Interview process for ML POA?

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May 26, 2006 11:50 am

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I am currently in the interview process for Merrill Lynch’s Paths of Achievement program.  I was wondering if the interview process is the same at most branches and I am also curious what remains in the interview process.


 


In the case that someone is in the same position I was in two weeks ago I will describe what I’ve done thus far:


 


First interview:


I met with the hiring director for no more than three minutes.  He was basically trying to gauge why I think I could be an FA.  I took two multiple choice assessment tests.  One was personality test and the other was a basic math/finance/economics test.  The personality test was focused on things like how you interact with people and how outgoing you are.  The math portion was basic algebra of fractions and decimals.  The finance was minimal.  The economics was mostly simple Balance of Payment types of things.  All-in-all the tests were simple and anyone who graduated high-school should have no problems.  At most you may want to look up macroeconomics in Wikipedia and spend 10-minutes reviewing.


 


Second interview:


I was given access to some prep materials online.  The instructions tell you to prepare to give a 15-minute sales presentation.  That’s a small piece out of the 4-hour simulation of the day in a life of an FA.  The simulation consisted of putting me in an office with a computer and phone.  The computer had e-mail, CRM, and other basic tools that one would use as an FA.  They gave you a schedule but they throw a lot of things at you including e-mails and phone calls from people role-playing (actually quite good actors).  The real part was to determine how you would organize, prioritize and react to different stimulus.  I don’t think that there is any perfect way to take this interview.  I actually really enjoyed it.  Four hours went by very quickly.  If everyday of being an FA is really like this then I am confident that I will love this job.


 


 


My third interview is setup.  They told me that there is nothing that I can prepare for.  What should I expect?  Should I be successful at this interview what else is left?  I heard people on this message board mention a business plan.  Is this a formal business plan or just a discussion?  How negotiable are they on the hiring terms?  While I heard that it may not be in my best interest to negotiate on salary, I do have certain costs of living I will need to meet in the short-term.

May 26, 2006 11:54 am

I have a question...why would a "wealth manager" consider a training program? Don't you have some wealth to manage?

May 26, 2006 2:11 pm

 thats pretty funny.

May 26, 2006 2:17 pm

Fake it till you make it kid.


Just don't try to fake it around other brokers, you'll get eaten alive (see above post).  

May 26, 2006 9:12 pm
remotecontrol:

I have a question...why would a "wealth manager" consider a training program? Don't you have some wealth to manage?


Good question.  Maybe that's what I aspire to be.  Maybe I drank the kool aid and I think that's what FAs are or can be.  Or maybe I think asses like yourself would only respond if they can contribute to the topic at hand.  So do you have anything to contribute or are you just an ass who can make off-handed comments about people's handles?


WM

May 27, 2006 12:15 am
WealthManager:
remotecontrol:

I have a question...why would a "wealth manager" consider a training program? Don't you have some wealth to manage?


Good question.  Maybe that's what I aspire to be.  Maybe I drank the kool aid and I think that's what FAs are or can be.  Or maybe I think asses like yourself would only respond if they can contribute to the topic at hand.  So do you have anything to contribute or are you just an ass who can make off-handed comments about people's handles?


WM



Hey "Wealth Destroyer"....if you're that thin-skinned, maybe you should consider a different line of work because you'll never make it in this one!!!

May 27, 2006 10:29 am
joedabrkr:


Hey "Wealth Destroyer"....if you're that thin-skinned, maybe you should consider a different line of work because you'll never make it in this one!!!


You're right.  I went back this morning and looked at my post.  While I still think that my point (re: staying on topic) is valid, I was way too harsh.  I guess that it was my Martini Muscles talking.


Remote, I hope you can accept my appology for going off.


I'm not really thin-skinned.  I am just getting annoyed at how many responses are so off topic.  While I have gotten some GREAT information on these forums, the signal to noise ratio is low.  I'm an old timer who was posting in forums long before Mosaic was even around.  Back in the good old days the posts were mostly on-topic...that is until AOL unleashed the "Me To"s on the newsgroups.  Sorry for my rant, but it's many years of built up frustration.  I'll go have a bloody mary to calm me down.


So back to the topic at hand.  What about the interviewing process at ML?

May 27, 2006 4:26 pm

First off, it varies from branch to branch. All depends on how anal the branch manager is. But here is the basic rundown:


1) pass the test(s)


2) Get an interview


3) Make a marketing plan


4) Be interviewed by the FA panal (3 VP's to be exact)


5) IF you pass the panal, be interviewed by branch manager (sometimes its branch manager first then FA panal).


Thats pretty much it. Good luck

May 27, 2006 4:28 pm

PS: it takes 30-60 days normally. So its a long process

May 30, 2006 10:52 am

I interviewed on a Tuesday and was offered a position by that Friday... Guess I'm that good....

May 30, 2006 11:38 am
WealthManager:
joedabrkr:


Hey "Wealth Destroyer"....if you're that thin-skinned, maybe you should consider a different line of work because you'll never make it in this one!!!


You're right.  I went back this morning and looked at my post.  While I still think that my point (re: staying on topic) is valid, I was way too harsh.  I guess that it was my Martini Muscles talking.


Remote, I hope you can accept my appology for going off.


I'm not really thin-skinned.  I am just getting annoyed at how many responses are so off topic.  While I have gotten some GREAT information on these forums, the signal to noise ratio is low.  I'm an old timer who was posting in forums long before Mosaic was even around.  Back in the good old days the posts were mostly on-topic...that is until AOL unleashed the "Me To"s on the newsgroups.  Sorry for my rant, but it's many years of built up frustration.  I'll go have a bloody mary to calm me down.


So back to the topic at hand.  What about the interviewing process at ML?



Martini muscles? 

May 30, 2006 12:39 pm

Down boys.


Actually, you had some good information about the interview process at ML.  Good info, but it sounds goofy.


I would expect that they want you to show a business plan in the next meeting.  That would include how you intend to bring in the asset and revenue goals they set for you.  Good luck.


May 30, 2006 8:34 pm

blarmston maybe your right about how good you are. I actually know someone that got an offer that same day (so "SHE" beat you LOL ).


But seriously, it all varies from experience, education, and/or who do you know (or how many clients you already have in your previous firm that will follow you to ML). In any case, in MOST cases, what I posted is basicly the majority of the time and again like I said previously, it varies from branch (I never had to do a math exam for example nor a 15min presentation, just a basic "what are your plans").


Like the euros say: "Cheers mate"

May 30, 2006 8:54 pm

You don't have to show them a business plan unless it is requested of
you.  If you have one, and wish to offer it, make it a few pages
and direct, direct, direct (low fluff factor). 



You will likely be asked a series of basic interview questions:

    Describe a situation where you met failure...how did you handle it?

    Describe how you plan to market yourself.

    What makes you different from everyone else we interview.

    Where and how are you planning on obtaining new clients.



Relax...its just an interview.

Jun 2, 2006 12:20 pm

I've seen the process go as fast as two weeks, but six weeks is typical.  I've also seen things placed on hold for up to six months due to circumstances.

Be sure to keep your recruiter in the loop about your timeline.

Managers are given a lot of flexibility to adapt the core process, so stay flexible and don't read anything into variations from the "standard" process described above.


Jun 3, 2006 6:35 pm

I just posted what the regional manager of ML said to me when I got recruited (at the international HQ of ML in NYC). But your right, in the end, the branch managers are the ones in control. Im just passing on information that was given to me.