FINRA Exam Tips and Career Advice 2 – The hiring process of top financial firms

Tyler York
Achievable FINRA Exam Tips podcast

Interested in working at a top financial firm like Goldman Sachs or Fidelity Investments?

We cover job search best practices before digging into the hiring process of Fortune 500 financial firms. Brandon Rith, formerly at Fidelity for over a decade, gives you an inside look at what these firms are looking for and how to maximize your chances for an offer.

If you’re looking for a comprehensive course to pass the FINRA SIE exam with a 98% first-time pass rate, check out Achievable’s FINRA SIE course.

FINRA Exam Tips and Career Advice 2 – The hiring process of top financial firms

Welcome to the achievable podcast. We help you start your Finance career by passing the FINRA SIE exam.

Hey guys, welcome back to the achievable podcast. I’m here again with Brandon Rith. Once they had Brandon pay everybody. Hey guys, and we’re here today to dig into the hiring process of a financial firm this free important topic and this really important service for you as maybe someone is a college student are looking to switch career to understand how the hiring process works because it’s actually a pretty robust. And so it took scalloped hiring process with regards to these highly regulated firms and to give you a sense of like timeline and how to put your best foot forward when applying for these jobs and just really quickly again to remind you guys. My name is Tyler York. I’m here from achievable Brandon Rich year of basic wisdom to build a finra essay ecore so you can take on your phone or computer. It’s free to try and we’d love to have you check it out at

68.4s and then I’ll bring in. Yes, you want to explain what you do is all basic wisdom is my company that I found it that simply stated just tell people pass Financial licensing exams and whether that involves partnering with with achievable and releasing RSI a person or two during our teaching classes for financial companies. I do it all on her basic wisdom. Let’s jump right into the to the topic at hand then to give you guys an overview where we’re going to cover today with the financial firm hiring process at like getting in the door essentially, you know, getting an interview in the first place is actually a essentially a processor. I like a job search process. You can take a lot of the emotion out of it by applying process to get the results of you want by the second piece is then once you’re in you know, once you’re in the system and you’re doing your hair,

Use of these firms. How does that process actually work? Right? You’ve got sort of a phone interview. You got a second interview that can be sometimes on side sometimes not you’ll have an aptitude test and then you’ll have to handle like a negotiating your offer if they want us to bring you on and then lasses starting your employment there. So I think the overall all mostly talked about kind of the first part because I’ve actually done pretty good myself. It’s like a job search process and have some tips on that on how to get in the door and Brandon having worked at Fidelity Investments for I think what 10 years. Yep. Yeah has really understanding of how these big firms do their hiring. So then he’ll he’ll be the one covering most of the second half when you’re thinking about getting yourself a child. You should really almost approach it like you’re doing sales for yourself.

And this isn’t how you don’t overthink that too much. But essentially what I mean by that is that you know, if you’re trying to have three job offers to choose between in companies in a certain field you want a kind of backed it up and you say okay. Let’s say I get into sort of the interview process with 12 companies out expected I would get offers from three of them. Okay, how do I get interview some 12 company as well backing that up again getting into the interview process until the company’s if you are seems they want out of three wants to meet with you. That means you got to reach out to an applied to 36 companies that math may vary depending on your fine. I mean for 4. I’ve been intact for a while and I use sort of the like the 10% rule which is for every 10 jobs. You apply to you get kind of 1

Assuming that you’re applying to jobs that make sense for you and your qualified for I don’t know if that ratio is similar or different for finance Brandon. We’re pretty close. The numbers might be stacked a little bit more against you if you’re looking for an entry-level job when I was initially applying to jobs back in 2006 probably felt like one out of every 20 maybe out of one out of every thirty. But of course, it’s depending on your region depending on the economy at the time but I’d say we’re not terribly far off those numbers seem more to advise college students that often times you when you’re in college you kind of like apply to 325 jobs and then freaked out about it a little bit right? But if you’re if you’re applying to 30 or 50 jobs suddenly, it’s a lot less emotional because you just have so many things in your pipeline that you’re working on, right?

Look at it like a sales process for yourself. That’s really what I mean. And in the sales process is really just to put it simply the first you would do its called prospecting. So you build your list of 50 companies that you want to apply to and 50 that have job openings that makes sense for you and are in your field of Interest or are a role they are just didn’t even if it’s not necessarily in the field that you’re interested in what say you want to do marketing maybe you’re doing marketing if for medical instead of Education when your passions education, but it’s still the right type of role r a list of good company is that you want to work for if you are really Advanced you can like it and think about you know, what cities are in and things like that in the spreadsheet for it, but at the very least you need to build

What you’re going to apply to then you want to essentially try to stack all of your Outreach within the same like week or two so build, you know right out your cover letters ahead of time. Do your resume definitely ahead of time in and get it really polished and then try to blast everybody kind of that once because that way everyone’s on the same time table and it what it does is you’ll get those offers as 325 offers in roughly the same time. Assuming everything and that helps create competition for you and gives you confidence when you doing interviews and it gives you confidence during the offer negotiation stage reflect about later.

