Glassdoor is your free inside look at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney Financial Advisor interview questions and advice. All 68 interview reviews posted anonymously by Morgan Stanley Smith Barney employees and interview candidates.
Accepted Offer – Interviewed in Los Angeles, CA Jun 2013 – Reviewed Jun 16, 2013 New
Interview Details –
Pretty much all the other comments you see on here regarding the interview process are accurate, so I won't go too much into further detail.
They'll pay you an initial salary, but your success is up to you. You have to be a hunter. You find the clients, then you make the money. To get the job, you have to do your own research and prove to them that you have a reasonably good plan to get clients. That's is.
NOT FOR YOU:
There's a huge failure rate, around 90%, because most people who apply are really looking for a "regular" job. They want specific duties, with a predictable salary, vacation time, personal time off, etc. If this is what you want, then this job is not for you.
THIS JOB IS FOR YOU:
If you're like me: Very passionate about the financial market (like it's your hobby), entrepreneurial, self-motivated, seeking opportunity to make a lot of money rather than "job security," want to get paid by your performance rather than wait for someone to retire in order to get a promotion, and want the backing of a huge brand, then this job is for you.
I was thrilled to discover this position because I've considered forking over $100ks to buy a franchise. Here, they pay me (first year)! How awesome is that. Basically, this is the way to think of this position.
Interview Question – The interview questions don't really matter. How do you plan on being successful? Do you have an existing network who can refer you business? Do you have wealthy friends and family? Do you know of an untapped market who need financial advice? Do the research, create a plan, prove to them you have a good chance of being successful, and you'll get the job. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – None. Took first offer. Doesn't matter anyways since it slowly phases out.
Accepted Offer – Interviewed in Raleigh, NC May 2009 – Reviewed Mar 21, 2013
Interview Details – Basic interviews plus a skills (math) test
Interview Question – Basic questions Answer Question
Accepted Offer – Interviewed in San Jose, CA Feb 2010 – Reviewed Feb 13, 2013
Interview Details – prepare business plan, including your own set of goals, expectation of success, very detailed book of business with solid realistic ideas that can be carried on in a reasonable time. Describe your targeted market and how you plan to access it.
Interview Question – getting clients without any support from corp. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – salary and hours of work.
Accepted Offer – Reviewed Jan 31, 2013
Interview Details – This was a long process. You have to submit some documents and go through a phone interview, and then 2 or 3 face to face interviews. They also like to make you chase them, so be persistent. The want you to treat them as a potential client, and they are looking for someone who will follow up and be professional.
Interview Question – How would you deal with a client that just will not say yes? View Answer
Negotiation Details – No negotiation here. They offered a job and salary and it was take it or leave it.
Declined Offer – Reviewed Jan 24, 2013
Interview Details – Hiring process was lengthy consisting of a phone interview, online test, in-person interview, business plan, and second in-person interview. After the whole process they made a job offer that I declined because of low salary offer.
Interview Question – What makes you think you can do this job? View Answer
Reason for Declining – They expected long hours at very little pay≥
Accepted Offer – Interviewed in San Diego, CA – Reviewed Nov 15, 2012
Interview Details – They aggressively recruit and make lots of promises but widely do not deliver after you accept.
Interview Question – Nothing difficult...just want to know how many accounts can you bring them. View Answer
Negotiation Details – They sell future expectations of compensation. Looking back get your money upfront.
Accepted Offer – Interviewed in Boston, MA Jun 2010 – Reviewed Nov 1, 2012
Interview Details – I was referred to the manager by a current employee. This is an important tip to remember- try to make contact with a current employee, especially if you know them, and ask for a referral. I was brought in for an initial interview with complex manager, then follow up interview with branch manager. Fairly straight forward.
Interview Question – How do you deal with rejection on the phone, with examples... They used basic personality assessment questions like naming a hardship I overcame; tell me about a leadership experience I had, etc. Since the job involves a lot of phone calling, the interviewers asked many questions relating to that. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – The base salary was pretty set- I tried some negotiation but ended up taking their base offer.
No Offer – Interviewed in Buffalo, NY Jun 2009 – Reviewed Oct 23, 2012
Interview Details – The position was for financial advisor associate. It was an 8 interview process, with advisors and branch/regional managers. Also, required an in-depth write-up of your financial approaches/ideas/iniatives that would allow for success in the industry.
Interview Question – What is your single biggest weakness? Answer Question
Accepted Offer – Interviewed in Beverly Hills, CA – Reviewed Oct 9, 2012
Interview Details – Had to go through a multi-stage process to present a business plan on who we will be targeting and how we plan on landing them as clients. Must present your value proposition in front of a panel of managers and senior FAs and do mock interviews/cold calls. Known as a pre-production assessment.
Interview Question – Who is your target market going to be and how do you plan on reaching them and converting them to clients? Answer Question
Declined Offer – Interviewed in New York, NY May 2012 – Reviewed May 23, 2012
Interview Details –
Applied online, five days later I received a personality test which I completed and sent back the same day. Three weeks later I received a phone call from the Branch managers assistant to come in a week later. I went in to the interview and the manager was very down to earth; he liked my past experience and sent a business plan template to complete. He stated the whole process would take about 3 weeks (which is complete BS. They are such a big organization; they are clueless on what is going on). I received a call 3 weeks later to meet with an FAA that told me how hard of a time I will have raising money, and talked about his little piker business and how MSSB's salary is a draw that has to be paid back (which is expected in this industry).
I made the mistake of holding informal meetings with family and friends telling them I was making a switch into wealth management. I waited and waited for the last interview for 4 weeks. I met with a senior FA for another redundant waste of my time interview and I could clearly tell he was intimidated by my track record and connections.
Reason for Declining –
This people are a waste of time when it comes to interviewing professionals. No wonder they are collapsing since all they do is hire people with no real work experience or recent grads, and make no accommodations to real producers. They talk to you as if you have no clue what is going on in the industry.
I decided to take my business to an asset management firm that is very accommodating.
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