Initially, after doing the respective entrance tests, I received a call from their team in Glasgow where I applied for my placement. They were very friendly and courteous on the phone and wanted to know why I decided to apply for a career at Morgan Stanley, why in Operations and Why in Glasgow instead of London or other markets? Thy were also interested in my background as I came as an an applicant with a Canadian undergraduate qualification and a prospective UK postgraduate masters qualification. They were also interested to know what I knew about the company and what challenges would be up ahead in the industry. I also came in through an employee referral due to my contacts so that gave me the edge I believe in being able to convince them to take me on, which they did. About a week or two after the first informal chat (held in May), they scheduled me for a telephone interview with one of their Team managers/heads. I cannot emphasize the role of preparation, awareness of the STAR method and the ability to back up whatever you tell them as they will guage the authenticity of your statements. Don't feel you need to go into it immediately after the assessor asks you questions. Rather, wait and supply an appropriate response, even if you were like me and were referring to your notes on a notebook. Speak loudly and clearly and be very articulate in what you are trying to say.
After my first competenecy telephone interview, I was given the opportunity to attend an assessment centre in Glasgow, which they fully compensate you for if you make it to this stage. Bring a passport and/or License on the day for ID purposes and be prepared in your competency responses as you will not be permitted to bring in your notes for it. However, as there was a group exercise component, which they gave you the scenario beforehand relating to 4 different scenarios (1 chosen on the assessment day), you are allowed to bring in your notes for the group exercise. I find, however, being aware of the company outlook and general knowledge of the company will come in handy on this date.
Most difficult question
Whilst the questions themselves are strictly confidential and vary to each assessor, you are tested on the following compentencies
??? Demonstrates a clear understanding of the business they support
??? Understands what is important and prioritizes accordingly
??? Ability to explain risk management and articulate their role in identifying and escalating risk issues
??? Understands the importance of following defined procedures and completing the appropriate checklists
??? Proactively escalates issues as they occur
??? Does not compromise control to comply with clients requests
??? Demonstrates an understanding of client???s (internal and external) requirements
??? Responds to client requests with accuracy and speed
??? Takes personal responsibility for resolving client issues, is able to clearly escalate cause and resolution
??? Demonstrates accountability for actions and errors
??? Actively seeks opportunities / challenges broader than current scope of role
??? Actively seeks out new opportunities for self development and career development
??? Develops a full understanding of team???s performance metrics and how this can impact the wider business environment.
??? Helps to create a positive work environment that builds trust, finds innovative ways to improve team work
??? Actively participates in team meetings, raising issues, questioning others and offering solutions/ideas.
??? Shows a willingness to help others in the team with tasks and issues
??? Proactively ensures upward and peer communication of initiative, issues and successes
??? Takes responsibility for their own personal goals and the delivery of the team???s goals.
It's American, not British, but housed in the UK - so be aware of the role of globalization. Don't let on that you intend to relocate to their offices in New York or Toronto - stick to the original location (Glasgow) even if it's remote to your current location (London). Be smart, be generous, and be the best you can be as competition is fierce in a post 2008 market crash era.
Experiences at the assessment centre
Be aware of the STAR method
Be aware of how you come across to the interview panel - for a North American whose voice and behaviour is confident and competent compared to his British counterparts, you sometimes have to "tone it down" and not appear to enthusiastic, even if it's an American firm you are applying to as it is British people who are interviewing you and it is predominately a conservative environment akin to British poeple. Stay postive, however and maintain good eye ocontact and dress for success. It's also best to have a great sleep regimen and diet regimen weeks into the assessment centre so you look refrshed and healthy.
Be proactive however, in your approach to meeting people as the strangers (students) in the lobby, also taking the assessment centre with you, are the ones probably who are going to be working on the group assignment with you.
Be prepared to work with candidates from the E.U and being able to work with people from various skill sets.
How would you rate the pre-attendance information?
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What was your overall impression of the organisation?
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