We want to get to know you and to see how your values align with ours. To help you get off to the best possible start, we've put together some tips to help your application stand out from the rest.
- Always ensure your application is tailored to the role. It’s easy to spot when someone has just copied and pasted key details from a generic application.
- Always do a spell-check to avoid typos.
- Be as concise as possible and use clear, simple language.
- Try to present your application in a creative way. Does it engage the reader and make them want to find out more about you?
- Get to know our business. Can you explain in a simple sentence what Baillie Gifford do?
- Demonstrate passion for your hobbies and interests, regardless of what they are. Even if you don’t think your obsession with model trains is relevant, we want to hear about it!
- Talk about your work experience and part-time jobs, whether they are in our industry or not – often you’ll have gained valuable transferable skills.
- Show us you recognise the character traits and values required for the programme you’re applying for, as well as the relevant knowledge you have gained.
- Don’t be afraid to comment on experiences that did not go well. Not everything has to be perfect and often the best life lessons come from our mistakes.
- When you’ve finished your application, ask someone you trust to give you an honest opinion on it.
- Show us your willingness to learn and develop – we’re looking for a growth mindset.
- Give us examples of how you’ve been proactive and taken on new things.
- Share examples of extra responsibilities outside your studies.
- Show us how you’ve had exposure to a range of people and experiences.
In no particular order, here are our top tips for making a great impression during our interview process.
Don’t be late – arrive at our offices in plenty of time or if we are meeting you virtually, log-in five to ten minutes before the interview start time. Test the meeting link in advance to make sure it works on your computer.
Do your research on Baillie Gifford. We’re keen to find out what you know about the firm, the position and what interesting things come up in your research. Don’t just repeat our own website back to us. Use what you’ve learned to show us you’re interested in the firm and what we do (but this doesn’t mean you need to be an expert in investment management!).
Take your time when answering questions and don’t feel like you need to jump in. Interviews can be nerve-racking, and we appreciate that. Don’t be afraid to ask the interviewer to re-phrase a question if you don’t understand what they’re asking. If you don’t have an immediate answer, it’s okay to take a moment to think about it.
Feel free to talk about all of the experiences that demonstrate your skillset, interests or opinions. These could be from your academic studies, voluntary roles, part-time jobs or just your general interests and passions. These things will often spark more interesting discussions in an interview.
Don’t forget the ‘what’ – when giving your examples. What have you gained from your experiences? What skills did you develop? What did you learn? What would you do differently?
Remember you’re applying for a training programme and we don’t expect you to know or have done everything. We’re really looking for the potential in you, so if you don’t know something, don’t worry – be honest.
Sometimes we will ask you unexpected or abstract questions that have no connection to Baillie Gifford or investment management. Don’t worry about preparing for these in advance as there is often no right answer - we are more interested in how you formulate a response. It’s an opportunity to show us your thinking on matters outside of our industry, and we’re keen to hear what you enjoy talking about.
Even if you’ve found out a lot of information through your own research, have some good questions prepared for your formal interview and informal team sessions. We’re looking for curious individuals and by asking us questions you’re giving us an insight into how interested you are in the position and the firm.
Finally, be yourself and show us your individuality. Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not or what you think we are looking for. We’re genuinely interested in hearing about you, what you enjoy doing and what’s important to you.
Hear from some of our graduates talking about our values and cultureWatch now
Hear why we value cognitive diversityWatch now
Hear from some of our current Investment Research AnalystsWatch now
Hear from some of our current Technology Solutions GraduatesWatch now
Hear from some of our current Accountancy GraduatesWatch now
Hear from some of our Business Operations GraduatesWatch now
Hear from one of our Early Careers Consultants on her top tips for making an applicationWatch now
Hear from Ian who applied to one of our programmes at a later stage in his lifeWatch now
Edinburgh Napier University, Psychology
I’m the Early Careers Consultant for the Business Operations graduate and internship programmes. My role involves working closely with the Graduate Manager to create and plan the recruitment process for both programmes. I’m also involved at multiple stages of the recruitment process, and I’ll be the main point of contact for the successful candidate(s) until they join us.
It has to be launching the virtual summer placement programme during the pandemic. I found it really rewarding to still give our interns an opportunity in such uncertain times. From the start of lockdown, we only had a few months to decide if we could deliver an internship, how this would work and what content it would include. We overcame these challenges to successfully deliver a four-week virtual placement packed with structured training. I enjoyed seeing how all the interns grew in confidence, even during this shorter timeframe.
Just be yourself. We want to hear about everything you’ve done whether that’s at University, work, or a hobby that you are really passionate about!
Remember, you’re applying for a training programme, so we’re looking for potential. We don’t expect you to be the finished article and to know everything right now.
And lastly, enjoy the process. It’s as much about you getting to know us as it is us getting to know you!
It’s a great place to learn. Everyone brings something different to the table and, no matter how long you’ve been with the firm, people will always listen and respect what you have to say. Each programme offers the chance to rotate around different teams, so you get a broader perspective of your department and the firm.
Glasgow Caledonian University, BA Business Edinburgh Napier University PG Dip Human Resource Management
I’m an Early Careers Consultant, but I’ve had various roles at Baillie Gifford. I’ve worked here for fifteen years, starting as an Assistant HR Adviser, and then working my way up to HR Business Partner before joining the Early Careers team at the end of 2021. Now, I’m responsible for the Accountancy and Technology Solutions graduate programmes and the Modern Apprenticeship programme. It’s a great role because I really enjoy meeting people throughout the recruitment process, offering them a role, and then seeing them thrive when they join the firm.
The first things are communication and collaboration. These are vital because the graduate trainees rotate around various teams and departments, so working with lots of different people and building strong relationships with colleagues is important. You also need a real thirst for learning. We are not looking for the perfect ready-made employee, but someone who has the willingness and desire to learn continually.
This is a really supportive and varied environment, which offers the opportunity to work with all sorts of interesting people. It’s a place where different perspectives are welcomed and encouraged. Also, learning isn’t limited to our programmes – there’s a huge focus on it throughout the business, from gaining knowledge on the firm and the external environment, to developing a wide range of technical and behavioural skills.
The people! In the 15 years I’ve spent here, I’ve always found my colleagues to be ready to help each other. Everyone is encouraged to ask for support and learn more about the business – which is exactly how I have managed to develop my own career. It’s a really engaging place to work too, because we have people from a wide variety of backgrounds, with a wide variety of interests. There’s room for everyone to be themselves.
Glasgow Caledonian University Hospitality Management BA, Human Resource Management MS
I’m the Early Careers Manager, overseeing the strategy and managing the processes for all the programmes we run. I also lead on the Investment Research programme, working with the business stakeholders to plan the recruitment process, then I manage everything from application to offer, until each successful candidate joins the firm.
I love the variety of the job. I get the opportunity to meet lots of different people at our events, talk about their career opportunities and see how they progress through every step of the recruitment process, all the way to receiving an offer. The highlight for me happens every year – when I get to see our new joiners start their journey with us.
Curiosity’s important – we always like to hear your thoughts and ideas, to understand how you might challenge other people’s views. You also need to show the resilience to step into the unknown, adapt and thrive. Finally, I think authenticity is vital: we want to get to know the real you, so it’s important to be genuine.
This is a really supportive and collaborative place to work. People listen to each other and respect different views. On the programme, there are a lot of opportunities to develop yourself, learn new skills and grow in your career. The rotational placements are a big part of that – offering you an additional way to learn as you progress with us.
BG: No psychometric tests. No game based assessments. We want to find out more about you and your individuality.
Me: I want an honest, straightforward interview process where I can show my real self and have a conversation with my potential future colleagues.