Morgan Stanley’s Interview Process & Questions
The info below is based on conversations with Morgan Stanley engineers in 2023.
Mid to senior-level engineers interviewing at Morgan Stanley can expect the following process:
- Recruiter call (30 minutes)
- Online assessment (only for some teams) (45 mins)
- Onsite (3-4 hours)
Morgan Stanley has a decentralized hiring process. Each team interviews in its own style, and there are variations in the numbers and types of interviews you might encounter. A lot of it depends on the region you are interviewing in. You can apply to and interview for multiple roles simultaneously.
Your interviewers will be selected from the team you are interviewing for by the hiring manager, based on their ability to assess you for specific skills, e.g., if the role requires you to be a Python expert, they will use another Python expert to interview you. The order of your interviews for the onsite portion is not predetermined, and the hiring manager will decide the schedule based on the availability of the interviewers deemed necessary.
The process can be quite slow, and they will not expedite things unless they feel like you are a perfect fit. Expect the process to last more than 6 weeks in most cases.
- There is a big focus on collaboration, so don’t be combative in interviews.
- Communication is important for leveling. They want to know if you can communicate cross-functionally or potentially manage a team in the future.
- Practice the STAR method of answering behavioral interview questions.
- Just because you don’t get a job with one team doesn’t mean you’ve failed with Morgan Stanley as a whole. You don’t need to wait a year to apply to other teams, and you might find a more suitable role in the course of that same job search.
Morgan Stanley’s recruiter call lasts 30 minutes, and it’s pretty standard fare – they’ll ask you about your previous experience, and why you’re interested in Morgan Stanley. They’ll look for basic skill set alignment. They’ll also talk about the specific role and team you’ve been matched with.
It’s really important, at this stage, to not reveal your salary expectations or where you are in the process with other companies. We’ve written a detailed post about salary negotiation that lays out exactly what to say if recruiters pressure you to name the first number.
Again, this will vary in terms of interview types and order depending on the team you are interviewing with, but here is a sample schedule:
- Asynchronous coding challenge (45 mins). This challenge will be conducted in HackerRank. For some teams, this may happen before the onsite rather than as part of it. For more detail about the kinds of questions to expect, see the Coding section below.
- Language-specific coding (45 mins). Morgan Stanley is one of the few companies we’ve written about whose process isn’t always language agnostic. For some roles and teams, they may need you to know a specific language, and if that’s the case, they will do one round in that language where they’re specifically vetting you for familiarity with that language and its idiosyncrasies. This round is usually conducted in HackerRank. .
- Data structures and algorithms (45 mins). This round is usually conducted in HackerRank. For more detail about the kinds of questions to expect, see the Coding section below.
- Object-oriented programming (45 mins). This will not be a coding interview. You’ll be asked a series of questions on the topic of object-oriented programming. For more detail about the kinds of questions to expect, see the Object-Oriented Programming section below.
- Behavioral (45 mins) This is a team fit call with the hiring manager. Morgan Stanley’s behavioral interviews are pretty standard fare. You’ll be asked about past projects and your impact in previous roles.
You might notice the lack of a system design interview in the schedule above. This is typical for a lot of teams although you might interview for a team that includes one. If you do get a system design interview you might be asked product-focused system design questions.
Be prepared for some repetition here. You should be ready to drive into your own product designs.
Managers tend to come up with their own questions, but for core coding interviews, prepping on LeetCode will be very helpful. A lot of the teams will pull questions from there.
As above, you’ll run into a lot of LeetCode-style questions here. Below are the technical topics you’re likely to encounter in Morgan Stanley interviews. To compile this list, we did two things. First, we spoke to some current and former Morgan Stanley engineers. Then we cross-referenced all the anecdotes we heard with Glassdoor data AND our own data-set of mock interviews:
Below are the types of questions you’ll likely be asked during this interview:
- Explain object-oriented programming. What is inheritance? What are the different types of inheritance?
- What is polymorphism?
- Give an example of operator overloading
- What is the difference between a struct and a class?
- What is the difference between an abstract class and an interface?
- What is the difference between object-oriented programming and procedural programming?
Decisions are at the hiring manager's discretion. Some managers will make the decision themselves, and most will take feedback, but they do overrule negative feedback at times.
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