The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Aptitude Tests, Assessment Centre & Interviews Preparation – 2021

Solving Aptitude Tests

What Is the Financial Conduct Authority?

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is one of the United Kingdom’s most profound financial services companies. Based in London, the FCA makes certain that the financial industry is accountable for its actions. It is a prominent agency that creates rules for the industry and when necessary, leads investigations to ensure the conduct of companies is fair. The FCA’s work benefits individuals, businesses, and the UK’s economy.

The company’s goals are:

  • Protecting consumers
  • Enhancing market integrity
  • Promoting competition

FCA is independent and funded by the bodies that it regulates. For those who want to work in a company that keeps the United Kingdom’s financial market strong, FCA is a rigorous and prestigious place to work. The agency strives for integrity and to put consumers first, so they want to see these attitudes reflected in employees.

 

What Is FCA’s Hiring Process?

The FCA uses a streamlined recruitment process to find the best employees as efficiently as possible. Because of the large number of applicants they get for each job, applications must be strong in all areas of the recruitment process. The FCA uses various interview styles and assessment tests to make sure candidates are the right fit for the position.

Throughout your application, assessments, and interviews, you should show the following qualities:

  • Focus
  • Teamwork
  • Diligence
  • Boldness
  • Curiosity
  • Passion

Note that this process can vary in length. The entire process can be speedy for some jobs and take just a couple weeks, but some positions may take over four months, so be prepared to wait a while for a response. If you do not make it through a round of recruitment, you may not get a response at all.

Application

After finding a job that interests you on the FCA’s recruitment page, you can begin an online application. Review the job details to be sure that you match the qualifications. Reflect the job description as you fill out the application to prove your attentiveness. On the online portal, you will be asked to create an account and then be redirected to the job’s form. Basic personal questions such as name, telephone number, address, and email will start the form. Then, you will be asked more about your motivations and past educational and career experiences. Additionally, you will have a chance to attach a CV and/or cover letter. Prepare responses for why you want to work at the FCA and show off how much you know about the company.

FCA Aptitude Tests

To screen out candidates who do not have the attitudes and aptitudes for the job, the FCA likes to use online psychometric tests, which show how candidates will make decisions and deal with issues. After applying, successful candidates will be sent a link to take the necessary tests. The FCA tends to use SHL (sometimes Talent Q or Kenexa) testing. Generally, candidates should strive to be within the top fifty percent of applicants in each test. If you do not do well, you will be eliminated from the applicant pool.

  • Logical Reasoning Test
    The FCA’s logical reasoning test asks questions based on shape sequences and patterns. You will be asked to determine what comes next in a sequence or to determine what is missing from a pattern. This test is meant to show which candidates are analytical and can solve problems, which are important abilities at the FCA. Like all the FCA tests, you should use your timing carefully and practice beforehand to ensure that you do your best work when the pressure is on.
  • Numerical Reasoning Test
    The FCA’s numerical reasoning test is a timed test that uses graphs, tables, and other data sets to examine candidates’ abilities to comprehend and analyze numerical information. The test will ask you several questions based on the information provided and you will have to complete basic mathematical functions. You may use a calculator. The test will have around twenty multiple-choice questions and a time limit of thirty minutes. This is a fast-paced test that requires practice for ideal outcomes.
  • Situational Judgement Test (SJT)
    The FCA’s situational judgement test will give you several work-based scenarios and ask you to rank potential responses from best to worst. You may also be asked some multiple-choice questions. This test will give a variety of routine and sometimes extreme situations you could encounter at the FCA. You will have to work quickly to complete this timed test. Do not guess on answers because doing so will negatively impact your accuracy score, but make educated guesses as best as you can. The SJT shows the FCA how you would function in the agency’s specific workplace, so illustrate how your decision-making would fit the position’s standards.

Post-Test Questionnaire

After you’ve taken all the tests, you may be asked to go through a detailed questionnaire that inquires more intricate answers about why you want to work with FCA. This is a follow-up to the information you provided in the initial application.

Telephone Interview

If you successfully pass the first two stages of the recruitment process, you will likely be asked to go through a phone interview. This interview will mostly be a review of your CV information and job-related experiences. It will also ask fundamental questions about your interest in the FCA. You will be asked to show your knowledge about the agency, so do research into the FCA before this interview. This interview will take around thirty minutes to complete.

FCA Assessment Day & In-Person Interview

After a successful phone interview, you will be asked to give an in-person interview. An in-person interview can last from around forty minutes to one hour. This interview often takes place with a manager and sometimes an HR person as well. You will be asked basic CV information as well as questions about your experiences and motivations.

Certain graduate programs may lead to an assessment day, which is like an extensive interview. This day will include interviews as well as group or individual activities that show employers more about how you would behave in the workplace. Short case studies and simulations are common at the assessment centre. Further, participants often complete a group project and an individual written assignment. You should show how you can work with others but also be sure to show off your best traits and unique talents. This day will include multiple hours of activities. Assessment days also give recruits a chance to see if the FCA is right for them.

If you do well at the assessment center, you may be asked to then give one more interview with the Director General. During the final interview, you may be asked to retake assessment tests to verify that you’re the same person who took the tests originally. These tests will be on paper, and you will not be allowed to use a calculator.

 

How to Prepare for FCA’s Assessments?

Online tests determine whether you get an interview. Therefore, preparation is the best way to ensure you will do well on psychometric exams and get an interview. Focus on SHL online practice tests so that you have a good idea of what to expect going into your psychometric tests. Practice will help you learn how to pace yourself during the tests and make you more confident in your skills. The more you practice, the less time you’ll waste worrying about the tests. Additionally, inquire about the test provider and specifications for the position you want before you begin your test, which enables you to go into the testing process with as little anxiety and uncertainty as possible.

 

FCA Interview Questions & Tips

Job seekers can benefit from practicing for the phone and in-person interviews with FCA. During its interviews, FCA asks several behavioral questions to address how you would handle postulated scenarios. You’ll also be asked to show how you handled certain challenges in your past experiences. Several competency questions will be asked to see if your skills match the position.

Throughout the interview, feel free to ask questions if you need clarification or ask for a moment to think through your answer. Be yourself and reflect on the goals and values of the agency.

Some questions that you may be asked are:

  • What is one of the FCA’s most impressive achievements and why does it inspire you?
  • What challenges do you think the FCA faces?
  • Talk about a time when you influenced other people. How did you influence them?
  • Discuss a time when you collaborated with others. What did you do to address any disagreements?
  • Why do you want to work for the FCA?
  • What is your proudest achievement?

 

Conclusion

Work at the FCA is challenging but can give you great career opportunities. The company hires around one hundred graduates each year, but each role is highly competitive. Accordingly, the FCA’s pre-employment screening process is arduous. Starting with a strong application, you should practice for the three online assessments you may be asked to take and prepare for the various interviews you will go through. Further, be sure to research the objectives of the FCA and the company’s atmosphere so that you can emphasize throughout the process how your qualities and skills best fit the job. Stand out from the crowd by being prepared and proving your interest in the company. Ultimately, graduates can find exciting and meaningful work with the FCA, but to work at this agency, they must invest the time and energy to set themselves apart from the large applicant pool.