Barclays Assessments

Prepare for the Barclays recruitment process with tailor-made practice materials.

Careers at Barclays

With a history spanning more than 300 years, Barclays is one of the most established names in global finance. Headquartered in London, and with operations in 50 countries, it has a staff count of around 85,000 employees delivering innovative services across investment, corporate and consumer banking.

It is a forward-thinking institution with a focus on redefining finance for the digital age, and offers a number of exciting career opportunities across its various business arms. Its graduate programs cover areas including:

  • Operations and technology
  • Consumer banking
  • Data and analytics
  • Markets and research
  • Investment banking
  • Enabling functions
  • Developer roles

Barclays also offers multiple summer and off-cycle internships, as well as both foundational and higher apprenticeships for school leavers looking for an alternative to university education.

Barclays Application Process

The Barclays application process is the same whichever scheme you're interested in, albeit with some minor variations depending on the role you apply for.

It takes an interactive approach using a series of contextualised assessments. These are specifically designed to ensure you not only have the relevant skills and competencies, but can apply these effectively in a real-world context.

The recruitment process is split into four key stages, each of which is outlined below. Since competition for roles at Barclays is fierce, it's vital you commit fully at each stage, and put in a performance that makes you stand out from the crowd.

Barclays Online Application

Barclays does not ask for CVs and cover letters in the initial stages of application. Instead, you'll be required to register interest in your chosen role, and submit a form detailing relevant personal information, academic achievements and past experience. You'll also need to answer some basic screening questions, such as why you're interested in pursuing a career with Barclays.

Before you do so, familiarise yourself with the company's core values, and the key traits it looks for in prospective employees. Barclays cites respect, integrity, service, excellence and stewardship as the values that underpin its operations. Keep these in mind as you complete your registration of interest, and throughout the application process as a whole.

Barclays Telephone interview

If your online application is successful you may be invited to an initial telephone interview depending on the role you've applied for.

This is a great way to get a feel for the company and the position you are applying for. It is important to be prepared for the interview and to have an understanding of the company's values, culture and what they are looking for in a candidate.

The interview itself is relatively straightforward, but it is important to be aware of the questions you may be asked and to have thoughtful answers prepared.

Example telephone interview questions:

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Why are you interested in this position?
  • What qualifications do you have that make you a good fit for this role?
  • What is your current notice period/availability?
  • What are your salary expectations?
  • What do you think makes our company unique?
  • Do you have any questions for me about the role or the company?

Barclays Business Insight Stage 1 Assessments

In the next stage of the process, you'll be asked to complete an interactive psychometric assessment, throughout which a number of key aptitudes will be measured.

You'll be presented with hypothetical scenarios that closely resemble the professional realities of the role for which you've applied. This gives Barclays a chance to see your skills in action, as well as providing you with insight into your future career.

The areas you'll be assessed on throughout are:

Barclays Situational strengths test

In relation to the hypothetical scenarios presented, you'll be given a number of possible response options. You'll need to choose from these which you consider the most appropriate course of action, ranking them in order.

There are no right or wrong answers to these questions. The purpose is to determine how you're likely to act in a workplace setting, and whether you possess the behavioural qualities Barclays looks for in employees.

You can practice free situational judgement tests here.

Barclays Numerical Reasoning Test

As a candidate applying to a financial institution, you will of course be expected to hold a high level of numerical aptitude. So, throughout this assessment stage, you'll face questions that test your ability to accurately interpret data.

As part of a hypothetical scenario, you'll be given data sets in the form of charts, graphs and tables, which you'll need to evaluate in order to draw logical conclusions. These questions are typically multiple-choice, and both your accuracy and the speed with which you respond will be taken into account.

Take a look at our free practice numerical reasoning tests.

Barclays Verbal Reasoning Test

The verbal reasoning questions posed are there to measure your ability to understand written information, and the various ways in which it can be interpreted.

The most common question type revolves around a passage of text accompanied by a statement. Based only on the evidence in front of you, you'll need to determine if the statement is true or false, or if there are insufficient grounds to argue either way.

