MockQuestions

Morningstar Interview Questions

To help you prepare for a Morningstar job interview, here are 31 interview questions and answer examples.

Morningstar was written by and updated on September 28th, 2021. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 31

Tell me about a time you worked with a team to accomplish a goal. What was your biggest contribution?

How to Answer

Like other team-based questions, your answer to this question should demonstrate that you're a team player and can work well with others, making it a relatively straightforward question. Think of a real work scenario and do your best to show, don't tell. For your most important contribution, reflect on a tangible skill that has set you apart when working in a team. It could be your excellent programming experience or your ability to raise group morale. Whatever makes you unique as a team member, make sure it will be relevant to the role to which you're applying.

Written by Rachel Hills on August 6th, 2021

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31 Morningstar Interview Questions & Answers

  • Accomplishment

    1. Tell me about a time you worked with a team to accomplish a goal. What was your biggest contribution?

      How to Answer

      Like other team-based questions, your answer to this question should demonstrate that you're a team player and can work well with others, making it a relatively straightforward question. Think of a real work scenario and do your best to show, don't tell. For your most important contribution, reflect on a tangible skill that has set you apart when working in a team. It could be your excellent programming experience or your ability to raise group morale. Whatever makes you unique as a team member, make sure it will be relevant to the role to which you're applying.

      Written by Rachel Hills on August 6th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "A few months ago, I worked with four colleagues to form an equity & inclusion committee at our firm. Because we created the committee from scratch, it was a huge amount of work, and each member of the team worked together to outline our individual roles and decide on our objectives. While every team member brought unique perspectives and experiences to the table, I think my most important contribution was creating a reporting process to organize and quantify progress toward our objectives and the related actions associated with each of them. My data analysis expertise helped the team have a system of measuring our impact with real data."

      Written by Rachel Hills on August 6th, 2021

      2nd Answer Example

      "My team and I set the goal last year to win ten new clients by the end of the fiscal year. We broke this goal into manageable pieces and set smaller goals with deadlines every few weeks. In addition, we piloted a new software for project management and communication, which ended up working great and is now an important part of our planning process. Two team members tackled business development strategy, two worked on marketing, and I worked with my colleague on new client onboarding and maintenance. By the end of the fiscal year, we ended up exceeding our goal with thirteen new clients."

      Written by Rachel Hills on August 6th, 2021

  • Adaptability

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

      How to Answer

      Your interviewer wants to know that you will proactively respond to challenges right off the bat. Demonstrate to your interviewer that you will be a good cultural fit at Morningstar by emphasizing that you approach challenges head-on. Further, your interviewer wants to ensure you have the formal training needed to be successful on the job, or if you'll need support to fill in training gaps. Similar to the 'greatest weakness' question, the key to answering this question is to point out a potential challenge and then share your plan for how you will overcome that challenge.

      If you can think of one off the top of your head, share with your interviewer an example of a time you were confronted with a challenge at a new job and how you responded to this adversity.

      Written by Rachel Hills on August 6th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "Understanding that my role here at Morningstar 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. From my understanding, I would be working with team members from all over the country, and I foresee it being a possible challenge to build relationships with colleagues and stakeholders without meeting them face-to-face. If hired for the job, I would hope to get involved from day one by setting up virtual meetings with various members of the advisory staff and listening to what the most pressing challenges are for the team at the moment."

      Written by Rachel Hills on August 6th, 2021

  • Adaptability

    3. Describe your approach to learning new skills.

      How to Answer

      Morningstar is looking to hire lifelong learners who are open to expanding their skillset. Demonstrate to your interviewer that you are a curious and eager professional who will fit into Morningstar's team culture. Some hiring managers will be willing to hire you even if you don't match all of the requisites in the position description, so long as you demonstrate an eagerness to learn and deep motivation to succeed.

      Written by Rachel Hills on August 6th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "I like to stay at the top of my game with continuous learning opportunities, conferences, mentoring and networking opportunities, and training to stay on top of the latest emerging technology. Learning new skills keeps me engaged and motivated on the job. One of the reasons why I am drawn to Morningstar, in particular, is the emphasis that you have placed on providing great training and growth opportunities for your leaders. I approach learning something new by diving into it completely, and asking questions so that I can learn as much as I can."

