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iFAST Financial (HK) 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

We want our advising team at iFAST Financial (HK) to be happy and healthy. How do you manage the day to day stress of being a financial advisor?

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iFAST Financial (HK) Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    We want our advising team at iFAST Financial (HK) to be happy and healthy. How do you manage the day to day stress of being a financial advisor?

      The daily stressors of a career in financial advising can be burdensome, overwhelming and lead to burnout on the job. To get a sense that you can handle stress in a safe and healthy manner and be able to come to work each day with a clean slate, your interviewer is looking to delve into your personal life a bit to see how you manage stress. When answering, you can certainly talk about the things you do on the job to keep as stress free as possible, but also be sure to talk about the things that you do outside of work to avoid burnout. Point out that you have the resources and ability to care for yourself to keep you at the top of your game on the job.

      Ryan's Answer

      "To begin with on the job, I consider myself very excellent at handling stress. Being a goal oriented person, I find happiness in obtaining goals and consider any necessary stresses in pursuit of a goal healthy. Outside of work, I am a very active person that trains for marathons and spends a lot of time outdoors with my family. I find that these activities help cleanse my mind and heal my body to prepare for a new week on the job."

      Ryan's Answer

      "When I maintain a healthy diet, exercise regularly and spend as much time as possible outside of work with my children, any unnecessary work stresses are put on the back burner and often relieved immediately. I'm a firm believer in a healthy work-life balance, even though it can be very tough to do in our field. Having the ability to answer a client email or phone call during off hours while unwinding has made our work lives better as well."

  2. 2.

    If hired for this role at iFAST Financial (HK), 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

      "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 iFAST Financial (HK), 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

      "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 iFAST Financial (HK), 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."

  3. 3.

    At iFAST Financial (HK), 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?

      Customer interaction is the name of the game at iFAST Financial (HK) as they rely on excellent customer to service to retain and grow their client base in a cutthroat market. For this question, your interviewer is looking to get a sense of how you use your communication skills to your advantage in your work and how those skills will benefit iFAST Financial (HK). As you answer and talk about your experiences in communication methods, try to show that you thrive on client interactions and have the ability to be both persuasive and trusted with those interactions.

      Ryan's Answer

      "Looking back on my career, I can honestly say that success as an Advisor is really due to my passion for finance and my desire for interactions with other people. Being a people person at heart, I love working with clients in any way possible. My communication style with clients is to get to personally know them so I can relate my advising to them personally. While I definitely prefer to interact with my clients face-to-face, I do have a lot of experience communicating both over the phone and email as well. If hired for this position, you'll see very quickly that I have excellent writing skills."

      Ryan's Answer

      "As you can see from my resume, I have taken advanced training courses in public speaking and written communication to help further me in this career field. In my early days in finance and making the move to financial advising, communication skills were my area that needed the most professional development. Today, I am confident in my abilities to work one on one with clients directly in person, over the phone or through email and have experience handling clients in all three ways. In my current role, I'd estimate that over 50% of my interactions are through email with the remaining interactions split between face-to-face meetings and phone calls."

  4. 4.

    In working with financial data here at iFAST Financial (HK), 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

      "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 iFAST Financial (HK)."

      Ryan's Answer

      "Here at iFAST Financial (HK), 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.

    Can you think of a situation where raising debt over equity would be beneficial?

      Debt and equity have a very closely bonded relationship with each other in relation to a company's finances. In most situations, raising debt can create too high of an amount of pressure to meet payments versus raising equity. But, there are a few key situations where there is a distinct advantage in raising debt over equity and your interviewer will be looking to hear that you understand at least one of those advantages to be tax shielding, reducing cost of capital and not diluting the stake for investors.

      Ryan's Answer

      "In the situations where I've advised an organization to increase debt, they've received a distinct advantage in a lower cost form of financing versus equity financing. In the end, this reduced the organization's WACC and came out to be a win for them."

