Questions to ask in the interview?

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Jan 7, 2008 11:12 am

Any suggestions on questions to ask during the interview process?
Also, what questions should I expect from the interviewer?
Jan 7, 2008 11:33 am

The biggest thing to understand is that if a potential employer is interested in hiring you, there will be an intensive background search, so whatever you do, be brutually honest about any past credit issues (bankrupcy, collections, etc.), criminal activity, work history, education transcripts, etc.  If you lie and get caught later, it's doubtful that you'll stay employed.

 
You should also know up front before you waste your time that if you have any felonies, bankrupcies, etc., you are most likely wasting your time trying to crack into this industry.  I'm not saying you do...I'm just answering an obvious question before it's asked for the 1,000th time.
Jan 7, 2008 2:30 pm

From what I understand bankruptcy doesn't kill your chances 100%.  I know an SVP who has been arrested for possession of stolen goods, third degree assalt, resisting arest and he filed for bankruptcy all in his early 20's.

Jan 7, 2008 2:59 pm

No...only 98% .  Seriously, lying will torpedo what little chance you have if there are problems in your background.  I would also wager that the standards have tightened up a bit since the SVP was hired and that he was an exception when he was employed.  If you have problems in your background, you'd better have a good explanation and hope the company is in serious need of bodies.

Jan 7, 2008 3:13 pm

Well i'm 23 and when i was 17 i got arrested for restraining order not a felony but a misdameanor. It later got dropped because the girls parents wanted it on me, but she did not. The judge saw evidence that she did not want it on me. My credit has no bankruptcy but again when i was 19 I had three credit cards and paid on them then got overwhelmed and couldnt pay them. Now i'm trying to break it in this career as a FA I've got interviews at EJ, waddell and reed, and Ameriprise next week.  My background is car sales 3 + years. My current position is a Internet Sales Manager. Any Suggestions?

Jan 7, 2008 3:50 pm
kevinbucchio:

Well i'm 23 and when i was 17 i got arrested for restraining order not a felony but a misdameanor. It later got dropped because the girls parents wanted it on me, but she did not. The judge saw evidence that she did not want it on me. My credit has no bankruptcy but again when i was 19 I had three credit cards and paid on them then got overwhelmed and couldnt pay them. Now i'm trying to break it in this career as a FA I've got interviews at EJ, waddell and reed, and Ameriprise next week.  My background is car sales 3 + years. My current position is a Internet Sales Manager. Any Suggestions?

 
Well look on the bright side the fact that you had a restraining order out against you shows your are willing to be persistent to the point of jail time! Edward Jones may consider that a positive. In all seriousness though you may have an outside shot with Waddell and Reed or Ameriprise. As much as we like to joke about Edward Jones I don't think they will hire you.
 
There are some exceptions as previously mentioned, however, to break into this industry at a young age (I was 21)  you have to not only wow the manger but you need to be squeaky clean as well.  The managers I have had would not hire you.....the fact that four years ago you ran up 3 credit cards then tossed in the towel because you were "overwhelmed" is almost as depressing as the fact that now you want to help people manage their money! 
 
I know this isn't the answer you wanted to hear, however, I think you need some candid advice from someone not to much older than you.
Jan 7, 2008 3:50 pm

Your're right Indy.  You lie (or killed someone), your out. 

Jan 7, 2008 4:36 pm

Kevin, I knew your story before you even coughed it up.  Heck, all I had to do was google your name and voila...I have your whole story, Romeo .  If you think it's easy for me, imagine how simple it will be for someone who can pay for a professional background check?!!


While your story has some sympathetic elements, the fact is, you've shown some incredibly poor judgement in the past and your first task will be to be honest and then come up with a damned convincing story about how someone who (a) can't follow a restraining order and (b) can't manage his personal credit cards can now magically manage millions of dollars for other people who have worked their entire lives to obtain a sizeable retirement fund.


