Bessemer Trust Company
Bessemer Trust Company Interview Questions & Reviews
Getting an Interview
Client Relations Interview (Negative Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied online and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Bessemer Trust Company in July 2014.
Interview Details – Applied through Bessemer website and within 1 week received HR email requesting phone interview. Scheduled phone interview for 1 week later was supposed to be 30 minutes. The HR rep seemed rushed during the phone discussion and was unclear as to the job description when the phone interview is really supposed to be a pre-screening or vetting process. I did not have the opportunity to ask her any questions but was recommended for an in-person interview. It took much follow-up on my part to get the in-person interview scheduled because the HR department is really messed up. For such a high-end company the HR department is very immature and disorganized. I was given the names of the 3 people who would be interviewing me and HR got one of the titles for a very important executive incorrect which I discovered during my due diligence.
Interview day arrives, I'm thoroughly prepared:
Interviewer #1: calm demeanor, clearly had read through my resume and was familiar with it. Did not ask me many technical questions, it was more of a flowing conversation as to why I seek private wealth management. This interviewer was very professional and I could have been very happy working with and learning from her. I sensed that this interviewer valued intelligence, organization and a polished appearance and demeanor. I would have accepted the job to be able to work with her.
Interviewer #2: not good, I picked up on a multitude of negative energy! This person seemed utterly bored with the interview process, failed to maintain eye contact with me and just talked and talked about himself and other superfluous issues. I tactfully tried to reel him in and tie in my skills to the position but he kept going off-track so I just let him ramble on. He was like a shell of a person, a facade, a "Stepford husband"--I could not see myself working directly under this person. However, a professional associate of mine had told me that "Bessemer is the best" so being a bit star-struck, I just went with it. What I gathered from my interaction with this person (I hesitate to say interviewer) is that Bessemer takes a really long time to hire people and that once hired, people stay until they retire. I believe that speaks well for Bessemer; however, it is also a concern for growing within the company and/or promotions from within. I understood that this person's job would be my next step up and he made it clear he was there to stay. He is very insecure--was it because I have more degrees from better schools than him or is he just insecurely territorial? I have no clear answer except that my intuition said "dead-end job" and it would take a lot of money to make me deal with this dud everyday. Like a really bad blind date.
Interviewer #3: gold star interviewer! I immediately felt a welcoming warmth from this person. He was genuinely interested in my skills, my personality and really explained the job description to me. He and I really clicked and he was able to purge the negativity of interviewer #2. Like interviewer #1, the interaction was a free-flowing conversation but a bit more informal. On this interviewer alone, I would have accepted an offer just to have the experience of working with this brilliant and charismatic person.
Post Interview: remember to send out your thank you letters the same day. I followed up with HR a week later first to express my continued interest and to make sure that my file wasn't lost due to the high-schoolish procedures in the HR department. The HR rep (same as the one who scheduled the phone interview) was very snotty and harried. She said they do not work on a hiring timeline of any kind and that "she'll be in touch". I asked if I might follow up with her in 4-6 weeks or if she'd prefer I wait to hear from her. She very tersely said "I'll call you" and hung up the phone. I will say that I was shocked at that abandonment of any humanity here, much less professionalism. My intuition said this is not the place for me, especially when the front lines which form a candidate's first impression behave in such a substandard manner.
I really thought that I'd be invited back for round 2 but that was not the case. I received an email 2 days later from HR stating as follows: "We were fortunate to have many qualified candidates apply to this position. We have reviewed the qualifications of each candidate and after careful consideration we have determined that the credentials of other candidates may better meet our needs at this time."
I'm at peace with no longer being considered. I've learned to pay attention to red flags and they were flying high from the onset. I reflected and realized that a job in which I'd be suppressing my personality, walking on eggshells, being subjugated by interviewer #2 as my supervisor and chained to a desk is not a worthwhile professional opportunity no matter how high the salary. Do still regard Bessemer as the best? Regretfully, no.
Interview Question – None really, just a conversational format. Still, be prepared with the STAR format so you can clearly communicate your skills. Answer Question
Executive Assistant Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took a day - interviewed at Bessemer Trust Company in May 2014.
Interview Details – I was contacted through the phone and given the opportunity to have an interview in their LA office. It was very behavioral and I spoke with about 3 members of the client advisory group and spoke with the senior CA.
Interview Question – Why do you want to work in private wealth management, as opposed to companies like MS? Answer Question
Summer Intern Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at Bessemer Trust Company in January 2014.
Interview Details – Received a pre-screening in January of 2014. Conversation was via Skype and was about 20-30 minutes long, conducted by an alum of my university. Positive experience overall, and was a very conversational-style interview. I was not invited to return for a full interview. Frustratingly, they simply never communicated that I was no longer being considered, they just fell off the map.
Interview Question – Pitch us a company. Answer Question
Very Easy Interview
Senior Network Engineer Interview (Negative Experience; Very Easy Interview)
I applied through an employee referral - interviewed at Bessemer Trust Company in July 2013.
Interview Details – I was scheduled to have a technical interview for a high level network position in IT, the interview lasted roughly 10 minutes, not a single technical question was asked. I got the impression that the interviewer was told against his will to "Do this interview." When I got off the phone I was quite bewildered as I never experienced an interview (or lack thereof) like this previously.
Interview Question – Only one question was asked for a task that would have been highly unusual for this type of position "How do you feel about performing desktop support?" To which I responded, its not something I've done but I have no problems doing so. Answer Question
Very Easy Interview
Fiduciary Officer Interview (Neutral Experience; Very Easy Interview)
I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Bessemer Trust Company.
Interview Details – I applied online and received a call from HR to set up an initial phone interview with hiring manager. later HR called to invite me for an on site interview with the hiring manager and one staff member. I got on a 3 hour train and arrived on time. Both interviews went well...the ladies were nice and professional. Each spent a lot of time asking about my current position with their strongest competitor. I got the feeling that they were intimidated by my qualification, skill set and title at my current job. The position obviously wanted a more junior level, even though the position description expected more....
Interview Question – None...they asked about my salary expectation. I told them I wanted to know about the job first and would discuss salary only if an offer was made. Answer Question
Assistant Client Account Manager Interview (Negative Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Bessemer Trust Company in November 2012.
Interview Details – Initial phone interview then on campus interview. The interviewer seemed inexperienced or immature in respect to guaging talent. She informed the recruiter that my skills and experience were a fit for the position but she decided not to recommend me for an in-person interview. Her reasoning was that I tried to take over the phone interview by asking questions at the end of our discussion.
Interview Question – No unexpected or difficult questions during the phone interview. It was mostly a discussion of experience and how it fits to the position. Answer Question
Assistant Client Account Manager Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Bessemer Trust Company in August 2012.
Interview Details – Initially emailed the company and arranged for an interview with the VP of HR. He greeted me in the reception area and brought me down a floor to his office. I spent just under an hour speaking with him about my resume and the company. I was asked to come back for a second round interview with whomever is in charge of CAMs, but that is still yet to be scheduled.
Interview Question – What do you want to accomplish in life? Answer Question
Analyst Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took a day - interviewed at Bessemer Trust Company in October 2010.
Interview Details – Initial communications and interview set up was very quick and easy. The company was efficient in setting up the interview and I was set to meet 3-4 members of the team. While the people were nice and polite, I generally felt that it was hard to connect on a personal level. This may have been specific to my experience but in speak with others who have had contact there, the sentiment was echoed. The team there is intense, smart and possesses technical knowledge. If you interview with them, be sure to come in prepared and speak concisely as they will give you just enough rope to hang yourself with.
Interview Question – Technical knowledge related to investment process and industry coverage. Answer Question