But as far as the process and as far as the door, I think of three ways to do it. You’re starting out. The first is getting referred into the company. And to be honest with you like it’s not totally fair but it is the way the world works that if your family know someone who works at a firm or even if someone of your professors know somebody that works for the firm in likes you that is your best bet for getting it in the door. It doesn’t close out like you did a good job at all, but it is definitely I think people just at the end of the day when you’re hiring someone who’s entry-level who is just out of college. You’re mostly kind of going on like their character. You don’t have a ton of work experience to go off of SO2 having a reference right having oh, you know, Bob

Bob’s cousin Bob’s daughter who’s like looking for this job Etc that actually gives you would like a pretty strong a social proof that like this other person is not asking for you. I was totally what’s that saying? It’s not what you know, but who you know that that couldn’t be more true with an entry-level job getting into Finance. I’d recommend to everyone out there no matter how introverted you may be and I consider myself an introvert check with your network. And what does that means talking with your family members or some friends? You may have a connection out there that you may not even be aware of friends since my parents had some family friends that I didn’t even know at the time and their son work for Fidelity. He was actually pretty high up in the company and because of him, I got an interview and that interview led into a career that I had no idea what we’re would take me, but ultimately here I am today, so it’s one thing to submit your resume.

To as many employers as you can but definitely utilize the resources that you may not even be aware of if you don’t have necessarily a big Network or if you don’t have anyone that you can find that that might be able to help you get a job interview then make sure your resume is as clean and unique as it possibly can be yet. You have to remember that a lot of these large employers are seeing hundreds of resumes and applications on a weekly basis. So if there’s a typo or if there’s something wrong with your resume or just doesn’t stand out you’re probably not going to make the cut when they decide to do the initial interviews and start bringing people do to make a hires that they’re looking for a good resume because it took I mean, even when I’ve applied for jobs myself, I’ve had my same experience right? Like I’ve had resumes get no traction then

Like redone it and gotten a ton of traction with like very similar roles. So it actually does make a difference. I think I’m more of a difference.

Yes, I definitely get a referral definitely make sure your resume is good and frankly, if you’re getting a referral from someone who’s in the industry. Like let’s say your father works at Fidelity and then you’re applying to Fidelity obviously not to work for him. But like for something pretty distant, you can have him look at your resume from the eyes if someone is actually in the industry, which is the best feedback you can get like a lot of times college students. Give each other feedback is kind of like the blind leading the blind and so trying to get the best feedback you can for that and I think you know start with the referral so you can put you know in your spreadsheet that your building right out like what referrals you could get to each company if you have them. If not, that’s fine. I just go into the I don’t have a referral list. The second step is leveraging.

Didn’t so I can apply to other career fairs that are outside of college don’t like leveraging your campus resources, which are job fairs in career fairs often times. The people that are in charge of career services at University or going to put on a couple of these a year and then also talking to Career Services about what introductions they can make for you to companies for chick you lie in your region. And if you work at a good University most of the time they’ll have career services and they’ll have going to be trying to build connections with local businesses that are interested in hiring from there. I’ll University right so you can get on as much shorter list instead of the 300. Maybe you’re on the list of 12 students from local College next to the branch that you know,

And now you’re on a must shoulder list, right? So I think that can make a big difference. Absolutely. Yeah, we live in the age of technology and it’s undeniable that you can click a few buttons and get your resume sometimes dozens of different places all at once but you have to remember that you are one of hundreds. If not thousands of other people out there that are searching for the same opportunities and just by sending a few pieces of information electronically, you really not going to make as much of an impact on the people that you’re trying to get in touch with as it would be if you were able to talk to them in person and I speak to that just being on the other side, you know working for a large Financial firm where I saw what happened when we would come through a resumes electronically and a lot of that to automated mail our systems would just throw the resumes out the window. If it if it didn’t meet certain characteristics. So even if that wasn’t your intention or even if that’s not truly who you are and it’s possible to get lost along the process if you’re

Doing it electronically, if you have the opportunity to go to a career fair and then talk to the people in person that might be making the hiring decisions that will put your foot in the door much more often been a electronic resume ever. Well, so I’d always recommend don’t go to those Career Fairs talk to the people there ask some intelligent questions and in in for yourself more than just for the company figure out if you fit in a culture figure out if you’re a good fit for the job and if you are truly interested in that job get some information from that person follow follow up your conversation with say in email. You don’t thank you for talking me at the career fair. My name is Brandon rith again. Here’s my resume. I’d love to talk further about this job. I’m very interested to know you are making an impression with someone who’s not.

