Operations Manager Interview Questions

Operations INterview

This article provides some interesting interview questions to help you prepare for your interview as an operations manager or executive.  The article was also written from the perspective of the hiring manager so you can gain more insight as to what they will be looking for during your interview.  

Original article click here.

Operations Manager Interview Questions

Operations Managers play an important role as they ensure smooth operation of all company procedures. Their role is to plan, oversee and coordinate day-to-day activities to improve effectiveness, productivity and performance.

You should look for candidates with broad experience and working knowledge of all organizational functions. Operations Managers are responsible for various tasks, from logistics to resources management and budget planning. Therefore, your ideal candidate should know how to tackle operational problems and be able to find effective solutions in a timely manner.

During your interview process, you should keep an eye out for candidates who are eager to step up when a challenge arises. Excellent numerical and interpersonal skills are also signs that your candidate is a good match for your Operations Manager position. For better results, tailor these questions to meet any specific tasks and requirements you have.

Operational and Situational questions

  • Describe the main daily tasks for an Operations Manager.
  • What is budget planning and how do you handle it step-by-step?
  • What is your experience with logistics management?
  • Have you ever negotiated contracts with vendors? What’s the most effective approach?
  • Which Management Information Systems have you previously used?
  • Are you familiar with Cost Analysis tools? Mention any statistical tools you have experience working with.
  • If your manager asked you to make a report about production costs, what method would you use?
  • Which are, in your opinion, the most important financial management best practices?
  • What does successful communication between different organizational functions/departments mean to you?
  • How do support services contribute to achieving business goals? Give some examples.
  • We want to ensure our confidential data is stored in a secure place. How would you cooperate with our IT team to achieve this?

Behavioral questions

  • Have you ever successfully implemented a cost-cutting strategy?
  • How big was the last team you worked with and what problems did you face?
  • What’s your experience in making presentations?
  • How do you manage 1:1 employee meetings?


Please feel free to contact Power Writers USA with questions or comments.  We are your best source to help you land an interview by providing top-notch resume writing services, resume updates, cover letters, etc.

The Most Common Finance Interview Questions and How to Prepare for Them


This week our spotlight is on the financial services sector.  While this article may be a bit more relevant for new grads entering the finance sector it never hurts for a seasoned professional to brush up on current hiring trends.

Original article click here

The Most Common Finance Interview Questions and How to Prepare for Them

If you’re in your final year of college, or you’ve recently graduated, chances are you’re dedicating a good portion of your life to searching for jobs, polishing and distributing your resume, and preparing for the ultimate nerve-test: the job interview. Interviews come with inherent pressure, stress, and mystery. Unfortunately, they’re a necessary part of the job hunting process. The good news is you don’t need to love job interviews to be successful in them. You just need to know how to prepare.

We talked with Clay Skurdal, COO of Advisors Ahead, about the most critical and commonly asked finance job interview questions. Advisors Ahead provides a bridge between finance students and the financial services industry, ensuring recent graduates come into the business with the training and background it takes to be productive on day one. Clay has sat across the desk from thousands of job seekers, and he knows what it takes for an applicant to stand out from the pack.

Here are Clay’s top four finance interview questions you should be prepared to be answer.

1. Why do you want to start a career in the financial services industry?

The worst thing you can do when you’re asked this question is to deliver a safe, meaningless answer. The interviewer is trying to figure out what makes you “you.” Telling the interviewer that you want to help people won’t make you stand out. If you say you want to help people, the interviewer might ask you why, and might continue to ask you why until they get to the core of your motivation.

The best way to prepare for this question is to write a “passion essay” on why you want to get into the business. Write your real story. Did your family go through a tough financial period that inspired you to learn about money management? That’s the kind of honesty the interviewer is looking for. There are as many answers to this question as there are applicants for the position you’re interviewing for, so the only wrong answer is a non-answer.

2. What are you most proud of in the last 12 months, and why?

This question is intended to get a better idea of who you are as a person, and find out what you’re passionate about. It could be an exam or paper that you worked hard for and did exceptionally well on. It could be a problem you solved in your internship or your night job. It could also be an example from your personal life. This question helps the interviewer understand who you are and what you value. It also shows them that you have the ability to set and accomplish goals.

3. Tell me about a time someone asked you to bend the rules or do something unethical. How did you handle that situation?

