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Nodal Exchange 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

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

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Nodal Exchange Interview Questions

  1. 1.

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

      As a Financial Analyst with Nodal Exchange, 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."

  2. 2.

    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?

      We've all had our share of difficult days on the job and how we handle those days in particular can really make or break where our careers go in that position or with that company. Think of a particular day ahead of your interview that really outlines your ability to handle adversity and proves that you were able to handle it with grace rather than turning your uniform in and heading home for the day. Another important piece of your answer should be discussing what lessons you learned from that particular day moving forward that you still carry with you to this day.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "It's funny that you ask this question because I can honestly say that my worst day on the job happened just a few short weeks ago. Upon arriving to work in the morning, I quickly learned that our entire network was down and we wouldn't be able to work within our CRM or other programs that day. Many of my coworkers were visibly upset and questioning how we would be able to do our jobs that day. Rather than joining the crowd and freaking out about the situation, I huddled our group together to talk about solutions to the workday after we found out that the network likely wouldn't be fully up and running until late afternoon. While some colleagues carelessly went home for the day, I helped brainstorm how we could keep our phone lines open and my boss was very grateful for my efforts that day. Looking back, what made this the most difficult for me was seeing how others responded so negatively over an issue that we had no control over."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "Early in my career, I had a day where my entire office came down with the flu and I was left alone with the receptionist for the day. Being trained and working Financial Advisor, my colleagues also handled market analysis, retirement plans and insurance plans. At first, the receptionist and I went about our business. After being flooded with calls and in-person visits into our office, we connected again to talk about a plan moving forward. We discussed what types of calls she could handle and which ones I would handle and she triaged from there. I made contacted with my personal clients I had scheduled that day to reschedule and we worked well from there. If I couldn't answer a question for a client of one my colleagues, I ensured they knew that my colleague would follow up as soon as possible. Looking back, I learned that on days where you have to break routine like we did then that it was important to make a plan as early in the day as possible."

  3. 3.

    The day-to-day life at Nodal Exchange 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 Nodal Exchange 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."

  4. 4.

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

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

      Ryan's Answer #1

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

      Ryan's Answer #2

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

  5. 5.

    Here at Nodal Exchange, 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 Nodal Exchange. Your answer should also involve solid research into the culture of Nodal Exchange 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 Nodal Exchange, 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."

  6. 6.

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

      To begin for this question, make sure that you can define a long-term liability as obligations that are due beyond one year and into the future. Then, consider major factors like bonds, mortgages, leases and other items that factor in to an organization's long-term liability. Last, try to explain why the measurement of long-term liabilities are important is an important factor in considering the overall financial health of an organiation.

      Ryan's Answer

      "While long-term liabilities aren't an immediate issue on a companies working capital, the can become an issue if long-term liabilities pile up too high for some organizations. While often overlooked, items like mortgages, fleet vehicle loans and annuities can add up over time and are always items that I consider when looking at the overall health of an organization."

  7. 7.

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

      If you were to be the successful candidate with Nodal Exchange, when do you expect to make a viable contribution to the organization? Talk to the interviewer about your plan to make a fast impact.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "I am interested in making an impact on your organization right away and have already crafted a plan to make that happen. I am a very strong business development professional and I plan to take the territory and expand it to include additional rural areas. This should amount to a strong increase in revenue within the first 9 months of my on boarding."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "My plan, if hired by Nodal Exchange, is to make an impact as soon as possible. I have researched this position and am very eager so I have created a 90 day impact plan that I would like to share with you."

  8. 8.

    What tools of the trade do you find most useful in your work as a Trader?

