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BMO InvestorLine Interview
Questions

27 Questions and Answers by
| Ryan has over 10 years of experience interviewing
candidates in the healthcare, public service, and private manufacturing/distribution industries.

Question 1 of 27

Take a couple of minutes to sell this notepad to me.

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BMO InvestorLine Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    Take a couple of minutes to sell this notepad to me.

      To be successful in the financial advising field, one top key to success is your ability to sell your service to your clients. For this task, your interviewer will slide a notepad (or other item) to you across the table and ask you to sell it to them. First and foremost, your interviewer will be looking for you to project confidence in your pitch and your ability to find their own needs in what they're looking for in a notepad while you give them your pitch. As you sell them the notepad, be sure that you are confident, creative and that you ask questions of them. Overall, see this question as a fun opportunity to show your advising skills in a very nontraditional way and it will be a success for you.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "Well Mr. Jones, I know in your line that you definitely in high need of notepads to help you succeed in your industry and I'm here to show you a new product we have put out to market that can exceed your needs. You'll notice that it features very wide margins that accentuate the note taking procedures for all who use it. You'll also notice that each individual sheet is carefully perforated to make separation from the binding an easy task compared to other notepads. The last feature of our new notepad is that it comes in many different paper colors that suit your needs. If you want, take this sample to your office for a week and put it to use. If you and your staff would make use of it, I can set you up with your first shipment in no time!"

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "Mrs. Jones, we at Notepads, Inc. are excited to announce a new line of notepads for our exclusive customers. If you can, tell me a bit about your frustrations with your current line of notepads that you use. Wow, thank you for that. I can tell that functionality, cost and supply are all issues that are of concern and I'm happy to tell you that this fantastic notepad meets your needs with the brightest white paper, narrow ruled, right priced and readily available features. I'd like to talk about you further about pricing and delivery options when you are ready."

  2. 2.

    If hired for this role at BMO InvestorLine, how would you help make sound investment decisions for our clients?

      While certainly an open ended question for you to run with, your interviewer is really looking to get a sense that you are resourceful in your decision making processes and that you don't rely too heavy on quantitative or qualitative information to make decisions. In your answer, talk about the sound use of data while also relying on your experience and judgement to help in your decision making processes. As well, if you are open and experienced in a team based approach among fellow colleagues, talk about that as well.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "In my current role, we have a great team that considers many factors in our investment decisions for our clients. Our engineers have developed mathematical models that gauge the markets and their propensity to shift over time. We have a team of market experts that rely on the new and current times to predict future fluctuations. As the Portfolio Managers, we weigh information from all of these teams to make decisions moving forward and this allows for the greatest confidence in our overall decisions."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "While all of our decisions for our clients are based on assumptions, my experience has taught me to weigh in many different factors when making investment decisions. Looking at historical data to predict futures carries some weight and can be accurate at times, but having firsthand knowledge of different businesses and industries like I do helps put that historical data into perspective when trying to predict the future. If hired for this position at BMO InvestorLine, I'll have that ability to make the best decisions possible for your clients."

  3. 3.

    BMO InvestorLine strives for client loyalty to keep us running strong into the future. What do you feel are the keys to retaining clients for the long haul?

      Businesses in financial advising are constantly pushing the limits to ensure that they retain clients and BMO InvestorLine doesn't take client retention lightly. One slip up and a high profile client will be taking their business to a competitor. For this question, your interviewer will be looking to hear that you understand your role in the customer retention equation and how you take pride in that in your everyday work. Make sure to hit on the point that doing the small things, like prompt communication and follow up, go a long way towards keeping clients happy.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "I learned a few very important things from a senior mentor early in my career that I still hold near and dear to my heart to this day. First, clients expect me to be responsive to their needs to ensure that they keep their business with me. Because of this, I return phone calls and emails as soon as I can, even if that means in the evening, the early morning or on a Sunday afternoon. These small actions go a long way in showing my clients that I care. Another key to the success of my long-term clients is my ability to set and manage expectations for them. Clients desire to have a plan and know what that plan entails and I pride myself on my ability to work with them to set goals and a plan to achieve those goals."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "Having lost clients in the past that went to another firm, I take that pain personally and do everything I can do to ensure long lasting relationships with my clients. For me, the first key to long term success with my clients is a proactive approach. I don't wait for clients to get in touch with me to make changes to their portfolio, I reach out to them. This action alone shows my clients that I am working for their best interest. Another action I take that shows my worth to my clients are goal tracking and quarterly progress reports that I send out to them. This is particularly helpful for clients that are working with me in their first two years."

