The application process at Factset involves the following stages:
- Online application
- Telephone Interview
- 1st Round Assessment
- Numerical Test
- Excel Test
- Financial Markets Test
- HR Interview
- 2nd Round Assessment
- Microteach Presentation (10 minutes)
- Group Exercise
- Panel Interview
Applicants apply online through Factset's website, and must upload a CV and covering letter detailing their motivation for working at Factset. Unlike many other large firms, Factset accepts applications to an unlimited number of different posts from each candidate. All candidates must have a 2:2 degree or better.
(In some cases, applicants will be invited directly to the first round assessment. This does not mean that these candidates have an advantage.)
The first interview will be a telephone interview, and could last anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes. This interview will cover, your CV, basic competencies, and your motivation for applying to Factset. You may also be tested on your knowledge of the industry, and of Factset and the way it operates. Examples of questions you could face include:
- Why Consulting?
- Why Factset?
- Why this role? What do people in this role at Factset do?
- What skills does a person in this role need?
- Why did you choose your degree course?
- Who are Factset's competitors?
- What sets Factset apart from them?
- Tell me about a time when you have worked in a team?
- Tell me about a time when your have used excellent communication skills?
- What is the difference between investment banking and investment management?
- What sort of clients does Factset cater to?
- What sort of problem does a consultant help a client with?
TIP: Research the company thoroughly before your interview. Follow their stock prices, look up recent news, or talk to representatives at recruitment days. Visit their website to find out all you can about their working culture and the type of employees they look for.
1st Round Assessment
The first round assessment will feature one HR interview, and 3 tests: a numerical test, an Excel test, and a financial markets test. You will have 90 minutes, without breaks, to complete all 3 of these tests, and you may divide up this time however you wish.
This test is not a standard SHL test, and appears to be unique to Factset. Topics will range from simple percentages to logic problems, so be sure to leave the more difficult questions for the end. A good general knowledge of algebra is useful, and you will need to be very comfortable with ratios, fractions, percentages, and other basic mathematical concepts. You will be allowed the use of a basic calculator.
In this test, you are given a laptop and a list of instructions, requiring you to perform a number of operations in Microsoft Excel. Each operation you complete will gain you a certain number of points. There will be three spreadsheets, each requiring slightly different formatting and function edits. Tasks and functions you may be tested on include:
- MAX, MIN, AVERGAGE, SUM ()
- Alphabetical order
- Freeze panes
- Nested If's
- plotting graphs
Hint: If you don't know how to do something, there's always the HELP function!
Financial Markets Test
This test may be quite difficult for students who do not come from a financial background, so careful preparation is recommended. It is a multiple choice test, and it will involve a combination of calculations and basic financial knowledge. It is designed to represent the types of data employees would deal with on a day-to-day basis. Some examples of questions are:
- What is the first thing you see on a P/L sheet?
- What is PER? EPS?
- What are stocks commonly known as?
- If company xyz is the biggest company on zzz exchange, what region of the world are they from?
- In what country is the CAC located?
- What is the role of the Bank of England?
- What is the London Stock Exchange for?
- Calculate the net income per share based on the information given.
You can expect to answer questions/make calculations regarding:
- stock exchanges
- market capitalisation
- investment return
For most questions involving calculations, a formula will be provided for you.
This interview is usually fairly brief and informal, lasting about 20 minutes with two people from HR. Similar to the telephone interview, this interview will focus mainly on your knowledge of Factset and your motivation for working there. In addition to the above questions listed, you may be asked:
- What are your hobbies?
- Tell us about something in the financial news that interests you.
- What did you like/dislike about your university course?
- What skills have you acquired from your previous jobs that will help you succeed at Factset?
- What do you look for in an employer?
- What does client service mean to you?
- Give an example of a time you have provided good client service?
- What do you know about IB/IM?
- Where else have you applied?
- What do you think you'll be doing on a daily basis, if hired?
- What products and services do Factset provide?
- What would you do if you had two clients phone you at the end of the day on Friday asking you to do something, but you only have time to complete one of their requests?
- Do you have any questions?
Note: Applicants to Engineering positions will likely face more technical questions related to their field, and may not be required to complete the same tests and assessments as Consulting applicants.
Round 2 Assessment
The final round of assessment will include an individual Microteach presentation, a group exercise, and a panel interview.
The Microteach presentation should be 10 minutes long, and you will be able to prepare in on the topic of your choice before the Assessment Day. Your job will be to teach your concept as effectively as you can to a small group of people; this is supposed to be similar to the type of thing you would be doing in a consulting role. More information will be provided in your invitation email.
Little is known about the group exercise. Been through the Factset second assessment? Share your experiences on the Wikijob Forums
Finally, you will appear before a panel of senior employees. The content of this interview will likely centre around your performance on that day: either your presentation, the group exercise, or what you have observed so far at Factset.