In a finance career, there are unlimited opportunities to go astray and abandon your moral compass. This question helps the interviewer better understand your capacity to do the right thing, even in the face of extreme pressure. They want to know if you have a strong ethical center, or if you can be led down a bad path by poor judgement or outside influence. Again, have an example ready before the interview. Be prepared to tell a story that demonstrates your strong moral character.

4. Tell me about your extracurricular activities, and why you’re passionate about them?

This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but companies aren’t interested in hiring robots. Interviewers who ask this question are trying to see if you’re passionate about something other than work. What are your hobbies? When you’re not at work, how do you choose to spend your time? They want to get past the front that you’re putting up and learn more about you as a person. Situations that demonstrate your ability to lead or be an active member of your community are great examples to cite.

According to Clay, it’s more valuable to prepare your story than prepare for specific finance interview questions. Listen intently to the interviewer and find a way to tell your personal story within the questions that are asked. Finance is a “people” business. Who you are as a person is what tells the interviewer if you’re the kind of employee who can add value to the organization. When you walk into the interview, you are Jane Doe, a name on a resume. You’re not that different from the other resumes in the stack. To set yourself apart from the group, prepare for the interview and ensure your name, face, and story make a lasting impression.

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5 Trends Impacting the Financial Services Industry in 2017

Financial Services

Among the many industries that we write resumes for, the financial services industry ranks among our top 10.  This week we will dedicate a few articles related to the financial services sector that will offer industry insight and career advice.  

Original Article Click Here


5 Trends Impacting the Financial Services Industry in 2017 Today, nearly every financial activity is being reimagined in some way, from banking, to lending, to wealth management. Tasks and transactions that once involved human interaction and paper money have overwhelmingly moved into the digital world, and new players are emerging to disrupt the traditionally staid industry. The coming year promises only more of the same. In order to compete in this changing landscape, financial services firms are under increased pressure to adapt to these shifts in the industry.


Here are the five most important trends facing the financial services industry in 2017.


1. The Rise of Fintech Innovators

While the financial services industry used to be difficult to penetrate, recent fin tech innovators have had no trouble moving in and turning the market on its head. These companies are often reinventing a single process, such as lending, while offering a highly-customized user experiences at an affordable price. In order to stay relevant, it is essential that traditional financial institutions incorporate some level of fintech principles into their strategy in order to avoid being pushed out completely.

2. Meeting the Needs of the Modern Consumer

The widespread success of fin tech companies can be linked to the wiring of the modern consumer. The pervasiveness of the Internet has led to the inherent desire to receive goods and services instantly. Not only do consumers today demand a seamless experience, but they want it at the lowest cost and the highest value. Because of this, the concept of customer loyalty is largely a thing of the past. Online comparison tools and hyper-connectivity among millennials means that traditional institutions that relied on building relationships will have to reinvent themselves to keep up. Knowing customers’ demands will be essential for financial services industries, allowing them to be ready with the right product at the right time for younger consumers.

3. Identifying New Revenue Streams and Business Models

Whether you are a start-up or longtime incumbent in the industry, shifts in the global economy—and the potential for economic downturn at any point—makes international expansion a wise investment strategy. A rising middle class in many emerging economies offers immense opportunity for fin tech companies, as well as traditional banks. In particular, Asia-Pacific countries have the world’s largest middle class growth, and with it, a huge population of millennials who have grown up in the digital world. PWC expects that by 2020, “many US financial institutions will have a fully functional Asian hub…”

4. Expanding Internationally

To remain competitive, distributors need to continue upgrading their work environments and stay updated on the cutting edge of technology. Gone are the days of paper pushing and manual processes – tablets, scanners, and cloud systems are changing the game and making the modern distributor warehouse sleeker, cleaner, and more efficient.

5. Continue to Invest in Cyber Security, Analytics

Overarching the entire financial services industry is the need for enhanced security without sacrificing the customer experience that consumers today demand. Institutions must maintain visibility, but also protect against cyber criminals. Luckily, innovations in the cloud have made it easier to manage sophisticated data analytics that can search for external threats. Meanwhile, this same cloud technology facilitates the flexible and customized interfaces that provide superior user experiences. Inevitably, financial institutions will continue to turn to the cloud when thinking about the future of their business.

Whether an emerging competitor or long established institution, financial services companies have a lot to consider in the years to come. In order to keep pace with the trends outlined above, financial services companies must learn to be agile, forward thinking and open to collaboration as they navigate a constantly changing global economy. If you’re interested in finding out more, check out the whitepaper.


