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Legg Mason Interview
Questions

27 Questions and Answers by Ryan Brunner

Published July 17th, 2020 | Ryan has over 10 years of experience interviewing
candidates in the healthcare, public service, and private manufacturing/distribution industries.
Job Interviews     Companies     Money     Financial Services    
Question 1 of 27
Among the common issues that are faced by Data Analysts in their work, which one or two problems do you feel really challenge analysts in the financial industry?
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How to Answer
While the challenges faced by general data analysts makes for a pretty long generalized list, this question is allowing your interviewer the chance to see your critical thinking skills by having you talk about which challenges you feel will be critical in the financial field. While there isn't necessarily a right or wrong answer in this question, make sure that you are able to speak intelligently about your answer and provide ways with how you can meet the challenges in your work with Legg Mason.
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1.
Among the common issues that are faced by Data Analysts in their work, which one or two problems do you feel really challenge analysts in the financial industry?
While the challenges faced by general data analysts makes for a pretty long generalized list, this question is allowing your interviewer the chance to see your critical thinking skills by having you talk about which challenges you feel will be critical in the financial field. While there isn't necessarily a right or wrong answer in this question, make sure that you are able to speak intelligently about your answer and provide ways with how you can meet the challenges in your work with Legg Mason.

Ryan's Answer #1
"From my two years of experience as a Data Analyst in the financial industry, of course the common issues of overlapping data and duplicate entries did come up. But I've found the biggest issue to be the collection and implementation of real-time data to be the biggest hurdle. With markets continually changing on a daily basis, I've had to be diligent about updating reports for my advisors that I work closely with because what may be valid and real one day may be out of date the next."
Ryan's Answer #2
"Having some very close contacts that are already working in the financial field in data analysis, I understand that manual data tracking can be a pain point due solely to the time needed to complete. Being highly educated in automated processes and utilizing machine learning in other industries, I think the knowledge I could bring to the team here at Legg Mason would really help advance your data analysis practices within my first six months on the job."
2.
If hired for this role at Legg Mason, I want to be sure that I'm hiring a motivated individual. What motivates you in your daily work and your career?
In the financial services field, you should have strong personal motivation to succeed in your work and your interviewer is asking this question to see what it is that make you tick while on the job. While being open and honest in how you stay motivated on the job, make sure that your answer doesn't include collecting a paycheck every week or two. While money is certainly a motivator in this field, make sure that you use it in an appropriate context if you decide to talk about the financial piece of this business as being a motivator. In the end, your interviewer is looking to get a sense of how he or she will be able to keep you hungry for more if you are hired for this role.

Ryan's Answer #1
"I find myself the most motivated on the job when I am being challenged and when I can continue learning new things. From what I've learned in talking to others that currently work here at Legg Mason, the fast paced environment and continuous changes in the industry would keep me very motivated in my work and you'd never have to question if I were truly enjoying and being motivated in my work."
Ryan's Answer #2
"At a young age, my father taught me to do what I love and love what I do and I know that as I approach the middle years of my career that I made the right career choice. The personal finance field has really blended my love of helping others succeed and my passion for statistics and computers. In this role with Legg Mason, I'll be working with your clients everyday on helping them achieve financial success and that alone is all of the reason I need to get out of bed every morning."
3.
This position at Legg Mason has generate a lot of interest from applicants. What do you feel is the one quality that sets you apart from others we are speaking with about this position?
This question is the perfect opportunity for you to highlight the one key quality that makes you the best person for this position, so be sure to really think about what this one quality is ahead of your interview. While there are many ways that you can take you answer to impress your interviewer and seal the deal for you in getting the job, be sure to avoid making assumptions about the other candidates in your answer. As well, be sure to avoid anything in your answer that points to this job being convenient for you personally or the fact that you'll be getting compensated for this work. Those are quick ways for you to go to the bottom of the candidate ranking list.

Ryan's Answer #1
"As I've talked about during this interview process and from what you can see on my resume, I have all of the technical skills needed to grow your financial advising practice here at Legg Mason. What sets me apart from my competition is my drive to succeed in this industry and I'd love to bring that drive to Legg Mason to help working with your highest profile clients possible. Growing up and continuing to this point in my life, I've always been a very competitive person. I've played many team and individual sports my whole life and my drive to win in those has definitely carried over to and been a huge benefit in my work as a Financial Advisor. I'd love to bring this competitive spirit to your team."
Ryan's Answer #2
"From what I understand about this role in Client Services with Legg Mason, my day to day work will include a lot of client interaction and I really feel like the job description was written with my skills and abilities in mind. But the thing that will really set me apart for being the perfect fit for this role is my experience on the sales side of things where I spent five years of my working career in the retail sales industry. In sales, I have developed key skills like product knowledge and selling skills that would be very beneficial to this role."
4.
How do you stay on top of new trends in the financial services industry?
The interviewer would like to know that your passion for financial services goes beyond your work hours. Do you keep on top of industry news and trends on your off time? Assure the interviewer that you are well immersed in the industry.

