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RBC Capital Markets Interview
Questions

27 Questions and Answers by Ryan Brunner
Published August 14th, 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

Give an example of a time that you had to resolve a difficult situation with a client or customer. What were the keys to coming to a successful solution?

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1.

Give an example of a time that you had to resolve a difficult situation with a client or customer. What were the keys to coming to a successful solution?

In a front facing role with RBC Capital Markets where you will be interacting with clients on a daily basis, your interviewer wants to be ensured that you have the skills to resolve client issues with ease and they'll look to do so with this question. In your answer, let your interviewer know that you can take ownership of any situation by talking about a specific time where you did what was necessary to alleviate a difficult situation with a client. Talk about the resources that you used and your interpersonal skills that helped turn a potentially bad situation into a successful one.

Ryan's Answer #1

"Having worked in customer service for one of the areas largest auto dealership for the last six years, handling difficult customers was a situation I had to learn to handle pretty quickly. Just a few weeks ago, I was covering our front desk on a Saturday afternoon when our sales staff was still open for business. I recognized the person approaching the door as a customer that had recently purchased a new vehicle. He stormed through the door, placed his keys on the counter in front of me and said that he demanded a refund on his new purchase because the check engine light had already come on inside of the car. Knowing off the top of my head that his new vehicle was under a full warranty, I calmly let him know that his car was under warranty and that I'd have a member of our sales staff come out and take a quick look. I also let him know that our service department was not working that afternoon and, if needed, we could schedule him for a diagnostic test at his earliest convenience. After our salesman went out to take a quick look and not seeing anything obvious, we ended up giving him a loaner vehicle so his new car could be taken care of on Monday morning. He ended up leaving pretty happy that day and I know that my patience in hearing him out really helped."

Ryan's Answer #2

"A couple of years ago, I was asked to work with a very high profile client for his financial advising services when he came to our firm because my CEO trusted I could handle what he felt would be a difficult task. From my first meeting with the client, he demanded that we provide more returns than the previous firm that he worked with and he was rather rude with our front desk staff. I took the approach of taking the time to listen to his needs and speak to him more about what my firm could provide. I laid out my experience and track record for him to help him build his trust in me. I knew that with him, I would need to take time to walk through my decision making processes for his investments and he really appreciated that. As of today, we are still working strong together and his wealth is growing."

2.

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 RBC Capital Markets.

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 RBC Capital Markets would really help advance your data analysis practices within my first six months on the job."

3.

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."

4.

In your experience as a Financial Analyst, what do you feel is the best metric to gauge a company's future stock performance?

As a Financial Analyst with RBC Capital Markets, you will be relied upon by clients to provide the best risk and reward opportunities for them to have the most successful investments While there are many great metrics to use and no right answer for this question, your interviewer will be looking to hear that you are confident in why the metric is important by talking about the details of it. The confidence that you project to your interviewer will carry over to your work with clients and your interviewer will be keying in on this aspect of you answer.

Ryan's Answer #1

"While there are many excellent metrics to consider for the future of a stock performance, the one that I weigh the most heavily is the price earnings to growth ratio. I prefer the PEG ratio because of its consideration of expected growth rate where simple P/E calculation doesn't consider that. This calculation is specifically great when looking at a wide array of companies within an industry to level their playing field."

Ryan's Answer #2

"Being familiar with metrics like free cash flow, payout ratio, debt-to-equity and price-to-sales, all can be very useful depending on the situation. In a recent economic downturn like we've had recently, I've relied heavily on the debt-to-equity measurement to measure future performance. As we've seen with many large retailers recently, a simple look into their debt would've shown the potential for disaster in their stock."

5.

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

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 RBC Capital Markets."

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."

6.

At RBC Capital Markets, 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?

In the financial services field, machine learning is being used to automate processes, provide information security, create algorithms for trading and to assist in credit scoring. RBC Capital Markets is looking to stay at the forefront of their field and this role as a Data Scientist will play a huge part in making this a reality. Talk about any experience that you have in working with data to create a robust machine learning tool. What was your role in the project and what can you bring to the team at RBC Capital Markets?

Ryan's Answer #1

"Over the course of the last two years, I've been working on a machine learning tool that monitors online pricing from thousands of different retailers. The tool analyzes thousands of data sources simultaneously and pulls the information into a real time database. My job was in the build of the program and the database while working with other colleagues that built out the sourcing for the websites we would pull data from. I think this experience would fit nicely with your team looking to extract real time market data and trading data on a minute to minute basis."

Ryan's Answer #2

"May experience in AI and machine learning as a Data Scientist has been in paperwork automation and cybersecurity. I recently helped my organization tweak our system to isolate cyber threats and the new tweaks are working perfectly. As well, I've helped my organization save thousands of labor hours by creating a program to review contract information from vendors. If hired for this role here at RBC Capital Markets, know that I remain open to learning new techniques in machine learning to help your organization grow and prosper into the future."

