Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Assessments

Prepare for the Financial Conduct Authority recruitment process with tailor-made practice materials.

Careers at The Financial Conduct Authority

The Financial Conduct Authority aims to make financial markets honest, fair and effective, by acting as the conduct regulator for 51,000 financial services firms, the prudential supervisor for 49,000 firms, and by setting specific standards for 18,000 firms.

The operational objectives of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) are:

  • Protect consumers
  • Protect financial markets
  • Promote competition

There are multiple opportunities to join the FCA, with a real focus on early careers including apprenticeships, internships, and thorough graduate programs.

Working at the FCA

The FCA offers flexible working arrangements including work from home opportunities, focusing on creating a good balance between work and family.

Aside from the competitive salary, even for graduates, employees receive a performance-related bonus as well as private healthcare, free eye tests and a non-contributory pension.

Those who are based in the London office can use the subsidised on-site fitness centre and on-site restaurant, but all employees can take part in charity and volunteering initiatives and join office sports and social clubs.

Work areas at the FCA

Applicants to the FCA can use their qualifications and experience to work in the following departments:

  • Data Science
  • Economics
  • Strategy and Competition
  • Cyber & Information Resilience
  • Enforcement
  • Human Resources
  • International Markets
  • Market Oversight
  • Technology & Change
  • Business Support

Financial Conduct Authority Application Process

The open opportunities at the Financial Conduct Authority are advertised on the careers portion of the website, and you can apply through the link given in the job description.

When you apply, the details in the job description will help you highlight the important parts of your qualifications and experience that will make you a preferred candidate.

Throughout the application process, bear in mind the FCA values, which are:

  • Deliver in the Public Interest
  • Act with Integrity
  • Be Ambitious
  • Work Inclusively
  • Connect & Deliver

To give more detail in your application, you can look to the 11 FCA Principles, which gives you a framework for providing examples when necessary. These are:

  • Integrity
  • Skill, care and diligence
  • Management and control
  • Financial prudence
  • Market conduct
  • Customer's interest
  • Communication with clients
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Relationships of trust
  • Protection of clients assets
  • Relationship with regulators

FCA Online Application Form

Using the details in the job description, make sure that your CV is tailored to match the requirements of the role. These are usually listed as Minimum, Essential, and Desirable qualifications and work experience.

In the application form, you will be asked some basic questions about who you are, what you have done and where you live - these are generally quite simple and straightforward.

The purpose of this form is to capture all the information that the recruiters need to decide whether you meet the minimum requirements before taking you further in the process.

If you fit the criteria, you will be invited to take a number of online tests.

FCA Aptitude Tests

The online tests might be published by SHL, Kenexa, or TalentQ (depending on the role), and they will be delivered to you via a link in an email. You will have a set amount of time to take the assessments, and your results will be used to decide whether you move further through the application process.

FCA Numerical Reasoning Test

A numerical reasoning assessment is not so much a maths test, as it is a way to see how you deal with numerical data in different forms.

During this assessment you will be presented with questions based on numerical information in tables, graphs and charts - usually financial or currency-based - and will need to perform basic mathematical functions to find the correct answer.

Numerical reasoning assessments are time-limited, but the answers are often presented as multiple choice, and the math skills needed to answer correctly are not that advanced. You will need to have a solid understanding of basic functions (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) as well as being confident in dealing with fractions, ratios and percentages.

FCA Logical Reasoning Test

Logical reasoning is an important skill when in a role that requires problem solving and rational thinking.

The logical reasoning assessment that you will face for a role in the FCA is presented as a matrix filled with shapes, all with a common rule to form a pattern.

To find the correct answer from the multiple choice options you will need to quickly find the pattern that makes the sequence work. This means you need to be able to recognise unfamiliar information and make a logical decision based on limited data - which is something that you will need to be able to do in the role you have applied for.

Speed is of the essence in these assessments, as the test is timed.

FCA Situational Judgement Test

A situational judgement test (SJT) is a type of psychological assessment that is used to evaluate an individual's ability to make judgements and solve problems in a work-related context.

The SJT is usually presented in the form of a written test, but it can also be given orally or as a computer-based simulation.

The format of the SJT can vary depending on the specific job for which it is being used, but typically includes a series of scenarios that the test-taker must read and then respond to. The responses are then evaluated to determine how well the individual understands and can deal with different types of work-related situations at FCA.

The SJT is generally considered to be a reliable predictor of job performance, and research has shown that it is effective in assessing a wide range of job-related skills.

FCA Motivational Questionnaire

The motivational questionnaire is a simple free-text form that asks four questions.