Ryan's Answer #1
"I stay on top of financial service trends through a variety of blogs, news sites and financial magazines. My favorite finance news site at the moment is businessinsider.com."
Ryan's Answer #2
"I believe that it is crucial for me to stay on top of news in the financial services industry if I hope to be a success. I have joined multiple meet up groups to network with industry peers. It has really helped my network and given me insight into how other financial service professionals are making their careers flourish."
5.
Have you ever run into a situation where a company had a positive cash flow but was still in critical financial trouble?
At the heart of this question, your interviewer is looking to dive in and take a look at your critical thinking skills. While positive cash flow is usually a very good sign of a company's overall ability to settle its debts and handle future financial challenges, there are some situations where all isn't as it seems when looking at a company with a positive cash flow. Whether you have run into this situation or not, it is important for you to point out that you are aware of situations where a positive cash flow can be misleading.

Ryan's Answer #1
"If hired for this position, you can rest assured that I know all considerations necessary when looking at cash flow for an organization when determining their overall financial health. A cash flow statement can often show positive cash flow when they take on new cash from loans or long-term debt. While these items do show up as positive on the cash flow, they don't accurately reflect the profitability of the organization."
Ryan's Answer #2
"I have come across this situation with a company that was selling off a large chunk of inventory. At the same time, the company was delaying their payables. This showed a very skewed positive cash flow but the real story behind the curtains showed a company that was in serious trouble of keeping its doors open."
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.
Why would our clients here at Legg Mason 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 Legg Mason, 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 Legg Mason, 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."
8.
When it comes to financial services, which focus do you find the most rewarding?
There are so many areas of focus when it comes to financial services. Talk to the interviewer about the areas of finance that you enjoy working on the most. Be sure to acknowledge some areas of focus within Legg Mason when you answer this question.

Ryan's Answer #1
"I find many areas of financial services to be intriguing. After researching your company further, I see that you focus on Capital Market Services and Brokerage Services. I really enjoy working in both areas but primarily Capital Market Services and restructuring debt."
Ryan's Answer #2
"One of the primary reasons behind my application to your company was that you offer Commercial Services. This is an area or strength for me that I look forward to evolving even further."
9.
At Legg Mason, 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 Legg Mason 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 Legg Mason. 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."
10.
Can you think of a situation where raising debt over equity would be beneficial?
Debt and equity have a very closely bonded relationship with each other in relation to a company's finances. In most situations, raising debt can create too high of an amount of pressure to meet payments versus raising equity. But, there are a few key situations where there is a distinct advantage in raising debt over equity and your interviewer will be looking to hear that you understand at least one of those advantages to be tax shielding, reducing cost of capital and not diluting the stake for investors.

Ryan's Answer #1
"In the situations where I've advised an organization to increase debt, they've received a distinct advantage in a lower cost form of financing versus equity financing. In the end, this reduced the organization's WACC and came out to be a win for them."
Ryan's Answer #2
"Last year, I advised a manufacturer to take the debt over equity route when adding a new line of products that was guaranteed to be very profitable. This fact allowed the company to simply and quickly repay the loan plus interest while being able to reap the rewards of the extra profits. In that same case using equity, final profit would've been less."
11.
If you were having an interaction with a client here at Legg Mason and you weren't able to answer their question or solve their problem on your own, how would you handle that situation?
As the forward facing client services representative with Legg Mason, you may be asked serious financial or market related questions that either don't know or aren't qualified to answer. In those situations, you will be expected to explain to the customer how that question will be answered and then deliver a timeline on when it can be answered. In the end, the customer wants to know the clear path to ease their mind and it will be your job to do just that.

Ryan's Answer #1
"In my current role in Customer Service with Metropolis' largest automotive dealership, I frequently get asked questions that our sales, finance and service staff have to give the final stamp of approval on in answering customers questions. In these situations, I have a great amount of knowledge where I can prepare the customer for speaking with the right person while also ensuring them that the sales, finance or service staff will provide the final answer. Then, I work quickly to get them to the right person."
Ryan's Answer #2
"In a situation where I didn't know an answer, I would ensure the client that we have the right staff in place that would be able to help them quickly and efficiently. I would communicate to the customer what the next step would be and if that would be me putting them directly in contact with someone or me taking their contact information and having someone get back to them. In the end, setting the right course and timeline would be important for every customer when I faced this situation."
12.
If you noticed that a company's balance sheet was showing increased amounts of accounts receivables, what future impacts to that company would you consider to be feasible?
At the root of this question, your interview will be looking to hear that you understand how the different lines on a company's balance sheet are related to each other. In your answer, be sure to point out your understanding of this as your job as an analyst with Legg Mason will rely on your ability to do so.

