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Natixis 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 you noticed that a company's balance sheet was showing increased amounts of accounts receivables, what future impacts to that company would you consider to be feasible?

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Natixis Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    If you noticed that a company's balance sheet was showing increased amounts of accounts receivables, what future impacts to that company would you consider to be feasible?

      At the root of this question, your interview will be looking to hear that you understand how the different lines on a company's balance sheet are related to each other. In your answer, be sure to point out your understanding of this as your job as an analyst with Natixis will rely on your ability to do so.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "An organization's lines on a balance sheet all have impact on other lines. In the case that I was made aware of an increase in accounts receivable for an organization, I would note that cash flow could be directly impacted and give a higher chance that the organization didn't have enough money to operate. As well, the reduced value of assets is a real possibility for that organization."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "In reality, an increase in amounts receivable can have both a positive and negative impact. In the short term, accounts receivable show up as current-period revenue and have a positive effect on income statements. But over the long-term, a large increase in amounts receivable has a negative impact on cash-flow for the company."

  2. 2.

    Have you ever run into a situation where a company had a positive cash flow but was still in critical financial trouble?

      At the heart of this question, your interviewer is looking to dive in and take a look at your critical thinking skills. While positive cash flow is usually a very good sign of a company's overall ability to settle its debts and handle future financial challenges, there are some situations where all isn't as it seems when looking at a company with a positive cash flow. Whether you have run into this situation or not, it is important for you to point out that you are aware of situations where a positive cash flow can be misleading.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "If hired for this position, you can rest assured that I know all considerations necessary when looking at cash flow for an organization when determining their overall financial health. A cash flow statement can often show positive cash flow when they take on new cash from loans or long-term debt. While these items do show up as positive on the cash flow, they don't accurately reflect the profitability of the organization."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "I have come across this situation with a company that was selling off a large chunk of inventory. At the same time, the company was delaying their payables. This showed a very skewed positive cash flow but the real story behind the curtains showed a company that was in serious trouble of keeping its doors open."

  3. 3.

    At Natixis, your job as a Risk Analyst would entail keeping a close eye on interest rates for our clients. How do you think interest rates will trend in the next year?

      While your interviewer knows that predicting this question isn't an exact science, they will be looking to hear that you consider all variables possible in your answer to make the best determination possible. To be successful in this role with Natixis, your future clients will rely on your ability to forecast interest rates at times and you need to have the ability to do so with the right knowledge in hand. When answering, make sure that you use a methodical approach and explain each step in the process.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "In my current role that I've held for the past six years, a key to my success has been my ability to create and analyze short-term rate models that most accurately predict future interest rates for the clients that I've worked with. If you aren't familiar with the short-term rate models, they utilize a stochastic process to evolve spot interest rates to predict future rates. Just last year, my work was commended by a high profile client that I advised using this method."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "As you can see from my portfolio, I have extensive training and experience in macroeconomics and I've found that macro trends are a great predictor of interest rates. With interest rates changing on a daily basis, long-term trends from a source like the treasury yield most often follow the same patter as the interest rate percentages most accurately versus utilizing short-term movements in markets, the economy and policy. To better assist my clients, I always keep a watch on the U.S. Treasury yields."

  4. 4.

    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?

      While the challenges faced by general data analysts makes for a pretty long generalized list, this question is allowing your interviewer the chance to see your critical thinking skills by having you talk about which challenges you feel will be critical in the financial field. While there isn't necessarily a right or wrong answer in this question, make sure that you are able to speak intelligently about your answer and provide ways with how you can meet the challenges in your work with Natixis.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "From my two years of experience as a Data Analyst in the financial industry, of course the common issues of overlapping data and duplicate entries did come up. But I've found the biggest issue to be the collection and implementation of real-time data to be the biggest hurdle. With markets continually changing on a daily basis, I've had to be diligent about updating reports for my advisors that I work closely with because what may be valid and real one day may be out of date the next."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "Having some very close contacts that are already working in the financial field in data analysis, I understand that manual data tracking can be a pain point due solely to the time needed to complete. Being highly educated in automated processes and utilizing machine learning in other industries, I think the knowledge I could bring to the team here at Natixis would really help advance your data analysis practices within my first six months on the job."

  5. 5.

    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 Natixis?

