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Newcastle Building Society Interview
Questions

27 Questions and Answers by Ryan Brunner

Published July 23rd, 2020 | Ryan has over 10 years of experience interviewing
candidates in the healthcare, public service, and private manufacturing/distribution industries.
Job Interviews     Companies     Money     Financial Services    
Question 1 of 27
Newcastle Building Society strives for client loyalty to keep us running strong into the future. What do you feel are the keys to retaining clients for the long haul?
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How to Answer
Businesses in financial advising are constantly pushing the limits to ensure that they retain clients and Newcastle Building Society doesn't take client retention lightly. One slip up and a high profile client will be taking their business to a competitor. For this question, your interviewer will be looking to hear that you understand your role in the customer retention equation and how you take pride in that in your everyday work. Make sure to hit on the point that doing the small things, like prompt communication and follow up, go a long way towards keeping clients happy.
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Answer Examples
1.
Newcastle Building Society strives for client loyalty to keep us running strong into the future. What do you feel are the keys to retaining clients for the long haul?
Businesses in financial advising are constantly pushing the limits to ensure that they retain clients and Newcastle Building Society doesn't take client retention lightly. One slip up and a high profile client will be taking their business to a competitor. For this question, your interviewer will be looking to hear that you understand your role in the customer retention equation and how you take pride in that in your everyday work. Make sure to hit on the point that doing the small things, like prompt communication and follow up, go a long way towards keeping clients happy.

Ryan's Answer #1
"I learned a few very important things from a senior mentor early in my career that I still hold near and dear to my heart to this day. First, clients expect me to be responsive to their needs to ensure that they keep their business with me. Because of this, I return phone calls and emails as soon as I can, even if that means in the evening, the early morning or on a Sunday afternoon. These small actions go a long way in showing my clients that I care. Another key to the success of my long-term clients is my ability to set and manage expectations for them. Clients desire to have a plan and know what that plan entails and I pride myself on my ability to work with them to set goals and a plan to achieve those goals."
Ryan's Answer #2
"Having lost clients in the past that went to another firm, I take that pain personally and do everything I can do to ensure long lasting relationships with my clients. For me, the first key to long term success with my clients is a proactive approach. I don't wait for clients to get in touch with me to make changes to their portfolio, I reach out to them. This action alone shows my clients that I am working for their best interest. Another action I take that shows my worth to my clients are goal tracking and quarterly progress reports that I send out to them. This is particularly helpful for clients that are working with me in their first two years."
2.
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 Newcastle Building Society 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."
3.
How can Newcastle Building Society 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."
4.
What key skills can your bring to the clients of Newcastle Building Society in administering their trusts and estates?
As your career in finance and trusts/estates has prepared you to have the hard skills necessary in the legal and financial sides of business, your soft skills like negotiation and communication are equally important to the work that you do and what you can bring to the team at Newcastle Building Society. Prior to your interview, try distinguish yourself by talking about your unique skills that you possess that will greatly benefit the clients you work with on the administration of trusts and estates.

Ryan's Answer #1
"I would say the biggest set of skills that I would bring to the team here at Newcastle Building Society is my experience working for a large legal firm on the administration of trusts for clients. On the financial side, I was tasked with handling total values of estates. This, paired with my knowledge of the legal aspect of trusts and estates, would greatly benefit your clients if I was hired for this position."
Ryan's Answer #2
"If hired for this position, you'll find out quickly that my two greatest skills are my communication style and my ability to problem solve independently. Having worked in the administration of trusts for many high profile clients in my past work history, communicating with clients during the creation of a trust and with beneficiaries down the road. I have the ability to cater my communication to difficult situations and take an empathetic approach at all times. For my problem solving, my work experience to this point has put me in a wide variety of situations where I am comfortable troubleshooting issues with clients without the need for my boss to intervene."
5.
Our clients here at Newcastle Building Society 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?
Newcastle Building Society looks to set themselves apart from their competition by delivering the best service possible in the industry. You, as a customer service professional, are likely used to doing this so in your example, be sure to think about a time where your going above and beyond the call of duty really impacted the overall customer experience. No matter what example you use, be sure to explain why you felt it was important to take that action and what outcomes you are aware that it produced.

