Western & Southern Financial
Western & Southern Financial Interview Questions & Reviews
Getting an Interview
Support Specialist Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Western & Southern Financial in August 2013.
Interview Details – 3 interviews. One with human resources, and two subsequent interviews with management. Usually takes a few weeks. Prior to a job offer being extended Human resources prefers to contact your references.
Interview Question – They are interested in any gaps in your employment history. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – Salary and Schedule
Desktop Management Analyst Interview (Negative Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 3+ weeks - interviewed at Western & Southern Financial in March 2013.
Interview Details – I was cold-called by their recruiting department, who found my resume on a well-known job search website. Unusual to have THEM come to ME, but I wasn't complaining. I got back in touch with them the next day and did an initial "I am not a psychopath" HR interview over the phone before being handed off to an IT-specific HR contact. This person was back in touch with me very swiftly to schedule a face-to-face interview. Four days later I was in a suit and downtown at the corporate office to interview.
One of the first things that struck me just from being inside the company was that nobody smiled; nobody was pleasant. No one was rude, but they weren't happy to see you by any means. There just didn't seem to be any joy in the place.
I arrived early and waited for my initial "not a crazy person" interview with the HR contact. This seemed to go well and she came across as congenial. The same interview questions you've had at every interview for every job ever ... what's your greatest strength, what's your greatest weakness, etc. We touched on dress code, and I was informed that it's professional dress every day, although "gentlemen have the option to not wear a jacket" (hooray). Then this was rescinded with a comment about how it would be a good idea to KEEP a jacket at my theoretical workstation ... anytime a trip over to the EXECUTIVE SUITES would be required, it's tie and jacket at all times. Yes, there is apparently an actual Ivory Tower here labeled the EXECUTIVE SUITE.
After 30 minutes or so it was time to be handed off to the "AVP" (Assistant Vice President -- I asked) of the IT department. The HR contact promised to email me info on their benefits packages, and then told me I would definitely have some sort of idea of how things were going "by the end of the week".
An elevator ride and a walk through a particularly soulless cube farm brought us to a conference room, where it was time for interview number two with the AVP. It didn't go horribly but I could also tell that he wasn't particularly impressed. It's never a good sign when your humor falls flat, but it added to the feeling that this was a generally humorless environment. More "greatest strength, greatest weakness" questions, why do all of these guys read from the same script? I don't recall being asked anything technical at all. At this point I was picking up on the telltale signs of low morale, so I asked about the corporate culture. I was told that it was "collaborative", whatever that's supposed to mean, and then he launched into a tirade about how working remotely would not be tolerated under any circumstances. Oooooooooookay. I don't think he smiled the entire time, and honestly I felt like the deck was stacked against me before I even walked in. I got a real vibe like I was someone being shuffled onto his plate that he was only interviewing as a courtesy to someone. I think I could have lit my hair on fire and he would have only mildly raised an eyebrow.
The games began after I left. I never received the email with benefits info, and didn't hear anything back "by the end of the week" as promised, not even a 10 second voicemail to let me know that things were running behind. I was told that there would be one more person I would need to interview with, but he was "out of the country" and so he had to return, get things settled, and then find the time to interview with me. Uh huh. Thus began a cycle where I would call, ask what the status was, and be given an excuse each time that would hold me off for another week. During this time I was talking with employees (I actually know a person who works there) and reading reviews of the company (thanks Glassdoor) which seemed to confirm the "Misery Pit" feeling I had from being inside the company. After two and a half weeks of limbo, I received a professional but curt voicemail informing me that they were going with another candidate. And may God have mercy on his soul.
Interview Question – Not really a question, but the (completely out of the blue) tirade against working remotely was ... interesting. It's usually not a good sign when your IT department is actively trying to hold back new technologies. View Answer
Very Easy Interview
Sales Representative Interview (Negative Experience; Very Easy Interview)
I applied online - interviewed at Western & Southern Financial in June 2009.
Interview Details – Was emailed a test. I passed it. Went to some interviews and they were more interested in when I could start than if I could do the job.
Interview Question – Do you have good credit? Do you have any felonies? Do you have a decent car? When can you get your insurance license. View Answer
Negotiation Details – There was none.
