North Star’s Interview Process Through an Intern’s Point of View

North Star’s interview process is shown on our website; however, sometimes you never really know what to expect walking into an interview. This post focuses on giving you an inside look at our intern and training program selection process. Interns and new full-time advisors tell you how they applied, what their first, second and third interview was and their overall thoughts on the process as a whole.

Ziesemer-Jette-2017.jpgJETTE ZIESEMER (Brainerd, MN)
Major: Finance and Financial Planning
School: University of Minnesota Duluth
Well, my interview process was a little unorthodox compared to a lot of the other interns. I had done a firm visit at North Star with the UMD Financial Planning Club last year. That was the first time I have ever heard about North Star. I enjoyed meeting with everyone and liked the atmosphere. I got talking to Gary Schwartz [Executive Vice President] who had mentioned that there was a financial advisor in the Brainerd Lakes Area (where I am from). Long story short, a year later I emailed Craig Walters (who was the advisor in Brainerd) and asked if he had an internship position available. 

  • My first-interview was in person with Craig Walters. It was more just getting to know each other and learn about my background and future career goals and if I really wanted to be a financial advisor.
  • For my second interview, I was then contacted by the all-star Mitch Zimmer [National Director of Recruiting] for an over-the-phone interview. We talked about North Star's work environment and what the company really stood for. We talked about what it meant to be a financial advisor and the benefits and risks this profession entails. One thing that Mitch mentioned that caught me off guard a little bit was the turnover rate in this industry. I knew it wasn't good but the true statistic that 1/10 advisors make it past 5 years in this industry was a little crazy to hear. Overall, I felt the interview went well.
  • My third interview was over the phone with the legend Tony Ross [National Director of Professional Development and New Advisor Liaison]. He asked me a little more hard-hitting questions like, "why do you think you can be successful in this career?" He asked some other questions like, "how would you feel if you were rejected 10 times in a row? and how would you persevere?" Tony made it clear that if you don't work hard, you won't make it in this industry.  Keep in mind that Tony is a great guy who is very respectful, but he doesn't “beat around the bush” which is the kind of person I respect and enjoy talking to. The interview went well and I advanced to the final step in the interview process.
  • My final interview was in-person with Craig Walters where I presented my 35-page business plan and talked about the profession and future goals more extensively. Needless to say, everything went well and now here I am.
  • The overall process was pretty smooth thanks to Mitch Zimmer who coordinated everything even in a time crunch because I had started this process a lot later than the rest of the interns. Everyone I interviewed with was enjoyable to talk to and get to know. It is a more difficult and extensive interview process than other jobs I have applied for over the years, but if you are truly serious about learning about this career, the extensive process and hard work putting together your marketing plan is completely worth it!

Bunch-Amanda-2017.jpgAMANDA BUNCH (Austin, TX)
Major: Finance and Real Estate
School: Florida State University
My selection process was definitely not traditional by any means. I was recruited by the talent acquisition coordinator whom I also went to school with. She simply asked if I was interested in interning for the company she worked for, and after she gave me a brief overview of the position, it sounded like a really good fit.

  • I set up an interview with Davin Bell [Associate Partner] for the next week. Before her contact, I had not heard of North Star, but did have some knowledge of the financial advising industry. My first interview was in the office with Davin Bell, but as I showed up early, I was interviewed by one of the other financial advisors in the firm, Kelly Hugghins, before meeting with Davin. What I thought was really interesting about these interviews is how well the conversation flowed so naturally as if I had known them for a long time. Most of the questions were more based on a visionary basis, such as, “What is something that interests you about financial advising?” The questions were much less focused on my last job or a time I overcame something like most job interviews; this one was very different; all of the conversation was about the future of financial advising and my place/role in it all. Something that really intrigued me that Davin addressed was the point of how North Star is independent and not owned by insurance companies or banks which makes it truly client first and honest. Recently, as an office, we watched the TED talk Simon Sinek gave, its highlight being “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” This spoke to me in a lot of different ways, but what I thought was so cool is that the entire outlook of that seemed to line up exactly with my interviews for the position. We hardly talked about the WHATS, like day-to-day intern activities, the processes, etc. The bulk of the conversation/interview was about the vision, the WHYS, and the entire reason and motivation behind financial advising the North Star way. I completely was bought in on the why, and I think that was the underlying goal of the interview for each side. After the interviews, I felt as if I already knew them both so well, and on a more personal basis than as a dictating/distant boss just firing through typical interview questions.

