FD Advice Centre

As a company, and as individuals, we value honesty, respect, openness, intelligence and development. Whether you are a recent graduate fresh out of university with a desire to kick-start your career in capital markets or seeking an exciting placement – First Derivatives offers prospects to match your potential.

We are looking for high achievers who boast an impressive academic record and sociable personality to match. At FD we take pride in hiring only the most talented of graduates. This is your opportunity to join an organisation that commits to realising your professional potential, challenging you intellectually within a team environment and providing you with an enhanced career experience. To apply for FD you must have a thirst to succeed, the ambition to travel and the drive to reach new limits.

Here you can learn more about how our recruitment process works, what to expect and how you should prepare. This FD advice centre is here to help make your application shine, give you helpful tips about how to make the most of your interview, and answer some of your more general recruitment queries.

Please ensure you review each section of our website carefully, particularly the “Junior Consulting Programme” and the “Capital Markets Training Programme” documents.

What you need to have:

  • Minimum 2:1 in Economics, Finance, ICT, Mathematics, Physics, Engineering or other STEM related disciplines
  • Flexibility for Worldwide travel
  • Financial Engineer – AAB A Level UK or Leaving Certificate equivalent (including an A in Mathematics)
  • Trading Technology/Data Science – AAB A Level UK or Leaving Certificate equivalent
  • Software Engineer – BBB A Level UK or Leaving Certificate equivalent
  • Applicants must be ambitious with exceptional interpersonal skills and strong analytical and problem solving skills.

If you want to work for an organisation with career opportunities throughout the world that counts amongst its clients Tier 1 investment banks, the world’s leading hedge funds, exchanges, foreign exchange brokers and to work with leading edge technology then when you must consider a career with FD.


We’re looking for individuals who have a balance of strong academic backgrounds and great interpersonal skills. We employ individuals who are motivated and care about what they do. Among our staff we have a blend of raw enthusiasm and the ambition to succeed. Join our dynamic team and make a difference.

With over 1600 employees spread across our growing global business, First Derivatives prides itself on continuing to maintain a team and family ethos right across the company. We truly are a people business, and we recognise that our greatest asset is our people.

We have a simple business model which is to recruit the brightest and the best emerging from the university world, equip them with the necessary skills, knowledge and support and provide world class on the job training in some of the world’s leading Investment Banks. The training and support you will receive both in Newry and at our client sites will provide you with the foundation to forge a successful career in the capital markets industry.

We appreciate that applying for a job can be time consuming so we have put together some information about the application process and how to make the time you put in most effective. We ask that you upload your CV to our online application page as soon as possible, as screening will start immediately.

Once we’ve received your application it will be screened by our Graduate Recruitment team. If your application matches our requirements, we’ll contact you quickly to arrange first-round interviews.

The first stage of the selection process is typically a telephone interview. First Derivatives will look for candidates to have a have a calm, confident telephone manner and an intelligent set of responses to interview questions.

The interview will last approximately 15 minutes and feature a mix of competency questions and questions about your CV, work experience, education and most importantly your knowledge of First Derivatives. Although a telephone interview is relatively straightforward, even highly capable candidates can be rejected at this early interview stage if they are inadequately prepared or not used to speaking in a professional manner over the phone.

It is important to find out as much as you possibly can about First Derivatives, and the job role, before any type of interview; a telephone interview is no exception. Make sure you look at our website in-depth, research relevant trade press and keep aware of current industry specific commercial awareness issues. Be aware of the size of the company, our structure, products and services, our markets, competitors and future plans.

Part of reason why we conduct a telephone interview is to find out how keen candidates are about working for First Derivatives and in the particular job role applied for. It is important to be enthusiastic throughout your telephone conversation, but make a particular effort to be forthcoming at the close.

After the first stage, you will quickly find out whether or not you’ve been successful. The procedure for most final rounds will be an assessment centre, the majority of which will take place in our Headquarters in Newry, N.Ireland.