Very Easy Interview
Sales Manager Interview (Negative Experience; Very Easy Interview)
Interviewed at Western & Southern Financial
Interview Details – I did not apply for this job, but was contacted by the company. I received a call stating the caller had received my information from my former college's alumni office and that he was interested in me for two possible positions. I asked what they were and he said "sales" and "sales manager". He really didn't give me any details though I asked. I told him I was interested in the manager position as I have a graduate degree and over a decade of experience, including supervision.
When I got to the office he only talked about the entry-level position (which he did not initially indicate was entry level). When it was time for me to ask questions, I asked about the manager position he mentioned on the phone. He basically said they would decide on the specifics "later in the process". It soon became clear that they prefer everyone to start from entry-level. At the point that I realized he misrepresented the situation on the phone, I walked out.
My advice here: be cautious and ask for clarification. The compensation and benefits for an entry-level person are not bad for that level. It might be an option for someone with no experience, but seasoned professionals beware the bait-and-switch.
Interview Question – Most questions were pretty closed-ended and required only short answers. There were no behavioral interview questions and no questions about the specifics of my work history, education or credentials. All questions on his form were answered in less than 5 minutes. No difficult questions. The most unexpected questions were regarding the entry-level position for which I was not supposed to be interviewing. Answer Question
Accounts Payable Analyst Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
The process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Western & Southern Financial in May 2009.
Interview Details – I met the HR Manager at a career fair. She informed me of an open position that matched well with my resume. She said she would call me to set up an interview the next day. I did not receive a call for 3 days. Therefore, I called her and left a voice mail. The next day she returned my call and set up an interview.
The day of the interview began with a brief one on one interview with the HR Manager. That was followed by a 2 hour interview with the hiring manager and the lead Accountant. Additionally, I was introduced to the Controller and had a brief discussion with her. The interview was quite intense and the questions were moderate in difficulty. However, I was very prepared.
Two days after the interview I received a call from HR offering me the position. I accepted the position and my first day began the following week after a drug screening.
Interview Question – They asked quite a few problem solving questions. For example, what would you do if.... ? How would you handle.... ? View Answer
Negotiation Details – I filled this position for an employee who left on maternity leave. The hourly pay rate was set in stone. Additionally, it was much better pay than my previous job. So there was NO negotiation.
Associate Services Specialist Interview (Negative Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 7+ weeks - interviewed at Western & Southern Financial in February 2010.
Interview Details – Recruiter was extremely aloof to put it lightly. She never returned my calls. She sent me a letter of rejection before we ever talked because she thought I wasn't interested, even though I was calling and leaving her messages. We talked once and then she sent me another rejection letter.
Interview Question – Tell me about your degree Answer Question
Analyst Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Western & Southern Financial in February 2010.
Interview Details – There were two interviews. The first interview was with HR and the second interview was with the hiring manager and the hiring manager's AVP. It is important to be prepared. This is a very conservative environment.
Interview Question – How would you solve this situation? Answer Question
Actuary Interview (Positive Experience; Easy Interview)
The process took a day - interviewed at Western & Southern Financial in May 2009.
Interview Details – This was an informational interview for me to find out more about the company and about what an actuary does and the necessary qualifications. They were very accomodating and hospitable. It seems to be a good stable place to work with good benefits. However, it is not at all diverse in terms of race and gender.
Interview Question – I was the one asking questions. Answer Question
Financial Representative Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
The process took a day - interviewed at Western & Southern Financial in December 2009.
Interview Details – Took an online assesment to guage whether or not a commission only sales job would be a fit for me. I scored very high and was called to schedule a face to face interview with the hiring manager the next day. He asked very basic questions about my resume and basically told me what was expected of me in the role.
He offered me the job on the spot. I asked to take a few days to think it over. He didn't say that they would rescind the offer if I needed some time, but he hinted at that. I declined the next day.
Interview Question – Tell me why you think you can sell insurance? Answer Question
Reason for Declining – Pressure, pressure, pressue...
Agent Interview (Positive Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied online and the process took 3 days - interviewed at Western & Southern Financial in December 2009.
Interview Details – Had phone conversation and the 3 different interview/meetings. Personality test and drug tests.
Interview Question – No difficult questions Answer Question
Negotiation Details – Nothing negotiatable