Top 20 Interview Questions for Financial Advisor Jobs

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Top 20 Interview Questions for Financial Advisor Jobs

When hiring financial advisors, employers are usually looking for finance-savvy candidates with the knowledge, experience, and sales skills to grow a substantial clientele base as discussed over at If you are financial advisors getting ready for an interview, then you are in the right place as this article will look to outline the top 20 interview questions for financial advisor jobs to help you prepare.

How do you build relationships with your clients?

This is a common question asked during interviews for financial advisor jobs according to the subject matter experts over at It is designed to test your ability to build rapport with clients, a crucial quality for any successful financial advisor, and is one you should be prepared to ask with examples of times you have built a close relationship with your clients. You can mention how you use conferences, lectures, courses, and business diner luncheons to build relationships and how you always keep in contact with clients after establishing a relationship to cultivate and maintain it.

Have you ever had a job in sales? How did it go?

A financial advisor is required to have top-notch sales skills as already mentioned and covered in detail over at You should have examples of a time when you had to work in sales with quantifiable results to back up your success to highlight your sales skills.

How will you market yourself in this position?

As the gurus over at point out, part of a financial advisor’s job is to market themselves and to make sure people know about them and their availability. You can mention how you will use face-to-face introduction as well as media such as community radio and social media to market yourself.

Tell me what you know about this company

This is a common interview question for any position, including financial advisor jobs. It comes back to research as if you have done your homework about the company you are interviewing for, you will be prepared for this question and will be able to blow the interviewer away with your knowledge. If not, you will be like a rabbit in the headlights and will damage your chances of acing the interview.

Tell me what you know about (random financial topic)

You are also very likely to be asked by the interviewer to tell them what you know about some financial topics. This could be, “Tell me what you know about…”:

Interest rates right now


Index universal life insurance

Roth IRAs, and so on

If you are unfamiliar with the topic, don’t panic and try to sidestep it. Just admit that you are unsure and that you and eager and willing to learn more about it. You are not expected to know everything so don’t feel bad if you fall victim to this question.

How would you describe your work ethic?

The job of a financial advisor is tough, demanding, and grueling, and to succeed in this role, you will need a strong work ethic as discussed over at This is why this is such a common interview question and one you will need to prepare for with examples to show that you have a fierce work ethic.

Are you comfortable in a commission-based role?

Since not all financial advisor positions are commission-based, this question may or may not apply to you as per Some positions are straight salary while others may be salary combined with some commission or bonuses. You need to be honest with yourself before you get to the interview and ask yourself if you prefer a commission-based salary or a “normal” salary.

What do you think a financial advisor does?

This is a question that has become increasingly common over the years with different types of companies from banks to life insurance sales giving their employees the “financial advisor” role. As explained over at, by studying the job description, you should get a glimpse into what you will be doing in the role, which should help you answer this question.

Tell me about a time when…

Behavioral questions are almost a given when interviewing for financial advisor jobs, which means you should prepare for a lot of them, including:

Tell me about a time when you dealt with a difficult person

Tell me about a time when you made a mistake and how you handled it

Tell me about a time when you overcame adversity

Tell me about a time when your boss made an unpopular decision and how you responded, among others.

Such questions are designed to let the interviewer know if you have demonstrated soft skills like problem-solving, creativity, leadership, and others, in the past. When answering these questions, you should use the STAR method, which stands for (Situation, Task, Action, Results).

How do you deal with stressful situations?

The job of a financial advisor can be extremely stressful, which is why studies show that anywhere between 80% to 95% of financial advisors fall in the first three years. If you can’t be able to effectively manage stress, then this job may not be for you. However, if you find yourself able to handle stress, then think of ways to describe that in detail.

What would you do if a client pushed you to act unethically?

Good ethics is at the heart of the remit of a financial advisor as pointed out by the subject matter experts over at You should be ethical in your dealings and should be strong enough to resist any calls to do something ethically wrong. If you have a specific example demonstrating how you have dealt with such a situation in the past, then you should elaborate on it when answering this question.

How long have you been an advisor?

As is revealed in discussions over at, experience counts a lot in the financial field, especially the experience gained during periods with plunging markets. If you have considerable experience, you will have a leg up over the other candidates, depending on what the company is looking for.

Do you accept fiduciary responsibility?

This is a legal term meaning that you have a financial obligation to provide suitable investment advice and always act in the company’s best interests, not yours. As the gurus over at point out, you may also be required to give a written statement that you accept this responsibility, so be prepared.

Have you ever been sued or have any reported legal actions?

Whatever you do when answering this question, be honest. If you have been sued or faced legal actions in the course of your work if you try and lie about it, the truth will be uncovered eventually, and you will not be getting the job. If you have been sued, it doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker if you can demonstrate that you have learned from that experience and are a better financial advisor for it.

What is the smallest, average, and the largest portfolio you manage?

This question is designed to let the hiring manager know if you are the right fit for the company. For example, if the candidate only takes high-net-worth clients, then they may not be the right fit for a smaller company. Again, do your research to make sure you are the right fit before your interview to avoid getting screened by this question.

Do you have different investment pools dependent on a client’s risk tolerance?

As explained over at, risk usually relates to the decisions a company would make in a volatile security market and the amount of money they might be willing to lose in a market downturn. While it is usually measured with a series of standard questions, it is important to know the degree to which the financial advisor tailors client investments to know if they will help manage risks, which is why you should be prepared for this question.

Do you count home equity as part of an allocation?

This is another tricky technical question that you can expect in your interview according to When answering this question, you should remember that top advisors don’t count home equity as part of an allocation as home is an investment of last resort, perhaps convertible to a reverse mortgage when elderly, at which point it is a debt, not an investment.

What kind of investments do you recommend?

This is a question that is designed to test your ethics and honesty as an advisor, as well as your skill. Good responses include index funds, real-estate investment trusts (REITs), highly rated bonds, certificate of deposits (CDs), and a portion of money markets. Red flags the interviewer will be looking for is if you try to promote managed funds, individual stocks, a directly owned real-estate property, reverse mortgages, commodities, long-short funds, partnerships of any kind including master limited partnerships (MLP), hedge funds, and so forth as discussed over at

Why do you want this financial advisor job?

Companies want to hire people who are passionate about the job and company, so you should have a great answer about why you want the position. Start by identifying a couple of key factors that make the role a great fit for you and then share why you love the company.

What challenges are you looking for in this financial advisor position?

The best way to answer this question is to discuss how you would like to be able to effectively utilize your skills and experience if you were hired for the job. You can also mention that you are motivated by challenges, can effectively meet challenges, and have the skills and flexibility necessary to handle a challenging job. You can then describe specific examples of challenges you have met and goals you have achieved in the past.

Remember, if you require more information on this topic, then the top-rated and have got you covered and you should check them out for that and more.

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