that you faced in the workplace and what did you do to ensure that you navigated that situation successfully?

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  20. 20.

    Why would our clients here at National Bank of Canada want you to be their financial advisor?

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  21. 21.

    Have you ever had to work with a difficult colleague? How did you handle that situation?

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  22. 22.

    Tell me about your experience in the banking industry.

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  23. 23.

    If hired for this role at National Bank of Canada, how would you help make sound investment decisions for our clients?

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  24. 24.

    What is the highest level of mathematics that you completed during any of your schooling?

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  25. 25.

    As a Personal Banker with National Bank of Canada, why is providing tailored customer service important? How would you make this a priority if hired for this role?

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  26. 26.

    Give me an example of how you keep track of details while engaging in conversation.

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  27. 27.

    Tell me about your cash handling experience.

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