Ryan's Answer #1
"A couple of years ago when I was working customer service in retail, a customer was looking for what happened to be a discontinued item of clothing for her sick mother. The easy route would have been to simply look it up, tell her it was discontinued and have her be on her way. What I did was take down the customers contact information and let her know that I could contact our person that handled archived products. If we could track it down, I would be in touch. With a simple phone call, my colleague was able to track the item down from the supplier and have it coordinated to ship directly. We put the customer in direct contact with the supplier and she was as happy as could be. Looking back on that situation, I felt that it was the right thing to do given the situation that the customer was in and knowing she was a loyal customer of ours."
Ryan's Answer #2
"My current role in hospitality often has me working with very high profile customers that come to our hotel. Last year, a touring manager for a musician contacted me regarding and upcoming stay for the musician. I proactively asked for their dining and entertainment preferences and with that list, I was able to work with our catering staff to ensure we had preferred items on the menus for the nights that he stayed and that we had a customized video game package in the musician's room for the his extended stay. Prior to him leaving, his manager reached out to thank me for the great service!"
6.
Why would our clients here at Newcastle Building Society want you to be their financial advisor?
As a professional in financial advising, you know that relationships are built on trust and integrity and for the business at Newcastle Building Society, this is equally important. For your answer, your interviewer will be looking how to hear how you build trust with your clients to ensure that they are customers for life. In your answer, make sure that trust and integrity are common themes as you discuss how you work with each client's individual needs to build their portfolio.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Looking back on my career to this point, I can say with confidence that my success, and the success of my clients, has been due to my ability to build trusting relationships. My path for building a trusting relationship consists of education, communication and action. I educate each client on a personal level, I set expectations for them and deliver on what I say I'm going to do. If hired for this position here at Newcastle Building Society, you'll be hiring a Financial Advisor that will be great at bringing aboard new clients as I have many current clients that I am confident will follow me here."
Ryan's Answer #2
"Like in any financial advising relationship, confidentiality and integrity are of utmost importance to clients and these are pieces of the relationships with my clients that I hold in the highest regard. My clients know that I can be trusted to safeguard their personal information and use the best resources possible to help make the best decisions for them based on their personal information and situation. I pride myself on the fact that my clients trust me with their personal information and your clients will have this trust in me as well if I'm hired for this position."
7.
If hired here at Newcastle Building Society 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 #1
"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 #2
"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."
8.
If hired to this role here at Newcastle Building Society, what do you see as one initial hurdle you will have to overcome in your first weeks on the job?
At the heart of this question, your interviewer is asking you to take an honest look inside of yourself to discuss what you feel is the biggest learning curve you will have if offered this position. This will give your interviewer a sense of how to handle your onboarding process if hired for the position and give them a sense that you have the ability to see what your biggest need would be. Similar to the what is your greatest weakness question, the key to answering this question is humbly pointing out a flaw that you may see and making a plan for how you will overcome that flaw.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Having put a lot of thought into this even before submitting my resume for this position, I realize that my greatest hurdle would be making the leap as an Auditor into the financial focused industry. My five years of experience out of college have been focused on management and technical consulting services, but I feel that I've built a very good knowledge base and experience for this role here at Newcastle Building Society. If given the opportunity to join your team, my initial focus would be to get enthralled in auditing in the financial industry and I'd do this by being attached at the hip to my colleagues and taking the time to talk one on one with a lot of other staff to help better understand what they'll expect of me in this role."
Ryan's Answer #2
"Understanding that my role here at Newcastle Building Society would have me working with the entire advisory staff, the first hurdle would be getting to know everyone on that team and showcasing the skills that I could bring to their work. If hired for the job, I would hope to be invited to team meetings where I could introduce myself and my role with the team and I'd invite an open conversation with the entire team."
9.
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 Newcastle Building Society 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."
10.
The clients of a financial firm like Newcastle Building Society can display an arrange of emotions when they work with our Client Services team. How would you handle a situation where a client was very angry?
Whether due to a large amount of money lost on the market or a client feels they were ill-advised by an Advisor, your job as a Client Services Representative will at some point or another deal with a very angry client. For this answer, your interviewer will be looking to hear that you do what is necessary to stay calm and stay focused on finding a resolution. If possible, use a specific example of a time you had to do exactly this and explain how effective communication was critical in making the situation right for the client.

