How to show BlackRock recruiters you share the firm’s five principles

Last updated: 24 Oct 2023, 14:23

Read on to learn about BlackRock’s core principles and how you can demonstrate them to the investment management firm’s recruiters.

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Jump to a principle: 1. Fiduciary to clients | 2. One BlackRock | 3. Passion for performance | 4. Emotional ownership | 5. Commitment to a better future | Final tips from targetjobs

If there’s something graduates definitely need to know about BlackRock, it is the investment management firm’s five principles. These are listed on the ‘Mission and Principles’ page of the firm’s corporate website.

Here, targetjobs explains what BlackRock’s principles are, what they actually mean, and how and when graduates can demonstrate that they have the potential to work by the principles if employed.


Discover advice for answering investment and finance and general interview questions or learn more about BlackRock at its targetjobs organisation hub.

BlackRock’s five principles

Being able to demonstrate an alignment with BlackRock’s core principles will put you in good stead for a graduate role at the investment management firm.

BlackRock principle 1: ‘We are a fiduciary to our clients’

A fiduciary is a person or organisation who holds a legal or ethical position of trust. At BlackRock, this describes the bond between the firm and its clients. Laurence Fink, chairman and CEO, explained in an interview with LEADERS Mag: ‘We’re a fiduciary to every client. So whether it is an individual client, an insurance company, a sovereign wealth fund...everybody has to be treated with the same proprietary structure.’

A graduate recruiter at BlackRock told targetjobs: ‘It is important for candidates to understand that BlackRock is bound by its clients.’ She added, ‘The only way that we get paid is if we make money – BlackRock doesn’t have a blank chequebook.’ But this is not to be misinterpreted as: BlackRock is only in it for the money.

She further explained that the firm always puts clients’ interests first: ‘It’s to the advantage of both parties to do so. This involves catering to clients’ specific needs and the firm being original in its approach.’

‘It’s not about asset management versus investment banking – that’s not our approach,’ the graduate recruiter added.

So, how do you prove that you are client-focused?

  • Customer service experience in a shop or bar is beneficial here, but it’s not essential that you have it.
  • Your clients could be your readers when you worked on a student magazine or your classmates when you delivered a presentation. Think of occasions when you provided a service.
  • Understand that you need to show that you’re able to work with the needs or expectations of others in mind.

Show that you are client-focused by including in your application form or answers to the ‘virtual covering letter’ video interview questions (BlackRock’s uses a two-question pre-recorded video interview in place of a traditional covering letter) an example of when and how you put yourself in someone else’s shoes to help them achieve the best outcome.

Discover more about customer service skills and how to prove you have them here .

BlackRock principle 2: ‘We are One BlackRock’

According to the recruiter that targetjobs spoke to, there is certainly no ‘I’ in team at BlackRock. ‘The organisation is all about teamwork and collaboration,’ she elaborates. ‘Employees don’t get any credit for an I-focused approach to work.’

She added, ‘BlackRock embraces the differences that people bring to the workplace and believes the best solutions, results and ideas come from a diverse team.’

BlackRock aims to recruit a diverse range of graduates. ‘We dig very deep to find the talent – we’re not looking for a specific “type” of person,’ said the recruiter. BlackRock recruits from a range of universities in the UK and abroad.

She said that graduates who have demonstrated that they are ‘willing to collaborate’ are sought by BlackRock, and added, ‘Many strong candidates have failed the recruitment process because they were not a team player.’

How do you prove that you are a team fit?

  • Look back on your academic, work and extracurricular experiences, and find examples of where you worked effectively in a group.
  • Select instances when you were active, in that your actions had a direct and real effect on the group. Perhaps you resolved a problem or you motivated discouraged colleagues?
  • Ensure you’re able to identify the bigger picture. For example, you’ll be member of a specific team if recruited by BlackRock, but your contribution will also have an effect on other areas of the business.

Show that you’re a team player during the group exercise at the final virtual interview by listening to and respecting the opinions of others, and working hard to accomplish the team goal. You could also volunteer to be a scribe for the group, to note down the group’s thoughts and not lose any ideas.

The following articles will help you to learn more about what to expect from graduate job assessment group exercises and how to develop and demonstrate your teamworking skills to recruiters.

BlackRock principle 3: ‘We are passionate about performance’

According to BlackRock, the company prides itself on passion. The recruiter told targetjobs: ‘This principle covers the entire global business and cuts across everything.’ She also explained that there’s a direct link between passion and performance; the greater the passion, the better the performance. ‘BlackRock is committed to performing at the highest levels.'

This value also means being enthusiastic about finding better ways to serve clients and improve the firm’s offering – in other words, being innovative.

The recruiter explained that the firm is underpinned by innovation, in that it was founded by eight individuals who used their creativity and entrepreneurial skills to grow the business. ‘The business still has a start-up feel. It’s a unique story with a legacy that graduates will continue.’

She advised graduates to ask themselves these key questions:

  • Are you on a constant quest to do things better?
  • Do you have an appetite to learn?
  • How can you show experience of innovation in your university life?
  • How have you put ideas into action? What were the results?
  • Are you always looking at ways that you can modify things to make them better?

Show that you’re passionate about and committed to personal and professional development, as well as to a career with BlackRock, during your interview by giving detailed responses that explain ‘why’ you did things and how your motivation led to improvements.

Show that you are innovative in your CV when describing, work, study or extracurricular experience by including details of how your actions or ideas created a positive outcome for you or others. You can also include an achievements section to further demonstrate successful outcomes thanks to your innovative efforts.

Head to our article on answering the tricky graduate interview question ‘are you innovative?’ for more tips and tricks for demonstrating this essential trait for BlackRock employees.

BlackRock principle 4: ‘We take emotional ownership’

BlackRock encourages all employees to foster a deep sense of responsibility to clients and to each other. In everything its employees do, they must emotionally invest in both their clients’ futures and the success of the firm and their colleagues to bring about the best outcomes for all stakeholders.

To evaluate your sense of responsibility and standards of excellence, targetjobs suggests you find examples of activities you have been involved with that you felt strongly invested in, perhaps because you were serving a greater good or had people relying on you. For example, this could include a volunteering role, a position of responsibility in a student society or a personal project to meet a specific need.

Developing good emotional intelligence will also help you to respond better to the needs of colleagues or clients, to everyone’s benefit.

BlackRock principle 5: ‘We are committed to a better future’

BlackRock defines itself as a group of ‘long-term thinkers’ that always has an eye on the future value of everything it does. ‘We are deeply invested in the success of all of our stakeholders – clients, employees, shareholders and the communities in which we operate – meaning the business must be run sustainably and responsibly,’ said the graduate recruiter.

Show that you’re committed to a better future by highlighting any voluntary experiences or experiences where your suggestions brought about a change for the betterment of others or the environment. For example, perhaps you suggested changing the venue of a student society event to one that had a better sustainability rating or simply required less lights to be turned on?

Read our interview with Juliette Faure , an associate in the environmental, social & governance integration team within BlackRock Sustainable Investing to learn more about how BlackRock is committed to a better future.

Boost your graduate career prospects with target jobs

You’ll find the careers advice content you need on targetjobs even more easily by setting up a free graduate profile. With a targetjobs graduate profile , our content feed will recommend you advice based on the career interests you tell us about and the stage of the recruitment process which you are at!

Remember: don’t forget to also check out the career opportunities at BlackRock listed on targetjobs .

targetjobs editorial advice

This describes editorially independent and impartial content, which has been written and edited by the targetjobs content team. Any external contributors featuring in the article are in line with our non-advertorial policy, by which we mean that we do not promote one organisation over another.

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