      Ryan's Answer

      "Last year, I advised a manufacturer to take the debt over equity route when adding a new line of products that was guaranteed to be very profitable. This fact allowed the company to simply and quickly repay the loan plus interest while being able to reap the rewards of the extra profits. In that same case using equity, final profit would've been less."

  6. 6.

    How long will it take you to make a meaningful contribution to our team at iFAST Financial (HK)?

      If you were to be the successful candidate with iFAST Financial (HK), 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

      "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

      "My plan, if hired by iFAST Financial (HK), 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."

  7. 7.

    Data Scientist is a fairly new role here at iFAST Financial (HK). Why do you feel that you can make the jump into the financial industry as a data scientist?

      As finance becomes more heavily reliant on data, the need for well educated Data Scientists is becoming a need at iFAST Financial (HK). And while your background may not be filled with experience in the financial field, it will be your job to convince your interviewer that you have the skills necessary to be strong Data Scientist while also having some great knowledge of the financial industry. Be open and honest of where your strong point fall and where you feel you have the most to learn while being open to making that progress in the field with iFAST Financial (HK).

      Ryan's Answer

      "As you can see from my resume, I have a very strong educational and work background in data science. My work experience in the tech industry has helped me grow in many areas that can be beneficial to the team here at iFAST Financial (HK). I think that my experience in mining and cleaning raw data, paired with my experience in machine learning, could significantly benefit your clients that are seeking new and improved market data."

      Ryan's Answer

      "My passion and skills for mathematics and computer science drove me to a career in data science and analysis. Up to today, these skills have driven me to create a brilliant start up company that I sold almost ten years ago and then to a career with a large online retailer. Knowing that the financial industry is growing in data analytics, now is the time to strike when the iron is hot. As I've set out on a career search in the field, I have been greatly impressed by what I have learned about iFAST Financial (HK) and would look forward to help growing the data side of your business."

  8. 8.

    At iFAST Financial (HK), 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?

      No matter what position you are interviewing for at iFAST Financial (HK), your interviewer is looking to hear what customer service means to you in your work and how you apply that philosophy in your everyday work life. In essence, they want to hear your story as to why solid customer service is important to you. Prior to your interviewer, be sure to really think about this question to apply what is important to you in how you go about your work. Whether you talk about problem solving or making people happy, this should be reflected in the work that you do.

      Ryan's Answer

      "A pursuit of a career in the financial field really suited my two passions in life of mathematics and problem solving. In this role, helping clients solve problems in an efficient manner and with a smile on my face would be the drive to succeed that I need. At the end of the day, if I see that my work helped a client grow their wealth and achieve their financial goals, I know that it was a job well done."

      Ryan's Answer

      "As a people person by nature, I have an innate ability to do what is needed to give customers the best experience possible when I'm working with them. This means that I reflectively listen to their needs and concerns and do what is necessary to help them based on what I heard. In my interactions with customers, I am positive, pleasant and nurturing by nature and I've found that customers are very receptive to my style off communication with them. If hired for this role at iFAST Financial (HK), you'll quickly find that dedicated customer service is one of top qualities that I will bring to you team."

  9. 9.

    What is the most attractive thing in your eyes about this role with iFAST Financial (HK)?

      For this question, your interviewer is looking to gain insight into what you know and like about iFAST Financial (HK) 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 iFAST Financial (HK) 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

      "Over the past couple of years, I've had an eye on pursuing a career with iFAST Financial (HK) 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

      "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 iFAST Financial (HK), this is definitely a place that I'd love to be a part of as you continue to grow and prosper into the future."

  10. 10.

    What statistical analysis tools do you have experience working with?

      As a successful and resourceful Data Analyst, your interviewer at iFAST Financial (HK) 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."

  11. 11.

    iFAST Financial (HK) 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 iFAST Financial (HK) 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."

  12. 12.

    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 iFAST Financial (HK) 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."

  13. 13.

