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Interview Prep

RBC Product Specialist

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Current card if present:
@What is ISO?
Current card:
@What is ISO?
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Topics to cover:

Behavioural questions
Commercial payment services
Deposit interest
Rate pricing
Complex file structures
ERP platforms
Migration activities
Interview Questions, RBC Product Specialist
Can you describe a situation where you had to provide a solution or business advice in relation to the migration of complex services?
As a key member of Scotiabank's product team, I spearheaded the migration of 3500 accounts from a paper-based system to the nCino operating system. Leveraging my expertise in commercial distribution, I took stock of the existing procedures, what needed to be done, and collaborated with departmental experts. I devised three options with corresponding pros and cons, along with a timeline flow chart, which I presented to leaders in banking, adjudication, process quality assurance, and the nCino technology team. Despite proposing the use of commercial bankers for migration, budget constraints led to using rotational associates, as per leadership's decision. The outcome was a streamlined process that saved bankers 5 hours per account and reduced loan origination turnaround time from 41 to 36 days. I am enthusiastic about applying my skills in bridging systems and processes to the Product Specialist role at RBC.
Can you describe a time when you had to manage a complex migration activity for a client? What were the challenges and how did you overcome them?
As a commercial banking associate during the introduction of a new loan origination system, I encountered challenges related to a time-sensitive situation and a technical limitation. The time crunch arose when a large account was erroneously migrated, and their annual review was imminent. Additionally, the technical limitation meant that account migration was considered permanent with no option for reversal. To quickly resolve the issue, I collaborated with the relationship manager and adjudicator to renew the facilities through an interim credit request. Simultaneously, I sought an extension for the full annual review. I informed the product team of the migration error, providing context and a history of approvals to aid in recreating the paper-based records. The outcome was the seamless renewal of the client's facilities without impacting their experience. The incident increased awareness of migration processes and limitations, fostering a better understanding among all parties involved. This experience aligns with the Product Specialist role at RBC, showcasing my ability to navigate complex migration scenarios, coordinate different teams, and manage client expectations for successful migrations.
Can you describe your experience with deposits, interest, and rate pricing in the context of commercial payment services?
In my role as a Business Advisor, I've actively engaged with clients to understand their financial needs. This involved a deep dive into deposit products, interest rates, and pricing structures. I successfully managed portfolios by tailoring solutions that not only met the clients' requirements but also optimized deposit strategies to enhance interest income for both the clients and the bank.
Can you provide an example of a time when you had to provide both high-level strategic advice and technical guidance to a client?
In my capacity as a business advisor, I offered entrepreneurs strategic financial counsel, guiding them in envisioning the growth trajectory for their businesses. This involved comprehensive planning, outlining the necessary financial resources, and advising on optimal saving strategies. Simultaneously, I provided technical guidance in the selection and implementation of a tailored combination of investment software. This holistic approach not only facilitated a seamless alignment of their financial goals but also empowered them with the tools needed for effective and efficient financial management.
Can you share an example of a go-to-market function you participated in, including preparing client-facing materials?
In my role as a Client Relationship Officer at BDC, I spearheaded a go-to-market initiative focused on hosting a series of educational seminars tailored for key clients. I meticulously crafted client-facing materials, including impactful promotional emails, a compelling presentation deck, and industry-specific success stories supported by IBISWorld data. The objective was to convert prospects into clients during the seminars. I adeptly conveyed the company's value proposition by engaging with clients at each event. The overwhelmingly positive reception not only heightened client interest but also generated referrals to my relationship managers, leading to increased opportunities for financing and consulting.
Describe a situation where you had a high level of involvement and you had to remain persistent and put in a lot of extra hours to complete the project or achieve the goals.
While overseeing the development of a new feature, I identified critical bugs that directly impacted its functionality and overall success. In my role as a Product Owner, I assumed responsibility, leading coordination efforts with the technology lead, QA team, developers, and business analysts to promptly resolve these issues. This involved a significant level of involvement and persistence, where I often worked late due to an imminent deadline. The additional effort proved instrumental, as we were able to release the feature and continue with the pilot program.
Describe a time when you had to take personal accountability for resolving a client’s concern.
In my capacity within a sales role, a client conveyed dissatisfaction with the pricing of a financing opportunity, expressing the intention to go to a competitor. Recognizing the gravity of the situation, I assumed responsibility for resolution. I directly engaged with the client, thoroughly understanding their concerns and exploring the details of the competitive offer. To address their worries, I not only clarified the pros and cons of each offer but also introduced alternative terms and conditions. This hands-on approach retained the client and deepened the relationship.
Describe a time where you exercised above average organizational skills and dealt with large volumes of incoming and outgoing call / email volumes.
