Interviews and assessment centres

Insider advice for the strengths-based Fidelity application process

You’ll be assessed based on your strengths throughout the Fidelity recruitment process. We spoke to Dave and Brian, Fidelity early career talent acquisition managers, for their advice on how to stand out.

A pair of grey dumbbells.

Jump to: Fidelity recruitment process overview | Online strengths assessments | Fidelity interviews | Fidelity interview questions | Fidelity assessment centre | Final words of advice

The Fidelity application process is designed to gauge your strengths, rather than your competencies, to see whether you’re a good match for one of the firm’s graduate programmes: multi asset, equity research, fixed income, sales and marketing, business management, technology or operations.

We went directly to the source to get insider advice from two of the organisation’s early career talent acquisition managers, Dave and Brian. Read on for Dave, Brian and targetjobs’ top tips for success during the various strength-based stages of Fidelity’s graduate recruitment process.

An overview of the Fidelity recruitment process

Fidelity previously based its graduate recruitment process on assessing candidates’ competencies. However, in recent years, the firm updated its hiring to judge a candidate’s future potential.

As Dave says: ‘We’ve deliberately moved away from a process where we rely on competency-based questions. We’re much more interested in the core strengths that motivate someone in the workplace.’

The strength-based Fidelity graduate recruitment process includes the following stages:

  1. Online application form
  2. Online strengths assessment
  3. Pre-recorded video interview
  4. Strength-based interview
  5. Assessment centre.

Depending on the stream you apply to, the recruitment process may not follow the above steps like-for-like. Be sure to visit the firm’s careers website to familiarise yourself with each programme’s specific application process stages.

The Fidelity online strengths assessment

You’ll receive an automatic invite to complete an online strengths assessment once you submit your initial application form.

Fidelity states that this involves answering questions that ask you to rank a series of responses to hypothetical situations that are likely to occur when working at the firm.

These questions are designed to assess your personality but, more specifically, also how you instinctually respond to certain situations. Therefore, our advice is to answer each question honestly and not to rank the responses in the order that you think Fidelity wants you to.

For some of the graduate schemes, you are required to sit aptitude tests instead of, or in addition to, the personality assessment. The firm gives little away in terms of the content of these aptitude tests, but these will likely entail a numerical reasoning assessment.

If you pass the online strengths assessment, then it’s on to the strengths-based interview stages of the Fidelity recruitment process.


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Fidelity’s strengths-based interviews

Most of Fidelity’s graduate programmes have two stages of interviews. One is in real time and is conducted either on Skype or Zoom (or potentially face-to-face depending on your location). The other is only required for some programmes and is automated, as Dave explains: ‘It’s a pre-recorded video format and there’ll be a combination of four or five strengths-based questions and motivation questions.’ You can complete this stage at any time within five days of invitation (but you’ll still need to set aside 30 minutes and do it all in one go).

Quick tips to prepare for the Fidelity video interviews

Dave offers the following advice for candidates preparing for video interviews:

  • Take into account what is visible on the screen; for example, make sure the background is appropriate.
  • Dress appropriately, as you would do if it was a face-to-face interview.
  • Test your technology beforehand and make sure your microphone is switched on.
  • Make sure you’ve got enough time and can go from start to finish without needing to stop or reset anything.

As with other strengths-based interviews, the key is not to overthink your answers. ‘It’s fine to look at the job and think about the sorts of things your strengths might be useful for, but if you over-rehearse it’s going to sound inauthentic,’ explains Dave. ‘Really throw yourself into the questions and try to enjoy the experience.’

Keys tips to succeed in your interviews

The two recruiters share their next set of tips.

Draw upon a broad range of examples

The benefit of strengths-based interviews is that you don’t need to use your previous experience to support your answers. ‘While we’re interested to learn about your previous experiences, we don’t rely predominantly on previous professional experience as an indicator of your potential for the job,’ says Dave. ‘Students shouldn’t feel constrained if they’ve not had the good fortune of previous professional experience.’

Strengths-based questions such as ‘What would your perfect day look like?’ or ‘If a colleague was struggling to make a complex decision, what would you do to help?’ don’t explicitly ask you for an example from your past. However , when your interviewer at Fidelity asks you this type of question, it’s a good idea to use relevant examples from your previous experience because this shows initiative and helps you convey your enthusiasm more effectively. Remember that you can take these examples from any area of your life, not just formal work experience: volunteering, leading a sports team or organising independent travel, for example.

