SAFAA Instructions

There are two parts to the SAF Admissions Assessment (SAFAA), both of which are completed online:

  1. Interview (part 1) You will respond to three recorded interview questions to assess your ability to communicate appropriately in a clear, concise, organized, and professional manner. In addition, three written questions will be used to provide your consent, information to help with scholarship opportunities, and a chance to provide information surrounding repeated courses. 
  2. Trait Assessment (part 2) You will respond to a 78-question survey to assess your potential in the areas of leadership, collaboration, adaptability and problem solving.

*The deadline to complete and submit the SAFAA (part 1 and 2) for early offer consideration is January 12 - 16, 2024. If you miss the deadline, complete the SAFAA between February 12 - 16, 2024 to be considered for rolling offers (March - May). To find additional information on how to complete the SAFAA, review the SAFAA questions, and get tips/advice, please use the dropdown options below

Completing the SAFAA

SAFAA Interview Questions, Trait Assessment

The SAFAA interview (part 1) consists of written and video-recorded questions. All video-recorded questions will include closed captioning at the bottom of the screen. Once the question has been delivered, a 10-second countdown will begin. After that, you will have 1.5 minutes (90 seconds) to respond to the video question. You do not need to speak for the entire time allotted. Instead, you can press the SPACE bar to stop recording when you have finished your response. For written responses, you will have 5 minutes to complete your answer. A blue countdown status bar located at the top of your screen will help keep track of the time.

The 2023 SAFAA questions and the order in which you will respond to all written and video-recorded questions are listed below. Please know, Step 1: Supplemental Materials happens before you enter the SAFAA "Assessment" Interview (part 1).


Step 1: Supplemental Materials

Photo ID Upload: Upload a PDF file containing an image of your photo ID.

  • Your photo ID must be government-issued, such as a passport, citizenship card, health card, or drivers licence. The photo ID must be in English, must have been issued in the last three years, and must not have expired.

Written Consent Statement: Your SAFAA submission includes both the Kira interview (part 1) and the Thomas Trait Assessment (part 2) which you will do next. To provide your consent for the video recording of your SAFAA and to declare that your SAFAA submissions are your own work, copy and paste the following statement into the text box. Be sure to insert your first and last name and UW student ID # as shown.

  • “My name is firstname lastname, UW student # 12345678, and I declare that the SAFAA submissions will be my own work, and I provide consent to the video recording of my SAFAA”.

Step 2: Assessment Interview Questions (3 Video Questions)

Q1: Tell us about a time when you worked in a team of people with diverse backgrounds and perspectives and the team encountered a challenge or setback. Describe the process used by the team to collaboratively solve the problem and consider how the diversity of perspectives within the team influenced the outcome. How will this experience affect your future collaborations?

Q2: Tell us about your familiarity with Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) metrics. What role do you think the business community should play, if any, in addressing environmental issues like climate change and social issues such as equity, diversity, and inclusion?

Q3: Tell us how you stand out from your peers, what makes you unique and what life experiences have contributed to make you who you are.

Step 3: Scholarship Information (Written Question)

Statement: To be considered for SAF Entrance Scholarships, you MUST meet the three requirements listed below, which include completion of the Scholarship Question:

  • Strong academic performance, and
  • Meaningful participation in extracurriculars, community involvment or volunteerism during either your grade 11 or grade 12 school year, and
  • Completion of the Scholarship Question below.

Scholarship Q1: If you feel that you meet the requirements to be considered for a SAF entrance scholarship, choose one or two extracurricular, community involvement or volunteerism activities, provide a brief description of the activity, and why it was important to you.

Your response to the Scholarship Question will not be used for your admission decision but is mandatory for SAF entrance scholarship consideration. If you do not wish to be considered for a SAF entrance scholarship or do not wish to complete the Scholarship Question, just type “N/A” into the text box.

Limit your response to 300 words. You will get a word count as you type your response into the text box, or feel free to write your response in MS Word, for example, and copy/paste into the text box.

Step 4: Repeated Course Information (Written Question)

Repeated Courses Q1: If you repeated any grade 12 courses, please provide the reason why the courses were repeated. If you did not repeat any courses, enter “No repeated courses” as your response.

Limit your response to 100 words for each course repeated. You will get a word count as you type your response into the text box, or feel free to write your response in MS Word, for example, and copy/paste it into the text box.

Step 5: Closing Video

Ashort closing video will be played at the end of the interview portion of the SAFAA.

Step 6: SAFAA Trait Assessment (part 2)

Once you have submitted theSAFAA Interview (part 1), access the link to the SAFAA Trait Assessment from the "Your SAFAA Links"email. You'll need to provide your first and last name, your UWaterloo student ID#, and your email address; use the same email address that is on your application to AFM or SFM. Click "submit" to complete your registration.

The SAFAA Trait Assessment should take approximately 10 minutes to complete. Once you’ve answered all 78 questions, click "submit questionnaire".

Remember, you are expected to complete the Trait Assessment (part 2) immediately after you complete your Interview submission (part 1).

SAFAA Interview Tips

The SAF is interested in getting to know you better and assessing your skills beyond what your marks can tell us. Therefore, to help you do your best on the SAFAA, we've provided tips for you to consider when preparing for your interview.

  1. Treat your SAFAA Interview as a Skype job interview.
  2. Ensure that your posture is proper and professional.
  3. Ensure the PDF copy of your photo ID is clear, and easy to read.
  4. Is your face at the right distance from the camera? Ideally, your webcam should be capturing only your face and shoulders.
  5. What's in the background of your video? Your interview should be done in an environment without background distraction or interruptions by others.
  6. Are you looking into your camera to create a personal connection with your interviewer?
  7. Have you reviewed your practice session responses? This is a great way to make sure you're satisfied with the way your responses are coming through.
  8. Don't forget, you can practise as many times as you would like.
  9. Smile, take a deep breath, have fun, and be yourself!

What we look for:

  1. Communication ability - Can you demonstrate:
    1. Passion in your response
    2. Engagement with your audience
    3. Authenticity in your response and mannerisms
    4. An articulate response
    5. Advocacy for a position within the AFM and/or SFM program
  2. Diversity in experience - Can you learn from your peers and teachers and apply it to your learning strategies

Do you require special learning accommodations?

The School of Accounting and Finance and the University of Waterloo are committed to ensuring equal access to the SAFAA Interview and Trait Assessment process. If you require an accommodation in order to meaningfully participate, please complete the steps and forms as outlined on the special considerations page. 

University of Waterloo Privacy

As part of the SAF application process, your information (e.g. name, email address, University of Waterloo student ID #) will be processed through the following secure platforms, for the express purposes of collecting your online Interview and your online Trait Assessment:

  • Kira Talent, a service that provides the SAF interface for the online video Interview (part 1), a required component of the SAF Admissions Assessment (SAFAA)
  • Thomas International, a service that provides the SAF interface for the online Trait Assessment (part 2), a required component of the SAFAA

Before you begin the SAFAA, please ensure that you have read both the Kira Talent Privacy Policy and the Thomas International Privacy Policy.

Information is collected under the authority of the University of Waterloo Act, 1972.

Information will be processed in compliance with Ontario's Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (R.S.O. 1990, c. F.31) and UW's policies.

Questions about the collection, use, and disclosure of this information should be directed to Andre Jardin, Associate Registrar Admissions (519-888-4567, ext. 32265, Questions about the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information by the university, should be directed to the Privacy Officer at”