INTERVIEW QUESTIONS: Manulife Financial, graduate position, marketing

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Question:

Why are you interested in working for Manulife?

Student’s answer:

I started considering Manulife as a place to start and build my career after attending a few work fares/ job presentation sessions. I also reached out to some colleagues currently working at Manulife, through my Linkedin connections. I wanted to get their unbiased first hand take on what it was like working for Manulife.

I personally am interested in Manulife because it’s a diverse global company, where I’ll not only get the chance to focus on my field of interest but have the opportunity to try new things. The opportunities really seem to be endless in the areas of Banking, Wealth Management and Asset Management. The innovative growth strategies of Manulife in Asia are impressive.

Lastly, I’ve always wanted to be a part of an organization that takes their corporate social responsibility very seriously and that’s one thing I admire about Manulife; for instance, I recently attended a talk organized by the Hong Kong Canadian Chamber of Commerce where Helena Lee (Assistant VP Corporate Communications, at Manulife) spoke of Manulife’s extensive and impactful CSR initiatives.

Question:

Evaluate yourself. Tell us about your strengths. Tell us what you consider to be most distinctive and unique about yourself.

Student’s answer:

When leading a team of highly skilled engineers/process experts it’s easy to get carried away and lost in the details. My ability to remain focused, clear, and demonstrate exceptional organizational skills, has been a tremendous asset in delivering results. An obvious illustration of this is seen in my 3 XXX Awards for excellence (as illustrated in my attached resume). To summarize, here is an excerpt from a client recognition e-mail received: “The customer commented that they have never seen such detailed training and start-up activities from any of their suppliers…This was an extremely challenging start-up for XXX, and you truly went above and beyond”.

A distinctive trait that has served me well over the years is my ability to recover quickly from mistakes and adapt promptly to changing environments. This unique ability has made me particularly successful at the international projects that I’ve managed for XXX around the world. As a natural leader, quick to learn from past mistakes and adapt to new trends, I make it a personal goal to foster that same environment in my workplace.

A great example of my initiative to champion business improvements is a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt project that I pioneered in 2010, for the reduction of margin in one of our product lines. This project is yielding thirty-two unique product design improvements, product cost reductions and a drop in cycle times from 6 to 3 weeks.

Question:

Tell us what professional areas you wish to develop.

Student’s answer:

I always like answering this question because the famous poet Ralph Waldo Emerson once said “our strength grows out of our weaknesses” thus highlighting the importance in searching out one’s weakness and investing in improving them; I desire to improve my level of inclusiveness when working in professional teams. I’ve always brought my “A” game to everything I do and I’ve always expected everyone else to do the same. I’ve found myself in situations where I’ve felt like a member was slacking off and potentially going to cause us to miss our project deadline. In the past, I’ve found it much easier to simply take on the workload and complete the tasks in order to ensure a successful project. I’ve now realized that though I’ve driven for results, I’ve missed out on the benefits that come with synergy. Rather than expecting my team to be proactive in seeking out resources required or asking questions on tasks they’re having difficulty with, I need to be more proactive in this regard. I must budget time and be willing to slow down in order to mentor/assist others through the process. This ensures a more inclusive, harmonious process, for the team and better project results as I take advantage of the synergy and varied expertise.

Question:

Do you have any questions for us?

Student’s answer:

• What happened to the last person who held this job?

• What were the major strengths and weaknesses of the last person who held this job?

• What types of skills do you NOT already have onboard that you're looking to fill with a new hire?

• What is the overall structure of the company and how does your Marketing fit the structure?

• What are the career paths in this department?

• What have been the Marketing department's successes in the last couple of years?

We cannot guarantee the authenticity of these questions nor the accuracy of the answers: they are what one candidate claims to have been asked by Manulife Financial and have not been verified by the bank. To visit our long list of all banks’ graduate interview questions in 2012, click here.

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