About Commonwealth Bank
Commonwealth Bank (otherwise known as CommBank) was founded as a governmental bank in 1911 and then fully privatised in 1996. It is Australia's leading provider of financial services.
One of the 'big four' banks of Australia, the services Commonwealth Bank provides includes broking services, business finances, insurance and asset management.
Although first and foremost an Australian bank, Commonwealth Bank has offices in Asia, Europe, New Zealand and North America — offering a huge range of employment opportunities for those who can get through the rigorous application process to join the graduate programme.
The best way to prepare for Commonwealth Bank's competitive recruitment process is to do as much research as possible into the company, its ethos and mission; the application process itself, including practicing aptitude tests; and also to brush up on the interview tricks and techniques that will help you stand out from other applicants.
Commonwealth Bank Application Process
The Commonwealth Bank application process requires hard work and focus at every step.
Before embarking on the process, it's worth reading up on the company and its initiatives so you can ensure you're as prepared as possible for each stage of the process.
The first step in the application process is to set up an online profile.
You'll then need to fill out a 12-question form which will require you to identify the two areas of the business that are of most interest to you.
It's worth bearing in mind the bank's five core values as you write your application, so you can show examples of where you've demonstrated them previously:
Honesty is really important, as the recruiting managers will look for clues on your form as to the type of person you are and where they think your skills would be best used, which means that sometimes they may call you to discuss a different opportunity to the one you initially showed interest in.
All applicants to Commonwealth Bank will need to take a series of aptitude tests and personality assessments.
Time is of the essence as the test will automatically shut down when the allotted time limit has run out. So it's important to pre-prepare by practicing aptitude tests in a bid to improve both your speed and accuracy.
The tests you'll be required to take are:
Your ability to work with tables, charts, graphs and data interpretation is under scrutiny in the bank's numerical reasoning test.
Understandably, hiring managers are looking for candidates with an aptitude for numbers who can confidently move through the 18-question test. Although your numerical skills are under examination, you will be allowed a calculator for this test.
Logical reasoning tests are designed to see how candidates cope with non-verbal and non-numerical questions that require them to use their logical thinking skills.
The point of these tests is to finish a pattern of shapes using the limited amount of information you're presented with.
The logical reasoning test is multiple choice.
The logical reasoning tests can be especially challenging as they may involve a type of question you haven't encountered before.
Commonwealth Bank's verbal reasoning test looks at the strength of your communication by assessing your verbal and written skills.
Firstly, you'll be asked to read through a passage of text (no prior knowledge of the subject is required) before selecting 'true', 'false' or 'cannot say' in answer to questions about the information you've just processed.
The test normally consists of around 30 questions, which you'll have less than 20 minutes to complete.
The OPQ is different to the aptitude tests listed above as it's designed to assess your personality traits and character to find a job that's best suited to your unique skills.
As well as your working style, the test looks to understand your strengths and dominant personality traits, as well as how well you're likely to work as part of a team.
All of this is measured against a set of criteria for the role(s) or programme you're applying for, and helps the Commonwealth Bank hiring managers to make more considered recruitment decisions.
Next, you'll be required to take part in at least one interview, either face-to-face, over the phone or online.
In this interview, you'll be expected to show your passion and understanding of Commonwealth Bank, as well as how your previous education and experience will help you to succeed should you be offered a role.
Commonwealth Bank uses the STAR (situation, task, action, result) method to understand how your past experiences, successes and failures will contribute to your work with them. So make sure you frame your answers using this method wherever possible.
Virtual Assessment Centre
The final part of the application process is the assessment centre.
This is where recruiting managers get to assess your skills and character traits through a series of tasks and activities.
Group exercises are a chance to show how you work as part of a team. It's important to be yourself, while also remembering to let others speak (or to speak up yourself if you're of a quieter disposition), listen to others' ideas and present your thoughts as confidently and concisely as possible.
There may also be a final interview where you'll have one last chance to impress, as well as another opportunity to ask any questions you may have about the job role, culture and opportunities at Commonwealth Bank.
At the moment the assessment centre is delivered virtually due to Covid restrictions, but it was previously held at a Commonwealth Bank office and would often put groups of people together who were applying for different jobs, as well as others who were in competition for the same role.