Banking Jobs & Graduate Schemes

Working in Banking

Jobs in Banking are in high demand—and applicants should be prepared to put in the hard work to prove themselves. The financial sector is fast-paced, and the work is extremely demanding—twelve hour days are standard for entry-level positions—but if a graduate is willing to put in the time and the effort, the rewards can be substantial.

The financial sector covers Investment Banking, Corporate Banking and Markets. All areas require candidates to have a solid academic grounding, but require different approaches to conducting business in the field.

The majority of work in the financial sector is in London and the City, meaning graduates from other areas should be prepared to relocate.

How to Get a Job in Banking

The biggest area in Banking is Investment Banking. There are several different departments within this area, and each requires a different set of skills, but all require candidates able to work under pressure and willing to work long hours.

The three key areas in Investment Banking are:

1. Research and Analysis

Research and Analysis roles require employees to conduct research and deliver reports on businesses, stocks, shares and varying sorts of equity. Analysts give their opinions on how much a company’s shares are worth and draw comparisons to what they are currently selling at, finally offering a buy or sell verdict to the Sales team. The role is vital to the success of the Traders and Sales teams.

Graduates applying for this department need to demonstrate meticulous research skills, in-depth knowledge of the industry and an understanding of market trends.

2. Sales

Sales Teams take the reports from the Researchers and Analysts and contact clients with findings and recommendations, which means that employers look for Sales applicants with the ability to form long-term relationships with clients. Members of the Sales Teams must be able to gain client trust and convince them to trade with the bank.

Candidates for Sales should be able to provide evidence of excellent communication skills, as well as confidence and drive. Sales Teams in banks can spend all day on the phone with clients, so a good telephone manner is imperative.

3. Trading

Trading relies on making the right deal at the right time; buying shares before they rocket and selling before they plummet. Traders work closely with the Sales and Research teams to understand and implement their findings.

Graduates interested in become Traders must be quick and decisive thinkers, able to keep up with developments and with client demands.

Regardless of the specific skills required for each department, candidates for any position in Banking should display the following:

1. Academic Excellence

Banking recruits the best of the best. Classifications of 2:1 or higher are usually required; banks rarely accept anything lower without excellent work experience. Applicants will usually require a degree in a related field such as Maths, Economics, PPE or Computing, though banks will occasionally accept applicants with more traditional academic degrees in the Humanities.

Graduates should be aware that banks look for a history of academic excellence and will ask for A Level results, and possibly GCSEs.

2. Commitment and drive

The long hours and hard work associated with Banking require commitment and persistence. Candidates should expect to undergo a rigorous application process to prove that they are up to the task.

Most banks will require several online applications, tests, psychometric tests and interviews. Candidates should brush up on their technique, and practice as much as possible since competition is fierce. Banks thrive on dynamic employees and driven, ambitious candidates.

3. Interpersonal skills

Banking requires working closely with other departments in a high-pressure environment. Candidates need to be people focused, with excellent communication skills. Teamwork is essential, and candidates should do their best to showcase any experience which may display their interpersonal skills.

Excellent Numeracy Skills

It should come as no surprise that graduates wanting to go into Banking should have a head for numbers, and be able to juggle figures quickly and efficiently. Candidates should be able to provide evidence of their numeracy skills such as experience working a part time job which included cashing up in a shop, or serving as a treasurer for a university society or sports team.

Banking Interview Ratings


    There where 3 stages to the interview process after an initial CV and cover letter approval, which were: Initial interview The initial interview was undertaken by junior members of the team,…


    Firstly you had to fill in a an application form stating which statement applied best to you approximately 30 mins to complete. After passing the initial stage a telephone interview was…


    The application process comprises of completing the online application, then numeracy, verbal and strength based assessments. Following this, you will be invited to complete a video interview at your convenience. The…


    The telephone interview was quite straight forward and was what should be expected. The interview lasted about 25minutes and I was questioned mainly about myself and how I would react in…


    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…


    The interview was conducted over the telephone, during which I was asked about the company itself, and the information covered in my CV, including professional experience, both previous as well as…


    Initially, after doing the respective entrance tests, I received a call from their team in Glasgow where I applied for my placement. They were very friendly and courteous on the phone…


    Firstly, I was asked to talk about myself, talk them through my CV. Then we moved on to the next stage asking me a duple of competency based questions focusing on…


    My initial application was via the internet, where I filled in an extensive application form, then was invited to undertake internet based assessments. These involved numerical tests, situational judgement tests, and…


    My initial telephone interview lasted around 20-30 minutes for my role of Commercial Banking Management Trainee. The interviewer was very polite, friendly and helpful. During the interview I had to provide…


    After initially filling out an online application, consisting of basic biographical information and educational history, I was invited to attend an assessment centre. The assessment centre comprised: Psychometric tests (numerical and…

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