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Stages of recruitment process:

Assessment Centre

The next, and final stage for applicants outside of London is the assessment centre. The assessment centre is a half day in Central London, containing a number of tests and assessments. If you have applied for the London scheme, and you have not been asked earlier, you may be asked at the assessment centre to state your preferences of councils to work with.

The assessment centre includes all or some of:


Ahead of the assessment centre, you are sent a topic to prepare in advance for a 10-minute presentation on the day. Previous topics include: what are the key strategic challenges that currently face local government finance? The delivery of the presentation and your ability to communicate with an audience is more important here than the content. For some tips about giving presentations, see our blog here.

Written Exercise

At the assessment centre you are given 30 minutes to read a set of documents and prepare a report on the content. A written exercise tests your skills at pulling out information from something you have read, and answering within a set period of time. The time allocated in this assessment centre is not long, so it is important to sharpen your written exercise skills ahead of time. See JobTestPrep’s written exercise practice pack for tips on how to do this.

Group Exercise

In the group exercise, you will be given a brief on a problem to solve as a group. You are assessed on the quality of your contributions to the discussion, how you listen to other team members, and how you include others in the conversation. Getting the balance right in a group exercise can be difficult, but JobTestPrep’s group exercise pack can help you plan your strategy for the day.

Numerical Reasoning Test

The numerical reasoning test is a repeat of the online test to verify the score you got the last time around. It may be some time since you last sat a numerical reasoning test, so don’t forget to take some more practice tests ahead of your assessment centre. You will be given a calculator for these tests, so do remember to refresh your memory on using calculators in tests.


The interview at the assessment centre is a competency-based interview, similar to the telephone interview. As it may have been some time since you wrote your application form, refresh your memory on what you have written there. In addition, check out JobTestPrep’s online interview preparation package for more tips. This interview is also your first opportunity to come face to face with the recruiters and impress them. Practising for an interview ahead of time will help you come across as polished and confident. If you have not done so beforehand, consider JobTestPrep’s Skype-based interviews practice as the practice as well as the feedback will help you on the day. Find out more here.

Interviews with Boroughs

Where you apply for London the final stage is an interview with two London Boroughs. This is based on your choices of where you would like to work, but may not necessarily match your first and second choices. Each borough will have their own way of interviewing, and you will be notified in advance what to expect on the day. Just don’t forget to do your preparation ahead of the interview - check out JobTestPrep’s interview preparation pack to find out how to improve your performance on the day.

In Summary

The recruitment process for Finance the Future is competitive, with over 1,000 people competing for just 40 places. The tests are designed to help councils pick the best candidates, and you will want to be at the front of the crowd at each point. In this article we have led you through this lengthy process stage by stage, and pointed out the resources available to you to improve your application. We hope you have found this useful, and good luck!

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