Jackson National interview advice

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Oct 25, 2007 2:00 pm

I just landed an interview with Jackson National in early November, and I wanted to know what kinds of questions they’d probably ask me.

I’m interviewing for a position on the wholesaler training program.  My goal is to move from internal to external in a period of about a year. 

A little background on me:  I have my series 7, and I’ve been interning at Wachovia Securities for about 5 years… so I’ve definitely met my fair share of externals, and I have a pretty good idea of what their job entails. 

Any tips/advice/suggestions are more than welcome… thanks guys!

Oct 25, 2007 7:37 pm

Guitar - my understanding of the internal position is that it’s 50 - 60% admin, 30% sales & 10 - 20% online solitaire. I imagine they’ll want to know if you’re organized, and have a good personality. You’ve already shown that you’re smart enough to pass the exams.

Just play them a few songs, and you should be fine. One of my favorites has always been, "She’ll be comin’ round the mountain when she comes.’

Oct 28, 2007 9:48 am

What is the deal with a five year internship? You’d be almost totally vested in most 401(k) plans if you were a full time employee.  As for Jackson National, they are a second tier annuity company in my firm. You’d have to have a gameplan for taking the relationships you built as an internal to the external side.

Oct 28, 2007 4:21 pm

Thanks for the advice guys… I really appreciate it.

As for my 5 year internship, I started working for the same wealth management team way back in high school.  It was only a few hours a week and it was mostly grunt work… copies, faxing, getting coffee for clients, stuffing envelopes, etc.  Once I started college I worked over summer and winter breaks and helped build trading models, organized seminars, and developed performance reports.

Dec 6, 2007 10:42 pm

I would ask what firms Jackson National even has selling agreements with.  Why not look around at some other firms while you are at it?

Dec 6, 2007 11:19 pm

I think they have an excellent annuity and I’m very intrigued with their new line of mutual funds.

Dec 7, 2007 1:30 am


I would ask what firms Jackson National even has selling agreements with.  Why not look around at some other firms while you are at it?

[/quote]   I am not positive, but I believe that they were the most sold VA by independent brokers last year.  That isn't exactly the 2nd tier firm that some of you are making it out to be.  I personally use them, and they have a great product.  They also have great service and wholesalers who are willing to share some of that fat marketing budget annuity companies give out, which my clients and I appreciate.   I'm less familiar with their fixed side, I'm not a big believer in fixed annuities.
Dec 10, 2007 1:53 pm

Just a quick update from my side of things:

The first interview went great… I centered it around a Vitae I prepared in order to take the pressure off of me as well as the hiring scout who was interviewing me. 

She then invited me upstairs to meet one of the most successful internals with whom I was able to field a few phone calls with.

All in all, I think it went great.  I don’t graduate till spring of next year, but they invited me back for a second interview after the new year.

In other news, I’ve been setting up interviews with Merrill, Wachovia, and Goldman Sachs. Still not sure what route I want to persue… but I figure I can see what’s out there.

Dec 10, 2007 3:10 pm

Congratz on the interview & thanks for the update:

If I may offer another route:

A personal banker. Yeah, don’t laugh! The job pays about $35K / yr(about what you make the 1st yr as a rep), but you see what money people have. In many places you can keep your licenses. You get to talk to people about money in general & in most places can be moved from a pb to a advisor role with success. The folks who did this & were successful enough to be moved to the advisor role w/n the bank channel were doing $400 - $500K production w/n 3 - 5 yrs of starting.

It doesn’t do much for the ego, but it’s sweet on your lifestyle and your pocketbook in the longer term. It also gives you a floor underneath your feet.

Let us know which way you’re leaning after your next round of interviews!

Jun 18, 2008 2:02 pm

Hey guys, I got the job at Jackson and I begin my training August 4th!  Until then, I’m continuing to work at my internship with Wachovia. 

  It's been a tough struggle for me the past few months, but i believe I've made a decision that has long-term benefits.  Basically, here's what has happened the past few months:   -My bosses (FA's) at Wachovia have wanted me to join their team in a full-time roll, but basically I would just be an SA with typical SA duties. -If I wanted to become a FA (which is my long-term goal) I would have to apply for Wach's FA training program just like every other applicant. -So, my bosses have backed my decision to go with Jackson to get training and experience with Annuities/Mutual Funds/Other products, and they feel that it is a great starting point for me.   The only worries I currently have are: -Jackson doesn't pay health/dental insurance until I complete the training program (approx 2-4 months).  Is this typical? -The salary during the training period... to put it bluntly... sucks.  Like as in I'm making less then I am as an intern with Wach.  -I know this Jackson position is very heavily sales based, but because this is my first REAL job, I'm not sure how good I will be in the sales field.   Any advice... words of encouragement... tips?  I'm excited but scared shitless at the same time.  Thanks for the help, guys.
Jun 18, 2008 2:19 pm

It sounds like a good opportunity for you.  Don’t make a career decision based upon a couple of months.  In other words, the training benefits and salary shouldn’t matter.   “excited by scared shitless” is exactly how you are supposed to feel.

Jun 19, 2008 12:41 pm

Thanks Anon, I probably should have moved back home with the parents after graduation, but this seems to be a good start for me.  At least the girlfriend will be happy I’m living in her neck of the woods for awhile longer

Jun 24, 2008 10:49 am

If all goes well you will be making $100,000 as a fixed wholesaler within 2 years.  Who cares what the trainee salary is?

You may want to keep some sort of group health insurance in effect, even if it is expensive.  That way you can't be dinged for any preexisting condition when you move to their plan in a few months.  Shouldn't be a problem for a young healthy guy, but it does happen. 
Jun 24, 2008 1:02 pm

Thanks!  I actually just signed up for Cobra with my dad’s company, so hopefully it will be fine until I get the full benefit package at Jackson.