Likely, you'll also face questions that measure your general grasp of the English language, testing spelling, grammar and vocabulary.

You can practice free verbal reasoning tests here.

Barclays Inductive Reasoning Test

An inductive reasoning test measures your ability to see relationships between pieces of information and to draw logical conclusions from these relationships. To complete an inductive reasoning test, you will be presented with a series of items, each consisting of a set of objects or symbols. Your task is to determine the rule that governs the relationship between the objects or symbols in each item, and then to use that rule to select the correct answer from a set of possible options.

Inductive reasoning tests are used by employers like Barclays to assess job candidates for roles that require analytical skills. The ability to see relationships between pieces of information and reach logical conclusions is important in many occupations, such as engineering, marketing, and accounting. If you are applying for a job that requires inductive reasoning skills, you can expect to be asked to complete an inductive reasoning test as part of the selection process.

Barclays Logical Reasoning Test

A logical reasoning test is a type of psychometric test that is widely used to assess candidates during pre-employment screening.

The test measures a person's ability to think logically and solve problems. It is designed to assess a person's capacity to think rationally, identify patterns, and draw conclusions. The test usually consists of a series of questions that must be answered within a certain time limit.

Barclays Occupational Personality Test

The Barclays Occupational Personality Test is a test that measures an individual's personality traits and how they relate to the workplace. The test is used to help identify an individual's strengths and weaknesses, as well as their suitability for certain occupations. The test consists of 100 questions, and takes approximately 30 minutes to complete.

The questions are designed to elicit responses that will reveal whether an individual has the personality traits that are necessary for success in the occupation being assessed.

Barclays Critical Reasoning Test

Also interspersed throughout this assessment will be questions that measure your critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Both of these are integral to roles in all areas of financial services, so Barclays is looking for candidates that excel here.

Question types are akin to those for verbal reasoning, with a passage of text from which you'll need to identify conclusions that can be drawn, and assumptions or inferences that have been made.

Practice critical reasoning tests for free here.

Barclays Business Insight Stage 2

If you meet the qualifying standards for the first stage of the Business Insight assessment, you'll be invited to complete the second stage. This is very similar in its format but is more grounded in the specific business area your role relates to.

Once again, this assessment uses hypothetical scenarios to measure your potential as a candidate. However, in this case, the scenario will be project-based, and you'll complete more practical tasks. For example, you may be asked to provide a written summary of a business report, record a video message in response to a query from your line manager, and complete an e-tray exercise. Along the way, you'll be asked additional questions that further measure the skills assessed in stage one.

The second stage of the Business Insight assessment is timed, and you'll have around 45 minutes in which to complete it.

Barclays Business Meeting (assessment day)

Successful candidates will then progress to the Barclays Business Meeting, the company's version of an assessment centre. This final stage of the application process takes place in person, with a duration of between three and a half to five hours.

On the day, you'll take part in various tasks such as case study exercises, group exercises, and/or presentations. The Barclays Business Meeting will also incorporate a final stage face-to-face interview with the hiring team.

Keep in mind that this is a strengths-based assessment, so you'll be expected to demonstrate core competencies like teamwork and collaboration, decision-making, critical analysis, and interpersonal skills. You'll also need to prove a sound understanding of your chosen career path, the department in which it sits and the wider climate surrounding this business area.

This is your opportunity to prove yourself a promising applicant that not only brings the relevant skills to the table, but enthusiasm and new ideas that will support Barclays in its commitment to the digital future of finance.

For the face-to-face interview, you'll be asked behavioural-style questions based on how you have behaved in specific situations in the past. They will be looking to see if you have the key skills and qualities that Barclays are looking for.

To help you prepare, we suggest you practice some of these example Barclays behavioural interview questions:

  • Can you provide an example of a time when you had to solve a difficult problem?
  • What would you do if confronted with a difficult customer service issue?
  • Can you tell me about a time when you had to work as part of a team to achieve a goal?

Also consider using the STAR method to structure your interview responses (situation,task, action response)

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