7.

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

er Questions like this during your interview are meant to test your ability to deduce an answer from a very limited set of information and assumptions. You and your interviewer both know that it would be impossible for you to know or even calculate the correct answer, so your interviewer is solely looking for the factors that you use in extrapolating the answer that you give. In your answer, be as detailed as possible in why you are making the assumptions that you are when coming to a final answer.

Ryan's Answer #1

"In knowing that the population in the United States is around 325 million people, my biggest factors in determining my answer will be that children between the ages of two and ten consume 75% of the mac n' cheese each year and that the other 25% is consumed by ages ten and above. The other factor is that the kids eat one box per week and the ages over ten eat two per month. So, I'll determine that there are 80 millions children between two and ten and figure that they'll eat 4.2 billion boxes. Then I'll determine that there ere 240 million people over ten that eat two per month to get 5.7 billion boxes of mac n' cheese. When added together, I'd say the final answer is right around 10 billion boxes of man n' cheese are eaten in the US each year."

Ryan's Answer #2

"My estimate of this number would factor in the total US population over three years old, the people that eat macaroni n' cheese to be around 280 million people. Then, I'd factor that in the summer, each person eats one box per week and in other seasons they eat one per month. During the summer, the population would consume 3.4 billion boxes and during the other three seasons, they would consume 2.5 billion between all people. This would add up to right around 6 billion boxes eaten in the United States last year."

8.

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 RBC Capital Markets 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."

9.

What qualities do you feel a successful manager should have?

Some great qualities of a manager are:

- Being someone who people naturally want to follow
- Exceptional interpersonal skills
- Strong relationship building skills
- Taking ownership for the team's errors and mistakes
- Excelling at motivating others
- Providing kudos/recognition to your team
- Knowing how to select and hire the right people to join the team
- Having a vision for the future

These are just a few to get started!

Ryan's Answer

"I feel that a successful manager should be patient, strive to be a mentor, and be willing to receive constructive feedback from their team. As a manager, I want to have a team that trusts me and comes to me for professional development and coaching."

10.

In working with financial data here at RBC Capital Markets, 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 RBC Capital Markets."

Ryan's Answer #2

"Here at RBC Capital Markets, 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."

11.

We are looking for the most motivated individuals to join the team here at RBC Capital Markets. Where you would you like your career to take you in the next five to ten years?

This common interview question put you in a tough spot where you should talk about your ultimate career goals while also balancing the needs of the position that you are interviewing for and the needs of RBC Capital Markets. Prior to your interviewer, try to research the job and RBC Capital Markets to the point where you can match your career goals with they RBC Capital Markets offers. While your interviewer is looking for a long-term fit for the position they are interviewing you for, it is okay to set your sights higher as long as your goals meet that of the organization's goals. If at all possible during your answer, point out that long-term success with RBC Capital Markets is vitally important to you.

Ryan's Answer #1

"Now that I am to the midway point of my career, I am looking for my next move to be my final move in finding my work home until I retire. As a successful Financial Advisor today, I want to focus on continuing to grow my skills in advising clients on retirement and private wealth management and it sounds like I'll have that opportunity here at RBC Capital Markets. As I continue to grow in my skills and prove my worth to you, a long-term career goal is to be in management where I could oversee the work of Junior Advisors and mentor them towards success."

Ryan's Answer #2

"A career in risk analysis has been a dream for some time and this opportunity with RBC Capital Markets is really my dream job. If hired here, my goal for the next five to ten years would be to continue to hone my skills and help the work of the department to a point where it is growing and becoming more effective. Down the road, I'm really in a position to be an open book when it comes to where my career with RBC Capital Markets would go from there."

12.

In this role with RBC Capital Markets, 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 RBC Capital Markets. 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 RBC Capital Markets, 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."

13.

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

In the financial services field, you should have strong personal motivation to succeed in your work and your interviewer is asking this question to see what it is that make you tick while on the job. While being open and honest in how you stay motivated on the job, make sure that your answer doesn't include collecting a paycheck every week or two. While money is certainly a motivator in this field, make sure that you use it in an appropriate context if you decide to talk about the financial piece of this business as being a motivator. In the end, your interviewer is looking to get a sense of how he or she will be able to keep you hungry for more if you are hired for this role.

Ryan's Answer #1

"I find myself the most motivated on the job when I am being challenged and when I can continue learning new things. From what I've learned in talking to others that currently work here at RBC Capital Markets, the fast paced environment and continuous changes in the industry would keep me very motivated in my work and you'd never have to question if I were truly enjoying and being motivated in my work."

Ryan's Answer #2

"At a young age, my father taught me to do what I love and love what I do and I know that as I approach the middle years of my career that I made the right career choice. The personal finance field has really blended my love of helping others succeed and my passion for statistics and computers. In this role with RBC Capital Markets, I'll be working with your clients everyday on helping them achieve financial success and that alone is all of the reason I need to get out of bed every morning."