      While you are well aware that your career as a Risk Analyst in the financial industry involves many hours behind a desk and plugging away at a computer, Natixis will expect that you are an excellent team player with your fellow colleagues. On top of that, you will also have an expectation to be a face of the organization for external clients and stakeholders. While a very open ended question, make sure that you hit on your experiences in working as part of a larger team and explain the skills and personality traits that you'll bring to the table if hired at Natixis. Then, be sure to talk about your experiences working with clients and how you do so effectively.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "While I was drawn to a career as a Risk Analyst by my love of investigation and technical acumen, I am also a people person at heart. In my current role, I feel fortunate that I get to work with and communicate with all levels of my organization each day. If hired for this position here at Natixis, you'll quickly find that I am sharp, witty, knowledgeable and a great all around communicator. My excellent communication skills start with face-to-face verbal conversation but also extends to written skills as well."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "One of the big draws for me to this role with Natixis will be the ability to work closely with your clients to help them analyze their risk. In the roles that I've held as a Junior Risk Analyst up to this point in my career, my interpersonal relationships on the job have been with my colleagues, my Senior Analysts and other from my own organization. As you'll see from my letters of recommendation, I've been commended for my ability to effectively communicate risky situations in a clear, concise and understandable manner and I think the future clients I would work with here would benefit greatly from that ability."

  6. 6.

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

      Financial Engineers and Quantitative Analysts are relied upon in the financial industry to utilize complex algorithms and math to predict the trading market's immediate future. For this question, your interviewer will be looking to get the sense that you have the skills to apply statistical model in finance by having you talk about the models that are familiar with and have worked with in the past. While being honest about your experiences, be sure to point out that you are aware that some apply more to finance and the market to set yourself apart during this question.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "As a data nerd, I love the realm of statistics and I am very familiar with all of the unique statistical models and how to best apply them to different situations. I've applied linear regression when predicting the outcome based on two historically known data points. I've also applied multivariate models when looking at the distribution of multiple data points. Having dabbled a bit in the market myself and now looking to bring my quantitative analysis skills to the financial field, I am very familiar with the Gaussian model for predicting market changes and would love to bring the knowledge that I have of this model to your team here at Natixis."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "As you can see from my prior experience in data engineering and financial analysis, I have extensive experience in time series modelling that utilized both univariate and multivariate models. Multivariate time series modelling has proven to be very effective when looking at and predicting the S&P 500 performance and I think my skills in this arena would greatly benefit your team."

  7. 7.

    Data Scientist is a fairly new role here at Natixis. 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 Natixis. 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 Natixis.

      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 Natixis. 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 Natixis and would look forward to help growing the data side of your business."

  8. 8.

    To help us understand your need for initial training and orientation in this role with Natixis, 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 Natixis 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."

  9. 9.

    How would you define what working capital is for a company and what does its measurement mean?

      As a Financial Analyst with Natixis, you will be asked to help measure working capital of organizations. In your definition that you provide to your interviewer, ensure that you give them at least the basic definition of the calculation being current assets minus current liabilities. Then, talk about real situations that you've used the measurement to make critical decisions in the work that you've done in the past. This will confirm with your interviewer that you have the ability to use the measurement in this job.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "In my current role, we measure working capital to gauge the ability of a company to pay off its debts quickly. In working with many industries, from retails to the public sector, the determination of a company's ability to do so based on calculation can differ greatly from industry to industry. To calculate, a range of line items from the company are used to take their current assets minus their current liabilities. In the retail industry, seasonal spikes in business create the need for a much higher working capital and if hired for this role, I have a great understanding of each industries specific needs."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "In a very broad sense, working capital is found by subtracting an organization's current liabilities from their current assets. In my current role, I utilize a more focused calculation of adding accounts receivable plus inventory and then subtracting accounts payable. The more focused calculation give a better idea of total working capital for organizations when trying to get a better overall picture of their health and efficiency when projecting out towards the future."

  10. 10.

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

      In an ever-changing field like financial services, Natixis 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."

  11. 11.

