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

Barclays Aptitude Tests

About 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. It's 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 specific role.

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 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.

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.

Business Insight Stage 1

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:

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 to be 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.

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.

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. It's 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.

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.

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

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.


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