I have recently had my assessment centre with FDM and was offered the job so I thought i’ll let you know of my experience.
I gave my CV to a lady at my University Graduate Fair and I got a call back asking me to attend an assessment centre in London. I put a lot of effort into preperation, and after a lot of research I had heard of many negative comments about FDM. I choose not to believe them until I had whitnessed the comments myself.
So I attended the Assessment Centre in London, I got there at about 8.40 for a 9am start and no-one was at reception for quite a while and no-one offered to help so i felt like a bit of a lemon. Eventually someone came out to help. There were only four of us there.
The office seemed extremely nice and modern, very attractive first thoughts. Firstly we had a 15 minute video to watch about FDM. Then we had a short group exericise which was ‘choose a fictional character that has passed away. You are on a life boat, which one would you save.’ This was a nice exercise and felt it went well. There were two assessors watching.
The next stage was a 1 hour test that compromised of programming, basic technical questions, UML questions and things like that. It was pretty easy so no need to worry.
Then we had an interview, there was two people interviewing me. Very relaxed was just a basic conversation… why FDM, what are you doing with your life now days, what do you want to do etc.
Then there was the presentation which again was pretty simple and relaxed.
Unfortuntly, after this the hole day went down hill. We had a talk from HR about the graduate scheme. You get a basic wage of £18,000 + £2 an hour on client site. This only comes into place when you find a placement. This promptly lead me to the conclusion that FDM is just a middle man between you, and your job, FDM just caps your wages. (Yes FDM, you provide training, but other companies offer you training AND a job within their company afterwards which is garanteed. Oh - and also they pay you while you are training.) Although FDM trains you etc. you still need to be prepared to go out for interviews etc to find a job. This also means you have AT LEAST 3 months unpaid whilst training. To bring to mind how little FDM values you - I have an assessment centre for another company next week. They offered to pay me £150 for travel + a hotel ontop. This is just for attending the assessment centre. FDM don’t even pay you whislt they are training you. They don’t even cover your finances. I live in London, and I know it would cost me about £400 a month to get their. Thats £1200 just for travel. So your looking at needing at least double that to support yourself just through the training with no garanteed job afterwards.
When I recieved the contract, it went down hill even more, and I turned from the attitude of not just not liking their offer, to actully being very, very annoyed with FDM.
Be prepared if you sign… to sign your hole life away for 2 years (literally). Firstly, there is NOTHING in the contract about wages. I know FDM will write back to this saying you will be getting £18,000 + £2 an hour or whatever. But the point is, it is not in the contract, so whatever is said on here does not matter.
What really pushed me away is two clauses in the contract. One says you are not allowed to say anything negative about FDM, in work, or out of work (which would explain why no-one says anything negative about them :S) and the next clause says they reserve the right to monitor your computer, emails, phone calls to enforce this. Now, again, I know FDM will say they can only enforce this on work computers, phones etc. but you haven’t specified this, so I am taking it as you reserve the right to monitor my PERSONAL computer, phone etc.
Furthermore, I have not been told what training I am given, so I don’t know if its worth while, what qualifications I would get, if i get a certificate at the end of the scheme or what. Non of this is clear. If you ask, they will just say it depends on your steam. Also, whilst I was there, I spoke to one guy and he said he had to pay for his CCNA exam himself. So does FDM not even pay for your exams? I know it says they do in the contract, but this guy said he had to pay it himself.
To conclude: the hole thing is extremely dodgy. If you are willing to sign a contract to give your life away for 2 years, willing to have the risk of being jobless, willing to owe £20,000 worth of training to the company, then by all means - sign the contract.
To be honest people, you coudn’t pay me to work there. Sorry FDM