But at the same time you want to put your best foot forward, right you want to be you want to be polished you want to look like professional both in your dress and sort of your appearance write like you want to make sure that your hair is like combed and maybe even style that day. You want to be wearing like good shoes like formal shoes and with your formal clothes and you want to be prepared, right? So show up with your resume in like one of those little 10 or $20 binder books, you can get at an office supply store just really kind of look put-together, but still still probably going to be about half of your list is directly applying to jobs and sell with depending on what kind of financial trying to do there actually different resources that you can use to try and figure out when companies will have like

Friendship programs open or things like that for financial firms in particular. There is a process where they have like an application page for like summer 2019 their summer 2020 internship program. They open it and months and months in advance and they you know, we’re out there so that program through this page right? There are other fields and other jobs is formalized.

Yeah, and then like I said before when you’re applying to jobs have your resumes and cover letters of prepared ahead of time you I mean when I do this myself, I generally have sort of a few templates like you don’t need to make 50 resumes and 50 cover letters for 50 companies. You you will probably find that the majority of what you want to say overlaps reach one, but also you do want to make sure for instance that if your cover letter is talking about how much you are really excited about finance and then you also are replying to like an oil and gas job. You need to make sure you switch that out right make sure that you don’t commit a faux Paws but at the end of the day, you know Bill and have everything ready to go. I went for your direct applications and then send it all out at the same time. I mean, that’s the lazy biggest if I can I think I can give is

If you if you send out all of your direct applications together, right? Maybe you do it like a week after you go through all your girls cuz of girls can be pretty time-consuming. You’ll really it’ll really help you because you’ll be doing interviews pretty consistently over the next couple of weeks with a bunch of different companies in it and having that be something you’re doing spending all your time on a short window of time makes you better makes you more confident and then also you don’t feel like this one job is one of you desperately need to get either which I think I’ll sit out one thing that may be interesting for some of our listeners who may already be employed is the idea of going on interviews, even though you’ve already got a job. I’ve got a lot of colleagues they do this on a regular basis. We’re probably once or twice every three or four months, they go out and send out the resume to a bunch of different employers that are in similar field or fields that they may be in.

The den and whether there are interesting actually leaving their current employment or not the opportunities for them to interview and go through that process on the Rhone outside of the mother company. They work for like I think helps sharpen that skill, you know, but we do live in an age where Millennials nowadays are having multiple careers. I can’t remember what the numbers are. But if it’s somewhere around 6 to 7 different career changes of over the life of the average worker now, so if you are introducing yourself into that hiring process consistently, you know that will help you the day that you are serious about potentially making a career change. So that might be something that our listeners might want to entertain the idea of doing in the future great social proof way that you can kind of force upon the people that you’re talking to you, right, you know, like one of the fun tricks that you learn from like fundraising but also you can use in this

You say oh, that’s such a great Point blah blah blah at the other company also said that and then like there’s a second. Crap. He’s talking to some crap right? I got to get this guy but and then so I just changed it certainly does coming from the other side when I was part of the hiring process with my previous firm people would do that and then I don’t know if they were doing it on purpose but they would drop subtle hints that they were interviewing at other places and they had an interest from other companies and it’s it’s probably pretty similar to dating, you know, whenever you’re seeing someone and it maybe they drop a clue that they might be out there dating other people, you know, that adds a kind of a little bit of Mystique to that person. It’s it’s intriguing and then you might want to try to grab them in and hold on to them if you really like them. So that’s definitely a good resource a good tool for you to use in these interviews.

Yeah, so that kind of covers like through the application process and getting in the door. It’s actually something that I’ve thought about putting on her blog like putting out like a a downloadable Google doc word that shows you how to build this yourself referrals best career fair working through career services at your college, or you’re hiring for your College’s second. Best. Third is a direct application online incident, and I want to shift gears and kind of hand over the mic is Brandon a bit more to talk about how the hiring process works specifically after the initial for once you are in the door, right? So once you got that first phone interview scheduled what happens next, and I think that’s a great place for you take it away. Thanks, Tyler, so I’m going to talk.

Mostly from my own experience and I should preface everything by saying that every hiring process is going to be unique in a little bit different but as our Learners know and I feel like I’ve repeated this over and over I worked for a large investment firm for the number of years, but in particular Fidelity Investments, and and I also had colleagues that work for other companies other larger companies in and I’ll tell you that that usually the larger the financial firm the more the more likely is that their process is going to be somewhat like what we’re going to talk about today if you work if you try to apply to what may be a small armoire Boutique firm. The processes is probably a little bit different. But the first thing that’s going to happen after you’ve gotten your foot in the door and that could have been from you know, initial career fair conversation or form you just submitting your application on the website is if the company is interested in you if they’re going to start with a initial phone interview and in that initial phone interview

