About Bank of America
Bank of America was founded in 1998 in San Francisco, and their headquarters is in Charlotte, North Carolina. Known for the questioning tagline "What would you like the power to do?" This American wealth management investment bank offers a number of financial services to individuals, small- and middle-market businesses, large corporations and governments.
Bank of America has eight separate business divisions with a different focus:
- Retail: everyday banking for US consumers
- Preferred: services for consumers with up to $250,000 in assets
- Merrill Lynch Edge/Merrill Guided Investing: consumer investment services
- Merrill Lynch Wealth Management: for consumers with over $250,000 in assets
- Bank of America Private Bank: consumers with over $3 million
- Business Banking
- Global Commercial Banking
- Global Corporate and Investment Banking
In terms of careers, Bank of America offers internships, graduate opportunities and roles for experienced professionals across America, encouraging applications from candidates from diverse backgrounds. They recognise that in order to grow, they need to provide a great place to work, and the benefits are diverse. Competition for roles can be intense, so applications should be completed as early as possible and the recruitment process is thorough.
Bank of America recruitment process
The Bank of America recruitment process begins with research. Throughout the process candidates will be asked questions about the company as well as the financial markets in general, so knowledge of Bank of America and up-to-date news will be needed.
All Bank of America roles are advertised on their careers portal, and applications are only accepted through this channel. To start an application, a simple search is available to find roles according to location, keywords or company division.
When you apply for a role, you will need to create an account on the Careers Portal. This is where you will upload a CV, or you can import your information directly from your LinkedIn profile.
The application form will require all the basic contact information as well as details about your employment history and qualifications. You can also expect to answer a few questions that are specific to the role; these might be skills or competency related (or a combination of both).
You will receive a confirmation email after you submit the application, and if successful you will be contacted by a Talent Acquisition representative.
If you are not successful, you can apply for other roles, and your details will be stored for consideration for other opportunities.
Online aptitude tests
Bank of America uses Kenexa as their preferred test publisher. The tests you need to take in your application will depend on the role you have applied for, but the following are a selection of the typical assessments used.
In the numerical reasoning test you will be presented with data in tables, charts or graphs and need to find the correct choice in the multiple choice answers.
Although this test is about numbers, it is not a maths test - the maths functions needed to answer (percentages, ratios, fractions and basic operations) are about the same as GCSE level maths. You are being assessed on your ability to read and understand data presented in tables, and how you manipulate that data in order to find the correct answer.
The assessment is timed, and there are 20 questions to be answered in 20 minutes.
In the Bank of America verbal reasoning assessment, you will have 20 minutes to answer 24 questions. Each question comprises a written paragraph of information followed by a statement. Candidates need to read the information to assess whether the statement is true, false, or cannot say.
Usually, the information given is business-related, and the paragraph contains the answer to the question so no further knowledge or research is needed beforehand. To be successful, candidates need to be able to quickly read, understand and analyse the information provided as there is only about 45 seconds allowed per question.
If you are applying for a technical role at Bank of America, you will be asked to complete a logical reasoning assessment. This will consist of a visual sequence of shapes, with one missing. You need to choose the right shape to complete the sequence from multiple possible answers.
This test is about your ability to recognise patterns and rules, then logically apply those rules to find the correct answer. In this test you will have just 12 minutes to answer 24 questions so speed and accuracy is important.
A situational judgement test assesses your work behaviour and how you solve problems in a professional setting. You will be presented with a number of realistic, hypothetical scenarios and need to select the most appropriate course of action to take.
These tests can be tough because there might be more than one 'obvious' choice, and in reality there are no right or wrong answers. Instead, you are being assessed on how closely your reactions match the desired behaviours that Bank of America is looking for in their employees.
This assessment lasts 20-30 minutes.
Depending on the role you have applied for, you can expect to have a number of interviews. Bank of America use the following interview types:
- In-person at the office
- Conference call
During these interviews, you will be asked competency and skills based questions, and they should be considered a great way for the recruitment team to get to know you and find out more about why you are a great fit for the role.
During these interviews, it is important to remember to give examples from your experience that align with the company values and demonstrate your abilities. Asking insightful questions about the role, the company and the wider financial market will help to show the team that you have done your research and are invested in becoming a member of the Bank of America team.
For some roles, an assessment centre is the final stage in the process. This brings a number of potential candidates together to complete several different exercises for assessment.
During the assessment centre, you can expect to take part in any or all of the following:
These are known as checking tests and are often completed to measure the validity of the online tests taken earlier in the recruitment process.
As a team, you will be faced with a problem that you have to solve. Candidates will need to work together to find the best way to approach the problem and come to an agreed-upon solution.
Individual Case Study
In a similar way to the group exercise, you will be asked to investigate a problem and come up with a solution on your own. This often ends in a presentation back to the group.
A Talent Acquisition representative will give you a scenario and together you will role play to discover what happens next.
Often a chance to have a formal one-to-one meeting with senior staff in the business area you have applied for, this final interview is deeply competency-based with a focus on culture fit and the soft skills you possess. You will need to demonstrate strong commercial awareness in this interview, and ask any final questions you have to ensure that this role is what you want, too.