Ryan's Answer #1
"As you can see from my resume, I've spent the last three years in customer service relations for a large insurance company. As you can imagine, a large majority of my customer interactions were with upset customers. I've been called names that I can't repeat here in this interview and my key to working through these situations was to remain calm and not take things personally. Like the financial world, the insurance business is a very life altering experience and a loss or damage to an item is very stressful. I tried to put myself in the customers shoes, see things from their perspective and do my best to ease their situation. In this role with Newcastle Building Society, these same skills would be vital for me to find solutions or the right person to talk to if needed."
Ryan's Answer #2
"First and foremost, an active listening approach is the first step to lowering the tension from an angry customer. A couple of months ago, we had a very angry customer come onsite to complain about a defective product that cut his hand pretty badly. The customer came onsite to complain even before receiving emergency care, which was apparent that he needed. First, I let him release his anger and it was not a pretty sight. Then I calmly repeated back what he had said and then explained what our policy allowed me to do at that time. Looking back, my sincere approach and calm demeanor helped calm him down and later that day, my manager had a formal complaint sent to the manufacturer and we were assured that they'd be in contact with the customer."
11.
Here at Newcastle Building Society, 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 Newcastle Building Society. Your answer should also involve solid research into the culture of Newcastle Building Society 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 Newcastle Building Society, 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."
12.
We pride ourselves on our interdepartmental teamwork here at Newcastle Building Society. 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 Newcastle Building Society 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 Newcastle Building Society 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."
13.
If you joined the team here at Newcastle Building Society, how would you build relationships with those that you would be working closely with?
For this question, your interviewer will be looking to get the sense that you would be proactive about getting to know your colleagues and fitting into the culture of the organization. Use a personal approach to talk about ways that you have done this in the past and how you would do it if hired for this position. Talk about the importance of relationship building in your line of work and how it helps the overall good of the organization if you take the initiative to do this.

Ryan's Answer #1
"From my first day on the job, I would take the time to break the ice with my colleagues by introducing myself and setting up an individual meeting with each person. In the past, I've done these meetings over lunch or in an office where I've had questions prepared for me to get to know the person both personally and professionally. I want to ask my colleagues what they expect from me and what I can expect from them. I've found that these conversations really help to open up doors for working with each other moving forward."
Ryan's Answer #2
"Being the new person on the job can be a very high anxiety time for some people, but I love the opportunity to break the ice with my coworkers by making that first contact. I think it's important to get to know each other on a personal level because we spend so much of our lives together in the workplace and I am a caring person that wants to know how last night's soccer game went for the kids. Beyond that first ice breaking conversation, my work relationships are then bonded through my work ethic and helping others on my team to show that I am a true team player."
14.
The day-to-day life at Newcastle Building Society can be hectic and stressful at times. If hired for this role, how would you keep yourself motivated when working with stressed colleagues and pushy clients?
The daily life at Newcastle Building Society is naturally very fast paced and because of that, both the colleagues and the clients that you may be working with have potential to be stressed, needy and downright mean at times. For this question, your interviewer is looking to get a sense that you would be able to work in this type of environment. In your answer, talk about the fact that you are cognizant of what this job entails as far as personal interactions go and talk about times where you have worked successfully through situations like this in the past. As well, don't hesitate to talk about your own personality traits that help you thrive in these types of situations.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Being a person that thrives in a fast paced work environment, I have the ability to handle stressed colleagues with a grain of salt. As you can see from my resume, I've spent the last five years in the manufacturing industry where my department worked under tight deadlines all of the time. If I noticed that a colleague was under stress, I offered my help if I was able to and down the road that was usually reciprocated back to me. This unselfish attitude and realizing that someone else's stress wasn't directed at me was the key to maintaining personal health and balance on the job."
Ryan's Answer #2
"In my current role in client services with a large hospitality group, some days can go off the rails and it feels like I'm working with enraged customers all day long. I have the attitude that their anger isn't directed towards me, but I'm the face of the company that they are currently working with and I need to do my job in helping solve their issue. While I do have great resources at my hand to help solve customer issues, I think that taking the time to get to know all of our management team and how they solve problems is key as well so I know who to put customers in touch with if needed."
15.
What programming languages would you consider yourself fluent in?
While this question gives your interviewer insight into the diversity of your programming language experience, they most importantly want to know that you are adaptable and able to learn on the fly if needed. Talk about the different languages that you consider yourself fluent in and, if possible, do as much research into Newcastle Building Society as you can prior to your interview and try to speak to the specific languages that they work with.