It’s nothing. Nothing’s going to be too heavy. You’re not going to have too many crazy conversations over numbers or salary or no job requirements. I find it those initial first interview that you have with these larger companies are more on the for lack of a better way of saying it the fluffy or side A lot of times the recruiter or the hiring manager is trying to see if you’re personable, especially given the fact that a lot of rolls in a lot of jobs in finance or kind of headed more towards a relationship management side, you know, we have computers these days to do a lot of the number crunching and in a lot of the a lot of the things that used to happen in kind of old school Finance computers to take care of that so as the human being and that’s that’s not really needing to do those those calculations anymore. A lot of times. Our roles are more in a customer-facing and making sure that we retain and and and nurtured our relationship with our customers so

I really I really think that your first interview is going to be a lot of just conversation about who you are and try to see if you can hold a conversation going to see if you’re personable on the phone and in ultimately do you fit into what they’re looking for as a applicant again? They’re not going to go too far in the death into your background or into what your why you might be good about the job but it’s very much a feeling out process and my experience, you know, a bunch of people do make it past that first initial phone interview, you know, it’s going to go one of two ways either they’re going to say, hey great conversation. We’d love to bring you in for our second interview, which is likely going to be in person or you know, if for whatever reason it just didn’t work out for you. They they will likely send you a nice email saying hey, thank you for applying for you for the conversation, but we’re going to be looking for other candidates at this point in time.

Signing did terribly as much as maybe they were looking for someone who had a certain experience or a certain thing that they’ve have done in the past and you didn’t have that and it’s not like you shouldn’t take it personally. I think it’s probably goes for the whole process actually like it just like dating right like a lot of times it’s not you it’s them and so you just have to kind of keep going and I was totally I don’t give up, you know, we probably in my previous experience with we probably denied several very capable people in those first interviews and then never take it personally going back to what Tyler was saying earlier that that’s why it’s really important for you to put your to put yourself out there to as many places as possible. Ultimately not every single place is going to work out. In fact only one of those places that you apply to is going to work out. So the more options you have the less personal I think it becomes law on the way and then the more focused in and driven. I think you all to Millie can be in the end.

Two more things about the initial phone interview also that I think are important. The first is they are especially for these like sort of state icollege jobs. Just trying to make sure that maybe not that you were lying necessarily but they didn’t overstate what you do or what you did on your resume and that’s another overall tip. Like don’t lie. It makes everything much more complicated and it’s just better to not do it. And then the second piece that they’re thinking about is their trying to see how tight your messaging is around like you’re officially your elevator pitch like who you are as well as you know, how concisely you can talk about like why you’re excited about the job whether you research the company that you’re talking to two at that moment or not, right? It’s really just kind of checking to see if you’ve done your homework.

And I prepared for the interview at all, which tells you more about the person then honestly, like a lot of things that you talked about in the interview. That is huge whenever I was doing an interview of any form that that was always one of my first questions. I’ve asked at least in the first interview was Italy what is your understanding of what we do as a company and what is your understanding of the job? I think that is one of the few ways that you can really mess up an interview is if you don’t understand what the company does or if you don’t understand the generalities that revolve around the role that you’re applying for. Now. A lot of times these these job postings are vague and don’t have a ton of information in there about what what exactly you’re going to be doing on a day-to-day basis, but at the very least coming from the other side, I was just looking for someone to to generalize

What are company dead or to generalize with the job posting was about and if you come back with something that’s just completely contrary to what the company does or the job is or if it’s just blame me wrong. That’s that’s a big strike and that’s really hard to recover from to be honest. So definitely do your research before you go into these companies and you don’t need to be an expert. You just need to have maybe a few bullet points on both the company as what they do and what the job entails bringing Jude the first interview for sure. All right. I think that leads us to the second part of the hiring process. If you make it through the first interview and they decide to go to the Second Step congratulations to you for you’ve made some progress. Now, the the second part usually comes with a second interview a lot of times jobs these days have two three four interviews.

As a part of the process but for an entry-level Finance job, you probably looking at two interviews. The second interview is definitely going to be the more important of the two normally speaking. They’re probably going to invite you to their campus or their office or if you can’t make it for whatever reason maybe you’re you’re not in the state or across the country the likely have this as a webcam interview, you know, the first thing that I recommend to you is whatever time they set up make sure you are on time to that interview me like 15 minutes early and if you’re not 15 minutes early, you’re already late. Absolutely, you know, you need to especially if you live in a big city with lots of traffic I tell you assume there’s traffic assume that there’s going to be a problem with you getting there. You got to be on time not to mention also that it stresses you out and then let’s say you were like really cutting it close, but you made it in like 2 minutes before the interview Euro.

