- Bloomberg fields tens of thousands of applications for engineering and data roles in Europe.
- The news and financial data titan ranks highly for employee growth and happiness, according to workplace app Blind.
- We spoke to Bloomberg early-careers recruiter Irina Fransson for the inside track on landing a job.
Landing a job at news and data titan Bloomberg is a competitive process. The company ranks high for both employee growth and happiness in a 2020 survey by workplace app Blind.
The company fields some 20,000 applications for 400 roles in EMEA across areas such as analytics, global data, customer support, engineering, and software development.
Insider spoke with Irina Fransson, head of EMEA early careers talent acquisition at Bloomberg, who said there are three main application stages: Submitting your resume and application; undergoing psychometric assessments; and the assessment center, which can involve assessments based on your interests, interviews, and shadowing a current employee.
Fransson shared 7 key tips on the various ways to get hired at the company.
1. Do your prep
One of the biggest mistakes candidates make is not being prepared, she said.
But being “overprepared or disingenuous,” is also a mistake.
“What we really want is for people to read or hear the question, and really absorb the question and provide a genuine answer to that question, as opposed to writing a script of what they think we might want to hear.”
Providing in-depth, structured answers is one way to impress. “When it comes to people coming in for interviews, we want to hear really specific answers, as opposed to very high-level generic answers.”
2. Transferable skills are important
Not having direct industry experience isn’t a dealbreaker. Any part-time or weekend job that demonstrates your skills can be valuable.
“When it comes to work experience, absolutely any work experience you have is very relevant to any job that you apply for as a graduate,” she said. “Experience such as catering, gardening, cleaning. Also, if you’ve worked over the weekends or during holidays from an early age, all these things are extremely important.
“It can really indicate strength of character. It shows resilience, it shows grit.”
3. Commercial awareness is key
Fransson said that exceptional candidates have good commercial awareness and a deep understanding of the company.
“We have high expectations when it comes to understanding about the company,” she said, adding that candidates should understand Bloomberg’s business aims, how their skill set is applicable, ideas for their career trajectory, and a wider understanding of the industry.
4. Be genuine about weaknesses
If you’re asked about weaknesses, don’t say you’re a perfectionist.
“We really want to make sure that the people that we hire are all going to be successful in that company, and that’s what the interview process is there for, it is about identifying people who will be successful in these roles,” Fransson said. “And especially with graduates, we quite often ask what is your weakness? Or what is something that you’re not very good at? And the answer quite often is, I work too hard, or I’m too much of a perfectionist, and these aren’t genuine weaknesses.”
5. Be a good team player
During the assessment stage, there will be group activities. Focus on being a good team player rather than trying to take out the competition.
“It is very likely that you’ll be doing some kind of group exercise,” said Fransson. “When you do, engage with the rest of the group, listen, read the group, try to connect with them as opposed to using it as a place of being in competition against other people because that is really not the case at all. We’re just trying to see how you work with individuals.”
6. Keep your LinkedIn profile prepped
Bloomberg often does direct sourcing on LinkedIn.
Fransson recommends keeping a LinkedIn profile up to date and to “mirror your CV.”
Another tip is to join societies and organizations that might hint at your skills — such as a language group.
7. Referrals are helpful
Being referred can help your chances, according to Fransson.
“Someone who has a referral, they will have a very clear understanding of the role, they will have a very clear understanding of the company, and they will already have connected to the company, and their motivations will be much stronger. So referrals 100% is one of the best ways for us to hire and also one of the best ways for someone to apply,” she said.
For grads with few connections, that may mean attending networking events and going to events put on by Bloomberg.