Principal Financial Group
3.5 of 5 177 reviews
www.principal.com Des Moines, IA 5000+ Employees

Principal Financial Group Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Jun 17, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting the Interview 

40%
18%
13%

Interview Experience 

65%
29%
4%

Interview Difficulty 

Average Difficulty
50 candidate interviews
Relevance Date Difficulty
in

No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Analyst Interview

Analyst

I applied online - interviewed at Principal Financial Group in June 2013.

Interview Details – Spoke with HR. Very friendly and conversational. Discussed resume and questions regarding professional experiences.

Moved onto second interview with department head. Again, very friendly and conversational.

Interview Question – Biggest professional failure?   Answer Question

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1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Fixed Income Co-op Interview

Fixed Income Co-op
Des Moines, IA

I applied through college or university - interviewed at Principal Financial Group in January 2013.

Interview Details – Started with an investment analysis on a company they chose. Mainly a fundamental breakdown of the industry/company. Then valuation, I used a DCF and P/E relative value valuation. Be prepared to explain every part of your model especially if you use a DCF as they will really drive you into getting specific. The analysis is used a pre-screening tool for HR who will flag the one's that look the best. If you are flagged you will get a call from HR which will begin your first phone interview.

My phone interview was very simple and straightforward. The HR rep was very conversational and nice, and did most of the talking. They will explain each team that make up fixed income and what they do. They'll ask about your background, resume, why fixed income, etc. nothing out of the ordinary.

Second round was on site. It was four, 2 on 1 interviews roughly 30 mins each. Two people from each team will interview you. Mainly behavioral questions, along with explaining your analysis, in depth, which then brought upon technical questions, and even a few brain teasers. Everyone in Fixed Income is very intelligent as the majority of the floor has their CFA and MBA, yet they don't expect you to have any prior knowledge of Fixed Income investing so prepare questions for them. Everyone that interviewed me was friendly and did not make me feel uncomfortable in anyway, if you understand your analysis and could put together a story regarding your thesis and overall recommendation you'll be golden.

Know they company that they assign you to do the analysis on! They will drive deep into your knowledge surrounding the company as a whole, for example if the company recently made an acquisition it would more than likely be a good idea to know how that acquisition was financed. Things like that will make you stand out.

Interview Questions

Negotiation Details – No negotiation for an internship

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Financial Advisor Interview

Financial Advisor

Interviewed at Principal Financial Group

Interview Details – There was an in person screening interview that lasted roughly 1 hour. Briefed about the position and had a short Q/A about qualifications and interests. Very typical screening interview nothing special.

Interview Question – Why do you want to work here?   Answer Question

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Very Easy Interview

Intern Interview

Intern
Des Moines, IA

I applied through college or university - interviewed at Principal Financial Group in November 2012.

Interview Details – Had two phone interviews. The first was a general HR interview asking basic questions about projects I had completed in school. The second phone interview I spoke with numerous managers in different roles of the company. They really focused on making sure you got to do what you were interested in rather than just putting you wherever they needed you.

Interview Question – None   Answer Question

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Internal Wholesaler Interview

Internal Wholesaler
Minneapolis, MN

I applied online and the process took 4 weeks - interviewed at Principal Financial Group in September 2012.

Interview Details – I first received a standard screening call and answered questions verifying my background, their salary range and the basic duties of the position. Two day later, I received a call to schedule a phone interview with two would-be peers in the dept. That call went well, they described what a day-in-the-life is like, asked questions about my background, how I'd handle specific client situations on the phone and in person and allowed me to ask as many questions as I had about the position, the supervising staff, the work environment etc. I was booked for a face-to-face interview with the home office manager to whom the position directly reports and the Regional Sales Director with whom I would partner. The meeting took place in a regional office. Both men were pleasant, straight forward guys. During the interview it became clear that I'd be a solo entrepreneur/inside sales rep and I was looking for either a position working with a team or with some small component of outside sales. None of this came up in the previous screenings, but it was a deal breaking issue for me and I let them know in the interview that the position was not for me.

Interview Question – The questions were pretty run of the mill for the investment/insurance business.   Answer Question

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Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Communications Consultant Interview

Communications Consultant
Des Moines, IA

I applied through an employee referral - interviewed at Principal Financial Group in July 2012.

Interview Details – Know someone before going through the HR process, or you probably won't make it past the HR interview. They don't fully understand the business unit's needs, and try to weed out candidates in an uninformed manner.

Interview Question – If you were an animal, what animal would you be?   View Answer

Negotiation Details – I didn't negotiate.

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1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Marketing Specialist Interview

Marketing Specialist
Des Moines, IA

I applied online and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Principal Financial Group in January 2012.

Interview Details – General phone interview to qualify you. then meet with hiring managers and do a very typical interview.

Interview Question – How would you handle a difficult rep?   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – It was ok. Completely low balled. Negotiated better base and got a signing bonus.

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Account Executive Interview

Account Executive
Downers Grove, IL

I applied in-person and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Principal Financial Group in January 2010.

Interview Details – 2 interviews - met with the whole team, they are looking for a good fit within the culture

Interview Question – ask aggressive client / participant questions in a mock presentation setting   View Answer

Negotiation Details – phone convo with HR, i got what i wanted

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Senior Project Manager Interview

Senior Project Manager
Des Moines, IA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Principal Financial Group in September 2012.

Interview Details – The hiring process went real smooth, especially given the size and popularity of the company. I met with the hiring manager and one of her trusted senior team members. They were very easy going and made me feel at ease. Even though I did not have all the experience the position required to the letter of the requirements, they chose to continue with the interview and gave me a fair shot at it.

Interview Question – There was really none that was difficult or unexpected.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – No negotiation. I was out of a job and did not have room to negotiate.

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Intern Interview

Intern
Des Moines, IA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Principal Financial Group in December 2011.

Interview Details – First interview was over the phone with an HR representative. This interview consisted of questions about my resume and my interest in the position. About two weeks later I received an invitation to interview at the Principal Financial Group's campus in downtown Des Moines, IA

Interview Question – Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult situation (i.e. project teams at school).   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – There is no negotiation for internships.

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