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Interview Questions for FA position at Morgan Stanley

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Feb 2, 2011 4:42 pm

I've heard it basically is "how do you plan on getting $10 million under management in your first 12 months?" Is this the gist of it? Is there anything else I may need to know? Or is everything else just fluff except for this?

Feb 2, 2011 5:52 pm

I recently interviewed with MSSB and I considered it pretty standard for a wirehouse. Every manager is different so the interviews are just as different. In my interview, I was asked about my networking possibilities and how well rooted I was in the community. Standard questions about my background and sales experience, but they really focused in on how I was going to prospect. I was told that they would rather me not cold call since it is "not an effective way for building a book". They basically wanted me to lean on friends and family which is something I don't think is appropriate. If a year or 2 down the road someone I know wants to open an account that will be fine. I have never had my cousin who does mortgages ask me if I wanted to re-finance my house or my old college roommate who is an attorney now ask if I need help getting rid of a traffic ticket. They know I know what they do and I need their services, I will use them. I know a kid who was recently hired at NWM and he called me to set up an appointment. I agreed cause I felt bad for him. I knew NMW was forcing him to prospect his friends and family. He is a good kid and straight out of college, so at least he is getting some work experience for now. Back to my interview. We didn't talk AUM since that was discussed during a phone interview. They were only looking to put people together in teams of 3. 

They are basically going to look at a few things:

How many people is in your warm market that have money to invest.

Your sales experience.

If you "look the part" which means if you fit the profile of how they want their FA's to look.

How many people are in your warm market that have money to invest.

How are you going to prospect and network (without cold calling) after you have sucked dry your warm market.

For the record, I liked the manager who interviewed me and I think MSSB is a good firm. I am just being honest with what they are looking for at the office that I interviewed. I could tell that size of my warm market would be a big determining factor in getting hired. I liked what I heard, but I knew that I would not want to work for them for any longer than 3 years or so. Good luck with your interview. Make sure to do some research about all the firms you are considering. Make sure MSSB or any firm is the right fit for you instead of trying to fit what the firm is looking for. I know that the initial salary is appealing, but it always comes with a flip side. Like in Vegas, the house always wins.

I am sure that individuals who work for MSSB will light me up, but I am just being honest about my interview.  

Jun 28, 2012 2:19 pm


Thanks very much for this comment. It help me to think about my ideals.

Tks again and pls keep posting.

Apart from that, this link below may be useful:


Mar 30, 2016 1:15 am

THANKS FOR YOUR COMMENTS BUT HOW YOU CALCULATE the realistic number of high net worth prospects and the percentage that will choose you to be their advisors?