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Morgan Stanley Hiring Process & Aptitude Tests (Numerical, Verbal, Logical Reasoning & SJT) Online Preparation – 2023

Aptitude Written Exams

Morgan Stanley employs 75,000 people globally and sits in the top 100 of Fortune Magazine’s Fortune 500 list of companies. This no doubt makes the investment bank a prime target for university graduates, and as a result of the company’s popularity, job seekers will find the selection process very competitive.


What Is Morgan Stanley?

Headquartered in New York, Morgan Stanley is an investment bank which operates in 42 countries worldwide, including Australia, Brazil, France, and Switzerland. Henry Sturgis Morgan and Harold Stanley founded the bank in 1935 following the Glass-Steagall Act which prevented banks from maintaining their commercial and investment banking businesses under one holding company. Services offered by Morgan Stanley include investment management, wealth management, and institutional securities.

Employees at Stanley Morgan can expect to enjoy benefits such as:

  • Paid Vacation Days
  • Health Insurance
  • Life Insurance
  • Retirement Plans
  • Perks at Work


What Is Morgan Stanley’s Hiring Process?

The selection process at Morgan Stanley is a straight forward 7 step process.

The Application Process

Once you’ve decided on a job that interests you, prepare your documents to apply to the post online. Completed applications must include a resume and cover letter. The application also requires that candidates answer two motivation questions and two competency-based questions.

Aptitude Assessment

Once candidates have submitted the online application, a link will be sent to them with an invitation to complete the online assessments. Candidates will have a maximum of three days to complete the assessments. The assessments dependent on the job to which candidates are applying for, but there are four standard aptitude tests which are generally required.  The tests, usually administered by SHL, and are outlined below:

  • Numerical Reasoning Test As Morgan Stanley is a financial institution, this assessment is designed to test how well candidates work with numbers. The 25-minute long test has 18 questions, which usually consists of graphs and tables. Candidates are expected to analyze the data and calculate ratios and percentages.
  • Checking – This assessment, unlike the others, is not competency based. It is designed to test the candidate’s ability to work under pressure. Candidates are presented with a set of numbers which they must compare and match to another set of numbers. It is expected that candidates complete 32 comparisons in a timeframe of two minutes.
  • Verbal Reasoning Test – This assessment is designed to assess how well candidates understand and utilize written information. Candidates are presented with written passages followed by a series of four multiple-choice questions that the candidate would be required to answer. Learn more about verbal tests.
  • Logical Reasoning Test – This assessment is designed to test the candidate’s ability to make logical decisions. Candidates are presented with 24 questions, each of which has a sequence of diagrams. The candidate is to select the next picture in the series.
  • Situational Judgement Test – Learn and practice SJT questions.
  • Inductive Reasoning Test – Read about Inductive tests.
  • Investment Banking Test

Morgan  Stanley’s tests can also be administered by:

Screening Call

Upon completing the online assessments, candidates may receive a call (usually without notice) from Morgan Stanley.  The recruiter may ask some of the same questions from the online application form, as well as the salary the candidate expects.

Telephone Interview

Once the screening call is successful, the recruiter will arrange a telephone interview with the candidate.  The interview is conducted by a member of staff (often a manager) from the department to which the candidate is applying. The interview is generally focused on the candidate’s competency and is approximately 45 minutes long.  The format of the interview allows for candidates to ask questions.

Assessment Center

The assessment center is an all-day setup which usually takes place in the office and in most cases, partial expenses are paid by Morgan Stanley. Prior to the assessment center candidates are often briefed. The assessment center structure is as follows:

  • Welcome – This is a presentation by the staff which introduces candidates to what Morgan Stanley is about.
  • Individual interviews – Candidates will be required to participate in two 30-minute interviews. The interviews are conducted by managers from the department to which the candidate applied. The questions asked are all competency-based.
  • Networking session – This is more or less a “free session” in which candidates can meet and speak with employees at Morgan Stanley over refreshments.
  • Roundtable Discussion – In the candidate’s brief, which would have been received prior to the assessment day, there will be data for a case study. During the roundtable, discussion candidates will be expected to discuss the data for 20 minutes. Changes to the scenario will be proposed during this time, for which the candidate is expected to respond to the changing situation.
  • Group presentation – Candidates will have five minutes to prepare a ten-minute group presentation. The presentation usually takes the shape of a case study which the candidates will present to a panel comprised of Morgan Stanley employees.

The Offer

If successful, candidates will receive a formal offer within two weeks of the assessment center. A formal contract may take a bit longer to arrive.


What Qualities Are Morgan Stanley Recruiters Looking out For?

Morgan Stanley’s code of conduct is well outlined on their website. Below are some of the qualities that Morgan Stanley expect of their employees:

  • Put Clients First – Employee’s should always seek to make decisions that are in the client’s best interests. Listen to the clients and try to fulfil their needs.
  • Do the Right Thing – Be a person of integrity and think less like an employee and more like a leader. Decisions should be made to create long term benefits.
  • Give Back – Be selfless, and give of your time, money, and most importantly, your wealth of knowledge.
  • Be Innovative – As with any industry, there must be growth, which requires fresh ideas. Always be on the lookout to see how you can improve Morgan Stanley.


How to Prepare for the Morgan Stanley Recruitment Process?

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. This is surely nothing new, and just like everything else, if you want to land a top job, you need to not only do well as a student but prepare to deal with whatever challenges you may face during the recruitment process. Below are some tips to help you through the storm:

  • Be sure to practice for the psychometric tests. The questions you practice may not appear on the assessment, but the more familiar you are with the format and content of the questions, the less intimidating the assessments might seem.
  • Apply Early – The earlier you apply, the quicker you get a response.
  • Ensure you’re aware of the company’s values and the skills they’re seeking.
  • Ensure you’re aware of the salary ranges in your desired area, as it will almost certainly be discussed. Knowing your expectations will help the recruiter to know if both the candidate and company are on the same wavelength.
  • Prepare your responses for motivation and competency-based questions you expect. This allows for clearer answers, making the candidate sound more confident in his/her speech.
  • Be honest – Avoid fabricating answers, because sometimes recruiters might just see through the lies.



With a competitive job market, it means that job applicants need to always be on top of their game. They essentially get one opportunity to prove themselves to these companies, and they need to seize it. Practice for your interviews, prepare for your assessments, and when the day comes, give it your absolute best.

Good luck with the job hunt!