      Written by Rachel Hills on August 6th, 2021

      2nd Answer Example

      "I believe that the most critical component of learning new skills is entering with the mindset that mistakes and failure are OK, as they mean that I'm pushing myself to grow outside of my comfort zone. For example, I'm teaching myself to code right now, which has been fun and exciting but also a huge challenge. I carve out time each week to focus on developing this new skill and don't give up when I don't understand something. This new skill has been a huge asset to me in my current position, and I'm looking to expand on it in this role. Can you tell me more about the opportunities that will be available to me for continuous learning here at Morningstar?"

      Written by Rachel Hills on August 6th, 2021

  • Career Goals

    4. We are looking for the most motivated individuals to join the team here at Morningstar. Where would you like your career to take you in the next five to ten years?

      How to Answer

      This common interview question puts you in a tough spot where you should talk about your ultimate career goals while also balancing the present needs of Morningstar. You might include certifications or credentials you hope to attain to maintain an industry cutting edge. While your interviewer is likely looking for a long-term fit for the position, it is okay to set your sights higher as long as your goals meet that of the organization's goals. Highlight the importance of long-term success with Morningstar.

      Many careers at Morningstar emphasize career growth and upward mobility. For example, the Morningstar Development Program is specifically geared at recent grads looking to develop in their careers and find an area that's a great fit at Morningstar. You don't need to know exactly what you want to do, but have a solid idea of your primary interests and the skills you are most looking to hone.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on September 28th, 2021

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  • Communication

    5. Discuss how you approach explaining complex ideas in simple terms.

      How to Answer

      A crucial part of customer service is ensuring that you can make complex information digestible for your clients. After all, that's why clients hire professionals as the expert! Your interviewer wants to hear that you have developed solid strategies to translate financial or business jargon into easy-to-understand terms for clients whose knowledge is likely less specialized in these areas. In your answer, describe your communication style and, if you can, provide an example of a time you explained a complex idea in simple terms with good results.

      Remember, this skill also translates to interpersonal work on a team. Your ability to communicate your ideas clearly and simply impacts how effectively you work with others.

      Written by Rachel Hills on August 6th, 2021

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  • Communication

    6. Talk to me about a challenging situation you had to handle on the job that involved another colleague. How did you handle that situation?

      How to Answer

      At the heart of this question, your interviewer is looking to hear how you use solid interpersonal and relationship-building skills to diffuse a difficult situation with a coworker. No matter what example you use, make sure to keep the tone positive, focusing on the steps you took to turn a potentially hazardous situation into a good (or at least manageable) one. Remember, this question is not an opportunity to bad-mouth a previous colleague or boss. Most importantly, discuss the specific lessons learned from that situation that you will take into a new role.

      Stress your interpersonal skills and ability to handle conflict effectively. You want your interviewer to know that you will add to, not detract from, Morningstar's positive company culture.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on September 28th, 2021

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  • Competency

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

      How to Answer

      Your interviewer is looking to get a sense of the analytical and problem-solving skills you've developed in past roles and how you would apply these skills to a new role at Morningstar. In your answer, focus on describing your attention to detail and sharp focus on data and statistics. Include an example that demonstrates your thought process when drawing conclusions from information. Give as much insight into your process to show you are capable of taking an analytical approach to problem-solving.

      Written by Rachel Hills on August 6th, 2021

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  • Competency

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

      How to Answer

      You have likely gained many valuable skills in your career. Share with the interviewer which skills you value the most and those that will be relevant to the role you're applying to at Morningstar.

      Remember that for many careers at Morningstar, particularly those for early-career professionals, you don't necessarily have to have a background in the financial services industry. While a working knowledge of the industry and Morningstar's products is expected, it's more important to emphasize your motivation and a willingness to learn. While you can mention your technical skills, be sure to focus your answer on the soft skills that will make you successful in various roles.

      Written by Rachel Hills on August 6th, 2021

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  • Competency

    9. In working with financial data here at Morningstar, what are the steps you would take in the data validation process as part of your work?

      How to Answer

      High-quality and accessible data is at the center of Morningstar's mission statement. Carefully interpreting financial data and ensuring its validity will be at the heart of what you do as an analyst. This is a good question to demonstrate to your interviewer that you're knowledgeable about Morningstar's mission of transparency in providing high-quality data.