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

      In the financial world, teamwork at an organization is the key to success and life at Natixis is no different. As you talk about your abilities and experiences in being a great team player, try to highlight certain themes like building trust, gaining respect and being a subject matter expert as part of a larger team. Don't hesitate to show flexibility in your ability to both lead others and be lead by others and use examples of times that you've done both. To seal your answer for this question, talk about your desire to work as part of a team and do your research on this position to find out what types of colleagues you will be working with.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "My colleagues that I work closely with would tell you that I'm knowledgeable in my area of expertise to contribute to the much larger team and do so without hesitation. As well, I'm able to communicate effectively, take direction and run with when needed and always willing to help out other areas if I have free time. I understand that I would be working very closely with the Advising staff here at Natixis and know that they would have high expectations out of my work."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "I prefer to work in an environment that promotes teamwork and collegiality. If I were fortunate enough to join the team here, I want you to know that I love being in a leadership type role on a team where I can delegate work and help train others to better the organization. As well, I also thrive in a role where I am the minion and taking direction from others. I'd say that my key skills in working as a team are my ability to friendly, honest and trustworthy with my team."

  12. 12.

    At Natixis, we expect our Business Analysts to put extra emphasis into the risk management aspects of their project work. How have you performed risk mitigation and risk avoidance in your previous roles as a Business Analyst?

      The financial field is often posed with great risks and Business Analysts must always factor potential risks into the equation of any project that they work on. To get a better idea of how you will do this if hired at Natixis, your interview is giving you a chance to talk about your knowledge of risk and how you have worked with risk mitigation and risk avoidance in your previous positions. If new to the financial services field, it is important to show that you know that common risks can be systematic, operational, legal and credit related.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "As you can see from my resume, my Business Analyst experiences come from the software and manufacturing industries where common risks were associated with systematic and operational faults. Similar to the finance industry, I also have experience in helping mitigate legal risk. In my current role, I mitigate legal risk by working with a team of legal experts to know the laws and then develop a series of what-if questions to propose potential scenarios. Based on the what-if scenarios, we can implement specific requirements into the project to help minimize potential risk."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "From an early point in my career as a Business Analyst, I learned that a solid analysis process is the key to reducing any risk in a project. Two areas that apply the most are scope creep and impact analysis. To reduce scope creep and avoid any risks associate with it, I ensure that all stakeholders understand the scope of the project from the start and that I check in to validate the requirements as frequently as I can."

  13. 13.

    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 Natixis 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."

  14. 14.

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

      Prior to your interview, try to take a long, hard look inside your skills and styles as a leader of others and prepare to present the best management style possible to your interviewer that fits the role that you are interviewing for with Natixis. Your answer should also involve solid research into the culture of Natixis and the details of the role you are interviewing for. Some important things to touch on are your ability to promote a team atmosphere and your ability to delegate responsibilities when necessary.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "My overall management style is the belief in building a positive team atmosphere. I'm a firm believer that each person and role brings a specific skill set to the ocverall goals and purpose of a team and I promote a team based atmosphere by larifying everyone's role on the team, keeping every person's objectives clear, rewarding great performers on the team and holding people accountable for their actions. If hired for this role at Natixis, you can be assured that my promotion of a team based atmosphere would help achieve even higher goals than you have set right now."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "I think that it is crucial for a leader of others to be flexible in their style rather than relying on just one of the canned management styles. I'd like to highlight my abilities to lead as being a manager that works to grow and develop my staff to help them achieve their career goals and a leader who is able to provide direction and authority when the time for it arises. By knowing my team well and promoting our goals, I have the ability to assign work to the right people and follow through with my team on meeting all objective necessary."

  15. 15.

    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"

  16. 16.

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

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  17. 17.

    How long will it take you to make a meaningful contribution to our team at Natixis?

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  18. 18.

    What statistical analysis tools do you have experience working with?

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  19. 19.

    How many boxes of macaroni n' cheese were eaten in the United States last year?

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  20. 20.

    The day-to-day life at Natixis can be hectic and stressful at times. If hired for this role, how would you keep yourself motivated when working with stressed colleagues and pushy clients?

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  21. 21.

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

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  22. 22.

    As a Business Analyst at Natixis, you will be tasked with working with diverse teams of stakeholders on different projects. How do you handle stakeholders that are difficult and bullheaded?

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  23. 23.

    If hired for this position at Natixis, what factors would you consider part as part of an organization's long-term liability?

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  24. 24.

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

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  25. 25.

    A key task in this role with Natixis 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?

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  26. 26.

    Pretend an old friend just awoke from a coma that lasted over 30 years. How would you describe the internet to them?

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  27. 27.

    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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