Applying

Joining one of our graduate or internship programmes means you’ll be starting on an exciting journey to unlocking your potential. So you’re ready to join one of our programmes? If you’ve done your research, considered your options and are fully determined, you’re in the right place.

Our graduate and internship recruitment processes are thorough; we’ll expect you to be well prepared when it comes to your application. We’ve designed our selection tools to find out if you have the skills, behaviours and passions you’ll need to shape our future.

Our application process is simple and efficient and we’ve outlined the stages you’ll go through before you’re accepted on to one of our programmes.

As soon as you’ve decided which area interests you the most, be sure to apply as soon as you’re ready, as we recruit on a ‘first come first served’ basis. You can find out more detail about our programmes on our Graduate and Intern pages.

Application process

Before you apply

Before you apply, you should think carefully about which programme best suits your passions, skills and interests. If you haven’t already, why not try our Find your path tool? Once you’ve decided, you’ll complete a short application form.

Application form

The online application requires you to tell us some key information, such as your contact details and educational history.

Top Tips
  • Tailor your application to RBS. Why are you interested in the bank, and why is the programme you've applied to right for you? If you covered up the name of the bank on your application, would it be clear you were talking about RBS? Find out as much as possible about our culture and values.
  • Read through all the information available to you, including this website. If you can, come to career events and talk to our employees. Make sure you check out our Facebook page (link opens in a new window), Twitter feed (link opens in a new window), Instagram account (link opens in a new window) and LinkedIn (link opens in a new window) channels.
  • Use your research to find out more about the programme: what it involves, projects you might be taking part in, development opportunities, teams you might work with… anything that helps your understanding, and shows you’ve gone that little bit further.

Situational judgement test

Once you’ve submitted your application, we’ll automatically invite you to complete a test. It presents you with real life work situations to see if you share our values. It has 15 scenarios, and it takes around 20-30 minutes to do. You’ll need to complete this successfully to pass through to the next stage.

Top Tips
  • Don't spend too much time thinking about the ‘right’ answer. If you don’t answer honestly, you could find yourself working in an environment that doesn’t suit you.
  • Find a quiet place where you can complete the test in one go, with no interruptions.

Logical and numerical reasoning tests

If you impress us with your application form and score well on the situational judgement test, we’ll invite you to complete an online logical and numerical reasoning test. The logic side looks at your ability to think conceptually and analytically. The numerical test measures your reasoning skills when using figures, data and statistics.

Top Tips
  • Get a feel for the type of questions before you take the tests. There are several websites with practice tests, so take advantage of them. Your careers service should also be able to help you find them.
  • You’ll be presented with numerical data to analyse. If you don’t use them in your work or study, think about refreshing your memory on basic calculations like percentages and ratios.
  • Work through the test steadily and carefully.
  • Make sure you have everything you need before starting, including some paper, a calculator and a stable internet connection.
  • Be aware of the amount of time you have left to complete each question – there’s a timer to help you.
  • Don’t feel disheartened if you think you’ve done badly on a particular question – move on to the next one.

Video interview

Once you’ve completed the logical and numerical reasoning tests it’s time for your video interview. You’ll be sent an email containing a link to access your interview. You can record your interview on mobile, tablet or desktop with a working web cam. There’ll be help and advice in the link you’re sent to support you in setting everything up.

The video interview will be a one-way recording (rather than a Skype style interview with 2 or more people). There’ll be a mixture of strengths based and motivational questions and it’ll take you around 20-30 minutes to complete.

Top Tips
  • Read through all of the information and advice on setting up the video interview when you get the link
  • Choose somewhere quiet where you won’t be disturbed and have a good internet connection
  • Have a trial run if you can before you start

Assessment centre

Impress us in the video interview, and we’ll invite you to come to an assessment centre. Our graduate assessment centres are a full day, our interns assessments are half a day. They’re made up of different exercises:

Interviews

We use competency based interviews to find out how you’ve dealt with certain types of situations in the past. In our graduate assessment centres, situational interviews let us assess how you’d approach hypothetical situations. You can prepare by thinking about times when you’ve shown the kind of skills we’re looking for.

A group exercise

Working together with your team and wider colleagues is an everyday part of life here. In this exercise we’ll observe you during a group exercise similar to the type of scenarios you might experience on the job. We’ll be looking to see how you build relationships quickly, show logical thinking and contribute to your team’s objectives. The NatWest Markets programmes do not have a group exercise.

Individual tasks

We’ll give you the type of task you’re likely to carry out when you start on our graduate or internship programmes. It could be writing a report, holding a one-to-one meeting, or preparing a presentation. You don’t need to do anything beforehand; you’ll be everything you need on the day. There’s a good chance your individual task will be linked to the group exercise.

Top Tips
  • Be yourself, we want to know what the real you is all about!
  • Think about the sort of skills we’re looking for, and about the things you’ve done which demonstrate them. Equally, show your passion for the programme and the business – that’ll help us see your potential.
  • Think about the experiences you’ve had, including outside of your education. How do they make you the right person for the role?
  • Read newspapers and business magazines to practice taking in written information.
  • Don’t just prepare for the exercises. Make sure you know the location and timings, allowing for any possible delays in getting there. Be punctual, and if you’re running late, let us know as soon as you can.
  • The better you prepare, the more naturally you’ll be able to act, and show us your best side.
  • Make the most of the day. It’s a chance for you to learn about us as much as for us to learn about you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions before or during the day.

Making you an offer

You’ll hear the outcome of your assessment centre within one week. Following a successful assessment centre, a member of the Early Career team will contact you to take you through the offer onto the graduate or internship programme.

A note on application deadlines

Remember - Most of our programmes are assessed on a rolling basis so sometimes we can close applications early. That means the earlier you apply, the better your chances of securing a place with us.

