The selection process for the FCA involves psychometric testing as a means of screening out candidates who do not possess the skills required for a job in this area. This part of the process, typically, requires successful completion of a logical reasoning test, numerical reasoning test, and a situational judgement test. Additional tests may be used depending on the role applied for. Candidates are informed in advance as to which tests they will be required to take. The FCA assesses candidates in terms of their key competencies which are as follows: adaptability and flexibility, business acumen, action orientation, communication, collaboration and teamwork, stakeholder management and personal accountability. It is similar to (CEB) SHL numerical reasoning tests, so practice tests of this type will prove useful in preparing applicants for the financial reasoning test.
The FCA Process
The FCA selection process is made of four stages:
- Application: Applicants will be required to provide their contact details, education and work experience. This is to ensure that the candidate meets the entry requirements for their selected role. The candidate will also be asked questions to demonstrate their knowledge of the FCA, along with their reasons for wanting to join the company. It is a good idea to look into their current objectives and key issues prior to completing the application form. Applications are to be made online.
- Testing: Candidates will then be asked to carry out three online tests; a logical reasoning test, a numerical reasoning test and a situational judgement test. Afterwards, candidates will be asked to complete a questionnaire to explain in more detail why they’ve applied for a position with the FCA. This is also an opportunity to demonstrate their background knowledge on the FCA and to express their interest in the services it provides. The tests used have strict time limits, so practice tests are recommended.
- Telephone Interview: Candidates that are successful in the testing stage will then have a 30 minute telephone interview. Applicants will be required to reiterate why they believe they are suited for the job they’ve applied for and how they can contribute to the FCA.
- Assessment Centre: The final stage of the selection process is the assessment centre, in which candidates will be required to complete a case study, give a presentation, take a part in a group exercise and, finally, an interview to gauge the candidate’s ability. Successful applicants at stage 4 will be given an offer of employment, or a place on one of the internships offered by the FCA.
The FCA Logical Test
Logical reasoning questions present a sequence of numbers or symbols and ask the candidate to select the next item in the sequence, from multiple choice options. These tests are considered non-verbal reasoning and require candidates to recognise patterns or rules and use them to make logical conclusions as to what will come next. Logical reasoning tests have a set time limit, so it is important to work efficiently and try to answer as many questions as possible. The Unilever logical test is completed online.
The FCA Numerical Test
In these tests, numerical data is provided to a candidate, usually in the form of graphs, tables, statistics and financial data. To answer these questions, candidates must analyse this data and make a logical conclusion from it, allowing them to select the correct answer. Typical numerical skills which are tested include addition/subtraction, multiplication/division, ratios, fractions and percentages. These tests require the use of a calculator.
The FCA Situational Judgement Test
Situational judgement tests (SJT) describe fictional scenarios and provide a selection of potential actions. Throughout different sections of the test, candidates are instructed either to select the course of action they are most or least likely to adopt, the most or least effective option, to rank the options in order of effectiveness and to rate responses in terms of effectiveness and counter-productivity. SJT’s are usually required when the job applied for involves customer interaction, interpersonal sensitivity or managerial positions.