14.

What statistical analysis tools do you have experience working with?

As a successful and resourceful Data Analyst, your interviewer at RBC Capital Markets is expecting you to be knowledgeable and well-versed in the many tools available to you. In your answer, be sure to show diversity within particular programs like SAS and SPSS while also explaining that you are very proficient in Microsoft Excel. On top of the programs, talk about any experience you have with programming and database language like SQL and Python.

Ryan's Answer #1

"In my current role, most of my analysis is handled in SAS and I've really grown to appreciate the program's ability to to manage large data sets and create predictive modeling in the financial field. From a past job, I have experience on SPSS and also with the SQL programming language to build robust databases. Of course, I have received expert level training in Microsoft Excel and consider myself a master of the program."

Ryan's Answer #2

"Having been in the field for over 15 years, looking back at the technological advancements in the tools that we use is very amazing. I consider myself very fluent in both the Sisense and KISSmetrics programs. I also have a good amount of experience in Crystal Reports."

15.

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

Leading a project team will put you in front of many differing personalities and you need to have the ability to work with every type of personality to be successful in this role at RBC Capital Markets. While your interviewer may not be telling you that you will work with a difficult person because they know of a few, they're more looking to see how you utilize your communication and problem solving skills to make the situation better for everyone. As you answer this question, feel free to use an example from the past that highlights how you used your interpersonal skills to work effectively with a difficult person on a project team.

Ryan's Answer #1

"Honestly, one of the things that I love the most about being a Business Analyst is the mix of people that I get to work with and if I took an honest look back over time, I'd say that every team that I was a part of had at least one difficult person to work with. In those situations, I rely on an empathetic approach that really tries to narrow down what makes that person tick on the job. With that knowledge in hand, I can then touch them in a relatable manner and even provide them with work that suits their needs the best."

Ryan's Answer #2

"Just recently, an executive with my company was the final decision maker and stakeholder on a sales project and she had some very unrealistic expectations for the project from the start and she wasn't afraid to let me know. To best handle this situation, I listened to all of her thoughts on the project and asked a lot of follow up questions to get her sense of the project. After that, I asked for a couple of days to rework some design of the project. When we had our follow up meeting, I educated her on a few legal aspects of the project that wouldn't fit into her mold. She thanked me for the insight and we were off on the right path from there."

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27 RBC Capital Markets Interview Questions
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Interview Questions

  1. Give an example of a time that you had to resolve a difficult situation with a client or customer. What were the keys to coming to a successful solution?
  2. 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?
  3. Have you ever run into a situation where a company had a positive cash flow but was still in critical financial trouble?
  4. In your experience as a Financial Analyst, what do you feel is the best metric to gauge a company's future stock performance?
  5. What statistical models are you familiar with and which do you feel would best apply to the financial field here at RBC Capital Markets?
  6. At RBC Capital Markets, 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?
  7. How many boxes of macaroni n' cheese were eaten in the United States last year?
  8. 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?
  9. What qualities do you feel a successful manager should have?
  10. In working with financial data here at RBC Capital Markets, what are the steps you would take in the data validation process as part of your work?
  11. We are looking for the most motivated individuals to join the team here at RBC Capital Markets. Where you would you like your career to take you in the next five to ten years?
  12. In this role with RBC Capital Markets, we will rely on your analytical reporting skills on a regular basis. Why do you feel analytical reporting is important in the financial field?
  13. If hired for this role at RBC Capital Markets, I want to be sure that I'm hiring a motivated individual. What motivates you in your daily work and your career?
  14. What statistical analysis tools do you have experience working with?
  15. As a Business Analyst at RBC Capital Markets, you will be tasked with working with diverse teams of stakeholders on different projects. How do you handle stakeholders that are difficult and bullheaded?
  16. In this role with RBC Capital Markets, we will rely on your organized and methodical approach to provide financial analysis reporting. What does your current reporting process consist of?
  17. How do you believe your coworkers would describe you?
  18. At RBC Capital Markets, our clients are the lifeblood of our business and we do everything in our power to make them happy. What does the term customer service mean to you in your work?
  19. Can you think of a situation where raising debt over equity would be beneficial?
  20. How can RBC Capital Markets motivate you on the job?
  21. What is the most attractive thing in your eyes about this role with RBC Capital Markets?
  22. How long will it take you to make a meaningful contribution to our team at RBC Capital Markets?
  23. What tools do you currently use to help you be a more efficient and effective Business Analyst?
  24. Talk to me about a challenging situation you had to handle on the job that involved another colleague. How did you handle that situation?
  25. Give me an example of a time that you had to solve a problem without having all of the necessary information at hand to do so. How did you handle that situation?
  26. This position at RBC Capital Markets has generate a lot of interest from applicants. What do you feel is the one quality that sets you apart from others we are speaking with about this position?
  27. At RBC Capital Markets, 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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