PNC Financial Services Group
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Branch Financial Advisor Interview
The process took 3 weeks – interviewed at PNC Financial Services Group in November 2009.
PNC is a decent enough bank (otherwise I would not have applied), but I got the feeling that the retention rate of th job I was applying for was horrible. All one has to do is submit an application online through their website and then a "Talent Acquisition" Recruiter will call you (ie., a 22 year old girl with no licenses) to do a first interview on the phone. The questions she asked was obviously scripted "How much business did you write last year?" etc... It seems like she is "qualifying" to make sure you what you state on your resume is the same as what she is asking. This is a breeze. Interview last about 5 minutes and then she starts to "sell" me the job I was applying for (or recruited for as PNC will call you also if you are in the field). Next step is to meet with a "Regional Manger for a face to face intervview". In the interim, I was emailed a complete app to give PNC authority to run a background check (but I donl;t even know if I want the job!), but alas no harm so I did it.
FYI- I also applied for the Branch Manager role in addition to an Advisor role so I was autoemailed a "survey" assessment. When do these Employers realize that these assessments are evry outdated and easily manipulated. HINT: When you get to do an assessment test for any job, here is the trick: Answer as the WAY YOU THINK THE JOB YOU ARE APPLYING FOR WILL WANT, meaning if you are going to be around people alot and even if you HATE people, just answer that you LOVE peopled and badabing, you pass. The second thing is these surveys have a built in mechanism in the questions to "catch irregularities", so answer CONSISTENTLY. For example, the above about liking to work with people will show up about 2-4Xs on the survey but in a different manner. They think they are slick by asking the same question differently but just take your time and answer consistently the way you THINK they want you to answer that pertains to the job you are applying for.
I meet with the Regional Manager and it was a breeze. I was being sold on working at PNC rather than the other way around. that is always a hint. The lady was nice enough but she did most of the talking. All in all, a straightforward interview-all she wanted to know was how much I wrote in biz and why I am looking to move from my current job. Most of the interview was her telling me the history of PNC. I asked one question and this is the question that EVERYONE should ask in this field " What is the retention rate of the position I am applying for?". In other words, how many people was in this position that I am replacing and why did they leave. If they lose a person every 8 months, maybe it is not a good switch, ya think? To be fair she did not tell me- she said she was not sure but then went back to how great PNC is. That was alert #1 for me.
But again, she was friendly and I liked her but if you are on this field and work at bank, you are basically in Retail dealing with the public. It is really a step down from being a true Financial Advisor as 70% of your time is selling CD's and explaining why someone got a $35 late fee on their statement. I'll explain why I know this at the end.
A week after we met, I get offered the position and and told that once I accept I have to take a drug test within 3 days. By then, I already had better offers elsewhere and I declined.
Since this happened, I have a coworker who is now working at this very same job I applied for. Here is what is revealing about this. This guy is not a very good advisor-he has only been in the field about 4 years at 4 different companies and he is a chronic drug abuser. He basically got fired from his current job because of performance but most companies will allow you to "resign". I prepped him for the interview process at PNC and he flew by with no problems and get this. He passes the drug test by bringing in fresh urine froma friend he had waiting in the car! Apparently, they leave you alone for the drug test in the bathroom.
Since then he states that he makes about $45K/year doing menial work (paperwork etc...) which is fine by him as he probably would not get a job elsewhere in the finacial field (no firm likes an advisor with 4 diff firms in 4 years, except a bank). He feeds me info daily about the products he sells and it is always CD's and annuities-that's it. Cus bank customers are elderly and conservative.
- None really- they seem to be selling me and doing most of the talking which is really a norm in this industry. Answer Question
I felt the position was more of a "Retail Lackey" dealing with the walkin's of the bank instead of a true Financial Advisor position.