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Scotiabank Interview
Questions

28 Questions and Answers by Ryan Brunner

Published April 8th, 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 28
Scotiabank 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 Scotiabank 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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1.
Scotiabank 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 Scotiabank 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.
Why would our clients here at Scotiabank 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 Scotiabank, 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 Scotiabank, 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."
3.
Our auditing process here at Scotiabank is very detailed. Can you walk me through your typical audit workflow in your current role?
For this question, your interviewer will be looking to gain insight into a couple different areas that you would bring to their team. First, they'll be looking to see that you have a firm grasp of what a solid auditing process looks like. Next, they'll be looking to see that you have the ability to communicate in a manner that is effective with the people that you'll be working closely with. Last, they'll be looking to hear that you have the critical thinking skills that are necessary to succeed in an auditing role in the financial field. As you answer this question, try to check off all three boxes for your interviewer.

Ryan's Answer #1
"To aid in auditing processes, I created a very detailed audit planning document that my department has been using for the past four years and it has had a dramatic impact on our audit results. The planning document provides a step by step approach to outlining our objectives, clearly outlining documentation needed in identifying the stakeholders and setting a plan for meetings to take place. In this role with Scotiabank, I would look to use a similar approach. With the plan in place, I work side by side with the stakeholders in explaining the audit and what is needed from each person. I do communicate in many methods, including email, phone and in-person meetings when possible. My goal is ensuring that each individual understands the process and the end goal as clearly as they can."
Ryan's Answer #2
"As a firm believer in a solid auditing software package, I currently utilize Onspring in my current role and couldn't be happier with its performance. This program details our ability to gather all financial documents in one central repository, walk through the steps necessary and planned for in our auditing process schedule necessary meetings, coordinate notes from my audit team and process final reports. If hired for this position at Scotiabank, do you have a software package that I would be working off of?"
4.
There will be great days at Scotiabank and some days that are tougher to get through. When you suffer a setback, how does that emotionally affect you and your work?
Everyone handles the stress and disappointment of setbacks differently. Discuss with the interviewer how you typically cope with delays in the workplace.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Experiencing a setback is always disappointing, and can be a bit disheartening, but I understand that it happens from time to time. If I experience a major setback, I will take a few moments to debrief with my manager and discuss what I could have done differently. Then, I move on!"
Ryan's Answer #2
"Setbacks are tough, but I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. I am a creative person and will always find a way to recover from a setback."
5.
What is the most attractive thing in your eyes about this role with Scotiabank?
For this question, your interviewer is looking to gain insight into what you know and like about Scotiabank and how they will be able to help you meet your career goals. In your answer, try and stay focused on the alignment of your values with the organization's values and demonstrate that you've done your research on Scotiabank and the job you are interviewing for. To try and maintain positivity in your answer, try not to talk bad about a previous employer as that can make you sound like a difficult employee and raise a red flag for your interviewer.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Over the past couple of years, I've had an eye on pursuing a career with Scotiabank because of your reputation as a forward moving financial institution and your commitment to the communities that you do business in. As a person that believes in togetherness and helping others out where possible, these are values that I hold very high and would bring to the team here."
Ryan's Answer #2
"As I enter the midway point of my career, my job search has been focused on finding an employer that I can spend the rest of my career with and someday retire from. Looking at the history, culture and growth of Scotiabank, this is definitely a place that I'd love to be a part of as you continue to grow and prosper into the future."
6.
Accuracy is important to us at Scotiabank. Do you always double check or proofread your work?
Double checking and proofreading are essential parts of a job well done. Assure the interviewer that you are diligent when it comes to submitting good, clean, work.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Spelling and grammatical errors are a pet peeve of mine. I will triple check my work if there is time! I feel that it is imperative to submit error-free work."
Ryan's Answer #2
"I do my best to put great work out, at all times. I believe in double checking my work although I must admit that I have fallen victim to the odd mistake like the best of us!"
7.
In this role as a Risk Analyst with Scotiabank, you will be expected to be the expert on changes in financial regulations that impact our business. How do you keep yourself up to speed on these changes currently?
In a rapidly changing field like finance, you are expected to keep up with the changes at the snap of a finger and to gauge your ability to do this, your interviewer will be looking to hear that you will have the resources needed. Talk about the groups or publications that you belong to where you get imperative news on the field. If possible, use an example of a time where you shed light to your organization on a new risk from one of those publications. As well, don't hesitate to mention that you enjoy reading and learning new things in the field.