All stressed out been so you’re not in a good place to like really put your best foot forward either so bottom line get there early. Alright. Well, let’s say you get there early everything’s perfect. What’s normally going to happen in the second interview? Especially if it’s in person is you’re going to be greeted by probably two to three different hiring managers or just people that are part of the hiring process. Maybe there’s some HR people there Etc, but you can be greeted and we would normally give a campus or if you are just think about an office just just a tour of the area that that our future employees would be working at now that when you’re going on this tour in the back of your head, you’re probably just thinking about the interview that’s about to come and you’re probably thinking through all the are all the things I need to say here is how we need to present myself etcetera. So it’s it’s really hard to be present in that moment, but I

I recommend that you buy pay attention as closest as closely as possible when you’re going through that tore mainly just to make sure that this is actually the company you want to work for. I mean remember an interview was at 2 is a two-way road. Yeah, you need to get them to take us to the point where they want to hire you but at the same time, this is your human capital you put it into the firm and you ultimately want to make sure you working for a company that bed fits who you are. So I’m going to take a look around do the people in the office. They seem like people you might be interested in hanging out with two they seem like they could be friends of yours that you know, what what type of the office setting is it is it in loud and crazy and if if you’re the type of person that can’t deal with that that type of stuff and maybe this is not the right fit, you know, just make sure that the surroundings feel like a comfortable place that you feel like you can be productive and I think that campus tour is a little bit more important than most people get it give it credit for so just pay attention and then normally what’s going to happen after that is that you’re going to go into

A meeting room sometimes small symptoms big but you’re going to go into a meeting room and you’re probably going to be interviewed by more than just one person. Maybe if you’re lucky to get one person but always at the Fidelity, we always had a 2/2 + person interview panel, which can be a little bizarre make you feel a little bit like it’s a team working against you get depending on one of their Dynamic is between the two hiring managers. You might feel like you have a good cop bad cop type of situation. You might feel like you have two people that are hounding you for answers. So you might feel like you have two people that are really nice. They’re just trying to figure out who you are as a person and in that can be a little bit of a bizarre process within itself, but just breathe and I think ultimately going to be fine and don’t be too concerned if you get a hiring manager that may seem a little bit more, you know unwelcoming. It’s usually like I have to take 30 minutes that I want to do something else in to go talk to some person. I don’t know.

Just like therefore don’t really get too wound up about like how they treat you or even like if you think it went well or not, right because I also just totally depends on the person. That is absolutely right when I was interviewing people at Fidelity. I was pulled away from my full-time job. Every time I had to go do a job interview. I was pulled away from teaching in some form or fashion, you know, some days it felt that feel good about it. Sometimes if I had nothing going on teaching wise I would go do the interview. I did actually be excited to do the interview, but then there’d be some days that I was just I had so much going on and I knew that going to do an interview meant that I was staying late at least a couple hours of work just to make up my work, you know, what day is like that? It probably wasn’t going to love it more frustrated a little bit and then we’ll bathe easy here in a little bit quicker than I normally would so hopefully then carry carry too far into the interview and if you feel that energy from a from a manager that might be I might be interviewing you don’t take it personal.

You’re not the first person to interview most likely you’re one of many people and they’ve got their own stuff going on now in terms of the specifics of the the interview and the questions are going to have been asked this is where you want to see the more difficult questions. This is definitely where you want to consider preparing for your interview and it may be diving little bit deeper into you know, what what type of questions do expect. You know, it’s at around there a lot of resources online like Glassdoor that’ll explain do it where people will disclose what kind of interview questions they see when they go to different types of companies, but at Fidelity, we asked a lot of Behavioral type questions and we did not ask easy questions either Neil questions like you described to us a difficult situation with a client and tell us where you went wrong, you know, I am in the back your head. You’re probably thinking no cheese. I I don’t really want to I don’t want to put myself out there as someone who makes mistakes, but you got to remember that everyone makes mistakes. Ultimately what we are looking for in those types of

It was for the interviewee to be able to describe the situation to accurately and I guess with with a little bit of wisdom be able to look back in the situation and tell us what they did. Right what they did wrong and how they learn from it and you got to remember that. We as humans we make mistakes, right? So it’s important to get ready for those types of interview questions and that I’d always recommend that beforehand that you do some research try to figure out what type of questions are going to see in the interview process and maybe even grab a partner whether that’s a friend or family member and maybe roleplay that interview process a little bit to get yourself used to those types of questions. Yeah. Definitely. I think that your your partner in this could be like a parent right? I usually at least my my dad always was going to be that guy but I think that, you know, depending on inside of your relationship with your parents, you could ask them. You can also ask a friend particularly if you and a good friend of yours are both kind of trying to get jobs at the same time. It’s a great person to team up.

And to do these interview questions back and forth to each other and kind of critique each other’s answers as you or whatever I would say again. Why write like we’re not looking for you like that’s actually probably almost never the case. Right? Like usually if you’re trying to point out a time where things went badly. You should instead focus on like, what did you learn while like how what mistakes did you make that you now recognize your mistakes and that you would change right now. I’m so be honest and upfront. And also I think like Brandon said a lot of it has to do is just like are you prepared for this question? And did you have a conflicting a well-put-together packaged answer about it? Not scripted.

