Bank of Ireland Interview Questions & Answers

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  • Graduate Programme - Bank of Ireland

    3.1429/5 | Interview date: May 2018 | Job offer? No |

    Was this helpful? Yes 0

    Sectors: Banking

    Difficulty rating 80.0 / 100

    Interview process

    My interview was done via an external 3rd party called Sonru, an organisation that proved to be very communicative and friendly. I was sent a link to Sonru's interview window, whereby I would sign in with my unique details (provided in an email) and go through a series of practice questions before moving onto 3 questions for the video interview. I was informed to the topics that these 3 questions would cover in the email that initially invited me to the video interview, but I did not know the specific word of the questions, only the topics. This allowed me a few days to prepare a plan and structure in order to answer these questions in as informative and concise a manner as possible. This was vital, as once the question had been shown, you had 60 seconds preparation time and 90 seconds to speak.

    Most difficult question

    "Name a time whereby you went the extra mile to provide an exceptional service or piece of work, whether that be for a client or for yourself" (ideally showcase an example relating to another individual e.g. extra hours put in at work to help an individual that was struggling with a certain task)

    Interview tips

    . Research the ethos of the bank before applying, its values, its place in the British economy, what sets it apart from other banks

    . Be prepared, be calm, be confident

    . Be yourself - honesty, conviction and personality stand out

    . Stay positive - you are unique and can bring things to the table that no-one else can, don't forget that

    . Ask for feedback whenever possible

    . Practice assessments (verbal, numerical) and speaking in a concise manner

    . Maintain a positive outlook regardless of outcome - finding a job as a graduate is very difficult and can be disheartening at times, but you CAN do it.

    Experiences at the assessment centre

    Beginning at 1pm in London, the assessment centre consisted of 3 tasks; a group exercise, an individual exercise and an interview. During my assessment centre experience, I was with 7 other candidates, but this can vary depending upon the organisation you are applying to. You are treated as guests, and if you have made it to this stage, should be very proud of your achievement. This was reflected by the Bank of Ireland, who were very open and approachable throughout the day, in stark contrast to their very poor communication skills prior.

    The first task, the group exercise, consisted of individuals being given a case study and individual parts of the business in this case study to be held responsible for. The organisation in the case study was going through a modernisation process, updating its systems for the 21st century in the wake of complaints about its archaic systems. For the year, there was a budget of £6 million, with tasks/updates that each section of the business had which could be implemented in order to improve the business. For example, I was put in charge of customer services, with updates available like a 24-hour helpline and skills programmes for existing employees in order to update their knowledge and bring the customer service the company held so dear, into the modern age. Each section of the business would have 3 choices, all of which had either and/or initial and on-going costs to implement, with every choice totalling roughly £25-£26 million. As a result, you had to work with your team to build a package of upgrades to ensure the business updated and retained customers without losing its identity, whilst simultaneously arguing why your choices were important and needed to be implemented. Strong team-work and communication skills were vital, as well as the ability to build a case for why your choices were the most important. Of extra note is conveying that it is important for the business to not lose its unique identity and merely become a clone of its competitors; something the Bank of Ireland claims not to do and would give you an edge if you can highlight. If I could give one piece of advice relating to this task, it would be to remain calm. If like me this is your first assessment centre, it is quite easy to be initially intimidated sitting in the board room of a bank alongside some of the countries most talented graduates but remember that you are there for a reason; don't worry, stay calm, listen closely and if you need an extra couple of minutes to finalise your argument or need anything else explaining/repeating, just ask; you're a team.

    The second task consisted of another case study, this time one performed individually. You were given a case study, but crucially had to ask the interviewer (who was playing the role of the CEO of the organisation in the case study looking to accept an offer to join a massive multinational organisation) for additional information, whereby the interview would either provide you with the information or say "I'm sorry, we don't have that information". This task relied upon your ability to build an argument, link ideas together and ask the right questions. Of note, if I could do the assessment centre again, I would ask "Ok, so what information can you give me about xxx, what have you got on them so far?". Whilst it is possible they may say that you need to be more specific, starting off with one general query to at least try and get as much info as possible is probably not a bad idea, rather than diving head first into very specific questions.

    The final stage was an interview, lasting about 10 minutes, discussing examples from your academic and personal history that you showcased the skills the Bank of Ireland is looking for. For example, I was asked "Name a time when you went the extra mile to ensure success, whether that be for yourself or for a client/individual". My advice here is to again remain calm, but also be honest; sincerity is key. The interviewers are looking at you as a person, not an application on a page. This is a chance to showcase your passion, so use it, prepare some examples beforehand, be honest with the experiences you have and don't have and most importantly, enjoy it.


    As a final note, I would specifically ask that regardless of the outcome of your time at the assessment centre that you are provided with feedback. This was promised to all of the people who attended the assessment day with me, and all of us that were unsuccessful have received none (it is now 2 months after the assessment centre). Not only that but we were not told how many people they would be taking on or when we would hear from them. This was a recurring theme with the Bank of Ireland, as I found their communication very poor (a sentiment reflected by all of the candidates that attended the assessment centre whilst I was there). At the first stage, I was supposed to be sent 2 tests to complete immediately after sending in my application, which were not there. After emailing BOI to inform them that I had not received the tests, they sent them through 2 weeks later and asked me to complete them by 18:00 on Friday, when I had received this email at 17:27 on Friday. After my video interview, I was supposed to be informed of the result 2 weeks before the date of the assessment centre; I was informed 4 days prior. The communication was terrible, especially after the assessment centre. To have made it into the final 32 candidates to then be informed of being unsuccessful by email rather than the promised phone call and to be told in the copy-paste email "we hope you are not too disheartened" was incredibly unfair. Ensure that communication channels with the Bank of Ireland are open, frequent and that they are prepared to give you feedback. The opportunity is amazing but the communication is less than stellar. As previously stated, it has been 2 months, and after 3 emails and 3 responses of "sorry you haven't heard back yet, I have escalated this query to the graduate team who will be in contact with feedback from you performance at the assessment centre shortly", I have heard nothing.

    Interview steps

    Interviews

    • Phone
    • 1:1
    • Group / Panel
    • Senior Management
    • Video

    Tests

    • Numerical
    • Personality
    • Verbal reasoning
    • Psychometric

    Other

    • Assessment centre
    • Group excercise
    • Background check
    • Presentation
    • Competency based questions

    Rating the interview

    • How would you rate the pre-attendance information? 2/5
    • How well was the interview organised? 4/5
    • What was your overall impression of the organisation? 4/5
    • What was your overall impression of the selection process? 2/5
    • Did the interview reflect the overall values / culture of the organisation? 3/5
    • Would you recommend this company to a friend? 2/5
    • Did you want the role following your interview? 5/5

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