In my initial weeks at Scotiabank's product team, I tackled the surge of user questions backlog by: (1) Updating my signature in Microsoft Teams and email to promote the use of a new triage system for bankers. (2) Facilitating knowledge transfer during support calls by including their local Super Users. (3) Implementing automated rules in Outlook to prioritize and categorize emails. (4) Teaching my colleagues to customize their Outlook automations for greater team efficiency. This organized approach reduced the surge in calls, messages, and emails, allowing a seamless return to my project work. I'm eager to apply the same process-improvement approach to handle high call and email volumes at RBC during the transition.
Describe a time where you exercised strong emotional intelligence with dealing with customers.
In a previous role, a banker reached out with a complex problem, expressing their frustration and dissatisfaction with the new platform. Instead of simply giving them the quick and dirty instructions to satisfy their initial ask, I began empathizing with their frustration. I remained calm and patient, allowing the user to vent to me about which aspects of the platform or migration process was confusing and difficult. I actively listened to their concerns, acknowledged their feelings, and uncovered the root cause of the issue. I then provided a clear and empathetic explanation of the resolution steps, explaining the 'why' behind the platform's design. I took extra care to ensure they felt heard, valued, and their feedback taken into account for future enhancements. The banker appreciated my patience and empathy, turning from a detractor into a promoter.
How have you used your knowledge of ISO 20022 in your previous roles?
In my role as a business advisor at Scotiabank, I used the predecessor to eye-so twenty-oh-two-two, the SWIFT message text format, to streamline cross-border transactions for my customers. This required close collaboration with a dedicated payments office to validate information and provide timely progress updates.
If not ISO 20022, what’s the alternative?
SWIFT MT (message text)
Tell me about yourself.
I am a dedicated banking product professional, boasting a track record of over five years delivering financing, cash management, and investment services to Canadian entrepreneurs. My career journey has been marked by a persistent drive to employ technology and data analytics in shaping effective business development strategies. A recent accomplishment I take pride in involves successfully leading a team through the migration of 3,500 accounts, all while actively contributing to feature development in an Agile environment. I am now eager to embrace a role lets me apply and expands upon my skills in product management within Banking.
What does BFS do?
Business Financial Services (BFS) supports strategic initiatives and operations for small business and commercial banking; specifically supporting virtual account management, liquidity, cash management and trade products/workstreams.
What is ISO 20022?
A global and open standard for information exchange.
What is ISO?
International Organization for Standardization
What is SWIFT for?
SWIFT is a messaging network used by financial institutions to quickly, accurately, and securely send and receive information, such as money transfer and instructions.
What is your experience in project management?
During my tenure with the Product team at Scotiabank, I led the exploration of essential functionalities, formulated plans for scope, constraints, and schedules under Agile and a bit of Waterfall while working alongside legacy systems. I directed a cross-functional team consisting of business analysts, developers, quality assurance testers, and change management professionals to effectively communicate impending changes. Prior to Scotiabank, I orchestrated and executed multiple events aimed at fostering relationships with potential clients and business partners. Additionally, I secured a grant for the installation of a sleeping pod on my university campus by collaborating with the library administration.
Why are you interested in working with the bank and in this role?
I am eager to join RBC as a Product Specialist, as it aligns perfectly with my experience in product ownership and my background in commercial banking. I am keen on being a part of this milestone in Canadian banking history and view it as a unique opportunity to enrich my skill set, particularly in the areas of deposits and payments.
Why do you think you are a good fit for the role?
With a proven track record of quickly adapting to new environments and challenges, being meticulous and process-oriented, I believe my skills in understanding and presenting technology and banking concepts to a varied audience are readily transferable to the requirements of this role. Additionally, my resourcefulness and ability to build rapport with stakeholders positions me as a dynamic candidate ready to make an immediate impact.
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Questions for Carla

While the acquisition is under review by OSFI, how probable is government intervention in the merger, and what potential implications might it have on the project team?
Could you provide insights into the team structure? Specifically, I'm interested in understanding the distribution of product specialists within each team and the roles of other supporting team members.

Swift and ISO 20022 @ Scotiabank

SWIFT GPI (global payments innovation) paving the way for global transactions, Scotia's been running it since 2016 for corporate customers to get FedEx like tracking ability
SWIFT GO average transaction time is in seconds, for low-value and no deductions
Things that slow things down like mismatched name, account number incorrect you enter the information and it goes into teh ether, there's a 90's era communication with another office for progress update
Can precisely describe teh coutnerparty to help deliver more certainty for corp and comm users from treasury management; help make decisions on what to do when million/billion payment arrives in your operating account and the opportunity
has the ability to receive payments in this new language, new format
Scotia has been ISO enabled and ISO standardized
By 2025, 95% of global market infrastructurs will use ISO 20022
Can support existing MT messages so corporate can migrate on their own pace; but also introduce APi's AI pre-validation, and nuggets to help the business
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