Likely Fidelity International graduate interview questions and how to answer them
Fidelity International is known for including competency questions in graduate interviews to ascertain a candidate's level of real world or transferable experience. These types of questions are also asked to gauge personal drive – a must-have quality to stand a chance of joining the firm.
Accordingly, the types of questions that you’ll be asked at your graduate interview aim to uncover if you fit the bill. To make sure you do, read through the example questions and advice below.
Fidelity International example interview question: why have you applied to Fidelity International?
To answer this question, you have to understand who Fidelity International is. Research the firm until you have a good grasp of its structure, culture and vision. Also find out who some of its clients are and how it’s positioned in the marketplace against its competitors. But bear in mind that you should also have market knowledge that relates to the scheme you’ve applied for.
For example, in August 2015 an economic slowdown in China caused some of the biggest stock market falls since the 2008 financial crisis. How do you think the Fidelity International solutions division handles its investments in this sort of environment? What strategies could come into play to reduce the impact of China's economic downturn on Fidelity and its clients? Additionally, what do you think the impact of the decision to Brexit may be on Fidelity International’s markets and clients?
Establish which aspects of Fidelity International’s business model or business strategy appeal to you and ask, is this why I want to work for the firm? Or maybe you believe Fidelity International is at the forefront of a market trend and you want to join an innovative and determined firm. Whatever your answer, ensure you underpin it with thorough research and market insight.
Fidelity International example interview question: why have you applied to the particular division?
Also research the division to which you are applying to work. The investment manager offers eight sector-separate graduate programmes and seven sector-separate internship programmes. Each division will play a distinct role in helping Fidelity International to achieve its objective to grow its clients’ wealth, so it’s important that you know what the department does and how you’d fit in to it.
Each graduate programme is featured on Fidelity International’s website in the early careers section with an overview of what the role entails. Alongside these are graduate interviews, in video format, which provide a bit more insight into the role you’re applying for. It’s advisable you read the text and watch the short clip. Then conduct a bit more research via independent sources, such as online forums, before considering: how does the division fit into the wider business? What is it about this programme that has stirred my interest?
Fidelity International example interview question: what do you think is the most important skill for the job you have applied for?
Familiarising yourself with the division to which you’re applying to work will also help you answer this question. During your research, you’ll find that there are several core competencies required across all graduate programmes, such as verbal communication and team working. There’ll also be more specific requirements for each scheme, for example, on Fidelity International’s technology graduate programme. You might therefore want to highlight a particular technical skill that you have.
However, on the technology programme you’ll also be working in a team to provide business support, so you may believe team skills are the more important for the job. There’s no right or wrong answer – you just have to be able to back up what you say with sound reason.
Fidelity International example interview question: do you have any useful experience of using communication skills?
Fidelity International specifies that it wants to hear about your ‘useful’ experience, so choose an example that’s relevant to the role you’re applying for. On the operational management graduate scheme, for instance, you’ll be advising new customers as well as portfolio and fund managers from across the business. Think about who you’ve advised in the past, in what context, and how it relates to the job.
Did you do an internship with a finance firm? Have you got any good examples of using your communications skills effectively from that employment? If you haven’t, consider any customer-facing jobs you’ve had, whether it was on the shop floor of a clothing retailer or at the front desk of a GP surgery.
Fidelity International example interview question: what current financial news story interests you, and why?
Among the attributes Fidelity International wants its graduates to have are intellectual curiosity and the ability to look at things from a different angle. These are characteristics that you can demonstrate when answering this question. You may wish to choose an example that relates to the firm or the division, but you also have the chance to look further afield.
A financial story that interests you personally is what is important. For example, in order to stimulate growth, the European Bank in 2016 cut interest rates to zero and increased quantitative easing. But many economists think that growth will only materialise when EU governments adjust their fiscal policies. What do you think? Why might this issue interest you and how might the events influence decisions at Fidelity International
Fidelity International example interview question: explain a time you faced a challenge and how you overcame it
Ensure you choose an example that clearly shows how you overcame a challenge; the interviewers want to find out how you handle and work through difficult situations. It’s not the scale of the challenge that’s the main factor in this question. Have you got any examples from education, work, interests or your personal life that clearly show the considered actions you took to overcome a challenge?
Fidelity International example interview question: tell me about your leadership skills
Fidelity International is looking for future leaders. When have you led a team or project? To find an example, look back at your degree course, the sports and societies you took part in, and the temporary jobs you’ve had. Once you’ve decided on an example you’ll be confident discussing, think about how you became the leader (were you nominated or did you volunteer yourself?) and what skills you have that made you successful in that position. Also, reflect on the experience and identify your weaknesses and what you could do to overcome them.