When it comes to interviews, preparation is critical, especially when interviewing with an established company. Consider yourself lucky if you get a chance to interview with Northwestern Mutual. Though it has numerous opportunities, competition is stiff leading the company to hire very skilled personnel. Below, we have compiled a list of common questions and sample answers to help you prepare for your upcoming interview.
1. What Do You Know About Northwestern Mutual?
Based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Northwestern Mutual is arguably one of America’s largest financial security corporations providing insurance and investment. Financial security includes consultation on wealth, education planning, investment consultation services, retirement strategizing, and estate planning.
2. Why Do You Want To Join Northwestern Mutual?
My skills and work-related experience perfectly align with the job description. I believe that with my five years of customer care experience, I will thrive in this role. I am also very passionate about helping others achieve financial security. I think I can accomplish that if given the chance. I have always admired your organization’s excellent reputation for providing quality service and tailor-made products to its clientele.
3. What Approach Would You Adopt To Establish Yourself As An Expert In The Financial Industry?
I have worked in this industry for the last eight years and gained immense experience in investment and financial management. I recently became a member of the Financial Investment and Management Association, which has boosted my credibility in the industry. In my last job posting as a financial advisor, I was responsible for training clients about investment and financial management strategies. Most of my evenings, I spent perfecting my soft skills through online courses. I am happy to state that I’ve completed an online certification program about life insurance policies organized by Northwestern Mutual.
4. What Do You Enjoy Most About The Financial Industry?
Struggling financially for a long time and finally achieving financial freedom motivates me to help others achieve the same. I draw fulfillment from guiding others to create achievable financial goals through discipline and determination. It pleases to help an individual drowning in debt to take hold of their finances and cultivate a saving culture. I’m more interested in a financial advisor’s role as it helps me guide people who have lost hope of getting out of debt and attaining financial freedom.
5. What Excellent Qualities Make For A Robust Relationship Between Financial Expert And Their Customers?
A healthy relationship between a financial advisor and a client is critical because it lets me identify a client’s financial position, including their economic challenges or goals. From my long-term experience, I’ve found that having open communication with clients allows me to understand their needs and preferences and give them more personalized recommendations.
Just recently, a client who approached me was looking for advice on ways of developing a monthly saving plan. After auditing her finances, I showed her how to create a monthly budget and practical ways of minimizing impulse buying.
6. What’s Your Strategy For Building Credibility And Getting a Prospect To Trust You?
Establishing loyalty is a critical aspect of my job as a financial consultant. To win a prospect’s trust, I first start by actively listening to what the client says and providing them with the information they need to help them gain confidence in our relationship. When meeting a target client for the first time, I always share information about myself to set a less formal tone for the meeting—allowing the meeting to take a conversational tone ender me to customers, making it easier to earn their trust.
7. Which Communication Style Resonates Better With You, Verbal Or Written?
I feel more at ease communicating with a client face-to-face because I find it easier to study their body language, read their facial expressions and realize a better outcome when selling a product to them. On the other hand, I prefer sending emails to making phone calls because written communication is less disruptive and comes in handy for future reference.
8. Financial Mutual Is All About Establishing A Robust Customer Care Department. What’s Your Approach To Dealing With A Difficult Client?
In a previous role, I once had a client who wasn’t willing to take any advice, yet they were in a deep financial mess. I tried sharing beneficial strategies to get them out of debt, but they kept counteracting all of my strategies. My colleagues had long given up on this client and viewed them as a nuisance and a time waster. Every plan I came up with was met by resistance, proving to be an exercise in futility. I was almost giving up but decided to give It one last chance. I met up with the client, and this time round, I decided to let the client do the talking instead. As I listened, I realized that they had lost a lot of cash through fraud, leading to serious trust issues. Soon I knew where the challenge was and decided to exercise patience while offering my expert advice. It took less than a week for that client to fully commit to joining our team.
9. Do You Have Any Work-Related Experience Working In Sales Before? If So, What Was Your Experience?
I have always been interested in sales since I was young. While in high school, I won an award for raising the highest amount of money for charity through the sale of raffle tickets. I majored in business administration in college, specializing in sales and marketing. My first job was at an Ecommerce beauty shop, where I gained practical experience in creating brand awareness for three different social media platforms.
10. What Are The Most Significant Assets That Will Help You Thrive In This Position?
My greatest strength is my convincing capabilities. I believe that my persuasive nature will help me thrive in this sales position. I have excellent communication skills and learned to practice active listening. I first give the client a chance to share their financial challenges, which allows me to validate their feelings and craft a personalized solution to their problem.
11. Do You Have Any Finance-Related Accreditations?
Two years ago, I received my Chartered Financial Consultant license. I am also an Accredited Financial Counselor, having completed 100 hours of study and passed one exam.
12. Where Do You Envision Being In The Coming Five Years?
I am striving to perfect my skills as a life insurance sales representative. I also want to increase my understanding of the available products to offer my clients. I desire to craft appropriate solutions and help them find the right services depending on their prevailing circumstances. Next, I want to achieve top-rated sales status within a year. Lastly, I want to perfect my leadership skills and hopefully work toward becoming a managing director.
13. What Practical Approach Do You Have For Reaching Prospective Clients?
To improve my sales, I have to make cold calls to prospects yet to purchase Northwestern Mutual products. To succeed, I have to conduct my research to study the target market and compile a list of hopefuls who I anticipate will be interested in what I offer them. Then, I have to find an appropriate time to call them and introduce myself as a Northwestern employee. If they seem interested, I’ll explain what the company offers and see if they’ll want to get further information.