I'm not kidding when I tell you that almost any reputable firm will struggle to get past your transgressions, even though you will insist that they are in the past, you've learned valuable lessons from them and you will never again show such poor judgement in any capacity.  I haven't even mentioned your youth and lack of experience as an obstacle yet.
 
I'm not here to tell you that it is impossible...I'm simply trying to give you a dose of realism so that you have an appreciation for the task ahead and I wanted to warn you about omission of material facts (A/K/A lying) in an interview or on a job application...do that, and you're finished before you start.
 
Oh, and you might want to use a name that's a bit more anonymous...and leave out your birthdate.  Heaven forbid a potential employer happen upon your posts here.
 
...and Dobe, if this is you trolling, you got me...
Jan 7, 2008 8:10 pm
Indyone:
  
...and Dobe, if this is you trolling, you got me...
 
Huh? Whaaa? I don't post under multiple personalities (on these boards). Dobe's my only identity. What you read is what you get, for whatever that's worth. Hmmmm, let's see, I'm checking my savings account...yep, it's worth about $1.56.
 
Oh, and about the questions you should ask in the interview, try asking about: vacation time, what time to show-up for work, quitting time, and how long for lunch... Just kidding!
Jan 7, 2008 8:29 pm
kevinbucchio:

Any suggestions on questions to ask during the interview process?
Also, what questions should I expect from the interviewer?
 
Aside from all the good advice already posted...
 
YOU NEED TO INTERVIEW THEM, NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND!  (I'm not shouting, you have CAPSLOCKAPHOBIA!)
 
You need to prepare a list of questions that show that you are a BUSINESS person looking to PARTNER with a firm to build a practice.  You don't ask about the health insurance, 401k plan, time off, etc.  Some questions you can ask in a more "assumptive" way like "I'm sure that you reimburse for designation courses, like CFP or ChFC, right?"  Ask it like you just want to check it off your list to be sure that you've covered your bases.
 
You should have a business plan ready to go on Day 1.  You should mention your inventory of skills (what you know and what you think you need to work on).  You should mention your target prospect and why.  You should mention how you plan to approach that prospect and how the firm can HELP YOU build your client base.
 
If you ask a lot of questions about "the job", "the job description" and the "pay", then you'll be shown the door.
 
Show that you know what you want and that you're just finding out if THEY will bring you on board, or will some other firm bring you on board.
Jan 7, 2008 8:34 pm
Indyone:

Kevin, I knew your story before you even coughed it up.  Heck, all I had to do was google your name and voila...I have your whole story, Romeo .  If you think it's easy for me, imagine how simple it will be for someone who can pay for a professional background check?!!

 
Heaven help me if you actually KNEW my name.  In the top 3 Google searches, it would show that someone with my name is serving a 33-year sentence for buying drugs from an undercover cop!
Jan 7, 2008 9:27 pm

Just be yourself.  If you have spark inside you they will see, and dont worry about your background if it isnt too bad.  There is always an exception, backdoor, or waiver.  You just need to prove you can make the company some money.  If they see you as a positive cash flow item for the company im sure they will work with you.

 
 
Jan 8, 2008 10:15 am
iceco1d:

Defaulted on 3 credit cards relatively?  No degree/training/experience?  Not to be a prick, but I would hope many FAs have some academic understanding of the field, and most of the rest at least have some practical, common sense, everyday knowledge of finance...you can't even manage your own money...minimum requirements thread - case in point (no offense...but I recently quit smoking and gained 40+ pounds - never in my life would I dream of trying to sell people weight loss drugs/equipment/plans in this condition).

 
PS-  I've been cig free since May 07, and I quit from 2+ packs a day (just in case anyone was going to ask). 



Way to go, ice!  That's a huge accomplishment.  I quit cold turkey more than 15 years ago and it was tough, but I'll never go back. 

Once you're clear from the damned things, you can attack your weight.  One thing at a time. 

Good on ya, mate!

(Oh, and Kevin - don't put all your eggs in one basket.  The odds of even getting hired with your history are really stacked against you, and even if hired the washout rate is about 90% within 5 years.  So think about a "Plan B" - it might be much better for you.)