Ryan's Answer #1
"From the start of college, where software engineering grew into a passion for me, I've become very fluent in Java, JavaScript and C++. My current role has me working primarily with C++, but I pride myself on my ability and passion to learn new programming languages and would be able to do so if hired for this role with Newcastle Building Society."
Ryan's Answer #2
"During my training to be an engineer and then in my current role since graduating, a majority of my experience falls within Python. My current role delves deeply into artificial intelligence and Python is awesome with this advanced technology. As I understand it from talking to another engineer here at Newcastle Building Society, a requirement would be for me to learn Scala. Though I haven't worked directly with Scala, I believe my experience and willingness to learn would have me up and running in no time if hired for this role."
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27 Newcastle Building Society Interview Questions
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Interview Questions
  1. Newcastle Building Society strives for client loyalty to keep us running strong into the future. What do you feel are the keys to retaining clients for the long haul?
  2. 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?
  3. How can Newcastle Building Society motivate you on the job?
  4. What key skills can your bring to the clients of Newcastle Building Society in administering their trusts and estates?
  5. Our clients here at Newcastle Building Society 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?
  6. Why would our clients here at Newcastle Building Society want you to be their financial advisor?
  7. If hired here at Newcastle Building Society to work with our clients on wealth management strategies, what would you consider to be your preferred wealth management strategies?
  8. If hired to this role here at Newcastle Building Society, what do you see as one initial hurdle you will have to overcome in your first weeks on the job?
  9. 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?
  10. The clients of a financial firm like Newcastle Building Society can display an arrange of emotions when they work with our Client Services team. How would you handle a situation where a client was very angry?
  11. Here at Newcastle Building Society, we are expecting someone with strong leadership skills to take this role. How would you describe your management style?
  12. We pride ourselves on our interdepartmental teamwork here at Newcastle Building Society. If hired for this role, what kind of team player could we expect you to be?
  13. If you joined the team here at Newcastle Building Society, how would you build relationships with those that you would be working closely with?
  14. The day-to-day life at Newcastle Building Society 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?
  15. What programming languages would you consider yourself fluent in?
  16. Take a couple of minutes to sell this notepad to me.
  17. What SDLC models are you familiar in working with?
  18. One huge philosophy that we believe in at Newcastle Building Society is professional development. How have you worked to develop yourself professionally throughout your career?
  19. Here at Newcastle Building Society, we ask our test engineers to follow specific QA protocols. What role do you feel QA plays in software development and testing?
  20. 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?
  21. How do you stay on top of new trends in the financial services industry?
  22. How long will it take you to make a meaningful contribution to our team at Newcastle Building Society?
  23. If you were having an interaction with a client here at Newcastle Building Society and you weren't able to answer their question or solve their problem on your own, how would you handle that situation?
  24. We want our advising team at Newcastle Building Society to be happy and healthy. How do you manage the day to day stress of being a financial advisor?
  25. Talk about your experience in mortgage loan closing. How would this experience be beneficial to our team here at Newcastle Building Society?
  26. Customer service is the name of our game at Newcastle Building Society. If hired for this role, how would you be able to provide the best customer service possible to our clients?
  27. How do you believe your coworkers would describe you?
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