14. How Do You Propose To Cover Up For Your Lack Of Experience In Specific Disciplines?
Over the years, I have made several professional connections with people who have mentored me. One is an economic stock expert who has taught me pitfalls to avoid and shared proven investment options that work almost instantly. I’ve had a great relationship with one of my college professors, who gave me valuable insights on improving my CV and cover letter. Another helpful connection is a financial advisor who has guided and mentored me throughout my professional journey. They have been instrumental in offering constructive criticism and feedback, which has helped me work on my weaknesses and sharpen my skills.
15. Northwestern Thrives In Streamlining And Organizing Processes. What Approach Do You Utilize In Consolidating Your Data?
I’ve been using Google Docs for over five years now. I started my documentation using Ms Word and Ms Excel but soon graduated to Google Drive, which encompasses Google Docs and Sheets. I’ve also learned how helpful PowerPoint is for my training sessions. I’m currently learning to use Google Analytics and the Cloud for my data analysis and storage.
16. Share An Experience Where You Assisted A Colleague In Achieve A Goal They Were Struggling To Reach Independently.
While working as a supervisor at my previous job, a colleague struggled to grow her sales for the longest time. We sat down to discuss the matter and forge the way forward. As she shared her frustrations, I discovered that her knowledge of the company’s services was limited.
Within the next two weeks, I volunteered to take her through the services on offer to help her have a comprehensive grasp of concepts. With time, she was more confident when approaching clients and could offer them more personalized financial support, which helped push her sales upwards. Within the next three months, her sales continued to rise. That year, she won the employee award because she helped the company acquire three major accounts.
17. Would You Rather Work Alone Or In A Team?
I have learned to be flexible and open-minded regarding work strategies. Depending on the task, I can adopt working independently or in a team. Working alone gives me the autonomy to exercise my creativity, acquire new skills and sharpen existing ones. Still, I am also open to working in a team if needed. In my last assignment, I was part of a team of professionals where I made my contribution but also learned a lot from others’ expertise. Through teamwork, the project was highly successful.
18. What Practical Work Experience Do You Have That Will Enhance Your Performance?
I’m very passionate about helping others attain financial security. For me, this is not just a job but a passion. I believe that helping others get out of debt to take hold of their finances is one way of fulfilling my purpose. I have worked with different learning institutions as a volunteer giving guidance to kids in elementary school all the way to college. I believe that financial literacy training should start from a young age. With my vast training experience, I can offer Northwestern Mutual clients the much-needed financial information to help them make proper choices.
19. The Financial Industry Is Broad, Allowing Professionals To Diversify Their Career Paths. Which Area Of Finance Do You Intend To Pursue As You Advance In Your Career?
I believe that financial freedom comes when looking for investment opportunities. My interest in helping others attain financial freedom influenced my passion for investment. I’ve always been good at math and enjoy analyzing financial markets. I’ve had the opportunity to intern for a local investment firm, where I learned how to manage client accounts. I also spend my free time studying the different forms of investment opportunities and the impact they each have.
20. What Unique Attributes Do You Have Over Others Applying For The Same Role?
Apart from my vast knowledge of investment and financial management, I am also passionate about mentoring the youth by guiding them towards making informed choices in financial matters and other spheres of life, like relationships and managing peer pressure. If given a chance to work at Northwestern Mutual, I intend to mentor interns and entry-level staff and help them achieve their career objectives.
21. To Succeed At Northwestern Mutual, You Must Continually Grow Your Networks. What Approach Do You Have To Help You Achieve This Objective?
I believe networking is an invaluable strategy for linking up with new people who can help me advance my career. Whether pitching prospects to grow my client base or attending mentorship programs to sharpen my skills, I have always been intentional about networking as I acknowledge its benefits in my career growth. Whenever I hear about a conference or workshop, I try to remember as many names as possible so I can later make a follow-up. I’ve learned that contacting people I’ve met within the first 24 hours of meeting them has helped me build lasting relationships with them.
22. How Do You Intend To Make An Impact In This Position If Employed?
In my last assignment, I was responsible for managing the invoicing process for the entire organization. Through that role, I could integrate a computer application that helped streamline workflows, which saved the team an hour every day and minimized the many invoicing errors we previously had to deal with. If given a chance to join Northwestern Mutual, I hope to replicate a similar strategy that will minimize mistakes and help save time.
23. What Mistakes Have You Learned While Working In A Similar Role As This One?
I got a job in marketing soon after my graduation. In one assignment, we were to collaborate as a team to come up with a compelling brand awareness strategy. Being an introvert, I secluded myself, did not participate much, and did most of the tasks assigned to me without involving the group. When the time to compile the report came, it became difficult to integrate and blend my ideas with the rest of the team. I had to redo my portion and realign my thoughts which could not have otherwise worked. I realized the hard way that some tasks realize better results while collaborating in a team.
24. What Metrics Do You Integrate To Measure Success?
I’m a people person and draw great fulfillment when interacting with clients and colleagues. Success means going out of my way to meet a need or offer financial solutions to clients on the brink of giving up. I succeed when I help clients create a practical strategy to get out of debt and grow their investments through discipline and hard work.
25. How Do You Intend To Meet A Tight Deadline While Working At Northwestern Mutual?
I know this is a very fast-paced organization that requires a lot of multitasking and planning. Before I begin any task, I first audit it to determine all the requirements needed to guarantee success. Afterwards, I always create a checklist and use my calendar to highlight deadlines to avoid missing out on any essential assignments. A list also helps me prioritize and handle the most complex tasks first. I always involve my team and delegate repetitive tasks when I feel overwhelmed.
The interview process at Northwestern Mutual can vary depending on the job vacancy you are applying for. Generally, most positions involve one phone or video call and one in-person interview. However, some roles attract a second in-person interview, depending on the job description. The interviews are mainly relaxed and conversational but may become more intense as you progress. Overall, the interview process in this organization is relatively quick and efficient.