20 CPP Investments Interview Questions and Answers

Prepare for the types of questions you are likely to be asked when interviewing for a position at CPP Investments.

CPP Investments is one of the world’s largest institutional investors, with over CAD$368 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2019. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, CPP Investments has a global team of over 1,400 professionals across offices in North America, Europe and Asia.

If you’re interviewing for a job at CPP Investments, you can expect to be asked a variety of questions about your experience, qualifications, and motivation for the role. To help you prepare, we’ve gathered a list of sample CPP Investments interview questions and answers.

CPP Investments Interview Process

The interview process at CPP Investments can vary depending on the position you are applying for. However, most positions will require at least one HR screening interview and one or more interviews with members of the team you would be working with. For some positions, you may also be required to complete a case study or other assessment. Overall, the interview process is fairly standard for a finance company, but it can be lengthy and difficult, so be prepared.

1. What are some of your biggest strengths?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your personality and how you would fit in with their company culture. They want to know what skills you have that will help you succeed in the role, so be sure to highlight any unique or transferable skills you have.

Example: “I am a highly organized person who is always on time. I also have excellent communication skills, which helps me work well with others. My ability to multitask and manage my time efficiently are two other strengths of mine.”

2. What do you think the most important thing is when evaluating a company to invest in?

This question is an opportunity to show your knowledge of the investment process. It’s also a chance to demonstrate that you have experience with this type of work. When answering, it can be helpful to mention a specific factor and how it relates to your own career or personal experiences.

Example: “I think the most important thing when evaluating a company for investment is its financial health. I’ve seen many companies make big promises about their products or services only to fall short on delivery. If a company has a strong balance sheet, it shows they’re more likely to succeed in the long term.”

3. Describe a time where you had to analyze data and make a presentation on it, how did you go about it?

This question is a great way to show your analytical skills and how you can use them in the workplace. When answering this question, it’s important to highlight your ability to analyze data and present it in an easy-to-understand format for others.

Example: “In my previous role as a financial analyst, I was responsible for analyzing company data and presenting it to upper management on a regular basis. One time, I noticed that our sales were down by 10% from the previous quarter. After looking into the data further, I found out that we had lost several major clients during that time period. I presented this information to my manager and together, we came up with a plan to replace those clients.”

4. How would you use social media to attract new clients?

Social media is a popular way to connect with potential clients. Employers ask this question to see if you have experience using social media for marketing purposes and how you would apply it to their company. In your answer, explain which social media platforms you use and why they are effective in attracting new customers.

Example: “I believe that social media is an excellent platform for connecting with people who share similar interests. I’ve used social media to attract new clients by creating engaging content on my personal accounts. For example, I recently posted about the benefits of investing in CPP investments. A lot of people saw my post and commented on it, so I started messaging them to learn more about their financial goals. One person even signed up for our services after we had a few conversations.”

5. Give us an example of a time that you were not able to meet a deadline.

This question is a great way to assess your ability to prioritize and manage time. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention the steps you took to ensure that you met future deadlines.

Example: “In my previous role as an investment advisor, I was responsible for meeting client goals on a monthly basis. One month, I had several clients who were requesting more information about their accounts. This caused me to fall behind in my work, which resulted in not being able to meet my deadline. To make up for this, I stayed late one night to complete all of my work. In the following months, I made sure to communicate with my clients better so that I could avoid falling behind again.”

6. Tell me about a time you disagreed with your manager, how did you handle it?

This question can help the interviewer determine how you handle conflict and whether you’re able to disagree with your manager without damaging your relationship. When answering this question, it’s important to show that you can respectfully disagree with someone in a way that maintains their trust and respect.

Example: “I once disagreed with my manager about an investment strategy for one of our clients. I felt strongly that we should be investing more aggressively because the client was young and had plenty of time to recover from any losses. My manager disagreed, saying that they didn’t want to risk losing money on such a large scale when there were other investments that could provide smaller returns but less risk. In the end, we compromised by increasing the amount of risk we took on some of the client’s assets.”

7. Do you have experience working in a fast-paced environment?

This question is an opportunity to show your ability to work in a high-pressure environment. Employers ask this question because they want to know if you can handle the pressure of working with clients and meeting deadlines. In your answer, explain how you have worked under similar circumstances in the past.

Example: “In my previous role as a financial advisor, I had to meet client expectations while also managing my own workload. This was challenging at times, but I learned how to prioritize tasks and delegate when necessary. I am confident that I can do the same thing here.”

8. Describe a time where you had to work under pressure.

This question is a great way to assess how well you can handle pressure. When answering this question, it’s important to highlight your ability to work under pressure and still complete the task at hand.

Example: “In my previous role as an investment advisor, I had to meet with clients on a weekly basis. One week, one of my clients called me in a panic because they were experiencing some financial issues. I immediately scheduled a meeting with them that day so we could discuss their concerns. During our meeting, I was able to help them understand their situation better and come up with solutions for their problems.”

9. Which investment strategies do you feel comfortable using? Why?

This question is an opportunity to show your knowledge of investment strategies and how you apply them. You can use this question as a way to highlight your expertise in the field, but it’s also important to be honest about which strategies you’re comfortable using. If you don’t feel confident with a certain strategy, it’s best to explain why rather than make up information.

Example: “I’ve used several different investment strategies throughout my career, including index funds, ETFs, mutual funds and stocks. I find that these are all useful for different situations, so I like to use a combination of each depending on what the client needs. For example, if they want more control over their investments, then I would recommend stocks or mutual funds. However, if they want to invest without paying high fees, then I would recommend index funds or ETFs.”