I think that if you are prepared for these difficult question, even if your answer is not like an April and answer the fact that you’re prepared gives you a big advantage and it makes you look a lot better. We know I think we live in a society where where we are encouraged to make mistakes in the try new things and in the if as long as you get that across even if you made a mistake or fell short the situation may be explaining, you know a time that you helped a really difficult client and maybe it it ended in disaster as long as you are able to explain how what you learn from the situation and how it helped you in the future that that’s what they’re looking for it. We’re looking for someone who can learn from their mistakes and get better over time. He don’t know something or that they were wrong about something cuz there are people that don’t do that. So bottom line. You should not feel has it

Or frayed to share any mistakes I’ve made in the past. And in fact, it probably would help you in those interviews. If you can demonstrate that your analytical and are able to look back on where you fell short and that you can Implement changes to avoid those those mistakes in the future. I think today we live in a world especially in corporate culture. Where were encouraged to try new things and make mistakes that as long as is this mistakes eventually are leading to a better in a brighter version of yourself. I don’t think you can go wrong with that. So I think I bring this to the e to the end of the interview. I mean to just to get back to those questions that you’re going to go through a number of usually behavioral based questions. And for these entry level jobs, you know, sometimes you get the the the normal the normal questions like that tells more about your background, you know what to tell us why you think you’re a good fit for this role normally be that second interview with last anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour.

Don’t expect to be longer than that. But at the end of that interview you exchange pleasantries, shake hands probably good on you to thank them for the opportunity and that may or may not be the end of the interview for some of the larger companies that might be at they might say thanks for coming by will be in contact shake your hand. And then while I’m walking to the door and then you go on with your day, some companies will have one last part of this quote second interview and that last part may involve and aptitude test now an aptitude test might be a little a little daunting a little intimidating but for some of these larger companies that seal hundreds and hundreds of potential and potential hires sometimes in a weekly or monthly basis in a one way that they can gather gather some data on whether or not they think you can pass the exam is by giving you

Map to dinner after to test now that these tests are bizarre, you know, if you’ve ever taken into an exam where you see questions like calm is Sally’s brother a Sally’s son is the cousin of Jeff Jeff is the the the uncle of Mary. What’s Mary’s relation back to one of those those beginning folks that we talked about, you know, if that makes any sense. Those are the types of questions that we used to put on our ass two tests and you know, whether you scored well or whether you bombed the aptitude test never was the deciding factor of whether or not we would hire a person so they’re there are plenty of times if someone would a site exam and we would not hire them and then there were plenty of times where people wouldn’t fail essentially fail those exams by whatever standard width of the test had and we would still hire them.

A lot of times it was a data point for us and they were usually utilize when we were on the fence with someone so save me an assembly came in and had an all-right interview. The background is about average and kind of on the fence, you know, that is cinnamon. Stop pushing Us in either direction based upon what we’ve seen from them. We might use the aptitude test has to push us some One Direction of the other. In fact that I don’t I don’t think corporations are actually legally able to deny you solely based upon your score. So again, that’s just it’s just a data point for some companies you might be able to go to Glassdoor and figure out the exact aptitude test that they’re giving out and while I might feel like you’re treating a little bit you can find versions of he’s got to do test somewhere online sometimes even the exact test online is and I believe they’re actually Simpson Prep Prep Services somewhere somewhere out there if you do enough research, you might be wondering

Why these aptitude tests exist and it’s really for two reasons number one for the more technical jobs, if you’re applying for a job that’s going to require any of number crunching on the spot. You know, what I remember my first job at the Devil he was actually and taking phone calls and R trading department and sometimes people with blood call with with complex transaction requests. It would be my responsibility to not only keep up the customer-friendly happy face in conversational aspect of the of the phone call, but I would also have to be calculating numbers in the background making sure that the transactions they were requesting made sense for the account and that all the numbers were there. So that’s that’s one reason why the aptitude test is implemented is to see if can you think on the spot but another reason is is there trying to see how well you do with the aptitude test that you eventually have to take the essay.