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

      To be successful in the financial advising field, one top key to success is your ability to sell your service to your clients. For this task, your interviewer will slide a notepad (or other item) to you across the table and ask you to sell it to them. First and foremost, your interviewer will be looking for you to project confidence in your pitch and your ability to find their own needs in what they're looking for in a notepad while you give them your pitch. As you sell them the notepad, be sure that you are confident, creative and that you ask questions of them. Overall, see this question as a fun opportunity to show your advising skills in a very nontraditional way and it will be a success for you.

      Ryan's Answer

      "Well Mr. Jones, I know in your line that you definitely in high need of notepads to help you succeed in your industry and I'm here to show you a new product we have put out to market that can exceed your needs. You'll notice that it features very wide margins that accentuate the note taking procedures for all who use it. You'll also notice that each individual sheet is carefully perforated to make separation from the binding an easy task compared to other notepads. The last feature of our new notepad is that it comes in many different paper colors that suit your needs. If you want, take this sample to your office for a week and put it to use. If you and your staff would make use of it, I can set you up with your first shipment in no time!"

      Ryan's Answer

      "Mrs. Jones, we at Notepads, Inc. are excited to announce a new line of notepads for our exclusive customers. If you can, tell me a bit about your frustrations with your current line of notepads that you use. Wow, thank you for that. I can tell that functionality, cost and supply are all issues that are of concern and I'm happy to tell you that this fantastic notepad meets your needs with the brightest white paper, narrow ruled, right priced and readily available features. I'd like to talk about you further about pricing and delivery options when you are ready."

  14. 14.

    We are looking for the most motivated individuals to join the team here at iFAST Financial (HK). 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 iFAST Financial (HK). Prior to your interviewer, try to research the job and iFAST Financial (HK) to the point where you can match your career goals with they iFAST Financial (HK) 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 iFAST Financial (HK) is vitally important to you.

      Ryan's Answer

      "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 iFAST Financial (HK). 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

      "A career in risk analysis has been a dream for some time and this opportunity with iFAST Financial (HK) 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 iFAST Financial (HK) would go from there."

  15. 15.

    As a Trader with iFAST Financial (HK), 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?

      Oftentimes, clients at iFAST Financial (HK) will come to the table with the expectation that a single market metric will be the determining factor in their investment decisions. Your job as the Trader may be to educate them on the potential dangers of that approach and this question will be used to test your ability to do that. When answering and giving the specific limitation of the P/E Ratio approach, be sure to talk about the importance of weighing several factors in any investment decision.

      Ryan's Answer

      "One aspect that I really love about working as a Trader is client interaction and using my knowledge and skills to help educate them in building towards a solid financial future. When I've had clients that tried to educated themselves that bring up P/E Ratios, I will commend that ratio for being an accurate predictor when used in the right context, but I'll also point out that the ratio is only effective when looking at companies within the same industry. That can be useful when I know that an upsurge in a sector like energy will occur, but its not useful when looking at companies within the market as a whole. This is my opportunity to bring new insight into the equation when helping clients."

      Ryan's Answer

      "While the P/E ration of a company can be effective at times, I would explain to a client that the ratios use of hard data from the past is not always to most accurate predictor of where things will go in the future for them. As well, if the ratio is using projected earnings like in a forward P/E, there is not a guarantee that the estimates used will be accurate."

  16. 16.

    This position at iFAST Financial (HK) 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?

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  17. 17.

    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?

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  18. 18.

    If you notice right now, the time on that clock reads 12:15. What is the angle between the minute and hour hands on that clock?

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  19. 19.

    I'm giving you one minute to give me your best pitch on a stock that you would buy or sell right now. Go!

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  20. 20.

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

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  21. 21.

    In this role with iFAST Financial (HK), we will rely on your organized and methodical approach to provide financial analysis reporting. What does your current reporting process consist of?

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  22. 22.

    How do you believe your coworkers would describe you?

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  23. 23.

    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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  24. 24.

    What statistical models are you familiar with and which do you feel would best apply to the financial field here at iFAST Financial (HK)?

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  25. 25.

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

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  26. 26.

    What qualities do you feel a successful manager should have?

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  27. 27.

    Talk to me about a challenging situation you had to handle on the job that involved another colleague. How did you handle that situation?

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