About Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS)
Headquartered in Edinburgh and with its foundations dating back to 1727, RBS is one of the UK's oldest financial institutions still in existence today. Not only that, it has been responsible for some major banking milestones. It was the first bank anywhere in the world to offer an overdraft, and the first in the UK to provide a house purchase loan. It also developed the first ever fully operational banking app.
Today, RBS operates as a subsidiary of the NatWest Group, providing personal banking services to some 3.3 million customers, as well as a range of business banking solutions. Each year it welcomes applications to its Early Careers programme, offering summer internships and graduate pathways in various business units, including:
- Private banking
- Customer solutions
- Change and business solutions
- Internal audit
- RBS International
For undergraduates, its summer internships are paid, eight week placements. Graduate programmes are two or three year rotational placements, depending on the chosen pathway, and offer supported development and coaching, with the chance to work towards a professional qualification.
RBS Application Process
For both summer internships and graduate programmes, the RBS application process is the same. Recruitment begins in September, and candidates are encouraged to submit their applications at the earliest opportunity, as they are reviewed on a rolling basis.
Undergraduates interested in an internship can apply in their penultimate year of study. For graduate programmes, you can apply as early as your final year of study.
The process starts with a standard application form, followed by online testing, interview and assessment.
Online Application Form
Once you've considered the roles on offer and chosen the one most suited to your interests and skill set, you'll need to create an account on RBS's recruitment platform to submit your initial application.
The application itself is exactly what you'd expect for any graduate position. You'll need to provide your contact details and educational background, as well as answer some initial screening questions. This is your first chance to demonstrate your suitability for the role, and your motivations for applying to RBS, so take time over your responses and consider your words carefully.
Most positions do not require you to upload a CV. For those that do, make sure it is tailored to this specific application.
RBS then uses the Sky Rise City Interactive Game and a series of Korn Ferry psychometric tests to narrow down the candidate pool. These are designed to measure both natural aptitude and behavioural characteristics.
The first is a situational judgement test, which you'll be invited to complete immediately after you submit your application. If you perform well on this test, you'll be asked to complete a short gamified assessment, and numerical and logical reasoning tests.
Situational Judgement Test
A situational judgement test gives RBS the chance to evaluate candidates on their values, and determine whether or not these align with those upheld by the organisation.
This is done by asking you to navigate through a series of hypothetical situations commonly encountered in the workplace. For each, you'll be given around four possible responses and will need to select which you personally believe to be the best and the worst course of action.
There are around 15 scenarios to work through in total, and the test should take between 20 and 30 minutes to complete.
Sky Rise City Interactive Game
Successful candidates will then be sent a link to an interactive game-based assessment called Sky Rise City. Unlike traditional aptitude and personality tests, gamified versions require you to respond instinctively, giving a more realistic representation of your skills and behavioural style in action.
Throughout the game, you'll complete a series of different challenges that reveal character traits and innate strengths like decision making and cognitive processing. These tests use complex methods of analysis to give RBS a more insightful candidate profile.
Numerical Reasoning Test
The numerical reasoning test is a timed, multiple choice test that measures your ability to process, evaluate and interpret numerical data presented in varying forms.
You'll answer questions based on statistics, figures and data sets given in charts, tables and graphs. The problems posed will not require complex calculations, but you should brush up on basic arithmetic, fractions, percentages and ratios in preparation.
The most difficult thing about a numerical reasoning test is the time pressure - you'll need to work at speed without compromising on accuracy. The best way to do this is to put in the hard work beforehand with plenty of practice tests.
Logical Reasoning Test
In conjunction with numerical aptitude, your analytical and problem solving skills will also be assessed through a logical reasoning test.
These tests come in many forms, but RBS usesdiagrammatic reasoning. This involves analysis of diagrams containing abstract patterns. Within these patterns certain rules and relationships will exist, which you'll need to identify in order to complete the sequence, or fill in a missing part.
Again, these tests are both multiple choice and timed - and again - practice is the best way to ensure a competitive performance.
If you're successful in passing the initial screening tests, you'll be sent a link to take part in a video interview, along with detailed instructions on how to do so.
This interview is one way - that is to say, you'll upload recorded responses to predetermined questions, rather than take part in a live, two way conversation via a video conferencing platform.
You'll need to answer a combination of competency and scenario based questions, so make sure you have plenty of examples to hand that demonstrate your skills in action. You'll also be asked motivational questions, so take the time to consider why you've chosen this career path, and what drives you. It's also a good idea to practice recording yourself before you complete the interview, as it can take time to master talking to camera in a positive, confident way.
You can use any device with a camera for this part of the process, and it should take around 20 to 30 minutes in all.
The final stage of the RBS application process is participation in an assessment centre. These are currently held virtually, but are still a full day, and consist of a variety of activities that you'd normally participate in in person.
The exact nature of your assessment centre will depend on the pathway you've applied to, but generally speaking, you can expect to take part in the following:
A competency based interview - this will be a formal interview with a member of the hiring team, in which you'll be asked to provide real world examples of your strengths. It's best to approach competency based questions using the STAR method, detailing a situation, task, action and result.
A group exercise - here you'll be required to work with other applicants to solve some sort of business problem. Both your own initiative and team working skills will be observed here, so you'll need to work collaboratively.
An individual exercise - this could take the form of role play, where you'll act out a hypothetical scenario with an assessor, or some form of written exercise. Certain roles also require candidates to complete additional testing.
You'll be assessed on a variety of strengths throughout the day, including relationship building, teamwork and decision making. Assessors will also be looking at your understanding of the current market, and the future potential of RBS as an organisation.
On completion of your assessment centre, you should hear back from the hiring team within a week. If successful, you'll then be informed of the process moving forward.