You have to answer in 500 words or less, demonstrating why you want to work at the Financial Conduct Authority and why you would make a good employee.

This is the ideal place to highlight your knowledge and experience as well as your qualifications for the role (using the information in the job description) while keeping the FCA values and principles in mind.

Be sure to demonstrate the research you have done about the role, the business and the wider financial market in this section.

FCA Telephone Interview

The telephone interview is often the first time that you will have a conversation with the recruitment team, and it is a relatively short question and answer session.

During the telephone interview, you can expect to answer questions based on your motivations for the role, why you want to work for the Financial Conduct Authority, and what your future plans are.

You might also be asked questions about your competencies - these are usually related to the skills needed for the role. You will need to provide examples from your work or educational experience. These answers should be short, structured and concise, so you might want to prepare some examples in advance using the information in the job description.

FCA Assessment Centre

The assessment centre usually takes place at one of the offices and lasts for half a day. Several candidates, often for multiple roles, will be invited to come and take part in a number of activities.

On the day there are several exercises to take part in, and you will be constantly assessed by the recruitment team who are looking out for so-called soft skills (communication, teamwork, leadership etc).

There is likely to be an analysis task, which involves a case study that you need to complete individually and provide the analysis information needed.

A group exercise usually comprises something job-related, like a realistic scenario, where as a group you will have to solve a problem, and often present the result to the assessors and the other candidates.

Following this, you will have a face-to-face interview. Depending on the role you have applied for, this might be with a line manager, the recruitment team, or a panel.

The questions in this interview will be a combination of motivational and competency-based (similar to the telephone interview), with an opportunity for you to ask some questions of your own.

Sample Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Assessments question Test your knowledge!

Score: /6

Which of the boxes comes next in the sequence?

  • A
  • B
  • C
  • D
  • E

A financial analyst observes that the value of investments in a particular portfolio has decreased by 15% from the previous year. If the portfolio was originally worth $12,000, what is its new value?

  • $10,200
  • $10,800
  • $11,000
  • $9,800

If the annual inflation rate is calculated to be 3.5%, what will be the approximate cost of an item that is currently priced at $75 in two years?

  • $79.95
  • $80.45
  • $78.50
  • $82.00

A financial officer assesses that five investments have rates of return of 4%, 5%, 3%, 6% and 4.5% respectively. What is the average rate of return on these investments?

  • 4.5%
  • 4.4%
  • 5%
  • 4.2%

You have four consecutive letters (A, B, C, D) and you need to create a new sequence where each letter appears twice and all instances of each letter remain together. Which of the following could be a correct sequence?

  • AABBCDDC
  • CCDDBBAA
  • AABBCCDD
  • ACDABBDC

Suppose in a statement analysis, it is established that whenever bond prices fall, interest rates must rise. Currently, bond prices have been falling over the past week. What can one conclude from the information provided?

  • Interest rates have also been falling over the past week.
  • Interest rates will rise in the future.
  • Interest rates have been rising over the past week.
  • There is no relationship between bond prices and interest rates.

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Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Assessments Tips

Understand the Format

Familiarize yourself with the structure of the tests you'll encounter. Knowing what to expect helps to reduce anxiety and increases your efficiency during the test.

Sharpen Your Knowledge

Review key financial concepts and regulations, as this will form the bedrock of your answers during the test.

Practice Time Management

Work on answering questions accurately within set time limits, as this will be crucial when taking the real test.

Use Fintest for Practice

Remember, you can take practice tests of these types of test on Fintest for free, giving you a competitive edge.

Stay Informed

Keep up-to-date with the latest developments in the financial sector, as relevance is key in these tests.

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Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Assessments FAQs

What are the Financial Conduct Authority tests?

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) tests form part of the hiring process and aim to assess a candidate's knowledge of financial regulations, ethical decision-making, and analytical skills pertinent to roles at the FCA.

Are the Financial Conduct Authority tests hard?

Like any specialized professional assessment, the Financial Conduct Authority tests can be challenging, particularly if you are unprepared. They are designed to measure your suitability for a regulatory role in the financial sector.

How do I prepare for Financial Conduct Authority tests?

To prepare for Financial Conduct Authority tests, the best approach is to practice, practice, practice! Fintest offers an array of practice tests tailored to FCA standards, helping you approach your real tests with confidence.

How long does the recruitment process take at Financial Conduct Authority?

While the duration can vary, the Financial Conduct Authority's recruitment process is comprehensive and may span several weeks, involving various stages of assessments and interviews.

What are Financial Conduct Authority's core values?

Financial Conduct Authority's core values emphasize integrity, acting in the best interest of consumers, and promoting healthy competition among financial services for the benefit of the user.