      As part of your interview for the Trader position with Nodal Exchange, your interviewer will be looking to get a sense that you are very resourceful in your approach to studying the market and other assets so their clients can benefit the most from your approach to trading. As you answer this question, try to be as diverse as possible as you talk about your approach to gaining insightful information that will best suit your clients. Make sure that your interviewer walks away knowing that you know and enjoy the Wall Street Journal just as much as you enjoy different websites and software available to you in your work.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I pride myself in saying that my career is my passion and this started at a young age back in a high school economics class. Since that year, I've subscribed to an read publications like the Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine and Barron's. All of these publications still help me to this day to stay on top of my game in the trading business. I also don't hesitate to utilize some of the more reputable online and software programs. Elite Trader and Daily Stocks are great sites that I check daily for new industry news. As well, I'm very proficient in my use of Matlab to analyze market data for use in buying and selling stocks."

  9. 9.

    How can Nodal Exchange 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."

  10. 10.

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

      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 Nodal Exchange."

      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."

  11. 11.

    In this role with Nodal Exchange, we will rely on your organized and methodical approach to provide financial analysis reporting. What does your current reporting process consist of?

      Providing the clients of Nodal Exchange with detailed reports will be a key part of this position and your interviewer will be looking to gauge your ability to be organized and detailed while also utilizing your critical thinking skills to provide the best reports possible. In your answer, keep a focus on the techniques and tools that you use to do your job in ensuring that clients are receiving the most accurate and detailed reports possible. As well, let your interviewer know that you are willing to learn new ways and new technologies to help onboard yourself to their team quicker.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "In my current role, I utilize the Tableau program to provide live, up to date information to my clients. After using a simply built Excel program for many years, Tableau provides beautiful and easy to understand reporting that my clients can take and run with to make important decision. The connections and automations within the program have save me time and effort, allowing me to take on a much more robust client base. If hired for this role here at Nodal Exchange, I also have familiarity with SAS and Spotfire and consider myself a very quick learner if I need to learn a new program."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "When I need to provide reporting to clients or my firm, I ensure that the reporting includes all key risks and valuation. Today, we as Financial Analysts have so many great tools available to us and my current preference is a statistical program like Crystal Ball. When paired with the advance Excel sheets that I have created, and have been commended, my clients are always happy with the insight that I am able to provide."

  12. 12.

    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 Nodal Exchange 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."

  13. 13.

    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."

  14. 14.

    In this role with Nodal Exchange, we will rely on your analytical reporting skills on a regular basis. Why do you feel analytical reporting is important in the financial field?

      Because the financial field is heavily reliant on numbers and data, analytical reporting can be a great tool to help key stakeholders make key decisions that have a positive impact on the business. In your answer to this question, point out the fact that you know the impact that data can have in the financial field and also talk about the types of analytical reporting you have done in the past that can be useful to the team at Nodal Exchange. Also, feel free to ask any follow up questions on the expectation for this position.

      Ryan's Answer

      "As a Business Analyst, I've always viewed data as a tool to help make the right business decisions and my analytical reporting requires thoroughness in my data reporting. Here at Nodal Exchange, you can easily make decisions based off of hunches or gut feelings. But I have a feeling that the more data gathered to help make the decision, the better the decision ends up being in the end."

  15. 15.

    We pride ourselves on our interdepartmental teamwork here at Nodal Exchange. 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 Nodal Exchange 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 Nodal Exchange 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."

  16. 16.

    At Nodal Exchange, we are building a massive machine learning program and your role as a Data Scientist will be an integral part of that project. What experiences will you bring to that side of this job?

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  17. 17.

    As a Business Analyst at Nodal Exchange, 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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  18. 18.

    What statistical analysis tools do you have experience working with?

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  19. 19.

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

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  20. 20.

    List the top 3 skills that you have acquired in your last role.

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  21. 21.

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

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  22. 22.

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

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  23. 23.

    At Nodal Exchange, our Financial Analysts have to often work under a tight deadline. Talk about a time you had to work under a tight deadline in the past. How did you handle that situation and what made it a success?

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  24. 24.

    As a Trader with Nodal Exchange, you will be trusted to take a very diverse approach with our clients. How would you explain the limitations of using solely a P/E Ratio approach to purchasing stock to a client?

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  25. 25.

    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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  26. 26.

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

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  27. 27.

    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?

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