Online Application

The initial stage of the application process, involves submitting an online application form. Shyam also submitted his CV.

How to respond for success

Ensure your CV / application form shows all the extracurricular activities, experiences and skills that are relevant that you have done to date. Try to tailor any activities you have done, for example VP in a uni finance society was one I used. Try to come across as proactive, eager to learn and show interest in the chosen field. Ensure you showcase what you have done and the skills gained / lessons learned rather than simply telling the reader you have done x and y.

Expect a 1-week wait before progressing to the next stage.

Online Tests

The online tests include a situational judgement, numerical reasoning and logical reasoning test. The situational judgement test presents you with real-life work situations to see if you share the same values as Natwest. You can’t really prepare for this kind of test as it’s assessing your natural judgement and decision making skills. However, make sure to do some research about NatWest’s goals and values, their industry and the role you’ve applied to as this will help when completing the test.

The next stage is the logical and numerical tests. You can prepare for these by reading up on them and trying some practice questions online - the questions asked are pretty similar to other companies’ numerical and logical tests. In terms of time, these are pretty similar to the tests you would expect at other firms.

How to respond for success

Advice at this stage would be to get familiar with NatWest, its purpose and values to help with the SJT. For the numerical and logical tests, make sure to practice. You’ll be presented with numerical data to analyse. If it’s been a while since you’ve done any basic calculations, make sure to refresh your memory on things like percentages and ratios first. I’d also advise on a more practical note to make sure you have everything you need before starting, including paper, a calculator and a reliable internet connection. It can be tricky to complete a numerical test timed, but try to remain calm and don’t rush calculations to avoid making simple mistakes.

Expect a 1 to 2-weeks wait before progressing to the next stage.

Video Interview

The online video interview is a one-way recording rather than a 2-way interview. You’ll get asked around 6 questions, a mix of motivational questions and competency-based questions. You have around 2 minutes to prepare each answer once it shows on screen, then around 3 minutes to answer each one. Practice some competency based questions and have some examples ready. You should consider recording yourself on your phone and listen back to your answers so you can improve and feel confident or even ask a family member/ friend to provide some feedback.

How to respond for success

I would recommend checking out NatWest's Interview Guide Brochure.pdf). Try to make your answers reflect these capabilities which the bank are looking for.

I would also suggest using the STAR approach when answering any competency type questions. This involves detailing the Situation, Task, Action and Result (more information on this can be found on page 2 of the brochure). In hindsight, I should have had STAR examples ready. I personally didn’t script out STAR examples for my experiences but created mind map/ flowchart notes. So, I had a list of all my examples I wanted to reference then linked a few key activities to each then in turn competencies linked to each activity, EG VP in a uni Finance society – created a finance tracker to track spending and plan our budget – Excel, analytic, problem solving, planning etc.

Be sure to look relaxed, smile and speak clearly. Dress smart, (better to be overdressed than too casual) it gets you in the right frame of mind. It's good practice to video yourself at least once in preparation just so you are aware how you come across. Try not to panic if you say the wrong thing, just take a breath and continue, your answers do not to be perfect.

Expect a 1 to 2-week wait before progressing to the next stage.
Full process available
You'll get a detailed description of the final stages of this application
Full process available
You'll get first hand advice about habits for success and work culture.

Video Interview

The online video interview is a one-way recording rather than a 2-way interview. You’ll get asked around 6 questions, a mix of motivational questions and competency-based questions. You have around 2 minutes to prepare each answer once it shows on screen, then around 3 minutes to answer each one. Practice some competency based questions and have some examples ready. You should consider recording yourself on your phone and listen back to your answers so you can improve and feel confident or even ask a family member/ friend to provide some feedback.

How to respond for success

I would recommend checking out NatWest's Interview Guide Brochure.pdf). Try to make your answers reflect these capabilities which the bank are looking for.