Ryan's Answer #1
"I have been a CFA member for over five years now and I really look forward to the quarterly CFA Digest publication, the CFA Magazine and their news brief email that comes out daily . I find these are great resources that cover things ranging from daily news that impacts our work lives to very big picture studies and findings as published in the digest. If hired for this role, I would continue to be an active CFA member and would continue to utilize their resources for my work."
Ryan's Answer #2
"As a risk professional, I have been a member of the Global Association of Risk Professionals for many years. I have been certified by the association for Financial Risk Management and I try to attend their national conference every year to network and learn from other professionals. The FRM group has enable me to keep on the forefront of changes in the financial management that impacts risk on an almost daily basis and the group helps me live and breath financial risk every day."
8.
What is your familiarity with debt-to-equity ratios and what would you consider a good debt-to-equity ratio?
For this question, your interviewer will be looking to hear that you understand the basics of calculating a debt-to-equity ratio and why it is used. In your answer, be sure that you talk about the ratiosd importance in considering debt financing. As well, if you have familiarity with ifferent industries and what is considered a reasonable ratio for each industry, be sure to talk about that as well because what is considered reasonable can differ widely between industries.

Ryan's Answer #1
"I am very familiar with debt-to-equity ratio calculations and know that ratios lower than 1.0 are desired to consider a firm financially stable. When I've worked with ratios exceeding 1.0, I've provided further examinations of the industry and the organizations stance within the industry to further determine their overall risk to hopefully provide a win-win situation."
Ryan's Answer #2
"Simply put, the debt-to-equity ratio is found with two easy figures found on a company's balance sheet: their total liabilities and shareholder equity. Swaying away from the norm, I know that the financial and banking industries often have to consider debt-to-equity ratios higher than 2.0 to be common and acceptable due to the large amounts of loaned money and high financial leverage by those institutions. "
9.
In working with financial data here at Scotiabank, 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 Scotiabank."
Ryan's Answer #2
"Here at Scotiabank, 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."
10.
What statistical models are you familiar with and which do you feel would best apply to the financial field here at Scotiabank?
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 Scotiabank."
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.
At Scotiabank, we expect our Business Analysts to put extra emphasis into the risk management aspects of their project work. How have you performed risk mitigation and risk avoidance in your previous roles as a Business Analyst?
The financial field is often posed with great risks and Business Analysts must always factor potential risks into the equation of any project that they work on. To get a better idea of how you will do this if hired at Scotiabank, your interview is giving you a chance to talk about your knowledge of risk and how you have worked with risk mitigation and risk avoidance in your previous positions. If new to the financial services field, it is important to show that you know that common risks can be systematic, operational, legal and credit related.

Ryan's Answer #1
"As you can see from my resume, my Business Analyst experiences come from the software and manufacturing industries where common risks were associated with systematic and operational faults. Similar to the finance industry, I also have experience in helping mitigate legal risk. In my current role, I mitigate legal risk by working with a team of legal experts to know the laws and then develop a series of what-if questions to propose potential scenarios. Based on the what-if scenarios, we can implement specific requirements into the project to help minimize potential risk."
Ryan's Answer #2
"From an early point in my career as a Business Analyst, I learned that a solid analysis process is the key to reducing any risk in a project. Two areas that apply the most are scope creep and impact analysis. To reduce scope creep and avoid any risks associate with it, I ensure that all stakeholders understand the scope of the project from the start and that I check in to validate the requirements as frequently as I can."
12.
We are looking for the most motivated individuals to join the team here at Scotiabank. 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 Scotiabank. Prior to your interviewer, try to research the job and Scotiabank to the point where you can match your career goals with they Scotiabank 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 Scotiabank 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 Scotiabank. 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 Scotiabank 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 Scotiabank would go from there."
13.
Our customers rely on our services outside of normal business hours. Are you able to work a flexible schedule if hired for this position?
Because financial clients can be in need outside of the standard 9-5 business hours, this position with Scotiabank may require the need for you to be flexible with your schedule to accommodate the business needs of the position. Prior to applying for the position, Scotiabank should have posted the expected hours for position for you to have an idea of what will be expected. When answering this question, it is best to be open and honest about what particular needs that you have for expected work hours. As well, it is acceptable to ask follow up questions regarding the work schedule if you need further clarification.