Hints and tips for your CV and applying to First Derivatives:

  • Get your contact details right — this shouldn’t be too tricky, but people do get it wrong and if we can’t contact you, then the entire application is a waste of time.
  • Ensure you know which stream you want to apply to and why. For placement and graduate positions, you can only apply to one business area.
  • Be clear and concise.
  • Take your time — this is your first chance to sell yourself, so make sure you provide us with relevant information that is going to differentiate you from other applicants.
  • Think laterally — use examples of achievements, both inside and outside the classroom, to illustrate qualities such as teamworking, interpersonal skills, drive and creativity.
  • Don’t copy and paste — individualise your CV.
  • Demonstrate your motivation for applying First Derivatives — Make sure you know exactly why you would like to work with us.
  • Please give thought to the job role of your selected stream. We are looking for more than academics, interest in the training and willingness to travel; we want you to have a clear understanding of the role and what it will entail.

Advice Centre Hints and Tips

After our initial telephone interview stage an assessment day follows in our Newry office.

1. Placements
Your selection will consist of a logic test, two face-to-face interviews and a group exercise. The assessments will be based on your academic record, past experiences and accomplishments, as well as suitability and interest in First Derivatives. Your performance in these tests is taken into account during our selection process. If you are offered a placement and perform strongly, you may have the opportunity to join the graduate programme by applying again once you graduate.

2. Graduates
Your selection will consist of a logic test, two face-to-face interviews and a group exercise. The assessments will be based on your academic record, past experiences and accomplishments, as well as suitability and interest in First Derivatives. Your performance in these tests is taken into account during our selection process. Following your assessment day, you may be invited to arrange a second-round interview that will focus on your suitability for a particular group within the division you have applied to.

You’ve impressed them with your CV and telephone interview, and now you’ve got that all-important interview. But don’t rest on your laurels, read this section for some tips on how to prepare for your interview.

Before the interview
Look at our website; learn as much as you can about First Derivatives, our business areas and our culture. If you know people who work in investment banking, particularly within the business area you’re interviewing with, don’t be afraid to contact them and ask them questions.

Read the financial press regularly and be prepared to discuss topical issues.

Know yourself — think about why a career in financial services and the business area to which you have applied is of interest to you.

Most of our interviews are competency based, so think about aligning your key skills with relevant examples. If an interviewer wants you to demonstrate your communication skills, team-working talents and business ability, don’t use the same example for every question. Try to think of various ways to demonstrate your skills, perhaps by talking about things you do outside work or university.

On the day

  • Wear appropriate business dress and act professionally at all times.
  • Allow plenty of time to travel to your interview and plan your route the evening before. Arriving too early or late is an unfortunate way to start your interview.
  • Watch your body language — posture, hand shake, eye contact, and smile.
  • Make sure your mobile phone is switched off.
  • If a question throws you off track, ask for a moment to think about it and compose yourself. They don’t want to catch you out – they just want to see if you have the right skills and motivations for the role.
  • Demonstrate your interest by having some questions for us. This is your chance to learn more about our business and culture.
Get some quick answers to questions on these topics:

1. Applications

How should I apply?

You simply need to attach your CV to your chosen business area and programme (e.g., graduate or placement) via our online application process.

When should I apply?

You can apply anytime. Screening and interviewing will start immediately, so we recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible.

Can I apply to more than one business area?

No. You can only apply to one business area on your initial application. We can discuss other areas at the interview stage if you have interests in more than one.

Can I apply for a summer internship if I am not in my penultimate year of study?

No unfortunately at this time we do not provide summer internships.

I am a Masters student. Where should I apply?

Final-year Masters students should apply to the graduate programme.

I am a PhD student. Where should I apply?

If you are in your final year and studying for a quantitative PhD, you may wish to apply to our graduate programme. Please note, by quantitative subjects we mean: maths, physics, computer science, engineering, economics, financial maths and econometrics.

