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Vanguard Case Study Interview Protocol

Application

I applied online. The process took 4 weeks. I interviewed at Vanguard (Scottsdale, AZ) in October 2016.

Interview

I applied through the Vanguard career website. The next day I received an email from HR to set up a phone interview. I had the phone interview a week later which lasted about 50 minutes. At the end of the phone interview I was told by HR that they were interested in flying me out to Scottsdale for an in-person interview. I accepted the invitation and flew to Arizona the following week (all expenses were paid). The day of the interview started with a quick tour of the campus, they have a small gym, kitchen with chefs, and a dining area. After the tour, we were taken to a room where we received an informational presentation about Vanguard and its benefits. Although there is time for questions after the presentation, only 2-3 people asked questions out of the 20-person group (I didn't ask anything). Immediately afterward you are given a case that you need to read and solve within 15 minutes. The case provides several issues a client is facing and the company policies that you need to follow to solve these problems. The case was about a client who is angry and wants to 1) waive a monthly $25 account fee 2) change their name on their account 3) wire money to an external account. Of course, there are time constrictions and policies you need to follow to solve the client's issues. Just make sure to prioritize your tasks based on time available, importance, and how long each task will take you. It's very simple. After you read the case you will need to complete questions on the back of the packet which is about 3 pages. The questions are along the lines of "what are the most important things about this scenario and what do you need to do first." After the 15 minutes are over, the interviewers will walk in and call you by name and take you to a private room. My first interview consisted of answering the questions about the case I had just read. You are then given another scenario that is directly related to the first. However, you will need to act as a Relationship Associate and talk to the interviewer as if they are the client. The second part of my case consisted of helping a young client who wants to transfer money to an external account since he is planning to purchase a home. However, per company policy, for the client to do this he needs to have his spouse's approval and online signature. You will need to tell him that his wife must register online. Finally, since you will need to liquidate some of their investments to transfer money, you will need to determine which assets to liquidate and provide a reasonable explanation given the client's age, objectives, and time horizon. Of course, throughout this roleplay, you will need to be personable and genuinely show interest in the client, e.g. is this your first home, how exciting. Although the interviewer will push back, it is never something you can't overcome. My second interview was conducted in the same room with a different person. I was asked about 5 questions and they were very simple. All were in STAR format except for the strengths and weaknesses question. After my second interview I was walked to the front desk where I returned my visitor pass and name tag. I retrieved my luggage from what looked like a utility closet and then waited for about 7 minutes for the airport shuttle to arrive. I finally got home and ate a Twinkie.

Interview Questions

  • Tell me a time when you were asked to change your approach?
    Tell me a time when you went above and beyond for a client?
    Tell me a time when you built rapport with a client?
    Etc.   1 Answer

Reasons for Declining

I was given an offer exactly one week after my in-person interviews. I asked for a salary increase and received what I had requested (3K more). I chose to decline the offer given that I received a competing offer with higher salary and growth opportunities.

Vanguard 2016-11-29 18:08 PST

Application

I applied online. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Vanguard (Malvern, PA) in February 2018.

Interview

Applied online and received an email to schedule a phone screening within 2 weeks. Phone screening was very general questions about my background, and the HR associate was very nice and willing to answer all questions.

Then we schedule an onsite interview for the next week. The Interview Visit Day consisted of presentations about Vanguard, group activities, a case review, lunch, a tour, and two 1 hour interviews. It was a technical interview and a behavioral interview.
Vanguard arranged the transportation to the interview and a hotel for the night before.

The technical interview was a few quick questions about programming concepts (JAVA focused) and a written a problem they handed beforehand. The interviewer was very interested in my experiences and my approach to solving problems. I had a great experience.

The behavioral interview was a few STAR questions about leadership . Likewise, the interviewer was very interested in my experiences and shared a lot about his time at Vanguard. I had a great experience.

Interview Questions

  • What makes a piece of software complex?   Answer Question
  • Describe OOP concepts (Encapsulation, Abstraction, etc.)   Answer Question
  • Tell me about a time where you disagree with a leader.   Answer Question
  • Tell me about a time you had to describe a technical concept to a non-technical person.   Answer Question
  • Tell me about a time you had to solve an interpersonal group conflict.   Answer Question
Vanguard 2018-03-04 09:37 PST

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