      Bad data in the financial industry can have a costly impact, and your job will be to ensure that doesn't happen. To answer this question, discuss the importance of data validation and your method for both data screening and verification as part of the validation process. Include any programs that you have experience working with during the validation process.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on September 28th, 2021

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  • Customer Service

    10. At Morningstar, we pride ourselves on providing great customer experience. Talk about your customer service experience and explain why it will help our clients here.

      How to Answer

      Overall, client experience is a major predictor of business growth in the financial services industry, and the team at Morningstar takes the overall client experience seriously. For this question, your interviewer will be looking for you to expand upon your customer service experience beyond what they can see from your resume. You don't need to relay facts that they likely already know from reviewing your resume. Discuss specific instances where you have gone above and beyond what was expected to provide the best service.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on September 28th, 2021

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  • Customer Service

    11. Our clients here at Morningstar expect top-tier service and products and we will expect you to do just that in this role. Have you ever went the extra mile for a client when it wasn't expected? Why did you do so?

      How to Answer

      Morningstar looks to set themselves apart from their competition by delivering top-notch service. If being interviewed for the Morningstar Development Program, you will be beginning your career at Morningstar as a customer service representative. Thus, a solid understanding of the gold standards of customer service is paramount. If your experience in customer service is limited, spend some time researching the most important qualities of customer service within the financial services industry.

      No matter what example you use, explain why you felt it was important to take that action and what tangible outcomes it produced. Remember: show, don't tell. Use a specific example if you have one.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on September 28th, 2021

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  • Customer Service

    12. What does the term customer service mean to you in your work?

      How to Answer

      No matter what position you are interviewing for at Morningstar, your interviewer wants to hear that you value quality customer service and client interactions. At the crux of your answer, you should show why solid customer service matters to you and how you will demonstrate that value at Morningstar. Whether your answer centers on problem-solving or making people happy, make sure you have a comprehensive answer that rings true for you.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on September 28th, 2021

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  • Direct

    13. What is your greatest strength as a finance professional?

      How to Answer

      Demonstrate your self-awareness by pointing out a strength that you've honed over the years. Ideally, you'll discuss a skill that is directly relevant to the role to which you're applying. Having a tangible example will strengthen your answer.

      Written by Rachel Hills on August 6th, 2021

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  • Direct

    14. What is your greatest weakness as a finance professional?

      How to Answer

      This common interview question is an opportunity to demonstrate self-insight. Give an honest answer with a real weakness you have been identified, and what plan you've put into place to work on it. Just make sure the weakness isn't a core competency of the Morningstar job description. If it's an analyst role, revealing 'logical reasoning skills' as a weakness likely won't get you far. Reflect on traits you want to work on, but that won't get in the way of overall job success.

      Honesty and self-awareness are key for this question. Interviewers have heard it all and will see through phony attempts to present a trait as a weakness when it's not really a weakness.

      Written by Rachel Hills on August 6th, 2021

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  • Direct

    15. What do you anticipate being the greatest challenge you experience in this role?

      How to Answer

      Give an honest answer about something you foresee as a real challenge in this role, as long as it won't get in the way of doing your job effectively. Follow up with the plan you have in place to overcome any such challenges.

      Written by Rachel Hills on August 6th, 2021

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  • Direct

    16. What does Morningstar's mission mean to you?

      How to Answer

      Make sure you've done your homework on Morningstar's history and mission. You should be well-versed in why they do what they do and how this mission applies to the role you're interviewing for.

      The keywords relating to their mission that Morningstar has highlighted on their website include:

      -Personal
      -Visionary
      -Inspiring
      -Transparent
      -Patient
      -Independent
      -Straightforward

      Written by Rachel Hills on August 6th, 2021

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  • Discovery

    17. This position at Morningstar has generated 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?

      How to Answer

      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 paths you can take with this question, be sure to avoid making assumptions about the other candidates in your answer.

