Application Process

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 RBS? 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. Our selection tools are designed to find out if you have the skills, behaviours and passions you’ll need to shape our future.

We’ve tried to keep our application process as simple as possible for you to complete, and below 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 about our programmes in detail on our Graduate and Intern pages.

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, Twitter feed and LinkedIn channels.
  • Use the research stage to find out details 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 which presents you with real life work situations to see if you share our values. The test has 15 scenarios, and should take you around 20-30 minutes. 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.
  • Try to find a quiet place where you can complete the test in one go, with no interruptions.

Sky Rise City

Following a successful situational judgement test, we’ll email you an invite to “Sky Rise City”, an interactive assessment game. The email will include full instructions including your user name and password.

Here, you are tasked with tackling a host of challenges. The challenges are designed to measure complex personality traits and deeper cognitive processes, like information processing.

The assessment usually takes 12-17 minutes to complete, but everyone is different and there is no time limit, so please complete it at your own pace. No practice or prior knowledge of the game or mobile/console games in general is required.

The game collects over 3,000 data points from the way you approach each level and how you decide to address each task. The best strategy is to be yourself and let the game capture the unique way you apply yourself to the tasks in each level. This information is used to determine your profile on certain job-relevant characteristics. After playing the game you will receive a report which will outline how you got on. This year we are piloting this latest game-based assessment so your results will not be used to inform the final decision about your application.

For more information on how to set up and complete the game read our FAQs.

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 is designed to assess 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 offering practice tests, so take advantage of them. Your careers service should also be able to help you find them.
  • You’re likely to 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 have completed the logical and numerical reasoning tests it’s time for your video interview. You will 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 will be help and advice in the link you are sent to support you in setting up and recording the video.

The video interview will be a one-way recording (rather than a Skype style interview with 2 or more people). There will be a mixture of strengths based and motivational questions and it should 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. For graduate programmes the assessment centres are a full day and for internship programmes they are a half-day assessment. For most programmes, the assessment centre will consist of a number of different types of exercises:


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 would 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 at RBS. 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 for your ability to build relationships quickly, show logical thinking and contribute to the team objectives.

Individual tasks

We’ll give you the type of task you’re likely to carry out when you start on a graduate or internship programme with us. 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 given all the information 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 will 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. Allow 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 will hear the outcome of your assessment centre within 72 hours. 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, and in most cases we start to offer places months before the application closing date.

So the earlier you apply, the better your chances of securing a place with us.

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