  4. 4.

    If hired to this role here at BMO InvestorLine, what do you see as one initial hurdle you will have to overcome in your first weeks on the job?

      At the heart of this question, your interviewer is asking you to take an honest look inside of yourself to discuss what you feel is the biggest learning curve you will have if offered this position. This will give your interviewer a sense of how to handle your onboarding process if hired for the position and give them a sense that you have the ability to see what your biggest need would be. Similar to the what is your greatest weakness question, the key to answering this question is humbly pointing out a flaw that you may see and making a plan for how you will overcome that flaw.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "Having put a lot of thought into this even before submitting my resume for this position, I realize that my greatest hurdle would be making the leap as an Auditor into the financial focused industry. My five years of experience out of college have been focused on management and technical consulting services, but I feel that I've built a very good knowledge base and experience for this role here at BMO InvestorLine. If given the opportunity to join your team, my initial focus would be to get enthralled in auditing in the financial industry and I'd do this by being attached at the hip to my colleagues and taking the time to talk one on one with a lot of other staff to help better understand what they'll expect of me in this role."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "Understanding that my role here at BMO InvestorLine would have me working with the entire advisory staff, the first hurdle would be getting to know everyone on that team and showcasing the skills that I could bring to their work. If hired for the job, I would hope to be invited to team meetings where I could introduce myself and my role with the team and I'd invite an open conversation with the entire team."

  5. 5.

    One huge philosophy that we believe in at BMO InvestorLine is professional development. How have you worked to develop yourself professionally throughout your career?

      In an ever-changing field like financial services, BMO InvestorLine knows that professional growth and development is vital to them staying at the forefront of their industry. For this question, your interviewer is looking to ensure that your values surrounding professional development match the values of the company. Use this question as an opportunity for you to highlight the many ways that you grow and develop yourself to be the best that you can be in your career. Highlight any continuing education you have completed, any societies or groups that you belong to and any publications that you read on a regular basis that will prove to your interviewer that you aren't comfortable being stagnant in your career.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "I am a firm believer in being a life long learner in my work as a Data Analyst. As technology and times have changed over the course of time, I see it as very important to be learning and changing along with the times. Just over the past two years, the Data Fest and Data Summit national conferences and participation in these events on a yearly basis is super important to me to help me grow and develop."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "In the financial field, I have to stay at the top of my game to compete with other advisors and keep clients happy and flourishing. To do this, I subscribe to and read many of the great publications that are out there. Some of my favorites include the Wall Street Journal, Money magazine and Forbes. I also subscribe to many others. As well, I am a member of NAIFA and I have attended the organization's Congressional Conference on a few occasions."

  6. 6.

    List the top 3 skills that you have acquired in your last role.

      You have likely gained many valuable skills in your career. Share with the interviewer which skills you value the most. Be sure to include skills that will potentially benefit this potential new employer.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "In the past few years I was able to upgrade my education while still working full time. The biggest skill that I gained was my ability to multi-task as I worked the dual role of employee and student. I also have strong skills in a variety of Microsoft programs such as PowerPoint and Excel."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "There are many skills I gained in my most recent position as I had a great training program and my boss was a strong mentor. If I had to choose three top skills I would say that the biggest ones were effective multitasking, solid closing skills, and cold calling abilities."

