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


    The initial telephone interview covered specific questions around Santander and Geoban. As I would be working in Finance, I remember I was asked about my knowledge regarding Finanncial Regulators and their…


    Fairly normal interview. No out of the ordinary questions that confused me. Three motivational questions and three competency questions. Lasted about 30 minutes, wasn't with a direct employee of the company,…


    Interview went very well. The questions were very challenging, even for Investment Banking. 1st round was over the phone, about my motivation and interest for the job and experience - took…


    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…

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    L&C is the UK's leading fee free mortgage broker. We have won more awards than any other UK broker and have appeared twice in the Sunday Times Fast Track 100 list of Britain's fastest-growing companies. We're looking for talented and motivated people to join our team. Have you got what it takes?
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    The NAO is an independent public body that helps Parliament hold government to account for how taxpayers’ money is spent. We provide assurance to Parliament through our audit work and add value to government by supporting its drive to improve public services. Our vision is to “help the nation spend wisely.”
  • Smith & Williamson (5)

    Smith & Williamson has around 1,500 staff in 12 principal offices across the UK and Ireland. We hold the unique position of combining a firm of chartered accountants with an investment management and private banking house.
  • TJX Europe Ltd (3)

    Hello, we’re TK Maxx, and we want to invite you to be part of something huge. We’re part of TJX Europe, which is a division of The TJX Companies, Inc. – the world’s leading off-price apparel and home fashions retailer, with an annual turnover of over $29.1 billion, globally (FY15).