London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) is a unique business at the heart of the financial markets offering graduate and internship programmes in both business and technology. Whichever programme you’re applying for, the recruitment process will involve:
- An online application form, including a motivational statement, where you’ll need to explain why you are applying to LSEG, why you’re interested in the business or technology programme and what skills and experience make you suited for the role.
- An online reasoning assessment.
- A telephone interview.
- A virtual assessment centre including: a group exercise, a case study and a competency-based interview.
Your academic achievements, extracurricular activities and technical skills alone won’t get you an offer. LSEG wants to get to know you as a person and see a genuine interest in their business and curiosity to learn.
‘LSEG’s role in the markets is unique: we’re not just a stock exchange and neither are we an investment bank. It’s really important to us that you understand the role we play across the entire finance value chain and demonstrate a genuine engagement with that,’ says Aishling Morris, global early careers lead at LSEG. ‘On the flip side of that, we’d like to see who you are as a person and to understand the narrative behind your application. What are your motivations, what do you want to do and, based on what’s in front of me, what can you contribute to our business?’
Tip one: research LSEG
Enthusiasm really is infectious and, as far as LSEG is concerned, somebody who is genuinely interested will naturally want to know more about the Group.
We recommend that you:
- read up on the graduate or internship programme
- browse the profiles of its recent graduates
- pay close attention to pages such as ‘About Us’ and ‘Our Business’
- watch any videos
- keep up-to-date on recent press releases and external trends (and think about how these may impact LSEG and its clients)
- review reports such as its annual report and corporate sustainability report.
LSEG recommends that you go further than its website for your research. For example, you could look at its LinkedIn profile and Twitter account, actively follow stories in the news and check the relevant business and technology pages in newspapers and on websites such as the Financial Times.
Tip two… and don’t just scratch the surface
The real power of research is that, if done well, it will almost subconsciously inform your reasons for applying to LSEG and certainly come across in any interviews.
However, this will only work if you’ve taken the time to really grasp and absorb what LSEG does, who its clients and competitors are and how it all fits together. It is really important to do this thinking rather than regurgitating a list of basic facts straight from the website.
For example, it’s all well and good memorising a list of the companies LSEG has acquired, but have you then developed your understanding of, say, Mergent or Frank Russell Company and what they bring to the Group? What do the acquisitions tell you about LSEG’s strategic priorities? And while it’s nice to know that the LSEG Foundation was launched in 2010, do you know what it has achieved and which charitable organisations it has partnered with?
If your research brings up further questions that you’d like answering, note them down. LSEG encourages candidates to ask their assessors a couple of questions during the assessment centre, so it will be a big help to have some thoughtful questions in mind already.
Tip three: ask yourself three important ‘Why’s
The recruiters and assessors at LSEG want to understand why you want to work at LSEG, why you have chosen this programme and what makes you the right candidate for the role, so make sure your reasons are clear and substantiated in your mind before each step in the application process.
Try to pinpoint what drew you to LSEG in the first place. Don’t be afraid to make this personal – was it someone you heard speak at a campus event? Was it a profile that interested you or you identified with on the website? Then think about how your research has increased your interest. It will also help to consider the role of LSEG in the world of finance and why working here appeals to you more than in a different type of organisation.
Why this programme?
Think about what the programme you’re applying to involves: the exposure to the different business divisions, the training and development and your longer-term career goals.
For example, LSEG highlights that the internship and graduate programmes involve two rotations in two different teams (over nine weeks for the internship programme and over the course of a year for the graduate programme). Why do you think the rotational nature of the programme will suit you? Are there any business areas that you are keen to work in and, if so, why?
Beware of sounding too fixed on working in one area only. If that is the case, a rotational programme might not be right for you. ‘You might have your heart set on a particular role or function but gaining that broader understanding of the business at an early stage in your career will only benefit you in the long term. Technology graduates, for example, have the flexibility to work in a range of different jobs, from programming and development to project management and analytics,’ says Aishling. ‘Bear in mind that we may be evaluating your fit for a number of potential positions or rotations.’
What makes you the right candidate for the role?
Essentially, why do you want to pursue this career path? Think about your degree, strengths, work experience, extracurricular activities and general interests and how these have influenced your decision.
For the technology scheme in particular, consider:
- What sparked your interest in technology. Aishling points out: ‘I wouldn’t say we’re only looking for graduates who know a specific coding language, for example, as there are a variety of roles within the technology programme. We’re looking for people who can demonstrate a passion for technology, whether that be through their degree subject, work experience and/or extracurricular activities.’
- How a technology role within a financial organisation may be different to other industries or businesses. ‘Where technology candidates sometimes fall down is not being able to demonstrate an understanding of LSEG’s business,’ adds Aishling.
Tip four: remember LSEG’s values and key competencies
Your assessors will also be looking to see if you’re a good fit for LSEG. Familiarising yourself with its values and key competencies will help you to understand what it is looking for, but don’t try too hard to emulate these, especially at the virtual assessment centre. It’s far more important to be present and to be yourself, not a version you think people want to see.
Instead, use your knowledge of LSEG’s values and key competencies to a) assess whether you might be happy and successful as an employee and b) determine which of your experiences and interests should be at the top of your list to talk about in your interviews (ie which examples will help you showcase how you share these values and skills).
LSEG’s four values are:
You can find more detailed descriptions of these values on its website.
It doesn’t explicitly list its key competencies but, from browsing its careers website and its graduate and internship brochure, you can get a good idea of the skills and qualities it seeks. Make a list of all the examples you can find. Some that we spotted are:
- logical thinking and analytical ability
- drive and resilience
- the ability to work as part of a team and to communicate effectively
- the ability to build and maintain good working relationships
- the ability to think creatively.
‘Ultimately, at the intern and graduate level, what we’re looking for is curiosity, enthusiasm and potential,’ explains Aishling. ‘Some key skills are important but, outside of these, the purpose of the programme is to deliver an exceptional learning and development experience.’
Tip five: add your personal touch
As we mentioned before, LSEG is keen to get to know you as a person, so don’t just talk about your academic achievements and formal work experience. Recruiters also want to hear about what you’ve done in your spare time: your hobbies, interests and passion projects. These are the things that will help to set you apart – and they’re usually great examples of how you’ve developed the sorts of skills listed above.
‘Being able to offer something interesting outside of your studies or work experience is important,’ says Aishling. ‘We take the time to read every application we receive so it’s worth adding those important personal details. The assessment centres we run are personable. There are only four candidates in each group. Smaller numbers allow assessors to really get to know the students and vice versa.’
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