  7. 7.

    What types of compensation structures have you worked under in the past and do you have any expectations for this role with BMO InvestorLine?

      Compensation for Financial Advisors can vary from a straight salary, straight commission, salary plus bonus or a fee-only structure. You can speak openly and honestly to your interview about the types of compensation you have received throughout your career up to this point, but it is always important to do your research on BMO InvestorLine and how they pay their advisors when you elaborate on the compensation model that suits you best. In the end, it is important to match your expectations with the compensation structure of BMO InvestorLine.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "In the current role that I have been in since graduating from college, I started on a base salary for three years guaranteed that also had a bonus structure tied in for performance. At the the end of the three year base salary period, I was moved to a straight commission and have been on that for almost five years now. I am very confident in my ability to be a high performing advisor on commissions and bonuses and find that I have a very high motivation to succeed in this atmosphere."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "As an experience advisor that has spent time working with a large firm, a small independent firm and being self-employed, I have worked on pretty much every pay structure possible for our profession. At the point that I am at in my career with an aging family and grandchildren on the way, a salary plus bonus structure is what I'm seeking during my job search. From what I understand about this position, the compensation you are offering falls within those parameters. Are you able to expand on the bonus structure so I have a better understanding of how it works?"

  8. 8.

    If I were to hand you $100,000 to invest today, where would you put that money and why?

      As a simple tool to gauge how you will both satisfy clients and make a profit for BMO InvestorLine, your interviewer is looking to hear how you would invest money right now if given the chance. While there is no right or wrong answer for this question, show them your knowledge of breaking up assets based on age if possible. As well, don't hesitate to call out your knowledge of specifically allocating funds into different sectors or individual businesses or industries. In the end, make sure to give a full explanation of why you are choosing what you are to sell it to your interviewer.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "If the money was given personally to me to invest for myself, I would go for a 50-50 split between stocks and bonds being that I'm 37 years old. This would provide a good mix of funds that could be placed into aggressive IT and healthcare type stocks with a lot of growth potential while keeping half safe in the bonds market."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "Being that I am young and willing to wisely be aggressive with money invested for myself, I would look for gems in certain industries like social media and internet retail sales. Amazon is expected to see prosperous growth and so are places like Pinterest and Facebook. I'd be wise with these investments while being sure to pay close attention to futures forecasts as those could change quickly, meaning a shift in my direction as well."

  9. 9.

    What qualities do you feel a successful manager should have?

      Some great qualities of a manager are:

      - Being someone who people naturally want to follow
      - Exceptional interpersonal skills
      - Strong relationship building skills
      - Taking ownership for the team's errors and mistakes
      - Excelling at motivating others
      - Providing kudos/recognition to your team
      - Knowing how to select and hire the right people to join the team
      - Having a vision for the future

      These are just a few to get started!

      Ryan's Answer

      "I feel that a successful manager should be patient, strive to be a mentor, and be willing to receive constructive feedback from their team. As a manager, I want to have a team that trusts me and comes to me for professional development and coaching."

  10. 10.

    Here at BMO InvestorLine, we are expecting someone with strong leadership skills to take this role. How would you describe your management style?

      Prior to your interview, try to take a long, hard look inside your skills and styles as a leader of others and prepare to present the best management style possible to your interviewer that fits the role that you are interviewing for with BMO InvestorLine. Your answer should also involve solid research into the culture of BMO InvestorLine and the details of the role you are interviewing for. Some important things to touch on are your ability to promote a team atmosphere and your ability to delegate responsibilities when necessary.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "My overall management style is the belief in building a positive team atmosphere. I'm a firm believer that each person and role brings a specific skill set to the ocverall goals and purpose of a team and I promote a team based atmosphere by larifying everyone's role on the team, keeping every person's objectives clear, rewarding great performers on the team and holding people accountable for their actions. If hired for this role at BMO InvestorLine, you can be assured that my promotion of a team based atmosphere would help achieve even higher goals than you have set right now."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "I think that it is crucial for a leader of others to be flexible in their style rather than relying on just one of the canned management styles. I'd like to highlight my abilities to lead as being a manager that works to grow and develop my staff to help them achieve their career goals and a leader who is able to provide direction and authority when the time for it arises. By knowing my team well and promoting our goals, I have the ability to assign work to the right people and follow through with my team on meeting all objective necessary."