Demeritt-Daniel-2017.jpgDANIEL DEMERITT (Boston, MA)
Major: Entrepreneurship
School: Johnson & Wales University

I spoke to Mr. Ed Deutschlander [CEO] and was informed about the company. Initial conversation was face to face with Mr. Ed Deutschlander. I was excited, but really didn’t know much. I loved what Ed had to say and how he was able to grasp my attention with his mindset. It was unbelievable so I decided to give it a shot.

  • The first interview was over the phone with Mitch Zimmer. I was asked questions pertaining to how I found out about North Star, why I was interested in North Star, and what I looked to gain from the experience. I thought it went well. To be honest, I really wasn’t set on interning until I convinced myself that this was an outstanding opportunity. I was going to be content either way.
  • The second interview was also over the phone, except with Jordan Goehring [Talent Acquisition Specialist]. The questions were more personal… The “why” and what I was looking to do in order to further my career. It was about the same. Jordan does an amazing job relating to whomever he is speaking with. I have the utmost respect for him.
  • Craig Molldrem [Senior Partner, Financial Advisor] was the third interview. This interview was done via Skype. Craig didn’t really ask questions. He more so gave me a rundown of the business and used my reactions to judge whether or not I would be a good candidate. Tougher. At this stage in the interview process I realized this was what I wanted to do... I thought for sure I would not make it past Craig’s interview and yet here I am. I was nervous, terrified, and uncertain about the results Jordan would deliver.

I think the process was good. First the National Director of Recruiting comes in, then the Talent Acquisition Specialist, and then the Mentor of the branch at which one would be working. Great set up. I really am beyond grateful to meet the people that I have and lucky to be on the receiving end of their wisdom. I’ve loved every second of the internship thus far and can’t wait to see what the future holds.

Rhodes-Hailee-2017.jpgHAILEE RHODES (Houston, TX)
Major: Business Administration Minor: Computer Information Systems
School: Northwestern State University
I applied after someone reached out to me through LinkedIn and introduced me to North Star. My initial phone conversation was with Jordan Goehring and it was honestly very casual. He was very friendly and comfortable to talk to. He asked me things about what I do and what I enjoy, etc.

  • My first interview was with Jean Beagle months later after a few more calls and tests with Jordan. We had a video conference and it again was very laidback and casual. It was more of a ‘getting to know you’ type of interview and she was very easy to talk to. I enjoyed getting to speak with her and after a few minutes on the web conference, I wasn’t nervous at all anymore because before the conference I was extremely nervous.
  • My second interview was with Laura Vaughn and we honestly talked about dogs for a good 10 minutes. She answered all of my questions and again was very easy to talk to and made me feel very comfortable. I could tell there was a family atmosphere by Jean’s and Laura’s personalities and I was very hopeful to become a part of it.

I thoroughly enjoyed this interview process because I could just be myself and didn’t have to be so uptight or ‘proper’ (if you will). It made it very easy to explain my thoughts on their processes and North Star’s mission statement and values and how I appreciated and aspired to be a part of it.

Archuleta-Brandon-2017.jpgBRANDON ARCHULETA (Dallas, TX)
Major: Personal Financial Planning
School: Texas Tech University
I got recruited from the Texas Tech PFP program and applied for the job the Hire Red Raiders. The first conversation I had was with Jordan Goehring and he talked about how the interviewing process was going to work and what got my attention was how much time he spent to get to know me

  • First interview: my first interview was with Mark Miller [Financial Advisor] and it was over video. I asked a lot of questions about the company and felt I did well. I was surprised about how many questions Mr. Miller asked about me personally and my values and I enjoyed that he wanted to know about me personally.
  • Second interview: my second interview was with Mr. Miller again. We talked more about what the internship looks like and I talked about what I liked about North Star and why I wanted to work here. 
  • Third interview: my final interview was with Mr. Miller again and I spent a lot of time learning about him and his values and why North Star worked so well for him. I enjoyed learning about him and thought the interview was not too difficult.
  • Thoughts on the process overall: I personally think that it is a good interview process and I really enjoyed that North Star took the time to get to know me on a personal level. It is a long interview process and I had to take multiple questionnaires and quizzes and I had to write some papers. Although the process takes a little while it is because North Star wants to learn a lot about you personally and I value that a lot. 

Learn more about our financial advising internship opportunities available by clicking here.

Written by North Star's Recruiting Team.

RNR/DOFU 8-2017

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