Of course can be taken on its own. You don’t need to be sponsored by a firm. But if you’re going to take the Series 6 Series 7 or any other exam along those lines that the company is going to need to hire you first before you have the opportunity to take that exam. And if you think about it from their perspective if they hire you spend a bunch of money on onboarding you and training you and and the other that’s expensive for companies just to go through the process of actually saying yes, we want to hire you and going through that. So if they’re going to go through that entire process and then realize that you can’t pass the test that you have to pass in order to do the job you were hired to do now that that’s a big problem for them. And ultimately if you can’t pass that test you just simply can’t do that job legally speaking. So that’s another reason why they give you these aptitude tests to see what are your chances of passing these at these difficult licensing exams when you have to take them some of our list

Is might be getting a little freaked out right now. If you’re not a good test-taker, this might be hard to hear that you might just even during the interview have to take a test. But I want to just share that I’ve seen thousands of people literally thousands of people go through this process and sometimes the people that do the best on the exams are not the best at the job and vice-versa. I mean some of the more successful and I should say most successful people. I know had to take these licensing exams more than once or maybe didn’t do great on their initial aptitude test. I really think that your success in your career is more determined on what you do after you make it to these tests. Now these tests are just your ticket to play you got to get through them. You got to pass them in order to do the job. But ultimately they will not define you as a person nor will they Define your career? So if you’re worried about that, don’t at the same time you want to take the process serious?

Enough so that you can ensure that you’re going to pass the exam and that eventually you’ll you’ll get the opportunity to see if you can grow into your career and how well you will do just left here before we kind of had an hour and I think like it would be good to just walk really quickly through like getting an offer and the negotiation process. And then also I just some quick tips for first days on the job and wrap it up when you are done with the interview. You’ll go home reflect on it and maybe they continue with the theme of this podcast and think about what you did. Well think about how you might be able to improve in the next interview if you have to do another one and ultimately don’t be shocked if it’s going to take them a little bit of time to get to you. I would be surprised if you heard anything from them in the first three to four days. It usually takes a week or two for them to even respond back and you know

That response is going to take one of a couple different forms. But before we get there, I would recommend that if you have the contact information of one of the hiring managers or maybe all the people that you talk to, you know, they extend an email to them and just thank them for the opportunity. You’ll be surprised how far something that like that can go and and I think about it and maybe two different ways. I mean number one. It shows that you’re polite and if it’s a customer facing role that somebody that they might be looking out for if you have an interaction with a client. It’s always a nice touch to send them a nice pleasant email afterwards just saying. Hey, thank you for the discussion was talking to you today. Hopefully you will hear from you soon. But also on top of that sending them an email is also going to remind them of you which you want them to be thinking about you as they’re making their they’re hiring decisions down the road, right? So what are you send the email later that night or if you send it the next day it’s going to remind them of that in our interaction.

Chat with you and can remind him of the interview. They had an ultimately you want them to have you on their mind when they’re making those decisions. So definitely highly recommend that now after that you’re just going to have to sit and wait, sometimes it’s going to take a week or two in my previous company. Sometimes it took up to three to four weeks to reach back out to people which honestly I was not a big fan of but with a big company like that you have to understand that there’s lots of different moving Parts. There’s lots of different departments that are part of the the hiring process. So sometimes thinking something might be stuck. There might be someone out of the office on vacation and that one person is just kind of a big important Cog in the wheel that that needs to make a decision. So don’t take it personally. Hopefully you have lots of about different opportunities and you’ve done several different interviews of you not just waiting to hear from one specific party. Eventually. They’re going to get back in touch with you and that could take the form of an email and be honest if it’s average.

It probably is going to come to the form of an email if they say something along the lines of a thank you for coming out we were impressed by you. But ultimately we decided to go a different direction some kind of nice nice letters and they sounding letter that has the ultimate negative news in it. But let’s say it goes the other way and they like you enough to extend you an offer. You’re probably going to get a phone call in in that phone call to congratulate you and say hey, we’re about to send you a letter with some more information about your role and in your starting salary. No that is an interesting conversation. And I think you’ll get different opinions from different people. But question is do you take what they gave you if you want to take the job or do you negotiate? Well, personally my opinion on this is mine. I fallen into the Trap of not negotiating and just taking what they when they gave me and then he’ll 2 months 3 months later as you’re working in the job.

Are you become friends with some of your co-workers and then you find out that your co-workers negotiated? And oh, well my coworker who is literally doing the same thing as getting paid 5000-10000 $15,000 more a year to do the same exact job and it’s all because they were confident enough to go through that process in and ask for a higher number on the salary and I’m over my years. I’ve learned that I think that’s a good part of your process. And it especially if you’re going into a sales-type roll. They’ve Bay might be expecting some kind of negotiation and if you don’t that that might I don’t know might potentially look bad on you maybe maybe not but ultimately you have the ability of saying hey, you know, I really want this job. I just feel like I’m the amount of effort and I’m out of work is going to go into this job is worthy of a higher salary. There’s a lot of different ways that you can do it and maybe we’ll do a future podcast on the best language use when you are negotiating but I think that goes

Getting fully within your realm of possibilities and it’s something that I would recommend that you do unless there’s some kind of red flag there that then maybe maybe maybe there’s a history that you should enter may be heard from a friend who works at a they don’t negotiate salaries beyond that. What’s the worst that can happen is they know we had many people at Fidelity negotiate their salaries. Sometimes it would work in their favor and we would up your salary and sometimes we would just tell them no, sorry. You know it this is this is the salary take it or leave it, but I’ll tell you we I never heard ever of us pulling retracting back and offer because someone to go she added that never happened. So what’s the worst that could happen? They say no and then if you still want the job go with a job work your way up and then maybe when you get a promotion into a different job with a higher salary, maybe that’s an opportunity to make up some ground there with with them out your game today.

