Morgan Stanley Smith Barney

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Morgan Stanley Smith Barney Financial Advisor Associate Interview Questions

Updated Jun 14, 2015
28 Interview Reviews

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Helpful (4)  

Financial Advisor Associate Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate in Los Angeles, CA
Accepted Offer
Positive Experience
Difficult Interview

Application

I applied online. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney (Los Angeles, CA) in June 2013.

Interview

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 it. 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, 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. Good luck!

Interview Questions

  • 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

None. Took first offer. Doesn't matter anyways since it slowly phases out.

Other Interview Reviews for Morgan Stanley Smith Barney

  1. Helpful (1)  

    Associate Financial Advisor Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney in March 2013.

    Interview

    Short process with impromptu meeting. Unscripted questions and conversational format. My appointment was confirmed by the person who referred me. There was no prescreening process.

    Interview Questions

    • There were no unexpected questions. We reviewed my background and skills at current and previous jobs.   Answer Question
  2. Helpful (2)  

    Financial Advisor Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer

    Interview

    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 Questions

    • How would you deal with a client that just will not say yes?   1 Answer

    Negotiation

    No negotiation here. They offered a job and salary and it was take it or leave it.

  3. Helpful (1)  

    Financial Advisor Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Beverly Hills, CA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney (Beverly Hills, CA).

    Interview

    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 Questions

    • Who is your target market going to be and how do you plan on reaching them and converting them to clients?   Answer Question
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  5. Helpful (3)  

    Financial Advisor Associate Interview

    Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Declined Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney (New York, NY) in May 2012.

    Interview

    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.

    Interview Questions

    Reasons 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.

  6.  

    Financial Advisor Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Beverly Hills, CA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took a week. I interviewed at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney (Beverly Hills, CA) in February 2012.

    Interview

    The interview process started off with some basic background/behavioral questions during both the phone & in-person interviews. The panel interviews with the group's managers progressed to more technical questions about securing clients and your qualifications for meeting the monthly asset quotas. Finally, the on-line skills assessment was a timed exam with an emphasis on basic financial computations.

    Interview Questions

    • Q: How will you be able to secure your future clients? (What is your sales pitch?)   Answer Question
  7. Helpful (1)  

    Financial Advisor Associate Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied in-person. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney (Boston, MA) in January 2012.

    Interview

    I met with a very personable and relaxed advisor and talked a lot about the position and any questions I had. It was not a tense sit down and I learned a lot about the company and was very friendly. It was only informational through a friend and I was referred to a sales manager who I contacted for a real length phone interview.

    Interview Questions

    • What kind of experiences have you had that made you interested in an advisory position?   Answer Question
  8. Helpful (2)  

    Financial Advisor Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Palo Alto, CA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied in-person. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney (Palo Alto, CA) in October 2011.

    Interview

    The following process took about a month: 1) Interview with Branch Manager 2) (2 days later) Application and resume submission 3) (an hour later) Personality test (situations are presented and I chose one out of four available reactions), Mathematics test (25 questions all about weighted average portfolio returns and compound growth rates), Logic test (Premise is presented with a conclusion, and I used deductive reasoning--aka common sense--to chose the likelihood of the conclusion. The tests take about 3 hours. 4) (2 weeks later) Phone interview to prepare me for writing a business plan- very direct questioning about why I will be successful. 5) (15minutes later) Sent a Business Plan to complete within 10 days. It's about 5 pages of short answer questions wondering how you will gather clients. Sent it back the same day. 6) (2 weeks later) Final group meeting discussing the viability of my Business Plan. 7) (Later that afternoon) Hired, salary presented.

    Interview Questions

    Negotiation

    No negotiation, I was shocked how high it was and did not question it.

  9. Helpful (1)  

    Financial Advisor Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Irvine, CA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    The process took a week. I interviewed at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney (Irvine, CA) in March 2011.

    Interview

    The interview was with the Vice President/Branch Manager. He basically asked you how you would develop a business and marketing plan to acquire new clients. Basic interview questions like what are your strengths, why Morgan Stanley, etc... Being a Financial Advisor Associate is all about sales, so make sure you are outgoing and can communicate effectively.

    Interview Questions

    Negotiation

    I had other offers so I was able to negotiate a higher base salary with them.

  10. Helpful (1)  

    Financial Advisor Associate Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Pittsburgh, PA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took a week. I interviewed at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney (Pittsburgh, PA) in December 2010.

    Interview

    The online application included a few questions about your interests and experience. The next step is a series of tests. I got the email to complete the tests the day after submitting my application. There was a logic test, math test, and personality test. It actually took a long time (>2hrs). After that I was called in for a face to face interview.

    Interview Questions

    • The main topic of conversation was sales experience/ability/interest. The job is 90% sales (a lot of cold calls).   Answer Question
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