Finance Jobs & Graduate Schemes

Working in Finance

Graduates eager to go into the Finance Sector may be looking at careers in Financial Services, Corporate Finance, Public Finance and more, with a variety of organisations including Banks, Hedge Fund Management Firms, Accountancy Firms, Professional Services Organisations, Insurance Brokers and Investment Firms.

Many are based in the City or Canary Wharf, and although there are opportunities available elsewhere, graduates wanting to pursue a career in Finance should be prepared to relocate to the capital if they want to work with the big Financial institutions.

Like Accountancy, Banking and Insurance, Finance is fast-paced and highly competitive, requiring applicants to be fast learners. Candidates must be enthusiastic, energetic and dynamic, and be prepared to work hard. Competition for entry-level positions is high, as they often offer excellent salaries and pay structures. Hopeful applicants need to shine to make it through the application process.

How to Get a Job in Finance

Jobs can be varied, with different requirements depending on the position, but they all share common ground in Financial matters.

Candidates should display the following:

  • Academic credentials
    Academic credentials are used to gauge a candidate's work ethic, and for that reason it is important that graduates have a classification of 2:1 or higher. While not always required, a relevant field of study such as Finance or Economics will be an asset. Many employers are likely to ask for GCSE and A Level results as well.
  • Work Experience or Internships
    The Financial sector is extremely competitive, so work experience or an internship will go a long way towards supporting a candidate's application.

    Many of the big Financial institutions run summer and holiday programmes to give current students or graduates the opportunity to gain insight and experience. Candidates who make a good impression may benefit from the contacts they make when employment opportunities arise down the line.

  • Excellent numeracy skills
    Roles in Finance require managing budgets, margins, and income with expenditure. Candidates require excellent Maths skills to ensure thorough and accurate work, and should be able to demonstrate an aptitude for working with large amounts of numerical data.

    While some employers may not ask for or require it, evidence of excellent qualifications in Maths from GCSE may be an asset.

  • Ability to analyse, report and present data
    The Financial Services Sector requires candidates to be able to analyse, report and present information to a variety of audiences, and to liaise between departments. Excellent communication is vital, both written and verbal, as is an analytical mind.

    Graduates need to be sure that their covering letters and CVs are clear and concise, with no room for even the smallest errors.

  • Ability to build and nurture relationships
    Being able to build and nurture relationships with clients is imperative to success in the Financial Sector. Candidates need to display not only excellent communication, but also an ability to provide excellent customer service. Candidates should be able to hold the client's needs and expectations in the forefront of their minds.

    Graduates can show strong interpersonal skills through previous experience involving written communications, team work or customer service.

  • Excellent organisational and time-management skills
    When applying for positions in Public, Corporate or Private Finance, candidates need to demonstrate that they can deliver to a client or company on time and to a high standard. This is important early on, as employees in Finance are often expected to hit the ground running.
  • Commercial Awareness
    The Financial Sector is fast-paced and complex. Candidates should put in the research before they send off any applications to make sure they understand what the company does, how it fits into the wider Financial spectrum, what the role requires and what the candidate can personally bring to the position. Read on for a better understanding of Commercial Awareness.

Finance Interview Ratings


    I was approached on Linkedin by a recruiter from PE Recruit. I sent my CV, and then spoke to the recruiter on the phone, who selected my CV to pass onto…


    When I originally applied for the job, I had to fill out general questions on their site about experiences and so on, then they got in touch with me to complete…


    The initial part was a one to one conversation with one of the recruitment team which tested my knowledge on PPI. Then I was invited in to complete an assessment based…


    Before even getting to the assessment centre there was numerous online tests that I had to complete. This included the usual numerical, personality and verbal reasoning. If you pass these then…


    The interview was by telephone with one of their recruitment team and lasted about 30 minutes. We talked initially about why I had applied for the role, what I knew about…


    The first interview will last approximately 45 minutes and will be by a manager from your line of service (or occasionally someone from HR). It is a competency-based interview. You will…


    This was a three stage interview with no assessment centre component. I was asked competency based questions, however the interviewing was very tough. It was difficult as they would ask questions…


    One of the interviews was in a room with two other people. One person was from HR and the other was from management. It was a competency based interview where they…


    My first interview was on the phone with the recruiter, as a pre-selection process to access the next step. The questions were general and it also involved some questions on particular…


    - Online Tests straight after you submit your application - If your application is successful you're invited to a Phone Interview - If you're successful after the phone interview invited to…


    In my interview I spoke for 45 minutes on the phone to a lady from the HR department. They asked me three questions: Why RBS, Why the division, and Tell me…

  • Anglian Water (2)

    Anglian Water supply water and water recycling services to more than six million customers in the east of England and Hartlepool. Our services are at the heart of every single family and community in our region. We clean water to the highest standard, deliver it to millions of homes, and carefully manage it to ensure it never runs out.

  • AXA UK (5)

    Sixty seven million clients… operations across Western Europe, North America and the Asia/Pacific region… the 15th largest company in the world by revenue.
  • Baillie Gifford & Co (3)

    As an investment management firm, we manage money for a wide range of international clients, from the large pension funds to individual private investors.
  • Bank of England (3)

    The impact of the Bank of Englandâ??s work is uniquely far-reaching. As the countryâ??s central bank, we promote the good of the people of the UK by maintaining monetary and financial stability. The work we do, and the decisions we make, influences the daily lives of millions of people.
  • Barclays

    Barclays is a major financial services provider that operates in over 50 countries and employs over 140,000 people. Our global business has a history that spans 300 years and touches every area of finance and investment including retail banking, corporate and investment banking, wealth and investment management.
  • BP (11)

    We recruit ambitious graduates like you at every stage of the energy life cycle - from geoscientists sending shock waves through the earth to find new oil and gas reserves and engineers building platforms in the ocean to extract them, to traders anticipating and reacting to changes in the markets around them.
  • Carillion (3)

    We’re a growing organisation of over 40,000 people, operating in diverse markets and locations, across the globe. Since our foundation, we’ve been delivering ground-breaking infrastructure projects and essential services that have touched millions of lives, in extraordinary – and extraordinarily different – ways. From building the world’s largest public library to its most visited art gallery, from keeping major hospitals running smoothly to regenerating local communities, together, we’re making tomorrow a better place.
  • Deloitte (7)

    Think of our graduate programme as the first step on an incredible journey. The start of a brilliant career in business that could take you wherever you want it to go.
  • Deutsche Bank (6)

    Graduate careers for adventurous minds

    If you’re someone who thinks beyond the obvious, a fulfilling, fast-paced career could be yours at Deutsche Bank. We look for more than excellent academic achievement. We want original, collaborative, passionate people ready to challenge and adapt. People who are open to new ideas, eager to learn and keen to grow their long-term careers.

  • EE

    We’re EE. And we’re showing the UK how technology can make the everyday better. Our people are keeping our customers happy with great service, and our network, which has been named the best in the UK, is keeping their digital lives connected. Empowered, challenged, supported and rewarded, we recognise that our people are the key to our success. And the Sunday Times agrees – voting us one of the Best Big Companies to Work For.