Talent Acquisition Trends 2016


It can be challenging to sift through all the news sources to get the real scoop on what trends are occurring when it comes to hiring.  This article delves into what we see are real occurrences in the job market.

Original article source click here.

In 2016 — when 73% of companies indicate that talent acquisition is absolutely critical to executing their businesses’ strategies — it is imperative to have robust, effective, and easy-to-use technologies and tactics in place. It’s not just about supporting HR and hiring managers, though. Successful talent acquisition today puts candidates front and center.

The gap between hiring volume and budget is a continuous struggle, and their aligned movement indicates that this trend isn’t going away anytime soon. This imbalance prevents organizations from overcoming obstacles or transforming their talent strategies.

While the urgency to fill roles has made “time to fill” increase slightly, quality of hire continues to be the most valuable performance KPI. Most companies are measuring quality of hire with feedback methodology (such as new hire evaluations and hiring manager satisfaction), or a long-term methodology (employee retention).

Talent leaders aren’t convinced that they’re measuring quality of hire effectively. Only 33% of respondents feel that their methodologies are strong, and an even smaller 5% felt “best in class.” Therefore, there’s a lot of opportunity to improve how you calculate and present quality of hire.


Power Writers USA wants to know what you think of this, and other blog articles we post.  Your career change is unique and PWUSA is here to help you along the way with Resume Writing Services, Cover Letter Writing, CV’s, LinkedIn Profiles Updates, and more.  Contact us now for a free consultation and resume evaluation!

3 Psychological Triggers That Can Help You Close Deals Faster

Sales success

This article is great motivation about how to STOP talking about doing something, and JUST DO IT. Like Nike said, right?

Original article click here.

About 40% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions. As the calendar flips to a new digit, people see an opportunity for a fresh beginning and a renewed opportunity to commit to their goals. It doesn’t take long, however, for time to pass and people to fall back into their old ways. By the end of the year, only 8% of those who made resolutions are able to keep them.

How do you prevent best laid plans from going awry?

Todd Rogers, a behavioral scientist at Harvard University, addressed this question at a recent TEDx event.
While highlighting research on voter turnout, the presentation also offers valuable insights that can help salespeople overcome one of the biggest challenges that comes with sealing a deal — no decision. What do you do when buyers fail to move forward, despite their stated intentions?

In his talk, Todd reveals three messaging tactics that were used to bridge the divide between intention and action, effectively bringing more voters to the polls on election day. Drawing from this narrative, let’s look at how salespeople can use the same psychological triggers to influence buyer behavior and inspire action.

Prompt for a plan

First lesson learned: Simply calling to remind people to vote had no effect on turnout. But when the scripts were changed to ask people what time they intend to vote and how they planned to get to the polls, it doubled the impact of the previous script. Translated into a business context, this technique can be used to improve the time-to-close for sales.

For example, many sales will conclude with your contact saying something like “sounds good, let me circulate this internally and get back to you.” Rather than ending the call with this open-ended comment, aim to work out a plan together. Without being pushy, these are the types of prompt-for-a-plan questions you can ask:

Who within your organization will you be reviewing this with?
Is there a regular meeting or other process by which you’ll let them know about the information I’ve shared with you?
When is the next time this group will be together?
What date and time works best for a follow-up call? (And then send a calendar invite to firm it up before you hang up the phone.)
Want more data-backed advice to sell smarter? Check out our free prospecting course.

Leverage positive peer pressure

Another technique used by campaign volunteers was to inform potential voters that other community members were signed up to vote. It worked because people are inherently risk averse. It’s easier to make decisions when we’re reinforced by others.

There are common elements of the sales toolkit that help illustrate “people like you have made this decision” including testimonials, case studies, and positive ratings by industry analysts. Even if you work at a smaller company that doesn’t yet have a recognized brand and long list of testimonials, you can provide anecdotes and examples that illustrate how the product you’re selling is part of a larger trend. For example, Salesforce.com used “No Software” as a business mission and mantra well before they were a trusted brand. By championing a broader trend, they were able to create the perception that a large number of people were moving in the no-software direction (which, of course, turned out to be right).

Reinforce relevant personal identity

We all have multiple dimensions to our lives and therefore multiple self-images. To illustrate this point, Todd Rogers described himself as simultaneously a loving parent of two kids, a rabid Eagles football fan and a Harvard professor/researcher. Most people have a civic-minded identity that, when reinforced, helps motivate them to vote.

