Fidelity International

Fidelity International graduate telephone interview: how to give winning responses

It's very easy for graduates to say they have worked as part of a team. What you should actually talk about is what you did.

All it’ll take for you to pass your graduate telephone interview with Fidelity International (beyond the required academic achievements and work experience) is oodles of motivation and clear communication.

Fidelity International’s campus talent acquisition manager, Lucy Harris, says: ‘A lot of applicants are very bright nowadays – they have fantastic CVs. But they can’t articulate their motivation in their responses – and that lets them down.’

Read on to find out exactly what you have to do to give Fidelity International the winning answers that it seeks and be one step closer to getting hired by the investment management firm.

Fidelity International graduate telephone interview: process summed up

The 30-minute telephone interviews held across Fidelity International’s eight graduate programmes will be carried out by a member of the HR team (possibly Lucy), who will ascertain from your answers if you have:

  • made an informed decision about your career choice
  • thought carefully about why you want to work in investment management
  • fully considered why you want to join the particular programme.

The interviews are broadly similar, in that all shortlisted applicants will be expected to answer these crucial questions:

  • Why do you want to work in investment management?
  • Why Fidelity International?
  • Why have you applied to work in the particular business area?

The above questions, however, will probably not be the only ones that you’re asked. You should expect to be asked general competency questions and a few programme-specific questions as well.

Fidelity International graduate telephone interview: preparation and execution

It goes without saying that before your interview you should do a substantial amount of research into Fidelity International, the division to which you have applied, your potential role and the industry.

Lucy says: ‘You must be clear about why you want to join the particular programme and you need to be commercially aware to prove that you want to join the investment management industry.’

But, what’s of equal importance, and an area where past graduates have underperformed, is the way you answer the questions and converse with the recruiter.

Fidelity International recruiters will be looking for motivated individuals who articulately communicate their interest in and commitment to the role – and this is how you do that.

  1. Back up what you say with evidence. If you claim to be an excellent team player, provide an example of when you made an outstanding contribution in a team.
  2. Don’t introduce topics that you don’t understand, such as a proposed policy that could affect the investment management industry.
  3. Don’t regurgitate what’s on Fidelity International’s website. The firm’s website is a great place to start your research, but you’ll have to show that you have dug a bit deeper.
  4. Highlight relevant internships and work experience. This will be particularly pertinent for Fidelity International’s more competitive graduate programmes, such as equity research.
  5. Talk about your customer service experience if you have applied for the global trading or operational management programmes.
  6. Don’t worry if you haven’t worked in banking or asset management. Such experience is a bonus, but it’s not essential for many of the graduate programmes at Fidelity International.
  7. Be specific about why you have chosen the programme. Lucy says: ‘Ultimately, we (recruiters) will have to convince our business sponsors that you are the best candidate for the job. We can’t do that if you’re not convincing.’
  8. Don’t generalise. Lucy says: ‘Some applicants talk too generally, so we don’t have a way of understanding why they really want to work for Fidelity International.’
  9. Sound hungry for the position. Don’t sound downbeat. Make sure your voice reflects your excitement at the prospect of working in the organisation.
  10. Show conviction and capability. Lucy observes that past graduates have said they want a particular role, such as sales and marketing, ‘but they haven’t demonstrated the required verbal communication skills, and presence and authority in their voice over the phone’.
  11. Talk about what you have done and how you have reflected on that achievement. Lucy says: ‘It’s very easy for graduates to say that they have worked as part of a team at university on an assessed group project – that’s all very nice – but we hear that so many times. What you should actually talk about is what you did and how you have self-reflected.’
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