Always aiming for innovation, Morgan Stanley was one of the first giant US corporations that started to use HireVue in their recruitment. They still do it, which obviously means that they are satisfied with the results. And while HireVue certainly cannot replace face to face interviews, is is a great tool to help with the first stages of hiring process, especially for roles where the number of applicants exceeds the number of open positions in a ratio of 10 to 1, or even higher, which is the case with summer analyst and other internship positions at MS.
One of the drawbacks of being a really big corporation is that things aren’t always as flexible as they are in smaller companies. As a result, Morgan Stanley hasn’t changed much the questions they use in their HireVue interview in last two years, even though the questions have been leaked numerous times. They perhaps rely on the scores HireVue gives–their state of the art AI, which, in theory, should not change regardless of whether you knew the questions in advance or not. Theory is one thing though, reality another.
Of course it helps to know the questions in advance. And it also helps to know a few tricks you can do to make the software believe that you are actually the right candidate for the job, or basically a great person to employ in the company. We will look at both the questions and the tricks in this article. Let’s start right with the questions.
Why Morgan Stanley (and not one of our competitors)?
The more specific you are, the better. I mean, obviously Morgan Stanley is a big name, one of the Fortune 500 companies, and a company every aspiring analyst or banker would love to have on their resume. And while it isn’t the worst possible answer to the question, you can certainly do better.
Try to tell them what this opportunity with MS means to you in particular. That means, what you hope to gain from it, but also what you hope to bring onboard. You should explain why you see the job (or internship) as a great match, especially at this stage of your professional career.
If you admire a particular product or success story of Morgan Stanley, you can definitely mention it a this point. What’s more, in a great answer you should mention how the internship program (or a job) with Morgan Stanley differs from the offers of their main competitors, such as Goldman Sachs or Deutsche Bank. A good research is pivotal here. Study the offer, their website, news for last 6 months. Find tow or three things that resonate with you, things that make their offer stand out from the rest.
Thinking about the near future, what do you see as the biggest tech trend in next 6-12 months?
At Morgan Stanley, they try to hire people who are interested in the business, people who strive for innovation, aspiring analysts and managers who love their field and read the industry news. And also people who think outside of the box. However, with the current economic climate and recession no doubt hitting us very hard in 2023 (and beyond), it isn’t easy to come up with something innovative.
No doubt you can pick AI (artificial intelligence), since it is running the show already, and the technology is only getting better. No doubt it will take care of many tasks financial analysts do nowadays, which is sort of scary, but at the same time it doesn’t mean that it will replace people like you… It will just make your job different.
You can also talk about robotics, autonomous cars, new drugs and vaccines based on RNA technology, plant-based replacements of traditional US meals such as hamburgers, and so on. All these things are hot right now and no doubt will be in the coming years, even with all the unpredictability we face in the world. Remember that excitement is important, the HireVue AI (and anyone watching the interview), should get an impression that you are excited about the technology, and how it can make money to you and your clients…
Tell us about a time you witnessed someone doing something wrong. How did you react?/ What would you do if you saw someone doing something wrong?
One of the typical behavioral questions, and we have a great article online for it, with 7 sample answers. You can check it out here. In a nutshell, the key is to show that you aren’t a passive observer when you see someone doing something wrong, or unethical. On the contrary, you will take action, regardless of whether the person in question is your colleague, best friend, or a complete stranger. One of the sample answers (check the article for more):
I prefer individual approach to each situation. What I try to convey here is that I would not go and report a colleague as soon as I witness them doing something wrong, or not working hard enough. I would firstly try to assess the situation. Is it the first time I see them doing something wrong? What’s their overall reputation? How serious is the breach of rules? I will answer all these questions before deciding how to proceed. In some cases, a short one on one meeting may be sufficient. You ask them what they are doing, explain why it is wrong, and ensure they won’t repeat it again. In other cases, however, when we talk about something serious or major, or the employee is breaching the rules repeatedly, I will definitely report them to a responsible person.
Tell us about a problem you’ve dealt with recently.
Just like with other behavioral questions, your attitude matters more than the particular situation you narrate. It can be a problem you faced in your former job, but also a problem you faced at school, or even in your personal life (think a relationship problem for example). Needless to say, if you have an example of a problem you faced while doing financial analysis, or some technical stuff, and you came up with some groundbreaking solution, it is a fantastic answer. More often than not though, you won’t have such an experience, and will have to come up with something more ordinary.
In any case, show them that you didn’t give up, and tried to come up with solution even if others thought the situation hopeless, or the problem impossible to solve. Maybe you eventually didn’t succeed, but you gave it your best shot, did what you could, and didn’t mind asking others for help. That’s the attitude they are looking for. Some people think that the only good situation to mention here is the one when you actually solved the problem. But that’s not true. Explaining a situation in which you tried your best, but eventually failed, and admitting that you cannot solve every problem and still have a lot to learn in life, can be actually even more powerful than narrating some success story…
A few things to remember when doing the HireVue assessment with Morgan Stanley
Based on our research and information we got from people who did the HireVue interview recently, you will face only this four questions (sometimes even only two or three of them). Now you know the questions, and perhaps already have an idea on how you are going to answer each one of them (at least I hope so :)), but before you proceed to the interview, it is good to remember a few things:
- Hirevue monitors your face movements and gestures, and it affects the score you will get, regardless of the words you record. Without overthinking it and going into some details on how to “fool” the software with your facial movements, I prefer to give you the following advice: Try to relax as much as you can before the interview. Listen to your favorite music, do some breathing exercises, visualize a positive outcome of the interview… Our body and mind are connected, and a positive and cheerful attitude will reflect on your face, and on the things the AI behind HireVue monitors.
- Smile can only help you. No doubt a job interview is a serious endeavor, but that shouldn’t stop you from smiling while doing the HireVue interview with Morgan Stanley. At the end of the day, emotions impact our decisions, and the hiring managers will just feel better about the candidates who smile on the camera. Just smiling won’t win you this interview (unless you have a really beautiful smile and a charisma that’s hard to match :)), but it can help you succeed.
- Do not underestimate the impact of technology on the impression the hiring managers will get. Back in the day when I was leading interviews, we used only Skype for online interviews. Back then it was the only well-known software available for smaller players in the field, and everyone knew it. However, even then it made a huge difference when someone set everything right, and I could see them and hear them clearly… Make sure to test your camera and microphone in advance, and to record the interview in a quiet setting. This may sound obvious, but you would be surprised how many people still do it wrong…
Ready to ace your HireVue interview with Morgan Stanley? I hope so! If you want to continue your preparation, you can check the following posts:
- Guide on how to overcome interview nerves
- Zoom interview tips
- 15 most common interview questions and answers