Fidelity welcomes graduates with a wide range of past experiences. ‘Maintaining relevance to the market comes through innovation, so we don’t want our entire intake to be indoctrinated in the way that we’ve done things previously,’ Dave says.

Be true to yourself

Strengths-based interviews give Fidelity’s recruiters an insight into how candidates instinctively think and are meant to draw out your true, genuine responses, so don’t worry about coming up with a ‘perfect’ answer. The key to giving yourself the best chance of success is surprisingly simple: be yourself.

Dave thinks that trying to assume what Fidelity might be looking for in your answers comes at the risk of sounding inauthentic. Brian agrees: ‘What we want to see is your answer to the question. Obviously don’t be silly or overly casual: we want the best version of you, the professional version of you. But don’t overthink; just be natural about it.’

Show that you are committed to developing your career at Fidelity

Fidelity is looking for graduates who will thrive at the company and want to stay for the long term. ‘A lot of the people who will apply to us are really bright individuals who might be able to convince themselves as well as us that they’d be a great fit,’ says Dave. ‘And that’s fine, but then two years down the line they won’t be happy and they’ll start looking for other opportunities. That doesn’t really serve them or us.’

For this reason, it’s important to do plenty of research before you apply to make sure that you feel enthusiastic about the prospect of forging a career at Fidelity. This will help to show the recruiters during your interview that you are genuinely well suited to the role.

Dave says: ‘My advice to students applying is to sit and research the company for as much as two or three hours and try to do it in one sitting. By the end of two or three hours, either you’ll be completely bored to tears, in which case don’t apply, or you’ll be incredibly enthusiastic and be wanting to talk to your friends and family about this great opportunity.’

When you are asked about your motivations for applying to Fidelity, focus on something you’ve learned that personally interests you. Brian explains: ‘You might mention one or two key facts at first, but your third and fourth facts should be something that really resonates with you, such as a news article or something you picked up when you spoke to someone at the organisation, or something we’ve done in the community that you really appreciate.’

Insight into Fidelity’s graduate interview questions

So what kinds of questions can you expect to be asked during a Fidelity strength-based graduate interview?

‘A lot of the questions are hypothetical in nature,’ says Dave. ‘Whereas a typical competency-based question might start “Give me an example of a time when you…”, a strengths-based question would be more around “Let’s imagine a situation in which…” How would you respond to that? How would you feel?’

‘We’ll also ask motivational questions because we are looking for people who genuinely want to work here,’ Dave adds. Brian says that he often asks candidates questions such as: ‘Why do you want to work here? What do you know about the organisation?’.

You can head to our dedicated strengths-based interviews article for more example questions and expert advice on preparing for and succeeding in this type of graduate job interview.

Tips for the Fidelity assessment centre

Fidelity’s assessment centre is also geared towards assessing strengths rather than competencies. The day consists of several activities including an interview, a group exercise, smaller ‘micro’ exercises and a technical assessment.

Depending on the programme, you’ll either partake in a combination of some of these activities or all of them. For some programmes, such as the fixed asset, equity research and multi asset streams, you’ll also have more than one interview and these will be motivational and technical interviews.

Brian says: ‘We’re hoping the assessment centre will be exciting and engaging but also give a sense of what it’s like to work here, because we’re looking to identify someone who will be successful in Fidelity. Participate in the day and give it a good old shot, whatever exercise it is –an interview, one-to-one discussion or group exercise. Get as much out of the day as possible. If you’re overly reserved and hold things back a little bit, we’re not seeing the full you, or you’re not being fully authentic and we don’t get to fully assess you.’


Assessment centres can be tough, but our advice articles will help you to impress Fidelity’s recruiters.

The Fidelity application process: a final word of reassurance

Fidelity’s strengths-based selection process has been developed to find out whether it’s the best place for you as well as whether you are a good fit. If you’re unsuccessful in applying for a role at Fidelity, it’s a sign that you wouldn’t have been happy there anyway, suggests Dave.

‘As long as you’re genuine throughout the application process and you have a sense of what you really want, then if you don’t get the job, it’s probably because you’re not right for the company and it’s not right for you either,’ he adds.

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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