FDM Application Process and Interview Questions
What Is FDM?
FDM was founded in 1990 in the UK and is a global professional services provider focused primarily on IT services.
It is a leading graduate and ex-military recruiter that employs only the brightest and most innovative candidates.
It has over 3,500 consultants working across the globe, with over 200 high profile clients. A majority of these consultants are part of the recruitment process.
The areas the company is focused on and offers training programs for are:
- Software development
- Software testing
- Data engineering
- Business intelligence
- Cloud computing
- Technical operations
- Robotic process autonomation
- Risk, regulation and compliance
- Business analysis
- Project management
As employers, it offers a whole host of employee benefits, including wellbeing programs, mentoring, pensions, paid time off and employee networks.
It has won several awards for being a top employer, and tailors its benefits depending on the employee location.
FDM locations include the UK, Toronto, Singapore, Australia, China, Hong Kong, New York and Frankfurt.
What Is the FDM Application Process?
FDM has two application processes: Graduate and Ex-Forces.
The processes can take between two and six weeks, depending on the location.
Stage 1: Online Application
Before moving ahead with your application, you will need to decide which pathway, business or technical, to apply for.
Once you have decided, you should tailor your resume to capture the keywords used in the job description.
Being a company dedicated to IT services, your resume will likely run through a computer algorithm rather than being read by the recruitment team.
This algorithm will be set to pick up on the skills and expertise that most match the role.
Use the exact words and phrases found in the job description to increase your chances of making it to the next stage.
Stage 2: Telephone Interview
The telephone interview comes in two parts.
The first is an informal conversation to confirm you have the right to work in the country of application, can travel for work and have the minimum educational requirements.
The interview part lasts between 10 and 30 minutes. It will either be via video chat or over the phone, depending on location and convenience.
Like many interviews, you will be asked competency-based and strength-based questions relating to your resume.
Common questions are:
- “Why do you want to work for FDM?”
- “Where do you see yourself in five years?”
- “Do you think you made the right degree choice?”
- “What do you know about the FDM training programme?”
Stage 3: Online Assessments
Your success on the online assessments will determine whether your get invited to the final stage.
Depending on your pathway and recruitment program, you will have to sit one or more of the following:
Stage 4: Assessment Centre
The assessment centre is a day-long event involving a series of interviews and challenges.
It will allow you to meet your peers and speak with current employees about life at FDM.
For ex-military, your recruitment process is:
1. Online application 2. Insight day – An informal event that allows you to find out more about the roles and ask any questions you may have 3. Telephone interview 4. Assessment day – Similar to the graduate assessment centre, the only difference is that you will sit your aptitude tests during the day rather than ahead of time
Top Questions to Prepare and Interview Best Practices
FDM Phone Interview Preparation and Questions
FDM conducts thousands of telephone interviews every year and has probably heard every answer imaginable.
Your goal in this stage is to make yourself stand out.
To do this, you need to prepare.
Thoroughly research FDM, including its history, culture, values and recent newsworthy announcements.
Having up to date information will enable you to give more specific answers. Many candidates will offer generic statements because they don't know enough about FDM's initiatives or culture.
If you know your recruiter's name, see if you can find out a bit about them and their background. This will help you build a report as well as show initiative.
As this interview is through a phone or computer screen, you can have as many notes with you as you see fit.
Make a list of interesting facts you want to mention, talking points and any questions you want to ask.
As this interview is strength-based, have a list of the skills the company is looking for with examples of when you demonstrated them.
Remember that your selling point in this interview is your tone of voice. Try to be warm, engaging and energetic. Using a monotone voice or speaking too quietly will only discourage the interviewer.
Top Phone Interview Questions
1. "Why Are You Applying for This Programme?"
Use this question to demonstrate how your interests and skills match the role and the activities you will do during the training program.
2. "What Do You Know About FDM?"
Be specific – What charities or campaigns does the company support? What is its environmental commitment? How many employees are LGBTQ+? What is its current stock value? When did it list on the LSE?
Surprise your recruiter by sharing the less obvious details.
3. "Tell Me About Yourself"
Yes, this is a corporate role, but that does not mean you can't have a personality.
Your recruiters don't just want someone with the right skill set, and they also want someone they want to work with.
Tell them some quirky facts or any exciting hobbies you do.
4. "Why Do You Want to Work For FDM?"
Salary and benefits are usually the number one reason a person may want to work for a company, but look beyond these factors.
Mention the company's commitment to professional and personal development or its global network. The recruiters want to know what areas of FDM appeal to you.
5. "What Made You Choose Your Degree, and Do You Think It Was the Right One?"
For this question, talk about the topics or subjects that interest you and why.
Mention the unexpected things you learned during your time at university and how they have influenced your development.
