FDM has grown considerably in Asia Pacific over the last two years and the number of applications for the Careers Programme has grown significantly. During my time as a recruiter for FDM I have interviewed over 1,000 applicants and have encountered quite a few of the same questions from candidates at careers fairs as well as during interviews.
The most common questions that I receive are the following:
“Do I need to have studied a STEM subject to apply to IT-related positions or to the FDM Graduate Programme?”
Studying a STEM subject is not a necessary requirement to apply to our programme. In fact 33% of our Hong Kong consultants come from non-STEM degree backgrounds. What we are more interested in are the candidate’s soft skills, aptitude to learn and passion for technology. I believe this applies to most of the positions in the graduate market. When employers are looking at hiring fresh graduates, they focus more on the candidate’s attitude and whether the applicant has a genuine interest in the business and the industry. IT is a field that is full of innovation and it is extremely important that you have the drive to learn new skills and continuously enhance your knowledge.
“What quality of candidates are you looking for?”
At FDM, we are looking for someone with a passion for technology; we would like to see people who are motivated and determined to learn new skills. One of the interview questions I regularly ask is: “why are you interested in IT?” and the answers I sometimes receive are generic and don’t relate to the candidate’s personal interests.
“What type of clients does FDM work with and are they mainly from financial institutions?”
This question comes up very often. In response to this, yes, a vast majority of our clients in Asia Pacific are financial institutions. However, we do have clients that are in other sectors like retail and utilities. As a global professional services provider, we are constantly expanding our market and building on our clientele.
“Do I need to prepare anything for the interviews with FDM’s clients?”
As an employer, it is part of our job to make sure that FDM trainees are trained and prepared to take on a career with one of our clients. The interview process requires preparation, so FDM will help to educate you on the roles you will be interviewing for as well as teach you about interview best practice. Beyond that, it is still up to you to research the client and utilise all the resources FDM provides to ensure you are prepared for interviews. Soft skills –including interview skills, presentation and communication skills – all play an important part in a successful interview.
The last point is about asking the right questions.
I have noticed that a lot of candidates struggle to come up with engaging questions to ask at the end of an interview. I would always advise to not ask a question that you could find the answer to online; take the time to do a bit of research about the company you are applying for.
- Ask relevant questions to find out more about the employer, programmes and career progression.
- Ask if there is anything you can do to better prepare yourself for the programme.
- Ask for more information on next steps in the hiring process.
- Ask questions related to salary in the first interview.
- Ask if you got the job straight after the interview has finished. I have been asked this question numerous times. This sort of question puts the employer on the spot and you can come across as impatient.
If you are interested in joining our Graduate Programme then apply today to become an FDM Consultant in your location.