      Remember that many candidates are hardworking, motivated, and accomplished. Really reflect on what is unique about your story or career trajectory to help you succeed in this role.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on September 28th, 2021

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  • Experience

    18. Describe a time you made a meaningful contribution to a team.

      How to Answer

      Your answer to this question should give the interviewer a sense of how you operate in a team and what they can expect your contributions to be. Not only do you want to demonstrate that you're a solid team player who is easy to work with, but you also want to make clear that you get stuff done. No one wants to work with a passive team member who lets their responsibilities fall onto others. Give your interviewer a specific example of a team scenario in which your work made a tangible difference.

      Written by Rachel Hills on August 6th, 2021

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  • Experience

    19. 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?

      How to Answer

      Your interviewer wants to be ensured that you have the skills to resolve any client issues that may come up. Talk about a specific time when you diffused a difficult situation with a client. Talk about the resources you used and your interpersonal skills that helped turn a potentially bad situation into a successful one.

      While this question may be less relevant for data analysis and programming roles, remember that you will likely be doing some client-facing work. Thus, a solid understanding of customer service and professionalism towards clients is expected of you.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on September 28th, 2021

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  • Job Satisfaction

    20. What is the most attractive aspect about this role with Morningstar?

      How to Answer

      For this question, your interviewer is looking to gain insight into what you know and like about Morningstar and how they will help you meet your career goals. The key to this question is making sure you've done your research. In your answer, stay focused on the alignment of your values with their values and demonstrate your preparation by showcasing your research on Morningstar and the role. Stay positive in your answer; don't bad-mouth a previous employer.

      Make sure you've spent time reading and reflecting on Morningstar's mission statement. Think about what is most attractive about their mission and how that aligns with your own values and goals.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on September 28th, 2021

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  • Leadership

    21. Morningstar seeks out natural and confident leaders. What leadership qualities do you possess?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer would like to know that you can take on a leadership role even if you don't possess a formal leadership title. A desire for growth and upward mobility within Morningstar will showcase that you are a motivated individual willing to put in the work.

      Remember that Morningstar is not known for the same cutthroat environment you might think of when you think of investment banking companies. Morningstar wants its leaders to be highly motivated, hardworking, likable, and easy to work with within a team.

      Think about which of these leadership qualities most applies to you:

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

      Written by Rachel Hills on August 6th, 2021

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  • Leadership

    22. Tell me about a time you stepped up as a leader.

      How to Answer

      In this question, your interviewer is looking to hear that you can point to a specific example that demonstrates your solid leadership skills. Before the interview, brainstorm times in the past where you did more than what was expected of you to contribute to the overall success of a project. You'll make more of an impact on the interviewer if you can tie this example back to the leadership qualities you'll bring to the role you're interviewing for.

      Written by Rachel Hills on August 6th, 2021

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  • Motivation

    23. If hired for this role at Morningstar, I want to be sure that I'm hiring a motivated individual. What motivates you in your daily work and your career?

      How to Answer

      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 makes you tick in your career. Give one or two specific examples that emphasize your motivation in your day-to-day work. You might include an anecdote that explains why you got into this field in the first place. Perhaps a previous manager has even commented on your motivation. Feel free to include this in an answer.

      While money may be a motivator, don't focus on this aspect in your answer. Rather, focus your answer on intrinsic motivation mostly removed from external factors like money, status, or external validation. In the end, your interviewer is looking to get a sense of how you will stay hungry for more if you are hired for this role.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on September 28th, 2021

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  • Problem Solving

    24. Tell me about a time when you, or a group that you were a part of, were in danger of missing a deadline. What did you do?

      How to Answer

      Point to a specific situation that allows you to emphasize the problem-solving process you took, but don't get bogged down with irrelevant details. The interviewer won't care about the minutiae of a previous work project gone awry, but they will want to hear about the process you went through to ultimately make that deadline.

      That being said, it's best to think of a scenario where you end up actually meeting the deadline as a result of your problem-solving. And if you missed the deadline, emphasize what you learned from the situation and the strategies you've put in place to make sure you won't miss a deadline with Morningstar. For example, you might speak to your process for breaking big projects into manageable chunks or how you've developed a system for communicating with other team members. Ensure that you take responsibility for missing this deadline; blaming a team member or unfortunate circumstance won't reflect well on you.

      Finally, you may choose to bring up your appreciation for the importance of deadlines within an investment research firm like Morningstar. With ever-changing markets and investors who need to know real-time data, you can imagine how important it is for an analyst to stick to deadlines.

