Arrow Icon
blog header pale blue image blog header abstract shape

Heart of Advice

Insights and best practices for successful financial planning engagement

left arrow Back to All Articles

Navigating the Hiring Process: Best Questions to Ask Financial Advisor Candidates

Joanne Del Signore May 30, 2024

A financial advisor candidate interviewing for a position.

Hiring a new financial advisor for your firm requires a strategic process to ensure a seamless match for your team and clientele. By thoroughly evaluating candidates based on their expertise, alignment with company values, and ability to meet clients’ needs in the interview process, you will set the stage for a successful partnership.

These practical tips and examples of the best financial advisor interview questions will empower you to make informed hiring decisions and navigate the hiring process with confidence.

Getting Started: Preparing for an Interview

Preparing for an interview is just as important for the interviewer as it is for the job candidate. Adequate preparation will enable you to ask the right questions and demonstrate professionalism, attention to detail, and respect for the candidate’s time.

To set the stage for a valuable interview experience, begin your preparations by conducting a thorough review of the candidate’s resume. If you familiarize yourself with the candidate’s background, qualifications, and experiences, you will be able to tailor your interview questions and probe deeper into specific areas of interest. You will also be able to identify any gaps or ambiguities in the candidate’s work history or qualifications that you want to seek clarification on.

After you have reviewed their resume, outline a structured interview plan. Your plan can include a list of key questions to ask, along with follow-up questions that delve deeper into specific areas of expertise. This will help you guide the conversation smoothly, ensure all relevant topics are covered, and maximize the information obtained from the candidate.

Best Questions to Ask in Financial Advisor Interviews

Asking the right questions will help you gain a deeper understanding of the candidate’s skills and ensure their approach aligns with your firm’s values and the needs of your clients. Here, we’ll cover the key areas to address in a financial advisor interview and provide a few examples of the best questions to ask.

Qualifications and Experience

Giving the candidate the opportunity to go through their background is often a good place to start an interview. You will be able to get some information, such as their degrees, certifications, and years of experience from their resume, but there are additional questions you can ask to thoroughly evaluate their qualifications and level of experience.

  • How does your financial planning experience qualify you for a financial advisor position within our firm?
  • What types of firms have you worked for?
  • What quantity of assets under management have you supported?
  • Do you have experience specializing in a certain area?

Technical Skills and Knowledge

Evaluating technical competence is key to ensuring advisors can deliver sound financial guidance. You will want to tailor your questions to the specific knowledge needed for the firm and clients served, but these are a few examples of questions that will assess a candidate’s technical skills and knowledge.

  • What are your thoughts on current market conditions and trends?
  • Tell me about your financial planning process. How do you gather client data, assess goals, make recommendations, and create plans?
  • What is your standard approach to asset allocation?
  • Tell me about your experience with financial planning software.

Client Relationships and Communication

Being able to build strong relationships and communicate effectively with clients is crucial for financial professionals. These questions can give you valuable insight into their ability to connect with clients and foster meaningful relationships.

  • How would you go about building rapport and establishing trust with new clients?
  • Describe your approach to explaining complex financial topics in simple terms.
  • How do you ensure clients understand the financial strategies you recommend?
  • What methods do you use to build long-lasting advisor-client relationships?
  • How would you handle a situation where a client disregards your advice?

Problem Solving and Critical Thinking Abilities

A financial advisor’s job involves navigating complex and ever-changing financial landscapes to create customized strategies that align with each client’s goals and risk tolerance. Asking these questions can reveal how adept candidates are at thinking critically to solve problems and make sound decisions.

  • What is a current economic risk you think will impact your clients’ plans, and can you suggest some strategies that might alleviate it?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to handle a difficult situation involving one of your clients.

Organization and Time Management Skills

Financial advising requires excellent time management skills to serve all clients well. These questions can help you assess the candidate’s ability to juggle priorities and deliver quality work despite a demanding workload.

  • Walk me through what an average work week looks like for you. How do you prioritize tasks and manage your time?
  • Tell me about a time you had multiple pressing deadlines or commitments. How did you handle this situation?

Continuous Learning and Improvement

Top advisors are passionate about continuously developing their expertise. These questions will give you a sense of the candidate’s self-improvement mindset and enthusiasm for learning, which will help you assess their potential for growth and ability to keep clients well-informed.

  • How do you stay up to date on the latest financial trends, products, regulations, and strategies?
  • What resources, tools, or professional networks do you rely on for ongoing education?
  • What are some areas of advising you want to strengthen through further learning and development? How will you pursue this?

Cultural Fit

Ensuring that potential candidates align with your firm’s values and priorities is essential for maintaining a harmonious and productive work environment. The following questions will help you dive into the candidate’s values so you can evaluate their cultural fit with your firm.

  • How would you describe your values and principles when it comes to financial advising?
  • In what ways do you think our values and priorities align? Where might there be differences to discuss?
  • What attracted you to apply to our firm over others?

Find the Right Talent for Your Firm

By preparing for interviews and asking the right questions, you will get a more accurate assessment of the candidate’s potential to excel in the position. This will allow you to make well-informed hiring decisions that will help drive the growth and success of your firm.

If you’re interested in exploring more strategies for effective financial advisor recruiting, consider visiting my blog post 7 Considerations for More Effective Financial Advisor Recruiting. In this post, you’ll find additional tips and insights to help you attract and hire top talent for your firm, ensuring a strong and successful team that can provide exceptional financial guidance to your clients.

DISCLAIMER: The eMoney Advisor Blog is meant as an educational and informative resource for financial professionals and individuals alike. It is not meant to be, and should not be taken as financial, legal, tax or other professional advice. Those seeking professional advice may do so by consulting with a professional advisor. eMoney Advisor will not be liable for any actions you may take based on the content of this blog.

Image of Joanne Del Signore
About the Author

Joanne Del Signore is the Head of People Experience at eMoney playing an essential role in creating and nurturing our strong culture; one that lets people perform at their best while achieving strategic objectives. She and her team support eMoney’s most important asset—its people—and the functions that help the organization thrive. She works with business leaders to build and manage a People Experience organization that reflects and supports the dynamic needs of the business.

You may also be interested in...

Young woman receiving good news in a letter.

Best Practices for a Successful CFP® Exam Result

CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals have achieved a prestigious designation that signifies a high level of expertise and a commitment to… Read More

Diverse Team in Data Strategy Session

Prepare Now for AI Use in Financial Planning

With the introduction of such generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools as ChatGPT, Gemini (previously Bard), and others, speculation about future… Read More

Modern workplace diversity with smiling colleagues

Fostering Diversity and Inclusion in the Financial Planning Profession

The financial planning profession stands at a crossroads of change. As we push towards creating a more inclusive and diverse… Read More

eBook: The New Advisor Value Proposition

Download our latest eBook and learn how top advisors are combining Fintech and FinPsych for superior client outcomes.

Download Now

Sign up to have the most popular Heart of Advice posts delivered to your inbox monthly.

Heart of Advice by eMoney Advisors

Welcome to
Heart of Advice

a new source of expert insights for
financial professionals.

Get Started

Tips specific to the eMoney platform can be found in
the eMoney
application, under Help, eMoney Advisor Blog.