I prefer I am a bit too much of a nice guy sometimes and I’m pretty bad at being hard on employers trying to hire me for salary, but work what works really well as a proxy and ties and again to that first point we made about having lots of options. Is he when you say hey like this sounds great. But this other company, I’m considering offer me acts right and then it should be true again. Cuz again that genuineness will show through your voice and kind of your technology, but it’s okay to do a little bit of that in to make the other guys sweat a little bit and say or shoot. Well, let me see what we can do. Right most of the time when someone’s hiring you they have a range that they can do, you know, let’s say for entry-level Finance role as a financial advisor in El Paso, Texas 45

265 thousand might be a lot smaller might be 4555. It might be you know, it might actually be able to play so I put the freeze job is different but at the end of the day, they usually have a band that they could pick from even if they love you. They’re not going to give you the top of the band right away because they need that room to negotiate when you do come back to them and tell them that you want more. So it’s almost built into the process. And so you should always ask. So this brings us to our last part which is the acceptance and the starting of your brand new job after you accept the offer and maybe you negotiated your price you happy with your salary. Congratulations. You made it all the way in at that point. I’m your employer is going to give you an itinerary of sorts that’s going to include your start dates what to expect in your first day.

Some places have dress code. Maybe they’ll give you the dress code but they’re also going to disclose to you. What licenses do you need to take? How long you have to get them done and generally speaking the process that occurs. If you don’t pass those exams, which to be honest. It usually ends in termination. So you will likely have one to two weeks. If not much longer than that between when you accept the job when you start the job what I always recommend to people is this is your time to shine in between when you accept the offer and when you actually start your job, you don’t want to start your job realize that you’re not great at finance and that these tests are very difficult and that you need to put in every hour of every day in the studying and then potentially not even get to a passing score on the exam. You want out you want to avoid that as much as you possibly can and the best way to do that is to prepare in the time you have before your job.

If you know you need to take the series 7 or the series 63 or even if you know you need to take the acai you should be spending your time preparing for those exams. It’s always better to be over-prepared than it is to be under prepared and the most successful people that I ever saw that walkthrough Fidelity’s doors in the first day or people that put a substantial amount of time into their studies before they started you don’t want to get to the point where your job is on the line and that’s stressful and itself you have to do the work up front. And then if that means that as your partners in your colleagues at work are stressing themselves out of studying until midnight every night as they could test gets closer and closer. That means that you can chill out and you can just you can enjoy your first few weeks set at the at the company. Some companies will give paid study time and some companies won’t you’ll probably

Get that out in your offer letter and you just this disclosed without explanation, but it’s going to be a lot harder a lot more difficult to make it to that process. If they’re not going to give you paid study time in your first several weeks if they’re just going to hit the ground running with whatever you’re doing for your job. So use that maybe to judge how much work you put into before before you start. I never recommend going in there and never seeing any material. So maybe it’s worth and investment into a book on the material or maybe your employer’s then be nice enough to give you material before you even start and if they do definitely utilize those resources do as much as you can before you start get ahead of the curve and put yourself in a place where stress and the thought of losing your job is just not something that you think about these National firms Fidelity generally have a pastor 8 north of higher than 85% right? So like most

People are going to make it and I think that a lot of the people that don’t make it like you said her just now putting the work in so be prepared to do that understand that you might depending on how proficient you are with the stuff. You need to set aside 122 hours per week day or just like a few hours / weekend day to study right and it’s it’s kind of a crunch time to get through these exams, but it’s worth it because you get to keep that job you work so hard for and then you get to move on to the actual job. The last thing I would say here is just don’t let a lack of preparation stand between you and a career that you’re looking for depending on the job that you get hired into and the company that you initially start with this could be a huge opportunity for you or your family and it could take you a bunch of different places. You know why I never thought I would be sitting here recording a podcast, you know.

14 fifteen years later after I started a career in finance. But yeah, there’s a lot of different opportunities finances cool money is needed to do everything from starting a family and going to college traveling the world’s doing the things that you like to do. If you can get your foot in the door and then put in the work necessary to pass the test that you need to pass to keep your job. Ultimately it’s going to pay off for you one way or another cartoon again to the achievable podcast here with achievable and basic wisdom and myself and Brandon again just serve as an outro achievable basic that is free to try and will help you pass the exam before you apply to these jobs demonstrating your aptitude and also giving you a taste of

What life is like in finance? And yeah, we’d love to have you check it out at

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