*** Write-up on Morgan Stanley interview questions and details of the sessions from Cover Letter Library candidates’ experiences. This is based on MS Assessment Centre for Sales and Trading in London in 2014. There may be some variations depending on the offices or other new updates to the recruitment practice by the bank – so please use this as rough reference only ***
Morgan Stanley interview questions
3 interviews where you may be asked the following questions:
• Tell me about yourself
• Why financial services?
• What factors do you take into consideration when deciding which firm to work for? (A values question rather than a subtle “Why MS question”)
• Would you rather be at a bank where you are doing what you love but the culture is bad, or at a bank with a good culture but in a role you may not necessarily flourish in?
• What is the main topic in the news at the moment?- conversation led on from here
• What is the difference between a stock and a bond?
• Why might the Fed tapering be bad for the bond market?
• How do we value a stock?
• Does a low p/e mean that a stock is cheap?
• Does a high p/e mean that a stock is doing well?
• What do you think that a sales person does on a daily basis?
• He also brought up the guitar and asked me about it as it is on my CV. I was a little taken aback by it because no one has ever asked about my interests on my CV but we ended up speaking about it for about 10 minutes as he also played the guitar and learned the same way I did- so advice I’d give here is to also be able to talk at length about your interests on your CV as well as all your extra-curricular and work experience.
• If there is one thing that you don’t want to leave this building without telling me what is it?
• Would you say you adapt new skills easily? Give an example
• Would you say that you are an innovative person? Give an example.
• How many golf balls would fit into this room?
• You have a big cube 10x10x10 and it is filled with 1x1x1 cubes. If the outside is painted white then how many cubes aren’t painted at all?
• Why Morgan Stanley?
• Why Sales?
• What do you think you will get out of the internship?
• What does PMI show?
• What are the main problems facing Japan/Eurozone?
• Why not start your own business if you like taking risk and enjoy a new challenge?
• Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
• As a manager, what do you think are my main concerns on a daily basis?
• What is the main skill you need as a trader?
• Tell me about a time where you did not succeed in a particular task?
Next, you have a stock pitch presentation which is based on the Global Market Overview (normally a recent article from the FT). 20 minutes to prepare and 10 minutes to pitch, followed by 5 minutes of questions. Expect your investment decisions to be challenged and provide logical rebuttals.
– 2-3 potential trade ideas
– Keep the logic simple and identify key drivers for your decision and potential risks (headwinds)
– Choose a range from Commodities, Rates, Equities, Volatility….
– Be prepared to talk about the more general economic outlook
Group exercise consists of the 3 business ideas for the entrepreneur. You are given a £25k low interest loan and a small grant. Keep the ideas simple and realistic.
As a group you present 4 ideas in total.
Top Tip: Run through the group exercise in the prep time before having to present the 3 ideas to the assessors as 2 minutes is a really short time to present
You will be required to complete a numerical test which will be a pen and paper Kenexa test, similar to the online tests.
Morgan Stanley Overview
Headquarters: New York, NY
Size: 10000+ Employees
Type: Company – Public (MS)
Industry: Investment Banking & Asset Management
Revenue: $10+ billion (USD)
Morgan Stanley mobilizes capital to help governments, corporations, institutions and individuals around the world achieve their financial goals. For 85 years, the firm’s reputation for using innovative thinking to solve complex problems has been well earned and rarely matched.