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Rathbone Brothers plc Interview
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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

When would an investment in commodities make sense for a client that you were working with?

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Rathbone Brothers plc Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    When would an investment in commodities make sense for a client that you were working with?

      Prior to your interview, it is important to prepare for very market specific questions like this one where your interviewer will be looking to get a sense that you have the knowledge about particular markets like commodities, annuities and private equities. When you answer a question like this, try to give your interviewer an answer that shows that you understand the basic details of the market, when it is useful and what its downsides are to prove that you know situations where it can be very beneficial to a potential client.

      Ryan's Answer

      "In my experience, commodities have made the most sense to use as a hedge when I am concerned about a potential upcoming crisis. I've utilized the gold market at times and it was very effective during the recession back in 2008. Gold prices have always tended to rise when the markets fell and some very high profile clients I worked with at that time were very pleased with their results while others lost a substantial amount in the market."

      Ryan's Answer

      "Commodities are always an interesting consideration because of their spectacular performance at times. But, because they don't receive dividends and aren't a great hedge bet over time, there are only a few scenarios where I utilize them. Crude oil markets are a great example of a short term buy in commodities when a production increase or decrease is announced."

  2. 2.

    How do you stay on top of new trends in the financial services industry?

      The interviewer would like to know that your passion for financial services goes beyond your work hours. Do you keep on top of industry news and trends on your off time? Assure the interviewer that you are well immersed in the industry.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I stay on top of financial service trends through a variety of blogs, news sites and financial magazines. My favorite finance news site at the moment is businessinsider.com."

      Ryan's Answer

      "I believe that it is crucial for me to stay on top of news in the financial services industry if I hope to be a success. I have joined multiple meet up groups to network with industry peers. It has really helped my network and given me insight into how other financial service professionals are making their careers flourish."

  3. 3.

    The clients of a financial firm like Rathbone Brothers plc 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

      "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 Rathbone Brothers plc, these same skills would be vital for me to find solutions or the right person to talk to if needed."

      Ryan's Answer

      "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."

  4. 4.

    The day-to-day life at Rathbone Brothers plc 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 Rathbone Brothers plc 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

      "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

      "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."

  5. 5.

    Rathbone Brothers plc 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 Rathbone Brothers plc 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

      "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

      "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."

  6. 6.

    At Rathbone Brothers plc, we pride ourselves on providing the best overall customer experience. Talk about your customer service experience and explain why it will help our clients here.

      In the financial services industry, overall client experience is a major predictor of business growth and the team at Rathbone Brothers plc takes the overall client experience seriously. For this question, your interviewer will be looking for you to expand upon your customer service experience past what they can see from your resume. To seal the deal for your interview, try to talk about times that you have went above and beyond the call of duty to provide the best service possible for a customer.

      Ryan's Answer

      "Over the past five years in my current role in customer service, my number one mantra has been to create the most personalized experience possibl for each person. I have done this by taking the time to get to know the customer, find out what their needs are and creating an experience unique to them. Where my time in automotive sales has really prepared for this role with Rathbone Brothers plc is in this approach. If hired for this role, I know that I will be relied upon to use open and honest communication skills, time management skills and to take a empathetic and personalized approach with each client and I can definitely be relied upon to do that."

      Ryan's Answer

      "In my years in a front facing customer service role, I've prided myself on being the face of the franchise. More often than not, my interactions with customers can be the difference between a repeat customer and a person who never comes back again. To ensure repeat customers, I make sure that I am knowledgeable about our products and services, I'm proactive with their needs and I'm always accountable for any mistakes that are made on my organization's side of things. If given the opportunity to join the team here at Rathbone Brothers plc, I will work hard to be highly educated in your services and be proactive and accountable in every interaction that I have."

  7. 7.

    What types of compensation structures have you worked under in the past and do you have any expectations for this role with Rathbone Brothers plc?