  11. 11.

    What software programs do you use in your current work and how adaptable would you say that you are in learning and using new programs?

      Overall, your interviewer is simply looking to hear that you have a good grasp on programs to use to make you more efficient in your work and to do this, talk open and honestly about the programs that you currently use and talk about in what context that you use them. If at all possible with this role, try to research what additional programs you may have to learn if given this opportunity to join BMO InvestorLine and reassure your interviewer that your computer skills are fluent enough to pickup quickly if needed.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "In my current role, I currently use a program called Zendesk that is an interactive customer support tool. When we started to use this tool a little over a year ago, I was very quick to learn and utilize all of the great functions of the program and have since become a trainer for new staff that join our team. As well, I'm very fluent in the entire Microsoft suite of products and would consider myself an expert on the Outlook, Excel and Word programs."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "I consider myself very agile when it comes to using and appreciating the vast amount of software that is available to Financial Advisors today. In my current role, I solely use RightCapital as a financial advising tool with my clients. I really love its ability to help in the budgeting and comprehensive planning processes with my clients. I'm also very familiar with the MoneyGuidePro tool and have used it successfully in the past. If hired for this role, you can consider me an open book when it comes to learning and effectively utilizing any programs needed."

  12. 12.

    Why would our clients here at BMO InvestorLine want you to be their financial advisor?

      As a professional in financial advising, you know that relationships are built on trust and integrity and for the business at BMO InvestorLine, this is equally important. For your answer, your interviewer will be looking how to hear how you build trust with your clients to ensure that they are customers for life. In your answer, make sure that trust and integrity are common themes as you discuss how you work with each client's individual needs to build their portfolio.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "Looking back on my career to this point, I can say with confidence that my success, and the success of my clients, has been due to my ability to build trusting relationships. My path for building a trusting relationship consists of education, communication and action. I educate each client on a personal level, I set expectations for them and deliver on what I say I'm going to do. If hired for this position here at BMO InvestorLine, you'll be hiring a Financial Advisor that will be great at bringing aboard new clients as I have many current clients that I am confident will follow me here."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "Like in any financial advising relationship, confidentiality and integrity are of utmost importance to clients and these are pieces of the relationships with my clients that I hold in the highest regard. My clients know that I can be trusted to safeguard their personal information and use the best resources possible to help make the best decisions for them based on their personal information and situation. I pride myself on the fact that my clients trust me with their personal information and your clients will have this trust in me as well if I'm hired for this position."

  13. 13.

    At BMO InvestorLine, we expect our advisors to be available to speak with clients in person, over the phone and through email. What are your experiences in working with clients through different communication methods?

      Customer interaction is the name of the game at BMO InvestorLine as they rely on excellent customer to service to retain and grow their client base in a cutthroat market. For this question, your interviewer is looking to get a sense of how you use your communication skills to your advantage in your work and how those skills will benefit BMO InvestorLine. As you answer and talk about your experiences in communication methods, try to show that you thrive on client interactions and have the ability to be both persuasive and trusted with those interactions.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "Looking back on my career, I can honestly say that success as an Advisor is really due to my passion for finance and my desire for interactions with other people. Being a people person at heart, I love working with clients in any way possible. My communication style with clients is to get to personally know them so I can relate my advising to them personally. While I definitely prefer to interact with my clients face-to-face, I do have a lot of experience communicating both over the phone and email as well. If hired for this position, you'll see very quickly that I have excellent writing skills."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "As you can see from my resume, I have taken advanced training courses in public speaking and written communication to help further me in this career field. In my early days in finance and making the move to financial advising, communication skills were my area that needed the most professional development. Today, I am confident in my abilities to work one on one with clients directly in person, over the phone or through email and have experience handling clients in all three ways. In my current role, I'd estimate that over 50% of my interactions are through email with the remaining interactions split between face-to-face meetings and phone calls."

