More than 300 fresh graduates from all over the UK embark on the journey of their investment banking careers at the Barclays’ London Office situated in Canary Wharf. Jobs offered by the Barclays Group are divided into 3 core areas – personal and corporate banking, investment banking and business function.
When applying for an entry level position at Barclays, having a good academic record and communication skills is not enough. The Investment Banking Division of the Barclays Group searches for crème de la crème fresh graduates who can bring more to the table than just that.
The 6 key competencies that Barclays looks for are – business skills, commercial effectiveness, management & leadership skills, interpersonal skills, technical knowhow and control environment.
If you wish to pursue a career in investment banking, Barclays offers a great start to fresh graduates. In this article, we will discuss the various steps involved in the recruitment process and the tips and tricks that will help you ace the job interview at Barclays.
The Graduate Application Procedure
The entire application procedure is divided into 4 steps –
- Online application
- SHL Tests (Verbal & Numerical)
- Telephone Interview
- Assessment Centre
Step 1 – Online Application
Each online form available on the website is tailored to the Barclays business arm that the applicant is applying to. It includes general biographical information, extracurricular activities, questions regarding past work experience, open ended questions to test the competency of the applicant and a one page CV upload.
When filling in the online application form, there are certain aspects all applicants must focus on.
- Do thorough research pertaining to the particular division you are applying to. Look for the attributes that are sought by recruiters in that business area. Try to highlight those competencies in the application to show that you are a good fit for the job.
- Always support your answers with examples whenever possible for it increases the credibility of the answer. For e.g., don’t just mention that you have good problem solving skills; show them what you mean by quoting an example.
- Use correct grammar and spellings. Make use of good vocabulary. Have your application form read by someone else before submitting to ensure no such mistakes have been made.
- Don’t wait for the deadline – apply as soon as possible for applications are assessed on a rolling basis.
Step 2 – Aptitude Tests
The numerical online reasoning test includes 35 MCQs that must be completed within 35 minutes. The questions in this test pertain to ratios, percentages and basic mathematical operations. This aptitude test is formulated to gauge the applicant’s mathematical skills and ability to comprehend information provided in charts, graphs, tables, etc.
Logical & Reasoning Test
The logical and reasoning test attempts to identify the applicant’s ability to solve problems by looking at shapes and patterns. The candidate is required to answer 24 questions within 25 minutes. Here’s an interesting point to note – those who are called in to take the numerical test don’t have to take this test. The recruiters decide on which test the candidate should be given depending on the position and department he or she has applied to.
Situational Judgment Test
The situational judgement test is a multimedia-based test that sets out various different workplace scenarios. You must be able to pick the most appropriate response to the situation given. This test is given in order to figure out if the individual matches up to the core values and skills sought by Barclays. The best way to ace this test is to peruse through the Barclays’ values and work description.
The Barclays Occupational Personality Test
The standard occupational personality test is tailored to Barclays’ requirements for its employees as it strives to determine whether an individual is the right fit for the position. If the OPQ32 test score is satisfactory, only then the individual is then invited to a telephone interview.
It is important to understand that there is no ‘one’ or specific type of personality that Barclays is particularly in search for. Therefore, there are no fixed ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answers to questions in this test.
Step 3 – Telephone Interview
The telephone interview is conducted by an HR representative. All interview questions asked are related to the individual’s skill set in order to determine if he or she is a suitable candidate to become part of the Barclays Team. Based on the STAR method, candidates are asked competency based interview questions and are required to highlight situations in which they achieved desired results.
Here are some of the questions that you must prepare to be answer.
- Why do you think you are a good fit for this job?
- Why do you want to work for this particular division?
- In your opinion, what issues are currently affecting this industry and Barclays in particular?
Step 4 – Assessment Centre
The last and the most important stage of the interview procedure is the full day activity at the Barclays assessment centre. The activities you will be asked to participate in are subject to change according to the business arm you have applied to. Activities at the Barclays assessment centre include in-centre SHL testing, one-on-one interviews, group exercise, role play, case study, analytical exercises and written exercises.
- Numerical SHL Testing – The candidates are required to take a second numerical test at the assessment centre. The test consists of 35 questions and must be completed within the stipulated time. The difficulty level of this test is higher than the previous one.
- Group Exercise – This is Barclays’ way of evaluating your decision making skills. At this stage, you will be given a fictitious case in which you’ll have to do a cost benefit analysis within 90 minutes.
- One-on-One Interview – the second interview is a more technical one and you’ll face more complicated questions during this one. The interview questions will be related to your resume as well as brain teasing questions to gauge your intelligence.
We hope you find this information useful when applying for an entry level position at Barclays. Preparation is the only key to success when it comes to acing the Barclays job interview. Log on to www.graduatemonkey.com to get hold of the latest SHL aptitude test tutorial packs today!