Ryan's Answer #1
"I am able to work a pretty flexible work schedule and have been used to doing this in my current role for the past six years. If I understand the expected hours for this position correctly, it sounds like the standard hours will be 8:00am to 5:00pm on most days with a rotating schedule to help cover evening hours up until 8:00pm and some rotating Saturday coverage as well. Is this correct?"
Ryan's Answer #2
"Having worked a flexible schedule that included early morning hours and hours into the evening, I am very open to a flexible schedule for this position. The only clarification I would need is how a schedule is determined and when I would find out about upcoming schedules if hired for this position. We do have a young child that we would need to plan daycare schedules for and so my spouse and I could coordinate pick ups and drop offs from daycare. Can you shed light on how scheduling works for this position?"
14.
When have you shown a willingness to learn a new method or new approach to solving a problem?
It is a great skill to have when you can approach a problem in a new way. Discuss with the interviewer your ability to approach a problem using modern methods.

Ryan's Answer #1
"When our company came under new management last year many new methods and policies came into place. I was able to learn many new approaches to our challenges in sales and customer management. I quite enjoyed the process."
Ryan's Answer #2
"In my current position, I am faced with learning new sales methods and client approaches on a regular basis. I am always the first to embrace these new sales pitches because I truly believe the bigger diversity we can offer our clients, the better."
15.
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."
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28 Scotiabank Interview Questions
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Interview Questions
  1. Scotiabank 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. Why would our clients here at Scotiabank want you to be their financial advisor?
  3. Our auditing process here at Scotiabank is very detailed. Can you walk me through your typical audit workflow in your current role?
  4. There will be great days at Scotiabank and some days that are tougher to get through. When you suffer a setback, how does that emotionally affect you and your work?
  5. What is the most attractive thing in your eyes about this role with Scotiabank?
  6. Accuracy is important to us at Scotiabank. Do you always double check or proofread your work?
  7. In this role as a Risk Analyst with Scotiabank, you will be expected to be the expert on changes in financial regulations that impact our business. How do you keep yourself up to speed on these changes currently?
  8. What is your familiarity with debt-to-equity ratios and what would you consider a good debt-to-equity ratio?
  9. In working with financial data here at Scotiabank, what are the steps you would take in the data validation process as part of your work?
  10. What statistical models are you familiar with and which do you feel would best apply to the financial field here at Scotiabank?
  11. At Scotiabank, we expect our Business Analysts to put extra emphasis into the risk management aspects of their project work. How have you performed risk mitigation and risk avoidance in your previous roles as a Business Analyst?
  12. We are looking for the most motivated individuals to join the team here at Scotiabank. Where you would you like your career to take you in the next five to ten years?
  13. Our customers rely on our services outside of normal business hours. Are you able to work a flexible schedule if hired for this position?
  14. When have you shown a willingness to learn a new method or new approach to solving a problem?
  15. How many boxes of macaroni n' cheese were eaten in the United States last year?
  16. What do you feel is one unique skill or trait that you could bring to the auditing team here at Scotiabank?
  17. At Scotiabank, we expect our advisors to be available to speak with clients in person, over the phone and through email. What are your experiences in working with clients through different communication methods?
  18. 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?
  19. 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?
  20. What types of compensation structures have you worked under in the past and do you have any expectations for this role with Scotiabank?
  21. We want our advising team at Scotiabank to be happy and healthy. How do you manage the day to day stress of being a financial advisor?
  22. Our clients here at Scotiabank 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?
  23. At Scotiabank, 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?
  24. At Scotiabank, 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?
  25. What tools do you currently use to help you be a more efficient and effective Business Analyst?
  26. 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?
  27. If hired to this role here at Scotiabank, what do you see as one initial hurdle you will have to overcome in your first weeks on the job?
  28. The clients of a financial firm like Scotiabank 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?
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