Prepare for ICAP Numerical Reasoning Test and Assessment Centre

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ICAP is a global interdealer broker headquartered in the UK. They offer a range of entry points from the ICAP graduate recruitment through to experienced hire. The areas they recruit to include Risk, Accounting, Research, Brokering, and IT. Recruitment processes are tailored to the role and business area you are applying to, but they broadly follow a set of stages. Learn more about this recruitment process and how to prepare for each new assessment.

ICAP Recruitment Process

ICAP recruitment is dependent on the role you are applying to, but most selection processes follow these four stages:

ICAP Application Form

The first stage is the ICAP application. This is an online application form asking for the usual information about you, your education and work experience. There are also three open questions at the end of the form for you to answer in 250 words, including the question “What are the commercial implications for ICAP in the current regulatory environment?” When filling out the form, don’t forget to answer every section of the form and plan your answers out, including researching the company to inform your answers and sound as though you know what you are talking about. Make your application ICAP friendly, and demonstrate why you want to work with ICAP. Be clear and concise and make sure that you only include the most relevant information.

ICAP Telephone Interview

Once you have submitted your application form, you will be contacted to organise a telephone interview. The ICAP telephone interview is crucial as it is ICAP’s initial screening stage for all applicants. This interview lasts around 20 minutes, during which the interviewer wants to know why you have applied to ICAP? What is it about the role you have applied to that you want to do? Do you have the required competencies for this role?

Ahead of the interview, reread the job description for the role you are applying to. Look over your application. Are there any more examples you can add to back up your answers? Think of any other skills you can add to ICAP that aren’t on the job specification. Read more about how to approach any interview with our free guide to interviews pdf. Make notes of any research you do as you will need it and more time and time again throughout the recruitment process.

Phone Interview Questions

The following questions have been asked in ICAP telephone interviews in the past. They are indicative of the types of questions you may get. Think about how you would approach these questions if you were asked them in an interview.

  • Why ICAP, why this role?
  • What is the angle between the minute hand and the hour hand at 3.15?
  • How much is ⅛ in a decimal?
  • What is the FTSE price today?
  • What is the price of oil, gold, copper etc today?

ICAP Assessment Centre

If you impress at the telephone interview you are next invited to the ICAP assessment day. Each assessment centre is tailored to the business area, job and programme applied for. Therefore the assessments you will get vary from assessment centre to assessment centre. However the typical ICAP assessment centre exercises are as follows:

Group Exercise

In this exercise you are split into two groups, and given 10 minutes or so to complete a short task. An example exercise used at ICAP assessment centres in the past is organising a group presentation encouraging a new customer to invest in a commodity such as gold or oil. At the end of the 10 minutes, your group presents your final pitch to the assessment team. Throughout the discussion you are being watched for the way in which you work as part of a team as well as how you contribute to the discussion. They also want to see how your personality shines through the discussion and how you communicate with others. Plan your group exercise strategy in advance with our group exercises page.

Numerical Reasoning Test

The first of two numerical related tests is a numerical reasoning test provided by CEB’s SHL. Unlike many of the tests that you may have taken for other companies, at ICAP this is a pen and paper test. In this test you are assessed on your ability to use numerical information and make the calculations necessary to inform your work. The aim of this test is to see how you work in a pressurised environment, as you have 20 minutes to answer 20 questions. You may bring a calculator with you to the assessment centre to use in this test. Learn more about numerical reasoning tests, and prepare for this test with our specially tailored SHL style numerical reasoning test practice pack.

ICAP Trading Simulation

The second numerical test is ICAP’s unique trading simulation test. In this test you are given a mock up news programme with scrolling exchange rates, FTSE 100 index price, a list of stock prices and more information. You have to answer three questions on each news item, and have 40 seconds to answer each question. In total there are six items and 18 questions. The questions are multiple choice, but you have to be able to calculate answers under pressure. This test is difficult and fast moving, really designed to see what you can do when under pressure. Your calculator, pen and paper will really come in useful here. Although you can’t prepare for the special elements of this test, ahead of your assessment centre ensure that you numerical skills are up to scratch whilst you prepare for your numerical reasoning test.


The final exercise at the assessment centre is an interview with a member of the recruitment team and a member of staff from ICAP. As well as finding out more about you, this interview serves the purpose of allowing the interviewers to get a feeling for your personality and character, as well as testing your face to face skills skills, as an important part of your job with ICAP is building relationships with clients. Questions in this interview focusses on why you want to work with ICAP, or why you want to work in brokering, as well as some technical and competency based questions.

Ahead of the assessment centre, do further research on the company. Really know about them so that none of the questions confuse you. Think of answers to questions such as those listed below. Review your interview technique with our online interview pack.

ICAP Interview Questions

The following questions have been asked at ICAP assessment centre interviews in the past. They are a mix of knowledge, commercial interest and competency based questions. Use these questions as a guide to the types of research you should do ahead of your assessment centre.

  • Name the first time you tried to make money. What did you do?
  • What is ICAP’s share price, and where was it 6 months ago?
  • Tell us about a time where you had to convince someone about something that they seriously disagreed with.
  • How do you think the new regulations will affect us as a company? Particularly voice brokering regulations.

ICAP Final Interview

If you impressed at the assessment centre the last stage is a final interview with a manager from the division you have applied to. This is the final hurdle and your time to really impress the interviewers. They will want to know why you want to work at ICAP and why in their particular business area. Be prepared to convince them.

Ahead of this interview pull together all the information you have gathered so far for earlier interviews. Use the company’s website, recruitment brochures, news releases, and wider internet to know as much about ICAP as you possibly can. Read up on the market, including the latest financial news and more. Prepare answers to the types of questions you may be asked, but prepare to listen to the question, think about what it means before replying with the most relevant answer. Be flexible and don’t simply trot out an answer you have prepared to a similar sounding question. Think of new examples from your previous experience that demonstrate your skills, and organise them around STAR (situation, task, action, result). And think of questions that you can ask the interviewers at the end of your interview.

Once you have pulled all of this information together, gain valuable interview experience with a mock interview. Our Skype based interviews are carried out by a trained assessor who can give you valuable advice on how you did and where you need to improve ahead of your final interview with ICAP.

In Summary

ICAP is an exciting and interesting place to work, well positioned in the world of brokering. This is borne out by the number of applicants for each and every position. If you truly want to join them, you will need to impress at every point during the recruitment process. Prepare to succeed with the resources highlighted on this page for each assessment. Good luck.

Have you experienced an ICAP assessment centre? Tell us about your experiences in the comments box below.

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