  14. 14.

    Tell me about a time where you had to analyze information in order to make a recommendation.

      Talk about your attention to detail and sharp focus on data and statistics. If the job requires you to take an analytical approach to solving problems, think back on your experience to offer up an example. Give as much insight into your process to show you are capable of taking an analytical approach to problem-solving.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "I worked for a financial firm last year and had a client who was looking for investment recommendations. I gathered data on the stocks they were interested in, sorting through trends and historical data to determine the most promising returns."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "As a financial service professional, I am always analyzing information before creating a path of recommendation for my clients. I am highly skilled when it comes to data analysis. My abilities stem from my statistics and analysis related courses while obtaining my Bachelor's degree in finance."

  15. 15.

    The day-to-day life at BMO InvestorLine can be hectic and stressful at times. If hired for this role, how would you keep yourself motivated when working with stressed colleagues and pushy clients?

      The daily life at BMO InvestorLine is naturally very fast paced and because of that, both the colleagues and the clients that you may be working with have potential to be stressed, needy and downright mean at times. For this question, your interviewer is looking to get a sense that you would be able to work in this type of environment. In your answer, talk about the fact that you are cognizant of what this job entails as far as personal interactions go and talk about times where you have worked successfully through situations like this in the past. As well, don't hesitate to talk about your own personality traits that help you thrive in these types of situations.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "Being a person that thrives in a fast paced work environment, I have the ability to handle stressed colleagues with a grain of salt. As you can see from my resume, I've spent the last five years in the manufacturing industry where my department worked under tight deadlines all of the time. If I noticed that a colleague was under stress, I offered my help if I was able to and down the road that was usually reciprocated back to me. This unselfish attitude and realizing that someone else's stress wasn't directed at me was the key to maintaining personal health and balance on the job."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "In my current role in client services with a large hospitality group, some days can go off the rails and it feels like I'm working with enraged customers all day long. I have the attitude that their anger isn't directed towards me, but I'm the face of the company that they are currently working with and I need to do my job in helping solve their issue. While I do have great resources at my hand to help solve customer issues, I think that taking the time to get to know all of our management team and how they solve problems is key as well so I know who to put customers in touch with if needed."

  16. 16.

    We want our advising team at BMO InvestorLine to be happy and healthy. How do you manage the day to day stress of being a financial advisor?

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  17. 17.

    Discuss a time that you worked a client through a difficult financial situation. What were the keys to making it a success for the client?

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  18. 18.

    Tell me about the largest financial portfolio you have been responsible for.

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  19. 19.

    How long will it take you to make a meaningful contribution to our team at BMO InvestorLine?

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  20. 20.

    Think back over your career up to today and tell me about the most difficult day on the job you encountered. What made the day difficult and how did you handle that situation?

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  21. 21.

    We pride ourselves on our interdepartmental teamwork here at BMO InvestorLine. If hired for this role, what kind of team player could we expect you to be?

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  22. 22.

    If you joined the team here at BMO InvestorLine, how would you build relationships with those that you would be working closely with?

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  23. 23.

    When would an investment in commodities make sense for a client that you were working with?

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  24. 24.

    Describe to me a time when you made an error in your current or former position, and the impact your mistake made? How did you correct the error, what did you learn from it?

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  25. 25.

    In your work as a Portfolio Administrator, what kind events cause you the most stress on the job?

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  26. 26.

    How can BMO InvestorLine motivate you on the job?

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  27. 27.

    When have you shown a willingness to learn a new method or new approach to solving a problem?

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