10. If you could choose one area to specialize in at CPP Investments, what would it be?

This question is a way for the interviewer to assess your interest in working at CPP Investments. It also helps them understand what you value most about this company and how you might contribute to its success. When answering, consider which areas of investment are most interesting to you and why.

Example: “I would choose to specialize in private equity investments because I find that type of investment strategy to be highly beneficial to businesses looking to expand their operations. Private equity investments allow investors to provide capital to small-business owners who may not have access to traditional funding methods. This allows me to support local business owners while earning a return on my investment.”

11. Are you willing to travel for business?

CPP Investments is a global company, so you may be asked to travel for business. Employers ask this question to make sure you are willing to do so and that you have experience traveling for work. If you have never traveled for work before, consider sharing your willingness to learn how to do so.

Example: “I am happy to travel for business as long as I get plenty of time to prepare beforehand. In my last role, I had to fly out to another state for a client meeting. I was nervous about the trip at first, but I ended up enjoying it. I learned how to pack light and stay organized while on the road.”

12. Have you ever worked in a team environment?

This question is a great way to learn more about your potential co-workers and how you might fit in with them. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention the type of team you worked with and what made it successful or unsuccessful.

Example: “I have worked on teams before, but I find that my best work comes from working alone. In my last position, I was part of a team where we were all responsible for different aspects of our clients’ portfolios. While I enjoyed collaborating with my colleagues, I found that I could do my best work when I focused on one client at a time instead of trying to balance multiple accounts at once. This allowed me to give each account the attention it needed.”

13. Talk to us about a time where you used innovative thinking to solve a problem.

This question is a great way to assess your problem-solving skills and ability to think creatively. When answering this question, it can be helpful to provide specific details about the situation and how you used innovative thinking to solve the problem.

Example: “At my previous job, I was tasked with finding new ways to increase our customer base. After researching different methods of marketing, I decided that we should focus on social media advertising because it’s an affordable way to reach a large audience. We started by creating a Facebook page for our company and posting relevant content. This helped us gain more followers and eventually led to increased sales.”

14. What kind of investments are you interested in?

This question is a great way to see if you are interested in the same kind of investments as CPP Investments. It also allows you to show your knowledge about different kinds of investments and how they work. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention some specific types of investments that interest you or that you have experience with.

Example: “I am very interested in stocks and bonds. I find them to be quite interesting because there are so many factors that go into determining their value. I’ve done research on my own about these two investment types, and I think I could use that information to help me make smart decisions when investing for clients.”

15. What was your favorite class in school?

This question is a great way to learn more about your potential future coworker. It can also help you determine if they have the educational background and experience needed for this role. When answering, try to pick something that relates to finance or accounting.

Example: “My favorite class in school was my AP Economics course. I really enjoyed learning about how businesses operate and how financial markets work. This knowledge helped me understand why it’s important to invest money and how CPP Investments helps people do just that.”

16. Tell us about a time where you had to deal with a difficult client.

This question is a great way to see how you handle conflict and difficult situations. It’s important that you show the interviewer that you can remain calm, professional and respectful when dealing with challenging clients.

Example: “I once had a client who was very upset about their portfolio because they were losing money. I explained to them that this was normal for some investments and that it would be best if we waited until the end of the year to evaluate the performance. They agreed but continued to call me every week asking about the status of their account. After several weeks of this, I called them back and told them that I could not discuss their account any further until the end of the year.”

17. What is your long term career goal?

This question is a great way to learn more about the candidate’s career goals and how they plan to achieve them. It also helps you determine if this position is a good fit for their long-term goals. When answering this question, it can be helpful to include what steps you are taking to reach your goal.

Example: “My long term career goal is to become a portfolio manager at CPP Investments. I am currently working toward my Certified Financial Planner certification so that I can gain more experience in financial planning. I have been working as an investment analyst for five years now, which has given me valuable insight into the industry. I believe that with my education and work experience, I would be a great asset to the company.”

18. What skills do you bring to this position?

This question is an opportunity to highlight your relevant skills and experience. When answering this question, it can be helpful to include a brief description of the skill or skill set you are referring to and how it will benefit CPP Investments.

Example: “I have excellent communication skills, which I believe would help me collaborate with my team members and clients. My attention to detail also helps me ensure that all client accounts are accurate and up-to-date. Additionally, I am highly organized and motivated by deadlines, so I think these skills would help me meet the demands of this position.”

19. What is your preferred method of communication?

This question is a way for the interviewer to learn more about your personality and communication style. It’s important to be honest in this answer, as it can help them decide if you’re a good fit for their company culture. If you have experience working with CPP Investments, they may ask what methods of communication you used with your previous employer.

Example: “I prefer to communicate through email or text message because I find those mediums are most efficient. However, I also understand that sometimes phone calls are necessary. In my last position, I found that using all three methods was best when communicating with multiple people.”

20. What is your experience with financial analysis?

This question is an opportunity to show your knowledge of financial analysis and how you apply it in your work. If you have experience with financial analysis, describe a time when you used this skill to help your organization or company succeed. If you don’t have direct experience with financial analysis, you can talk about another relevant skill that helped you achieve success.

Example: “In my last role as a senior accountant, I was responsible for analyzing the company’s financial statements each month. This included reviewing revenue reports, expenses and other important metrics to ensure we were meeting our goals. I also worked closely with the CPP Investments team to develop monthly budgets based on these reports.”


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