Jan 8, 2008 11:00 am
skippy:
Indyone:

Kevin, I knew your story before you even coughed it up.  Heck, all I had to do was google your name and voila...I have your whole story, Romeo .  If you think it's easy for me, imagine how simple it will be for someone who can pay for a professional background check?!!

 
Heaven help me if you actually KNEW my name.  In the top 3 Google searches, it would show that someone with my name is serving a 33-year sentence for buying drugs from an undercover cop!



Did you forget which screen name you were supposed to be using to reply?

Jan 8, 2008 11:03 am
iceco1d:

Defaulted on 3 credit cards relatively?  No degree/training/experience?  Not to be a prick, but I would hope many FAs have some academic understanding of the field, and most of the rest at least have some practical, common sense, everyday knowledge of finance...you can't even manage your own money...minimum requirements thread - case in point (no offense...but I recently quit smoking and gained 40+ pounds - never in my life would I dream of trying to sell people weight loss drugs/equipment/plans in this condition).

 
PS-  I've been cig free since May 07, and I quit from 2+ packs a day (just in case anyone was going to ask). 



Congratulations!  I'm trying to quit and it's one of the toughest things I've ever attempted.  But I'm going to do it this time.

You are so right...personal integrity is so important in this business.  It's not just a matter of telling the truth, but also being true to what you tell others to do....

Jan 8, 2008 11:10 am
iceco1d:

Thanks Morphius!  It's kind of funny; I use the weight gain as a motivator to never go back.  I know that if I start smoking again, I'm not going to magically lose 40 lbs...I'll just have to quit again down the road and gain another 20, 30, etc. 

 
Cold turkey...that's tough as nailz!  I had to use the strongest patch I could buy - and even then, I seriously considered using two! 
 
I think the hardest moment in my quitting saga was that darn 30 min. mandatory break during the Series 7...I had my last cigarette April 30th, and took the 7 on May 9th (what was I thinking!). 



Doesn't matter what you were thinking...the reality is that you did it...and succeeded.  Feel proud of yourself, keep rolling, and don't look back.

I am having a rough day myself, and your little vignette is giving me a little extra inspiration.  Thanks.

Jan 8, 2008 11:29 am

FWIW, a key tactic for me was simple and psychological: I forced myself to focus on what I was GAINING, not was I was quitting.

I made a list of tings that I would gain by quitting - stuff like not being a slave to something, x more years of life in my 'golden years' to know my (eventual) grandchildren, save $X year in not buying cigs, better example to my kids, stop smelling like an ashtray, etc.   You get the idea. 

Then I wrote them down on a small card that I carried with me at all times.  Whenever I was struggling, I took that sucker out and read it again, which helped redirect my mind to achieving a positive good, rather than sulking about 'losing' a pleasure.

I know it's not much, but I really think it helped give me just a bit more momentum to help pull me through those occasional really tough times.

Jan 8, 2008 12:56 pm

Congrats to you guys who quit smoking.  I've never smoked, so I don't understand the attraction.  I do know that trying to quit something you are both physically and emotionally addicted to can be really tough.  I keep trying to kick my habit.  Too much kool-aid.  Green kool-aid.  No luck yet.  

 
Speaking of green kool-aid.  I'd be suprised if Jones hires this guy.  There's nothing on his resume to indicate he can stick it out.  I know we hire some goofballs, but not all of them make the cut.    
Jan 16, 2008 8:23 pm
Spaceman Spiff:

Congrats to you guys who quit smoking. I've never smoked, so I don't understand the attraction. I do know that trying to quit something you are both physically and emotionally addicted to can be really tough. I keep trying to kick my habit. Too much kool-aid. Green kool-aid. No luck yet.



Speaking of green kool-aid. I'd be suprised if Jones hires this guy. There's nothing on his resume to indicate he can stick it out. I know we hire some goofballs, but not all of them make the cut.





I should quit smoking. Its ruining my teeth! Tip for smokers...cover them with Crest White strips! while at it!