Merrill Lynch Interview Questions | Glassdoor

Merrill Lynch Interview Questions

Updated Apr 26, 2017
761 Interview Reviews

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  1.  

    Summer Analyst (Tech) Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Merrill Lynch in September 2016.

    Interview

    30-minute phone interview. Interviewer began by explaining the tech position as well as the academic and work-related background of the interviewer. Then, after a few behavioral questions, the interview jumped very quickly to technical questions. However, the humble interviewer remained thoughtfully cordial throughout the intensive interview, and was eagerly patient.

    Interview Questions

    • If you have a standard credit card, in the commonsense of the word, with a monthly percentage rate of r and a minimum monthly payment of q percent of the balance due for the previous month, at what levels of q and r does the credit card loan begin to negatively amortize, and why?   Answer Question

  2.  

    Financial Advisor PMD Program Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at Merrill Lynch in July 2016.

    Interview

    Random call from bofa recruiter about a career night.
    Attended career night.
    Took two online exams and passed.
    Got a call back 2 weeks later to meet the manager.
    Sat with him and he was angry that I was a Marine, and told me to go back to Wells fargo or apply to bofa in store.
    He said they have an 85% fail rate for advisors.

    Interview Questions


  3.  

    Investment Banking Analyst Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Hong Kong (Hong Kong)
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2 days. I interviewed at Merrill Lynch (Hong Kong (Hong Kong)) in April 2013.

    Interview

    Applied online and submitted education and employment information, ticked a referred by box. Phone interview by VP of m&A for accounting and finance skills, several rounds of in person interviews, from analyst through to director, and asked about skills, current news, personality.

    Interview Questions


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  5.  

    Executive Assistant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Chelmsford, MA
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Merrill Lynch (Chelmsford, MA) in January 2012.

    Interview

    Easy go meet the manager about three interviews or so it is a very complicated interview but easy at the same time. You'll get to see your workspace your possible coal workers you will get a travel expense you also receive a company car and numerous benefits you will have to answer and quiz 13 question to see if you were suitable and can pass security

    Interview Questions

    • Please ask me your background submit your years of experience percentage of sales how long you've been with the company describe your perfect day would you expect from us what do you want to expect from me   Answer Question

    Reasons for Declining

    I moved to a different state


  6.  

    Java Developer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at Merrill Lynch (New York, NY) in March 2016.

    Interview

    First resume selection though campus careers. Then first round of interview at campus.Cleared that. Then super day at Hilton New York with the people selected from all over USA. First day networking event.Second day 3-4 rounds of interview. Really they drill you to the core, very technical, hard and tiring.

    Interview Questions

    • data structures,java,algos,software engineering,DBMS etc   Answer Question

  7. Helpful (9)  

    PMD Financial Advisor Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at Merrill Lynch (Los Angeles, CA) in January 2016.

    Interview

    The interview process was extremely long and if you're young like me (23) expect it to be that way. I applied in January and heard from the HR dept Feb 3rd.
    1. Phone interview with a really nice guy who gave me a business plan template and told me that i would need to make one for the hiring panel that would come later. Also told me I had to take the FIAT within a few days. The test took me 2 hours.. I would have done it with a smart friend so it would go quicker. The interview ended with the Base pay number ($50k) and that the DM of the area would call me to set up an interview soon.
    (1 week later)
    2. I emailed the first person and asked if the DM would call me soon. They found out that the DM hadn't recieved their 'memo' to call me.
    3. A few days later the DM calls and i set up a same day interview. The interview was very easy and I have some good expereince. I've started my own company and worked at a bank for a few years. He liked the sales portion and the building my own business part. He was not impressed with me at all though (from the look or demeanor). He said he would be in contact with me soon.
    (1 week later)
    4. I get an email from the HR dept to request me to schedule 3 appointments where I interview existing PMD grads (only 1 was a recent grad within 5 years) and to build a business plan that I would need for the panel interview. I scheduled all the interviews within a week and finished my business plan. I learned a lot from these guys, so take advantage of their time.
    (1 week later)
    5. I get an email asking me to set up another appointment for a meeting with a DM from another district. I do and meet with him within a week. The guy is nice but insincere about the program, like he has zero faith in it. He has a small to little amount of faith in my ability to be a good PMD (normal) and refers to yet another DM from another district.
    (1 week later)
    6. I schedule another appointment with the next DM and meet with him. Interesting interview, he used foul language and made fun of his coworkers lifestyles... he then offers me the job... verbally of course...
    (2 weeks later)
    7. The panel interview - is cancelled and I am sent the actual job offer and backround check stuff....

    holy moly i hope you dont have to do all that for $50k

    Interview Questions

    • show them you have access to high net work clients and that you have experience with rich people...   1 Answer

  8. Helpful (1)  

    Broker Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Rockville, MD
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took a week. I interviewed at Merrill Lynch (Rockville, MD).