      Written by Rachel Hills on August 6th, 2021

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  • Problem Solving

    25. 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?

      How to Answer

      For this question, your interviewer is looking to test your ability to be analytical and resourceful in a specific situation where you had to dig further to solve a problem. Before your interview, try to think of a time in the past when you encountered this specific situation and talk through it, walking through the step-by-step approach you took to solve the problem. Try to be as detailed as you can as you explain how you thought the problem out and worked hard to use the resources you could to help solve the problem. Your interviewer will be relying on these fine details to truly see how you will perform on the job with Morningstar.

      Especially for analyst roles, your interviewer will be looking for a critical thinker with great logical reasoning. Be sure to demonstrate these qualities in your answer.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on September 28th, 2021

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  • Salary

    26. What are your salary expectations?

      How to Answer

      Ah, the dreaded salary expectations question. Interviewees often feel uncomfortable discussing compensation, worried that will give a number that's too high or too low.

      Answering this question tactfully requires a fine balance of knowing your professional worth, while also understanding what Morningstar can realistically offer you for compensation. Rather than giving a specific number, it's best to provide a realistic range that allows room for negotiation. It's helpful to do your research beforehand using various online resources to ensure that you have a good idea of the salary range.

      If you're unsure of a fair range for this position, this question is an opportunity for a discussion with the interviewer. To avoid pigeonholing yourself into a salary that's lower than what they might offer you, you can ask your interviewer if they can share the typical salary range for the role.

      Written by Rachel Hills on August 6th, 2021

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  • Scenario

    27. If you were having an interaction with a client here at Morningstar and you weren't able to answer their question or solve their problem on your own, how would you handle that situation?

      How to Answer

      In a client-facing role with Morningstar, you may be asked serious financial or market-related questions that you either don't know or aren't qualified to answer. In those situations, you will be expected to explain to the customer the plan you have in place to get that question answered. Make sure you deliver a timeline on when it can be answered. Humility and a solutions-oriented approach are key here: be clear that you will not attempt to answer a question that you are not qualified to answer and ensure that you will do everything in your power to find out an answer. Maintaining trust and confidence with clients is critical.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on September 28th, 2021

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  • Scenario Based

    28. The clients of a financial firm like Morningstar can display an arrange of emotions when they work with our client-facing teams. How would you handle a situation where a client was very angry?

      How to Answer

      Your job in a client-facing role will inevitably lead you to deal with an angry client. Your interviewer will be looking to hear that you maintain your professionalism and are solutions-oriented. If you've had prior customer service experience, use a specific example of a time when you dealt with a less-than-satisfied client and how you could find an effective solution to appease the customer. Upset customers can be stress-inducing, so you want to portray yourself as level-headed and objective.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on September 28th, 2021

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  • Stress

    29. Tell me about a stressful situation you dealt with recently. How did you handle it?

      How to Answer

      Finance jobs can be demanding, and your interviewer wants to get a sense of your ability to work under pressure. Demonstrate that you stay calm under stress and don't let it impact your ability to think clearly.

      Written by Rachel Hills on August 6th, 2021

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  • Teamwork

    30. If you joined the team here at Morningstar, how would you build relationships with those that you would be working closely with?

      How to Answer

      For this question, your interviewer wants to hear that you'll be proactive about getting to know your colleagues and fitting into Morningstar's culture. Use a personal approach to talk about ways that you have done this in the past and how you would do so if hired for this position. Discuss the importance of relationship-building and how your collaborative approach has helped you as a professional.

      Written by Rachel Hills on August 6th, 2021

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  • Teamwork

    31. We pride ourselves on teamwork here at Morningstar. What are the top qualities you would bring to the team-based atmosphere here?

      How to Answer

      Morningstar is known for its company culture and employee satisfaction, and a big part of that is employee interaction. At the heart of this question is your interviewer's need to determine how well you will work with others on the team at Morningstar. To ensure that your interviewer walks away from your conversation knowing that you are a team-player, focus your answer on your effective communication skills and how, in the past, you've worked with other team members to reach a common goal.

      As a reminder, Morningstar does not have a reputation for having cutthroat, unfriendly teams. Make clear that you are easy to work with within a team and do your part while using your expertise to assist others.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on September 28th, 2021

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