Interview advice

When it comes to interviews, preparation’s key. And knowing what to expect takes a lot of the stress out of the experience.

For us, the interview’s about getting to know you; we’re not trying to catch you out. It’s a chance to express yourself, and talk about your experiences, passions and motivations. So the first thing to say would be – relax, and be yourself.

There are two types of interview, which you might encounter. The first is a video interview, and the second is a face-to-face interview which you’ll do, if you’re invited to an Assessment Centre.

Advice for your video interview

This’ll be a one-way recording, not a live video interview. You’ll be recording responses to around seven questions on your phone, tablet or computer. Altogether, it takes around 20 minutes to complete.

Once a question is asked, you’ll have two minutes to think about your answer (which can be up to two minutes long). You can also pause between questions if you need to.

The questions will focus on your motivations as well as the capabilities needed to succeed at RBS. They’re designed to find out why you want to join us: why RBS, why this programme, how does it tie in with your passions, talents and values? What makes us a great fit?

Top Tips
  • Do your research. Find out about our business, our values, and the programme and show us what interests you about them
  • Think carefully about your strengths and motivations, and why this programme’s right for you
  • Try to be specific in your answers, and avoid generalities and clichés
  • Practice recording and listening back to answers to likely interview questions
  • Choose somewhere quiet, with a good internet connection, where you won’t be disturbed

Advice for the face-to-face interview

If you’re invited to an Assessment Centre, one part of the day will involve a face-to-face interview.

Both interviews will be ‘competency based’, which means the questions will focus on how you’ve dealt with certain types of situations in the past. There could also be questions that ask you to explore how you’d approach a hypothetical situation.

A typical competency based questions starts with – ‘could you tell us about a time when you’ve. . . ?’

When you’re preparing your answers, it’s important to keep the STAR technique in mind.

  • Situation – Briefly set the scene so that your interviewer understands the context
  • Task – What did you need to achieve?
  • Action – What did you actually do? This should make up the core of your answer
  • Result – What was the outcome? Make sure it’s appropriate to the question

It’s best to stick with one concrete example per question. You could draw your examples from education, work, or other areas of life. The key is to make sure your examples are relevant and to stay focused on what you did.

It’s easy to drift off topic, so practicing a few of these kind of answers in advance is a good idea. Pick things you’re proud of, passionate about, and keen to discuss.

It might also help to familiarise yourself with the programme description. Look at the skills and qualities we talk about there, and think about the things you’ve done, which demonstrate these.

There’s a popular article on our careers blog about interview tips and advice, which is definitely worth a read. And here are a few more things to consider:

Be professional

It maybe goes without saying but you should dress in a smart and professional way for an interview, but it can often be overlooked.

Also, be honest, and be yourself. We want to find out about you, not an imagined version of the ideal graduate or intern. Let your personality and experiences do the talking, they’ve got you this far, so you must be doing something right.

Be friendly and personable

It’s natural to feel a bit nervous and there’s no need to worry about that. The important thing is to be attentive, open and friendly. Greet your interviewer with a handshake and a smile – it’s a simple thing that makes a positive first impression.

It’s good to smile, make eye contact, and build rapport – but don’t feel you have to force these things.

Take your time to answer questions, and don’t be afraid to say that you’re just taking a moment to think through your answer. Don’t rush anything.

Your Capability

At RBS we are looking for people who have the capabilities needed for the future world of work. At all stages in the process we are looking at your capability to:

  • Develop new ideas and improve how things are done
  • Adapt to changing requirements and learn new things
  • Analyse information and make sound decisions
  • Work well with others and help them to succeed
  • Build trusting relationships and earn credibility with customers and colleagues

You should think about these when you’re preparing for your interview, doing practice questions and reflecting on how your values and ours could go together.

Assessment Centre advice

If you do well at the earlier stages of the application process, you’ll be invited to an assessment centre. This’ll involve taking part in a range of activities including a group challenge, individual tasks and a face-to-face interview.

It’s also a great opportunity for you to meet fellow candidates and our colleagues, look around our workplace, and get a sense of what it’s like to be a part of our team.

Our assessment centre’s to find out more about you, both individually, and how you engage and interact with others in a work setting.

The activities are all designed with this in mind, and resemble the kinds of things you might be doing as a graduate or an intern. Our assessment centres give you the chance to demonstrate what you can do and to see if you have the skills and qualities we’re looking for. We’re looking for things like communication, team work, problem solving, creative thinking and time management.

Our graduate assessment centre takes a full day; for internship programmes they’re half a day long. You’ll be provided with all the information you need before coming along.

Our application process page tells you more about what to expect from our assessment centres.

Here’s some advice that’ll help you prepare.

Be yourself and have fun

The best piece of advice we have is to approach the day and the individual activities in a way that comes naturally, and don’t think you need to act to impress, compete, or play up to a certain role.

We create a friendly and supportive atmosphere, and we make the day enjoyable and interesting. We know people do their best when they’re able to relax and enjoy themselves.

Be positive

It’s important to approach the day and its activities with an open mind and positive attitude. Be enthusiastic, get stuck into the tasks, and this will help to settle any initial nerves.

It’s important to be professional and friendly.

It’s a simple thing, but dress smartly, arrive on time, and be friendly and professional.

Take the time to get to know other candidates. After all, everyone’s in the same boat, and team work’s a big part of the day. Establishing friendly relationships and supporting each other helps make for a more enjoyable and rewarding experience.

Be well prepared

Including possible travel, the day could be a long one so try and pace yourself. There’s a whole day of activities to look forward to, so don’t burn yourself out in the morning session.

Come well rested, have a decent breakfast, and stay hydrated throughout the day. This should help you stay energised and engaged.

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