Founded in 1846, Nationwide is the largest building society in the world. As a mutual financial institution, it is owned by and run for the benefit of its members - of which it currently has around 15 million.
It's financial products span current accounts, credit cards, loans, mortgages, savings, investments and insurance. Around 18 million employees work in its head office, administration centres, branches and call centres across the UK.
Careers at Nationwide are available across multiple teams, and for finance graduates, it offers an exciting opportunity to be part of a progressive organisation through its Early Careers programmes.
As an applicant, you'll not only need to demonstrate the required skills and knowledge but will also need to show a commitment to the core values that define its culture. These are represented through the acronym PRIDE:
- Putting our members and their money first
- Rising to the challenge
- Inspiring trust
- Doing the right thing in the right way
- Empowering each other
To assess your suitability as a candidate, Nationwide runs a multi-stage recruitment process.
Nationwide Application Process
The following application process applies to experienced roles, as well as apprenticeships, industrial placements and graduate schemes.
It's important you give each stage your full attention, as approximately 70,000 applications are submitted to Nationwide each year, with around just 6,000 resulting in an offer of employment.
The first stage of recruitment is a fairly straightforward online application. Once you've found a role that suits your skills and experience, you'll need to create an account through the Nationwide career portal and submit your CV.
You'll also need to complete an accompanying application form. This will include some initial screening questions, and you'll need to show your understanding of Nationwide and share your motivations for applying.
Read the job description carefully before you complete this form, and remember to refer to the PRIDE values. You should also be sure to tailor your CV to highlight key skills that are listed as essential.
If you're considered a strong candidate, you'll be invited to complete a series of online psychometric tests. These are designed to measure your aptitude, character, and behavioural styles.
Nationwide uses tests published and administered by Sova, and your results will be compared to that of a normative group.
Situational Judgement Test
The situational judgement test is used to gain insight into your workplace behaviour, essentially, your ability to take the most appropriate course of action when faced with various situations.
You'll be presented with a number of hypothetical scenarios, all of which have been based around events you're likely to experience as a Nationwide employee. There's a visual element to Sova's situational judgement test, so as well as brief descriptions of each scenario, you'll also see accompanying images, animations or videos.
Having analysed a situation, you'll need to read through three or four possible responses, choosing which you deem to be the least effective, and which the most. There are no trick questions, and no right or wrong answers. It's all based on your own professional judgement.
Cognitive Ability Test
This is a blended assessment that measures your natural aptitude, problem solving skills, and ability to work with new information. You'll come across the following question types in the cognitive ability test:
Verbal reasoning - here you'll process and interpret written information to form logical conclusions.
Numerical reasoning - this looks at your ability to work with new information in the form of data.
Logical reasoning - questions here look at your ability to identify rules and relationships in abstract sequences.
All questions are multiple choice. There is no time limit on the cognitive ability test, however, your score will be determined by both the number of correct answers and the amount of time you took to respond to each question.
Nationwide uses the cognitive ability test as it shows your capacity for learning, and is a good indicator of how you're likely to perform if offered a position.
The personality questionnaire looks at character traits and working preferences and is used to determine how well suited you are to both the role and Nationwide as an organisation.
On each page of the questionnaire, you'll see a set of four statements. You'll also see a five point scale working from 'least like me' to 'most like me'. You'll need to rank each of the four statements on a page depending on how they apply to you.
It sounds straightforward, but you can only use a point on the scale once. So, for example, you cannot rank two of the four statements as 'most like me'. Think through the options carefully, and be honest in your ranking.
Numerical Reasoning Test
The numerical reasoning test is administered to applicants for Nationwide finance schemes, who are of course expected to have a high level of numerical aptitude.
You'll work through a series of questions containing numerical information presented in tables, charts and graphs, accompanied by a word problem. To solve the problem, you'll need to analyse and accurately interpret the data. You may also need to perform basic calculations.
Four answer options will be given per question. As with the blended cognitive ability test, there is no time limit, but both speed and number of correct answers will contribute to your final score.
You should receive details of your performance in the online tests within ten days of completing them. If you've met the required standards, you'll then be invited to a short video assessment.
This is a chance for Nationwide to get to know you better through a series of pre-recorded questions. You'll have around one minute to process each question, and three minutes each to record your responses.
Whilst it's impossible to predict the questions you'll be asked, it's useful to prepare some notes that you can refer to. Think about the questions asked in your original application form, and how you may expand on your answers.
Live Virtual Assessment
The final stage of the process is a live virtual assessment, typically conducted through Microsoft Teams. This will consist of a live virtual interview, and potentially a group activity.
The interview will be competency based, designed to explore the skills and behaviours Nationwide considers vital to the role you've applied for. There are 15 core competencies listed on Nationwide's recruitment website, and you should familiarise yourself with those you believe to be relevant for your position.
If you're in any doubt, you're encouraged to speak to your recruitment contact for clarification.
You'll also be sent details on your virtual assessment prior to the day, including what activities you'll take part in, and the areas you'll be asked about in your interview. Use this information to prepare accordingly, so you can present the best version of yourself on the day.