Ryan's Answer #1
"An organization's lines on a balance sheet all have impact on other lines. In the case that I was made aware of an increase in accounts receivable for an organization, I would note that cash flow could be directly impacted and give a higher chance that the organization didn't have enough money to operate. As well, the reduced value of assets is a real possibility for that organization."
Ryan's Answer #2
"In reality, an increase in amounts receivable can have both a positive and negative impact. In the short term, accounts receivable show up as current-period revenue and have a positive effect on income statements. But over the long-term, a large increase in amounts receivable has a negative impact on cash-flow for the company."
13.
If hired for this position at Legg Mason, what factors would you consider part as part of an organization's long-term liability?
To begin for this question, make sure that you can define a long-term liability as obligations that are due beyond one year and into the future. Then, consider major factors like bonds, mortgages, leases and other items that factor in to an organization's long-term liability. Last, try to explain why the measurement of long-term liabilities are important is an important factor in considering the overall financial health of an organiation.

Ryan's Answer
"While long-term liabilities aren't an immediate issue on a companies working capital, the can become an issue if long-term liabilities pile up too high for some organizations. While often overlooked, items like mortgages, fleet vehicle loans and annuities can add up over time and are always items that I consider when looking at the overall health of an organization."
14.
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?
Your interviewer is posing this question to see how you will handle a situation where a client at Legg Mason is working through a difficult time. As you talk about how you managed that situation, your interviewer will be looking to hear that you have the interpersonal skills to be effective from the client's perspective. In your answer, be sure to explain the importance of an empathetic approach with your clients and how that approach helps them get through a difficult time.

Ryan's Answer #1
"During the recession in 2008, I had a very large client call to request that all of his funds be pulled out of the stock market. Knowing that this move was a very poor strategy, I needed him to hear that in most personal and educated way possible. With an active listening approach, I repeated back what he had told me and I reiterated that he wanted to sell them at a low price and hopefully buy them back down the road at a high price. This made the client take a pause and think. This was my opportunity to talk about market history and the odds that his stock prices would rebound over time. He decided to keep his funds in the market at the time and a few years down the road, he called to personally thank me for the sound advice. The fact that I took a personal approach while educating him in the process to make his own decision was the definite key to success in this situation."
Ryan's Answer #2
"Sometimes in this field, difficult conversations have to be had with clients and when I need to have them, I use a very personal and empathetic approach. A great situation where this happened was with a client that wasn't meeting their personal retirement goals to be done working at age 62. At the point we were working together, she was 55 years old. After a quick assessment of her finances, I talked to her about letting her two kids be responsible for their own college tuition. As a mother, her intuition was to support her children in every way possible but the reality was that it was hurting her own goals. Simply put to her, I told her that there are no loans available for retirement and that she was doing both herself and her kids a favor by taking the route I suggested."
15.
Legg Mason 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 Legg Mason 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."
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27 Legg Mason Interview Questions
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Interview Questions
  1. Among the common issues that are faced by Data Analysts in their work, which one or two problems do you feel really challenge analysts in the financial industry?
  2. If hired for this role at Legg Mason, I want to be sure that I'm hiring a motivated individual. What motivates you in your daily work and your career?
  3. This position at Legg Mason has generate a lot of interest from applicants. What do you feel is the one quality that sets you apart from others we are speaking with about this position?
  4. How do you stay on top of new trends in the financial services industry?
  5. Have you ever run into a situation where a company had a positive cash flow but was still in critical financial trouble?
  6. List the top 3 skills that you have acquired in your last role.
  7. Why would our clients here at Legg Mason want you to be their financial advisor?
  8. When it comes to financial services, which focus do you find the most rewarding?
  9. At Legg Mason, 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?
  10. Can you think of a situation where raising debt over equity would be beneficial?
  11. If you were having an interaction with a client here at Legg Mason and you weren't able to answer their question or solve their problem on your own, how would you handle that situation?
  12. If you noticed that a company's balance sheet was showing increased amounts of accounts receivables, what future impacts to that company would you consider to be feasible?
  13. If hired for this position at Legg Mason, what factors would you consider part as part of an organization's long-term liability?
  14. 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?
  15. Legg Mason 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?
  16. Give an example of a time that you had to resolve a difficult situation with a client or customer. What were the keys to coming to a successful solution?
  17. What statistical analysis tools do you have experience working with?
  18. We are looking for the most motivated individuals to join the team here at Legg Mason. Where you would you like your career to take you in the next five to ten years?
  19. In working with financial data here at Legg Mason, what are the steps you would take in the data validation process as part of your work?
  20. How would you define what working capital is for a company and what does its measurement mean?
  21. Our customers rely on our services outside of normal business hours. Are you able to work a flexible schedule if hired for this position?
  22. At Legg Mason, our clients are the lifeblood of our business and we do everything in our power to make them happy. What does the term customer service mean to you in your work?
  23. What is the most attractive thing in your eyes about this role with Legg Mason?
  24. At Legg Mason, we pride ourselves on providing the best overall customer experience. Talk about your customer service experience and explain why it will help our clients here.
  25. Talk to me about a challenging situation you had to handle on the job that involved another colleague. How did you handle that situation?
  26. The clients of a financial firm like Legg Mason can display an arrange of emotions when they work with our Client Services team. How would you handle a situation where a client was very angry?
  27. Give me an example of a time that you had to solve a problem without having all of the necessary information at hand to do so. How did you handle that situation?
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