About Capital One
Capital One is an American bank holding company, which specialises in banking, savings accounts, credit cards, and auto loans. It is the 13th largest bank in the US with total assets of $421 billion in 2021 and the second largest auto-finance company. There are 755 branches and 2000 ATMs across the US, Canada, and the UK.
In 2021, Capital One was listed by Fortune as the 9th top company to work for based on employee satisfaction and has a 4.5/5 rating as an employer on Glassdoor. The company is focused on technology, innovation, and leading the financial industry into the future, so they are looking for employees with the passion for this work.
Capital One Application Process
Not only is Capital One one of the biggest banks in the world, but it was also ranked within the top 100 graduate employers in 2020, so the recruitment process is extremely competitive. The company only takes on around 60 graduates, interns, and placement students each year, making it one of the toughest programmes to get onto.
This is reflected in the application process, which rigorously assesses candidates to make sure that the top applicants are taken at each stage. There are online assessments, multiple interviews, and an assessment centre to get through before you are chosen.
You can research the different roles and teams available at Capital One to find the pathway that suits you and your skills before putting in an application. For every role, Capital One lists their 'basic qualifications', which are essential to the job, and their 'preferred qualifications', which will help you stand out.
The online application is very simple and only requires your CV and some basic information about you. Every application is reviewed by a recruiter, who will make sure that you have all of the basic qualifications and any preferred qualifications, so make sure that your CV is up-to-date and really shows off your experience.
If your application is accepted, you will be invited to take some online assessments. These will gauge your competencies with essential skills like working with numbers, and workplace behaviours to show what kind of worker you are. Typically, the tests are 20-30 minutes each.
There can also be a coding test if that is part of the role you have applied for.
Numerical Reasoning Test
Numerical reasoning is a vital skill for those working in the financial and tech industries. Since Capital One has a heavy focus on both, it is considered one of their essential competencies.
These tests show you well you comprehend, analyse, and interpret numerical data. Many numerical reasoning tests are framed as business-relevant scenarios, which means that the questions will be based around interpreting graphs and charts, profits and losses, and currency conversion.
Verbal Reasoning Test
For the verbal reasoning test, Capital One is looking at how well you process information and use it to come to logical conclusions. The test assesses your ability to process written information and instructions, and filter out key data to base your decisions on, showing your literacy and how well you work under pressure.
Good communication skills are also important in the financial sector as you have to liaise with clients, colleagues, and different teams to work efficiently.
Situational Judgement Test
Employers are increasingly using situational judgement tests as a screening tool during the recruitment process, especially for graduates and interns who may have limited work experience. These tests can tell employers what kind of worker you are and how you might behave in certain situations that can arise in the workplace.
The test will give you different scenarios and work-related challenges then ask you to rank different responses. You should try to keep in mind the company's values such as social responsibility, diversity and inclusion, and innovation to demonstrate how you fit into the company culture.
Once you pass the tests, then you will be invited for an interview, most likely online. The questions will be a mix of motivational and technical, which means that you will be asked about why you want to work for Capital One, as well as what experience you have that proves your skills. Again, remember to show you have researched the company, their values, and the latest business developments in the sector that you have applied for to show your passion for the role.
If you have applied to be an analyst, you will also have to do a case study interview with one of the current Analysts. This tests your analytic and strategic skills by asking you to answer how you would approach a hypothetical business problem or idea.
The assessment centre is your chance to meet with more employees from Capital One, as well as the other candidates. Depending on how many people there are and if it is online or in-person, there are a few different activities and tasks that you may be asked to complete over the day.
Your group tasks will include activities like presentations and case studies, during which you can demonstrate your business acumen, and skills like problem solving, communicating ideas, and research. This is your chance to show how well you work as a team, what your working style is, and what skills and experience you bring to the table.
If this is relevant to the role you have applied for, there will be an additional coding interview. During this, you will have to answer more technical questions and demonstrate specific skills that are required.
Remember that the assessment centre is also your chance to network with current employees and ask any questions you have about what it's like to work for Capital One. They want to get to know you as a person and see you demonstrate your interest in the role and the company as a whole.
There is one more interview with senior staff before you find out if you have been offered the role. The exact structure of these interviews varies depending on who you are meeting with and what they still want to see from you, so there may be a mix of company fit, behavioural, motivational, and competencies questions with multiple interviewers.
Many of the interviews will follow the STAR method to ask about your experiences, which looks like this:
1. Situation: Describe the situation.
2. Task: Explain the task and its goal.
3. Action: Provide details about the actions you took to attain the goal.
4. Result: Conclude with the results.
This is your last chance to impress the recruiters, so make sure that you know your CV well, have taken the opportunity to research the company and role, and picked up as much knowledge as possible from the other stages. Your previous interviews and assessment centre experience should be used to get a better understanding of what it's like to work for Capital One and prove you will be a valuable asset to the company.