Financial advisors help clients organize, evaluate and prepare for their financial future. They might prepare stock options, make investments on behalf of clients or educate customers on financial opportunities. When interviewing for a job as a financial advisor, prepare to answer questions about your credentials, investment experience and effectiveness with clients. The hiring manager might also ask about your marketing abilities, familiarity with tax laws and experience with insurance agencies.
Licenses and Certifications
Financial advisors can expect interview questions about their licenses and certifications. The hiring manager might ask, "Do you have any licenses to buy or sell stocks, insurance policies or bonds?" or "Are you a Certified Financial Planner?" According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, certified financial planners must have a bachelor's degree, a minimum of 3 years of work experience in the field, pass an exam and agree to a code of ethics. When answering questions about your credentials, be specific and list each type of license or certification by name. The interviewer might ask to see your credentials or request that you send or email copies to her.
Experience in the Industry
The hiring manager might ask, "How long have you worked as a financial advisor?" or "How long have you worked in this industry?" According to expert financial advisor Ric Edelman, many stockbrokers, insurance agents and investment advisors have recently made career moves into the industry, so gray hair isn't necessarily a sign of experience. When answering, list previous jobs you've held and your official job titles. Even though the information is outlined on your resume, it helps to briefly explain your experience and previous roles. If you're a recent graduate, discuss your degree, academic internships and job-relevant work experiences. The hiring manager might also ask for a list of personal or work references.
Expect interview questions about your interpersonal strengths and people skills. Financial advisors meet with clients, solicit new business and market products and services, so job candidates must effectively interact with clients and potential customers. The interviewer might ask, "What are your communication strengths when dealing with customers?" or "How do you explain financial options to clients so they understand complex financial terms?" You don't have to be a Chatty Cathy, but employers want assurance that you'll connect with clients and be able to educate them and gain their trust.
Due to ever-changing tax laws, economic fluctuations and dynamic investment opportunities, financial advisors must stay current on IRS publications, investment laws and financial opportunities. For example, insurance policies, certain types of investments and tax liabilities vary according to a client's age, marital status and income level. The hiring manager might ask, "How do you stay current on financial trends and laws concerning investments?" or "What type of research do you do to ensure your advice supports tax laws and investment requirements?" When answering, list specific publications you read, continuing education courses you've taken and training seminars you regularly attend.
2016 Salary Information for Personal Financial Advisors
Personal financial advisors earned a median annual salary of $90,530 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, personal financial advisors earned a 25th percentile salary of $57,460, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $160,490, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 271,900 people were employed in the U.S. as personal financial advisors.