I would also suggest using the STAR approach when answering any competency type questions. This involves detailing the Situation, Task, Action and Result (more information on this can be found on page 2 of the brochure). In hindsight, I should have had STAR examples ready. I personally didn’t script out STAR examples for my experiences but created mind map/ flowchart notes. So, I had a list of all my examples I wanted to reference then linked a few key activities to each then in turn competencies linked to each activity, EG VP in a uni Finance society – created a finance tracker to track spending and plan our budget – Excel, analytic, problem solving, planning etc.

Be sure to look relaxed, smile and speak clearly. Dress smart, (better to be overdressed than too casual) it gets you in the right frame of mind. It's good practice to video yourself at least once in preparation just so you are aware how you come across. Try not to panic if you say the wrong thing, just take a breath and continue, your answers do not to be perfect.

Expect a 1 to 2-week wait before progressing to the next stage.

Assessment Centre

This is the final stage of the application process. It is a full day event broken up into different sections: Group activity, individual activity, presenting activity and a 1-2-1 interview. There is also a networking session over lunch with current grads.

Group activity

This was a case study on a fin tech banking app, where the group (3-5 people per group) had to decide what funding they would offer:

Take your time understanding the case study, you have reading time before you enter the group. There is not really a right/ wrong answer here just ensure you justify your choice either way. Make sure you give your opinion and speak when you have something to add to the conversation.

Individual activity

This is based on the case study, and is a written task.

Make sure you are fairly straightforward, again no right/ wrong answer just justify your choice. Be sure to write clearly and keep any eye on the time.

Presentation activity

This was presenting what we had written in the previous task. It's Not a formal presentation more a meeting style. The Interviewer will challenge your thoughts

1-1 Interview

This is a competency based, one to one interview. Expect questions along the lines of 'tell me a time when you showed x?'. Use your STAR examples you have prepared. Research the Banks Values / culture online, as the questions will be based on these.

How to respond for success

Try to get fully emerged into the activities, the day is very fun! Speaking with the other candidates and grads is a great networking opportunity too. (The interviewers may speak to the grads and ask their thoughts on the applicants so bare that In mind whilst networking). Try to be relaxed and smile in the interview, you can ask questions as you respond to their question, making it more into a natural conversation.

Ensure you raise some examples from your past experiences. If something does not go right in a particular activity put it behind you and forget about it, the interviewers rotate across activity so you will have a different observer across tasks.

Expect a 3 to 4-day wait before receiving your offer
Full process available
You'll get a detailed description of the final stages of this application
Full advice available
You'll get first hand advice about habits for success and work culture.

Assessment Centre

This is the final stage of the application process. It is a full day event broken up into different sections: Group activity, individual activity, presenting activity and a 1-2-1 interview. There is also a networking session over lunch with current grads.

Group activity

This was a case study on a fin tech banking app, where the group (3-5 people per group) had to decide what funding they would offer:

Take your time understanding the case study, you have reading time before you enter the group. There is not really a right/ wrong answer here just ensure you justify your choice either way. Make sure you give your opinion and speak when you have something to add to the conversation.

Individual activity

This is based on the case study, and is a written task.

Make sure you are fairly straightforward, again no right/ wrong answer just justify your choice. Be sure to write clearly and keep any eye on the time.

Presentation activity

This was presenting what we had written in the previous task. It's Not a formal presentation more a meeting style. The Interviewer will challenge your thoughts

1-1 Interview

This is a competency based, one to one interview. Expect questions along the lines of 'tell me a time when you showed x?'. Use your STAR examples you have prepared. Research the Banks Values / culture online, as the questions will be based on these.

How to respond for success

Try to get fully emerged into the activities, the day is very fun! Speaking with the other candidates and grads is a great networking opportunity too. (The interviewers may speak to the grads and ask their thoughts on the applicants so bare that In mind whilst networking). Try to be relaxed and smile in the interview, you can ask questions as you respond to their question, making it more into a natural conversation.

Ensure you raise some examples from your past experiences. If something does not go right in a particular activity put it behind you and forget about it, the interviewers rotate across activity so you will have a different observer across tasks.

Expect a 3 to 4-day wait before receiving your offer
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