A successful job application

You can apply to roles either directly to a company on their website, through online job websites such as indeed, through job listings on LinkedIn as well as through recruiters and recruitment websites.

However you apply, each company has a different approach to hiring new employees, for some it can involve interviews and for others it can also involve psychometric tests.

You usually apply using a CV which is a summary of your career, including your qualifications, educations, work experience and skills.

Psychometric tests

Some companies will use both interviews and psychometric tests which can be carried out online. These tests evaluate a variety of skills, knowledge, abilities, attitudes, personality traits and more which can demonstrate things such as your problem-solving abilities and the way you process information. Psychometric tests might include numerical, verbal and concentration tests, view a full list of possible Psychometric tests.

What the recruitment process may include

Interviews are often carried out by a manager of the team you may be joining and will consist of a range of questions. Some questions will be competency-based which aim to find out whether you can complete the job role with your skills, experience and abilities. Other questions will be focused on your personality and values, for example whether you work well in a team, how you might cope in a time-constrained situation and your attitude towards stressful scenarios.

Interviews might be in different formats too, some interviews might be a recorded video, where a question shows up on the screen and your response is recorded in a timed situation. Other interviews can take place over the phone, on a video call (Via Zoom or Microsoft Teams) and in person.

Taofikat, Gareth and Burhan talk about their application experiences in financial services

Advice for interviews

The key piece of advice for interviews is remaining as calm as you can, so that you can be yourself and answer questions as best as you can. Preparing properly for your interview can help to keep you calm as you know that you have done enough research to answer the questions that might come up. Your pre-interview preparation might include:

Looking up the company, their values, their history and any recent news relating to the company's sector

Researching common interview questions for your job role and practicing an answer

Speaking aloud to yourself in the mirror, or recording yourself answering questions so you become more familiar with the process

Your employability: getting a job

After completing a qualification, getting a job role is usually the next step and this process can be competitive. There are a few things you can do alongside a qualification to make yourself stand out when compared to other candidates, this might include:

  • Completing work experience or an internship in the professional sector you want to work in
  • Achieving an additional qualification, for example if you have completed a degree, achieving an entry qualification like the CISI’s Fundamentals of Financial Services can demonstrate your interest in the sector and willingness to learn
  • Volunteering, which can build strong transferable skills
  • The hobbies and interests you mention in your CV, these can be important in helping you stand out as many provide transferable skills
  • Keeping up to date with commercial news, further showing your interest in the sector you are applying to work in

View the CISI jobs website