Following the online numerical test there was no phone interview. Selected candidates are invited straight to business interviews for the Corporate Banking Europe programme. The first round of interviews consisted of two 45-minute interviews (two interviewers per interview) held either side of a written marketing exercise (to check that you have some of the required skills for pitchbooks). These interviews were designed to assess your motivation for applying to the specific scheme with the bank. The recruitment team (business specialists, rather than the HR team) went through my CV and asked both competency based and technical questions. I speak a foreign language and therefore was partly interviewed in the foreign language by a member of the recruitment team. I was asked back for the final interview which was a week later with a Managing Director. This interview was slightly more relaxed as the MD was trying to understand my background to finance as well as my motivation and asked purely technical (and not competency) questions.
Most difficult question
The most difficult questions were the finance/technical questions. They needed a good understanding of the global markets, yet, remember that the scheme is specifically concerned with European corporate and investment banking.
Another relatively tough question was what are your three biggest strengths and weaknesses. Of course this can be pre-rehearsed, but it is not easy to describe three weaknesses. The candidate must try to frame the weaknesses in a positive light, explaining how you have learnt from them.
As is the case for other, jobs candidates must really know and understand the role they are applying for. Although this is framed as 'Corporate Banking Europe' it is very much on the investment bank side (other firms often separate corporate and investment schemes). It is also important to understand the differences and benefits of an international bank operating in the City as opposed to a British domiciled bank.
Experiences at the assessment centre
Interview format at each stage of the application: The first round of interviews consisted of two 45-minute interviews (two interviewers per interview) held either side of a written marketing exercise (to check that you have some of the required skills for pitchbooks). The final interview was one-to-one interview a week later with a Managing Director.
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