Am I eligible to apply if I require a work visa?

No unfortunately at this time we do not provide sponsorship for work Visas.


2. Interviews

When will I hear if my application is successful?

You will be sent a response as soon as possible, but please bear in mind that depending on the time of year, response times may vary.

How many rounds will I typically have to attend?

You typically have two rounds, but it varies by stream you have applied for.

Whom will I interview with?

You will be interviewed by the HR team responsible for graduate recruitment.

Will my interview expenses, such as travel, be reimbursed?

No, unfortunately due to the number of applicants coming for interview each week we cannot reimburse interview expenses.

What should I do if my circumstances change? For example, if I have a final interview with another company?

Please go to the Contact page on our website and call our Newry HQ as soon as you can if your circumstances have changed and you can’t make the interview.


3. Offers

Where will I be based if I am made an offer?

For your first 6-12 weeks you will be based at our HQ in Newry, N.Ireland. After this initial training period you will be sent out on client site worldwide. The Company has continued to expand its service offering and now has operational bases in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia to service its global client base.

Will there be formal training?

At First Derivatives our most valuable asset truly is our people – each individual is critical to providing our clients with unparalleled service and maintaining our position as the leading provider of systems support and development services to the capital markets technology sector. Therefore, we are committed to helping our people reach the peak of their capabilities. This Capital Markets Training Programme (CMTP) formalises and articulates the Company’s existing training programme and will provide each new joiner with the skills and knowledge which will enable them to perform at the level required by both the Company and our clients.

When am I expected to start if I am offered a graduate position at First Derivatives?

Recruitment at First Derivatives is rolling at the moment and we are hiring almost every month. However our main intake months are June, July and August.

When am I expected to start if I am offered a placement at First Derivatives?

Your start date will be confirmed with your placement offer and you’ll usually be required to start in early June.

What happens after the Graduate Programme?

Beyond the 2 years of the Graduate Options Programme we have lots of opportunities for our staff to progress their career in FD. Successful graduation involves completing all CMTPs and receiving positive client feedback on site. FD can offer roles with increased responsibility and challenging opportunities to continue to expand on their existing skill set – encouraging our staff to grow with our expanding company for many years ahead.

In preparation for an interview at FD we expect all candidates to be aware of the various roles available within our Graduate Programme. There are a number of paths to follow beyond initial training at FD shown in our diagram below. Please be aware that you will not have a choice in which path you follow, and indeed many of our Options Graduates will traverse these paths, picking up differing roles during their initial 2 years with us. Our expectancy is that candidates will have researched what these roles entail PRIOR to coming to interview.

As an example, please find below of job specification for a Junior Business Analyst

Junior Business Analyst

Junior Business Analysts working for Tier 1 banking institutions are exposed to some of the most exciting areas currently developing within Repo, Securities Lending, Collateral & Margin Management ensuring that its organisation stays at the forefront of its chosen market.

Role Details: The Markets Junior Business Analyst is a hands-on role responsible for working on a number of activities within the Markets Change Portfolio. Key stakeholders include; Collateral and Repo Trading Desk, Operations, Credit, Risk, Finance and various IT groups.

The Junior Business Analyst will be responsible for:

  • Gathering business requirements from all stakeholders and business lines
  • Documenting current business processes / architecture
  • Solution Design and Business Requirement Documentation
  • Document Project Deliverables and agree with PM and key stakeholders
  • UAT design and execution

Role Details:

  • Good Business Analysis documentation skills.
  • Proficient in use of MS Office – Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Visio.
  • Ability to translate verbally acquired business requirements into formal requirement documentation.
  • Maintains a sense of urgency and ability to prioritise / multi-task to deliver business value and meet project objectives.
  • Excellent teamwork and communication skills, builds trust and confidence with colleagues and management teams.flyer

Junior Overview

CMTP_Overview