    Interview

    It was a 3 and half hour interrogation session. I was asked by a female if after my first million would I quit to have a child. In how many years did I want children? And I had to have 10 million already in clients to come on board. My uncle who was a broker with a different firm had 11 million clients after 30 years. He said what she did to me in that interview was ridiculous.

    Interview Questions

    • Brokers with ML usually make their first million within the first 12 months, would I quit after my first million? How soon did I want to have children?   2 Answers

  9. Helpful (11)  

    PMD Financial Advisor Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3+ months. I interviewed at Merrill Lynch in June 2015.

    Interview

    After applying online I received an email asking me to complete a FIAT test, which is a financial aptitude test. The test began with simple questions asking things that requited basic knowledge of finance like stock splits and ended with complex theory type questions. I am sure this financial aptitude test was put in place to test for my ability to pass the Series 7 and 66 licensing exams. Set aside at least three hours in a quiet area with a computer to take the test. You are not notified upon completion whether you passed or failed the test.

    Shortly after completing the FIAT, I was emailed to schedule a phone interview with a recruiter. The recruiter was very friendly. She explained the interview process, told me I passed the FIAT test, gave me helpful advice and asked normal, easy interview questions about my job, education and life achievements. I do not have a college degree. Be prepared - although ML (Merrill Lynch) says they will hire experienced sales people without a college degree, it was a major hurdle I had to overcome in many interviews. The recruiter had warned me about this so I was prepared to answer questions about why I am qualified for the position even though I do not have a college degree. I felt like she was on my side and she wanted me to succeed.

    After speaking with the recruiter, I was set up with a semi-local ML branch where they set me up with a phone interview with the managing director of the area. I was asked about major life achievements in business and my personal life. They like to see competitive people, so playing sports is a plus. Admittedly, I do not play sports and I am not interested in sports.

    After my phone interview with the managing director, the managing director’s assistant reached out to me and gave me a list of tasks to complete:

    - Schedule a phone interview with three FAs (financial advisors).
    - Listen to audio files.
    - Write a business plan on being a FA with ML using the template provided. ML asks about 6-10 questions to be focused on in the business plan. My business plan was 10 pages total when complete after answering the questions asked. I took my business plan very seriously, as should you. In your business plan they want to see that your centers of influence (people you can market to that are part of your life) have high net worths and would be good potential clients. They also want to see why you would be a good FA with ML.

    Next I had a panel interview I brought ten final copies of my business plan and ten copies of my resume. The panel interview was tough. Let me tell you this, if your business plan is clear, concise and you answered the questions thoroughly, almost every answer you give the panel will come out of your business plan. I feel like I answered many of their questions word for word from what I wrote in my business plan. If your business plan is solid (mine took me two weeks of long nights), your panel interview should be cake. The hardest part of my panel interview was proving to them that I would be fit for the position even though I do not have a college degree. Two of the older FAs on the panel of 4 seemed really focused on the fact that I do not have a degree, while the other two seemed not to care. I maintained that the fact that I do not have a college degree is completely irrelevant and does not effect my ability to sell. The panel also wants to see that you can handle rejection. Working as a FA in wealth management is essentially a sales position. I had consulted this website before all my interviews and had answers ready for many questions based upon what other people said they were asked. Between reading interview questions on this website and having a SOLID business plan. I feel I was very prepared.

    Shortly after I had a one-on one interview. It was casual, easy, and my interviewer (another FA) was nice. I could tell he was pleased and I was almost positive I landed the position I worked so hard for.

    Within a week I received the job offer.

    This was a difficult interview process, and I didn't include a few small steps. Overall I am happy with the completed experience. My work dynamic is great. Everyone is friendly, driven and goal oriented. It is completely different than any other place I have worked before. I feel like everyone is like me - ready to succeed. I have yet to run into a lazy person or slacker. Again, do not bother applying to work for this company unless you plan on working hard. My first week I worked over 50 hours, because I knew to succeed I would also have to make sacrifices.

