Recruitment process

The interview

We think it's important to be open about how we select and interview candidates.

When you’re invited to an interview, we’ll be clear about what will happen and whether you need to do any preparatory work. If you’re unsure, just ask.

If you need us to make any adjustments, let us know when you’re invited for an interview.

Types of interview

The interview type depends on the role and given that we are currently working from home, could be conducted over the phone or via Microsoft Teams. Most interviews involve competency-based questions, and there may be ability tests, role-play or group assessments too.

Our job offers are subject to satisfactory reference and pre-employment screening checks. Our screening partner, Experian carries out these checks.

  • If possible, find somewhere quiet to take the call. We recognise that in the current situation this may be difficult so please try not to worry, we regularly welcome pets, children, partners and roommates to our telephone meetings!
  • Have a copy of your CV and the job description in front of you
  • Think about your answers to the questions as if it were a face-to-face interview
  • Take time to create a good answer before speaking
  • Watch your language, speak slowly and clearly
  • Give yourself time to get to the interview on time/ get set up
  • Take time to think before you answer the questions
  • If you don't understand a question say so, and ask the interviewer to rephrase it. If you still can't answer, ask to come back to the question at the end
  • Remember the interviewer will usually do their best to put you at your ease, so try to relax and feel confident.
  • In the current situation we recognise that there may be more distractions than normal so please try not to worry, we regularly welcome pets, children and partners to our video meetings
  • Your joining instructions for Microsoft Teams will be contained in your email confirmation, please take time to familiarize yourself with the platform in advance of your interview.
  • Have your CV and any other information you’ve been asked for, or any information you think is relevant to your application, to hand
  • You may wish to take notes so we would recommend having a pen and paper in front of you.

The interview is your chance to find out if the job is right for you.

  • Make a list of the things you want to know before the interview and make sure all your questions are answered before the interview ends
  • Ask what the job involves and what happens in a typical day and get an overview of your responsibilities
  • Find out about the training and development on offer, and about your future at abrdn
  • You can ask your interviewer when they’ll be making a decision and when you’re likely to hear – it’s usually a week to ten days
  • We’ll always let you know if you’ve been successful or not
  • If you aren't successful you can ask for feedback about how you did.

Interviews are mostly competency based. You'll be asked to describe a situation where you demonstrated a particular competency or behaviour. The questions will usually begin with "Tell me about a time..." or "Describe a situation where you...".

Here are a few tips for answering competency-based questions:

  • Take a moment before answering to think of the best positive answer you can give
  • Prepare and rehearse answers in advance – a lot of competency-based questions are similar so searching online will give you some examples to help develop your technique
  • Use the most recent examples you can think of
  • If you can't think of a work-related example, draw from your personal life, eg volunteer activities, or other activities like sport.

We treat everyone equally. We don't discriminate against people on the grounds of gender, colour, race, nationality, marital status, religion or belief, sexual orientation, disability or age. If you need assistance during any stage of the recruitment process, let us know so we can make appropriate arrangements.

The STAR technique is a useful method for answering interview questions:

  • Situation - set the scene, describe the situation
  • Task - your role, and the tasks that had to be completed
  • Action - what you did, and how you did it
  • Result - what was the outcome?

Be prepared for follow up questions such as "Tell me exactly what steps you took" or "What was the basis for that decision?"

Here are some tips for good STAR answers:

  • Focus on what you did - the interviewer will be looking for "I", even in team-working examples
  • Listen to the whole question, and answer the question that the interviewer asks, not the one you wanted them to ask
  • Before you speak, ask yourself, "Is what I’m about to say relevant and will it demonstrate my suitability for the role?"
  • Communicate clearly, be concise, avoid repetition, and don't be negative.

As well as asking about your competencies, the interviewer will also want to know

  • Your work experience
  • Your personal goals and how you plan to achieve them
  • Your interests and things you enjoy
  • The skills, qualities and qualifications that make you right for the role
  • How you plan to develop any areas of weakness
  • Why you want to work for abrdn.

Learn more about how we work to attract, develop and retain talented people.

Learn more about our range of employee benefits.

Find the answers to some of our frequently asked professional careers questions.