• Students and Graduates

What Do Recruiters Look For?

What makes a student stand out in the crowd during recruiting season? We asked leading recruiters at Morgan Stanley for some tips on how to shine.


Show your resourcefulness.

“I like to see that students have reached out to their college or university alumni who now work at Morgan Stanley. It shows they’re resourceful, have initiative and are self-starters. You can also ask alumni questions you might feel uncomfortable asking a recruiter.”

Stay calm and keep listening.

“There are group exercises that are designed to simulate problem solving under pressure. We look for people who can stay calm as the pressure increases. It’s also key to listen to your team members. Leadership qualities are great, but it’s also important to show you can listen to others and support their ideas if they make sense.”

Know what you want and why you want it.

“When you interview with a certain business division, give a sense that you already know all about Morgan Stanley and what you’re looking for. Go in, introduce yourself, say what you think you can offer Morgan Stanley, and tell us why you’re interested in that business division.”

Get into the weeds.

If you’re trying out for a business like investment banking, have a good understanding of what investment banking is. Hint: it’s a lot more than just mergers & acquisitions and IPOs. Find out before you interview what new entrants do in this business - the kinds of skills we’d love you to have from the get-go and let us know you have them.

Have an opinion.

Be up to speed on current events in the finance industry. It’s good to know if there’s a big IPO or M&A deal in the news on the day of your interview, and if there is, come prepared to comment on it.

Don’t fake it.

Don’t act overly enthusiastic. Any extreme enthusiasm comes across as you trying to impress me too much. Be comfortable with yourself, polite and engaging. Apart from your skills, we are also trying to evaluate whether you’d pass “The Airplane Test”: would you be pleasant to be around for long periods of time.

Show that you have a life.

Academic success is important, but so are signs that you have passions outside of work. It’s good to see that you can manage your time well enough to have both good grades and a life.

Some additional tips :

  • Exude energy and a positive attitude.
  • Dress professionally. If you’re not sure what to wear, feel free to to ask us.
  • Check your emails and phone calls. That’s how we contact you. We don’t text.
  • Take good notes about the campus recruiting process: what you need to do and where you need to go.
  • Try not to ask us questions that you can easily find answers to by reading our website and marketing materials.

Get Your Career Started At Morgan Stanley


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