    Interview Questions


  10. Helpful (28)  

    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at Merrill Lynch in April 2011.

    Interview

    1. I was contacted by a recruiter to basically do a screening interview. He explained to me what the position entailed and what the requirements were and what the process would be like. He then asked me if I was interested and if I would come to a Hiring Event within the next week. I accepted
    2. I went to the hiring event, which was laid back and informal. They served us refreshments and gave us information about the company and about the position. We were told what it would be like to be in the program and given a folder full of information explaining the pay structure for the first 3 years, commission structure, series 66 & 7, as well as the requirements for the interview process moving forward. If we did not pass both of these tests then we would not be able to move forward in the process and we would not be eligible to retake the test for 6 months. At the end of the presentation the Resident Director and the Recruiter gave out their contact information asked us to send them an email letting them know if we wanted to move forward with the process. A day later I accepted the challenge.
    3. I waited about 2 weeks for the next step, which was the FIAT exam. The FIAT is a Financially Intelligent Aptitude Test. Look it up online. You should also take a refresher on long division and long decimal multiplication. You cannot use a calculator. The same day I was informed that I passed and would be set up for the next round, which was the personality test.
    4. I took the personality test a couple of days later. This is a timed test so I recommend you have peace and quiet so that you can focus. This is the test that will tell them what kind of advisor you will be. They will ask you questions about investing, sales ability, job history, personality questions, as well as a survey asking you how many people you know with a net worth of $250K in liquid cash to invest. They want to know if you are already connected to wealth. It was explained to me that this test is weighted and should be strong in the job history and network of relationships portion of the test. After passing this test then I was scheduled for a 1:1 interview with the Resident Director. This interview was centered around my plan for client acquisition. If you really want to get this job make sure you go above and beyond on this plan. I went the extra mile and had my plan bound at Kinkos for $10. I also formatted my plan like a presentation instead of in just bullet points. Do not be underprepared. There are so many sites that will help you prepare your plan. After this round I was passed to the next round, which would be an interview with the Regional Branch Manager.
    5. This interview was not located in the city I live in. I actually had to travel for this meeting. It was well worth it considering I pretty much knew I would get this job; however, my meeting with him was probably the most challenging. The one question that I was asked in round 4 and 5 was, "Are you sure this is what you want to do and why"? I told him yes and that I understood that it was a very big decision but if I committed then I would be 110% committed. He explained to me that I would be extended an offer by the Resident Director and that he would be in contact with me very soon.
    6. I advise anyone seeking an opportunity with Merrill to contact someone outside that office that also works for Merrill to get as much advice as possible. It helped me out and the FAs in other offices were very open to being helpful throughout the whole process. Do not be shy. That is not what they want. They want aggressive but not arrogant. Be dressed very well. Look as though you are already employed as an FA. I wore a tailored navy suit, a white shirt with french cuffs, black cap-toe shoes, and a very conservative power tie. I wore a bow-tie to the hiring event so that I would stick out among the others there. It definitely worked. The resident director told me that I was memorable at the event and that set me apart from the other candidates. How you dress is very important as well.
    8. The regional director told me something that may help you. He told me that there are 3 qualities a FA at Merrill Lynch has to possess without question.
    A) Intelligence (to pass the Licensing Exams and learn the products)
    B) Work Ethic (to work your client acquisition plan without ceasing)
    C) Sales Ability (The ability to make people comfortable and like you)

    Interview Questions

    • Why do you want to be a financial advisor?   1 Answer
    • Are you sure you want to do this?   1 Answer
    • What do you believe the hardest part is about a financial advisors job at Merrill Lynch?   1 Answer

    Negotiation

    I was given the chance to negotiate and you will to; however, you need to remember that what you accept will determine your goals. The higher the salary; the higher the goals.


  11.  

    Investment Banking Vice-President Interview

    Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Merrill Lynch (London, England (UK)) in August 2010.

    Interview

    Head hunter, interviews with senior MDs

    Interview Questions

    • what would you describe as the most important factors in building a smart order router   Answer Question
    • do you have any difficulties with your current management?   Answer Question

    Negotiation

    not much possible and over very quickly


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