For example, saying “as the kind of person who votes” had measurably better results than saying “as a person who can vote”. In most sales situations, the person you’re working with is most responsive to their “successful business person” self-image and perhaps the broader image of the company. So reinforcing phrases such as “as a manager focused on customer retention” and “as company recognized for fast customer service” can help frame your conversation in the context of the buyer’s goals. Describing your services and capabilities with this context helps show that your objective is to help him or her succeed rather than simply pushing for a deal. This technique is closely related to Dan Pink’s concept of “Attunement” which he describes as the ability to shed the anchor of your own position and instead understand another’s perspective and interests.

Bonus Tip!   Take time to document what is effective and what may need changed.  Don’t change too many variables at once so you can more effectively measure what changes work.


Power Writers USA wants to know what you think of this, and other blog articles we post.  Your career change is unique and PWUSA is here to help you along the way with Resume Writing Services, Cover Letter Writing, CV’s, LinkedIn Profiles Updates, and more.  Contact us now for a free consultation and resume evaluation!

IT Industry Professionals: Great Paying States For Tech Jobs In America

IT jobs

Fantastic article from Forbes.com a must read for anyone already in the IT industry, or recent grads planning to dive in.

Original article click here.

The American technology industry is hungry for talent. Studies suggest that although the industry saw a decline in technology manufacturing needs, the world of software continues to grow with over 198,000 jobs added to the marketplace in the past year.

But what kinds of software related jobs does America’s tech sector need? What areas of interest should technology workers be looking to fill? Outside of the hotbed of activity in California, where else can workers finding well paying technology jobs that match the needs of both employees and employers? Should workers relocate or command similar wages in home states?

Global Knowledge, a provider of learning services and professional development solutions, recently compiled its 2016 IT Skills and Salary Report. The comprehensive study breaks down the earning power of tech workers through a state-by-state analysis; the types of skills development that can garner higher wages; and key areas of interest where the technology is aiming to grow in 2016 and beyond.

Let’s take a look at some of they key findings from the Global Knowledge report.

Best & Worst States By Average Salaries

Here are the top fives states where technology workers are commanding the highest pay for their work:

Washington D.C. – $104,265
Virginia – $103,395
Maryland – $99,678
Recommended by Forbes
California – $96,066
New York – $95,219

It isn’t entirely surprising to see the East Coast rank higher in Global Knowledge’s recent findings. California has long been a highly competitive and crowded marketplace for tech companies vying for consumer wallets. But as America embarks on solving new technology challenges like cyber security, these regions often contain the headquarters of organizations (public or private) that are looking to hire top talent.

Now let’s look at the bottom five states for technology salaries in America:

New Mexico – $67,271
Wyoming – $65,602
Vermont – $62,361
North Dakota – $62,125
West Virginia – $61,348

So why are these states at the bottom for compensation earned in America? For starters, the cost of living in these regions are arguably lower than major city centers in the United States. Higher costs of living result in higher payouts to meet the needs or workers.

The five bottom performing states may also have smaller technology sectors, or they are known for other industries outside of software creation. New Mexico’s main source of income is oil and gas production. West Virginia’s economy is highly dependant on its coal industry, but is also known as a global hub for chemical and biotech organizations.

Major Skills & Needs

Respondents surveyed in the report–from IT decision makers to application developers to non-IT professionals–all cited security as a major concern. Company systems are constantly vulnerable to hacking attacks, and every level of an IT department has to be aware of how the code or systems being administered are secure from any attacks.

Technology workers with hard skills in the following topics will be filling much needed talent gaps inside American companies.

Here are the top five areas of interest for technology companies in America:

Cloud Computing
IT Architecture
Network Engineering
Network Operations

Here are the top five skillsets that American tech companies are having difficulty for hiring talent:

IT Security
IT Architecture
Cloud Computing
Network Engineering
.NET Development
Make Informed Career Decisions

Bonus Tip!  If you are interested in making a career shift into or within the Tech/IT industry, consider undertaking some informational interviews with industry professionals to learn more about their roles and how you can best prepare for an interview.  Best wishes!


Power Writers USA wants to know what you think of this, and other blog articles we post.  Your career change is unique and PWUSA is here to help you along the way with Resume Writing Services, Cover Letter Writing, CV’s, LinkedIn Profiles Updates, and more.  Contact us now for a free consultation and resume evaluation!