6. "Talk Me Through Your Resume"
Try to bring your resume to life.
If you are ex-military, you won't be short of talking points, so highlight the experiences related to the job role.
For graduates, your resume may not be complete. Highlight your achievements as best you can. If you volunteered or completed any internships, talk about what you hoped to achieve from them and what you learned.
Showing self-awareness is a great skill to have as it shows maturity and makes you an ideal candidate for promotions.
7. "Where Do You See Yourself in Seven Years?"
This question is always challenging as you may not want to spend seven years in the same company.
If you get asked this question, suggest you want to remain in the company/industry without being specific. Do you want to specialize in an area or work in a different part of the world? Would you like to be in a senior role?
Try to relate your answer to your career goals as much as possible.
FDM Assessment Centre Preparation and Questions
Assessment Centres can sometimes be overwhelming; there are a lot of people, there are a lot of activities and everything seems to move very quickly.
This may also be the first time your recruiter puts a name to a face, so ensure you look the part.
Typically, the assessment day uses the following schedule:
- Welcome presentation
- Tour of the office and FDM Academy
- Test for ex-military
The Assessment Center Interviews
Just like the telephone interview, the interviews at the assessment centre are strength-based. This means that recruiters can see the potential and passion of a candidate instead of hearing generic replies.
From these types of questions, recruiters can identify the following essential strengths:
- Social adaptability
- Logical mindset
- Strategic awareness
This interview technique is notorious for being unpredictable and difficult to prepare for.
However, there are some things you can do in advance:
Do thorough research. You would have done this at the telephone interview stage, so before the assessment day, ensure your information is up to date.
Complete a SWOT analysis for the IT industry and FDM to help you identify any areas of opportunity and innovation, as well as any factors that may impact the IT industry in the future.
Make a list of all your strengths and achievements so you see which ones match the job description.
Compare your values to FDM's and identify occasions where you demonstrated them.
Think about the areas you can improve.
Think about your hobbies, personal and professional goals*, and what motivates you.
You will need to complete three individual interviews, all lasting around 15 minutes:
1. Company and IT industry 2. Education and work experience 3. Personal and professional motivations
Two of the three interviews are strength-based, and they consist of three types of questions:
These are non-work related questions that act as ice breakers to make you feel more comfortable, for example:
- "What does a successful day look like to you?"
- "What was your favourite subject in school?"
- "What is the one thing you are most proud of?"
2. Forced Response
These types of questions require you to make a decision and justify your decision.
"Do you work better in a relaxed environment or under strict conditions?"
"Do you often leave things to the last minute, or do you work ahead of deadlines?"
"Do you prefer working alone or in a team?"
The final group of questions encourage you to think about how you would react if faced with the given scenarios.
These types of questions are incredibly useful because they provide you with insight as to the kind of situations you are likely to face in your daily role.
You are scored against your capability, engagement, and use of supporting statements.
Example questions could be:
“Talk about a time you solved a problem using your initiative and how you came to that solution."
“Your manager has asked you to do something you haven't done before. How do you approach the task?"
“Tell me about when you had a project to complete, but your colleague or peer was challenging to work with."
Ex-Military Assessment Day
The assessment day for those taking the ex-military training route follows a similar format to the graduate assessment, with the same type of questioning.
For those applying for the Advanced pathway, you will have an hour-long interview and a project-based scenario.
How to Approach the Interview Process and Pass
Learning the details of your recruitment process can sometimes add to the overwhelm of the situation.
However, being prepared and knowing what to expect will help improve your confidence so you can pass your interviews.
The most important thing to remember is that there are no right or wrong answers.
FDM is looking for authentic and innovative employees, so the best thing to do is be yourself.
When answering questions, try to incorporate all areas of your life, from hobbies to work experience to your education.
This allows the interviewer to get a good idea of the type of person you are and what you enjoy.
Avoid answering with generic statements or cliches – be genuine and show your enthusiasm.
You will rarely get asked a follow-up question, so ensure your answers have all the information they need.
Practice using the STAR method to help structure your answers:
S – Situation – Where were you, and what were you doing? T – Task – What was your task, and what was the goal? A – Action – What did you do? R – Result – What was the outcome, and what did you learn?
Working through interview questions and practising answering using this method will help with your thinking and structure on the day.
Recruiters at assessment days also look at how you carry yourself. Watch your body language and show that you are engaged and interested in what others around you are saying.
Find and complete personality and psychometric tests online.
They may not represent your interview questions, but they allow you to see how recruiters see you.
They are also a valuable tool for finding your strengths and areas to improve.
Find a quiet place for your telephone interview where you won't be disturbed, and that has a strong signal.
Interview questions at FDM are generally about you, your history, the industry or your prospective work environment.
The more time you reflect on these areas and develop your answers, the easier your interview will be.