      Compensation for Financial Advisors can vary from a straight salary, straight commission, salary plus bonus or a fee-only structure. You can speak openly and honestly to your interview about the types of compensation you have received throughout your career up to this point, but it is always important to do your research on Rathbone Brothers plc and how they pay their advisors when you elaborate on the compensation model that suits you best. In the end, it is important to match your expectations with the compensation structure of Rathbone Brothers plc.

      Ryan's Answer

      "In the current role that I have been in since graduating from college, I started on a base salary for three years guaranteed that also had a bonus structure tied in for performance. At the the end of the three year base salary period, I was moved to a straight commission and have been on that for almost five years now. I am very confident in my ability to be a high performing advisor on commissions and bonuses and find that I have a very high motivation to succeed in this atmosphere."

      Ryan's Answer

      "As an experience advisor that has spent time working with a large firm, a small independent firm and being self-employed, I have worked on pretty much every pay structure possible for our profession. At the point that I am at in my career with an aging family and grandchildren on the way, a salary plus bonus structure is what I'm seeking during my job search. From what I understand about this position, the compensation you are offering falls within those parameters. Are you able to expand on the bonus structure so I have a better understanding of how it works?"

  8. 8.

    Here at Rathbone Brothers plc, 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 Rathbone Brothers plc. Your answer should also involve solid research into the culture of Rathbone Brothers plc 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

      "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 Rathbone Brothers plc, 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

      "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."

  9. 9.

    How can Rathbone Brothers plc 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

      "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

      "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.

    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 Rathbone Brothers plc 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

      "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

      "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."

  11. 11.

    Our clients here at Rathbone Brothers plc 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?

      Rathbone Brothers plc 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

      "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

      "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!"

  12. 12.

    We pride ourselves on our interdepartmental teamwork here at Rathbone Brothers plc. 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 Rathbone Brothers plc 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

      "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 Rathbone Brothers plc and know that they would have high expectations out of my work."

      Ryan's Answer

      "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. 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 Rathbone Brothers plc and reassure your interviewer that your computer skills are fluent enough to pickup quickly if needed.

      Ryan's Answer

      "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

      "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.

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

      As a simple tool to gauge how you will both satisfy clients and make a profit for Rathbone Brothers plc, your interviewer is looking to hear how you would invest money right now if given the chance. While there is no right or wrong answer for this question, show them your knowledge of breaking up assets based on age if possible. As well, don't hesitate to call out your knowledge of specifically allocating funds into different sectors or individual businesses or industries. In the end, make sure to give a full explanation of why you are choosing what you are to sell it to your interviewer.

      Ryan's Answer

      "If the money was given personally to me to invest for myself, I would go for a 50-50 split between stocks and bonds being that I'm 37 years old. This would provide a good mix of funds that could be placed into aggressive IT and healthcare type stocks with a lot of growth potential while keeping half safe in the bonds market."

      Ryan's Answer

      "Being that I am young and willing to wisely be aggressive with money invested for myself, I would look for gems in certain industries like social media and internet retail sales. Amazon is expected to see prosperous growth and so are places like Pinterest and Facebook. I'd be wise with these investments while being sure to pay close attention to futures forecasts as those could change quickly, meaning a shift in my direction as well."

  15. 15.

    What statistical analysis tools do you have experience working with?

      As a successful and resourceful Data Analyst, your interviewer at Rathbone Brothers plc 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

      "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

      "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."

  16. 16.

    When have you shown a willingness to learn a new method or new approach to solving a problem?

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  17. 17.

    We pride ourselves on teamwork here at Rathbone Brothers plc and this role in Client Services relies on teamwork. What are the top qualities would you would bring to a team based atmosphere here?

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  18. 18.

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

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  19. 19.

    At Rathbone Brothers plc, 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?

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  20. 20.

    Why would our clients here at Rathbone Brothers plc want you to be their financial advisor?

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  21. 21.

    Take a couple of minutes to sell this notepad to me.

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  22. 22.

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

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  23. 23.

    What is your familiarity with debt-to-equity ratios and what would you consider a good debt-to-equity ratio?

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  24. 24.

    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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  25. 25.

    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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  26. 26.

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

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  27. 27.

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

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