Why do you want to work for Fisher Investments?

Perhaps you do not care, and would welcome an entry level job in any successful money management firm. Because once you get in, sky is the limit really… Nevertheless, you should try to explain how Fisher is special in your eyes. And you have several means of doing that.

The company was labeled as a “great place to work” by employees several times. Sure, the expectations are high, but so are the rewards if you manage to sign up big clients and retain them. The entire place brims with adrenaline, and motivated sales associates push one another forward, reaching new heights. You can say that you heard a lot about the working culture at the company, and feel that it would be a great match to your personality.

Another idea is praising their results. Before you can take some of the client’s money you have to make money for the clients. And Fisher beats the market almost each year–by a small margin, but with billions at stake even a small margin means a lot. You want to work for the successful, under the guidance of the best investors in the world, and you consider the folks at Fisher’s part of the elite group. Hence you want to join the company, and not some other, average investment firm.

 

What do you know about Fisher Investments?

They may also ask about something in particular–such as the founder, the mission statement of the company, their philosophy when it comes to doing business, their results. Be sure to go through their website before the start of your interview, check also latest news articles online, make notes, print them, and read them before the start of your interview.

Sure enough, just like any other major player in the investment field, the firm had some scandals. But unless they explicitly ask about your knowledge of these scandals, I would not recommend mentioning them. Focus on the good things, not on the bad. What’s more, try to speak with enthusiasm when you answer this question. They should get an impression that you really like their company, and cannot wait to join the ranks of their employees.

 

Do you have any experience working with senior executives?

Sure enough, common everyday folks with common everyday jobs do not have millions to invest. In virtually any position you’ll have with Fisher Investments, you’ll deal either with your colleagues, or, more often, with senior executives, entrepreneurs, movie stars.

You can find yourself in two positions in an interview. Either you have this experience or you don’t. In both cases, you should ensurer the hiring managers that you have the courage, that you are not afraid to call someone just because you know they earn half a million each year. It’s just another human being, bones and flesh, and of course another perspective customer.

And while they certainly excel in their field (they would not achieve their position otherwise), when it comes to finances and investments they should rely on someone more skilled–you, or, said more precisely, the investment managers at Fisher… Hence you have no problem with calling them ten times, trying to find an empty spot in their busy schedule, and eventually make them a new customer.

Of course if you have experience dealing with these executives–and ideally a sales experience, you can mention it.

Where do you see yourself in five years time?

Investments are all about relationships. The multi-million dollar clients do not want to talk to new sales associates and partners each year. They like to know the people they entrust with their money, and build a relationship with them over the years. What’s more, it takes some time to get a good grasp of this job, to reap the rewards of your hard work.

Ensure the hiring managers that this is no short sojourn in your professional life. You are committed to give this career your best shot, to achieve excellent results, and to stay in the field for many years to come.

Of course, nobody knows what tomorrow will bring, and whether you will succeed in the job. Maybe you will hate it after a year, and even the high salary won’t hold you back. While you interview for a job, however, you should tell them what they want to hear from you.

 

How do the classes you’re taking apply to financial industry?

This is mostly a question you will face in an intern interview at Fisher. It’s a bit tricky, but of course you have some obvious choices, such as mentioning the courses related to financial analysis, mathematics, applied statistics, etc.

But you do not have to stop there. At the end of the day, this job is also about communication, sales, presentation, relationship building. If you look at it from different perspective, you can actually benefit from your classes in marketing, psychology, HR, and other. It’s just about finding the connection and showing it to the interviewers.

You can also add that you are aware of the differences between school and the actual job. Sure, you can learn a lot, you can do a lot, but nothing can really prepare you for the reality of your daily work, the phone calls, meetings, the targets, the expectations…

 

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

I’m sure you have prepared for this one before, so let me be brief. Just pick some strengths that are highly relevant for the job. Sales skills, negotiation skills, courage, persistence, ability to close the deal at the right moment, and of course passion for the work, are some that come to my mind right now. Feel free to add anything else to the mix.

When we talk about weaknesses, you should choose something that isn’t central to the job, and ensure the interviewers that you try your best to improve on your weaknesses, to become the best version of yourself. Perhaps you struggle on the call sometimes, and need some practice to perfect your ability to deal with various objections. Or you are impatient, and may start feeling down when you fail to close some deals for a few days in a row…. You haven’t yet accepted that rejection belongs to this job, and have to work on your acceptance.

Anything you pick, ensure them that you are not satisfied with your skills at the moment, and never will be. You want to constantly improve, and become a better salesman/investor/technician/whatever each year.

 

Tell us about an example when you exceeded client’s expectations.

Try to pick an example when you actually have the credit for exceeding their expectations. I mean, if you promised them to make 10% return on a certain investment and it eventually turned out to be 20%, it’s not really your credit–unless you invested the money throughout the year, though you certainly exceeded their expectations in this case.

But when they didn’t expect you to call them, or to offer them something special, some offer you reserved just for the best clients, or sent them a birthday present–just to strengthen the relationship, you certainly exceeded their expectations, and deserve the full credit for doing it.

Of course if this is your first job application in the field, you can talk about pleasing customer in some other way, in some other place (retail store, restaurant, call center, any other place where you worked before).

How would you deal with a difficult customer?

In my view this is a strange question, because “difficult” is vague, and can mean a lot of things. Angry customer is a difficult one, so is one who never answers your calls, or one that expects unrealistic returns, or one that simply listens to your talk and never reacts.

Anyway, you can talk about all cases, or pick one or two, and clearly explain how you’d address them. The most important thing is to ensure the interviewers about your persistence. You won’t give up just because you struggle to get hold of someone for some time, or when someone hangs up the phone once you finally have them on the call. You will continue, trying all sorts of strategies to eventually win them over. If not with your skills or talk, then with your persistence.

 

Tell me about a time when you had to work through a difficulty in the workplace.

You can talk about a variety of problems here. A situation when you had to make a decision without knowing all important information, a conflict you had with a colleague, a crisis of motivation you experienced, a time when you did not agree with the decision of your superior, and so on, and so forth.

Again, it’s your attitude that matters to the interviewers, and not the particular situation you narrate. As long as they see that you were not afraid to face the problem, to admit making a mistake, to talk to a colleague you struggled with, to challenge your superior, they will be satisfied with your answer. Because at Fisher Investment they look for people who are not afraid to take the initiative.

 

Describe a situation when you struggled with a team mate.

This one is more specific. But again, you can struggle with a team mate for all sorts of reasons. Maybe the two of you just do not get along well, or they are lazy and you have to help them with their work, or even do everything on your own, and maybe you just have a conflict about football or some other triviality.

Any situation you narrate, ensure the interviewers that you showed initiative, that you tried to solve the conflict. Because you know how important a good atmosphere in the workplace is, the impact it has on everyone. Hence you did not want to experience the tension between you and the colleague, and did what you could to ease it…

Ready to ace your job interview with Fisher Investments? Not yet? Check the following articles and continue your preparation:

Matthew Chulaw
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