About Standard Chartered
Standard Chartered is a universal bank, operating in treasury services, corporate, consumer, and institutional banking. Officially formed through a merger in 1969, the bank's history goes all the way back to the 1850s. Today the headquarters are in London and it is one of the largest banks in the London Stock Exchange and a FTSE 100 company, however, the majority of its profits are generated in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.
Currently, Standard Chartered has over 770 branches world wide in 70 countries, employing around 85,000 people. It is famed for its rich history and global success making it a company that understands and values diversity in its practices and workforce, shown by their thorough code of conduct, which commits to creating a positive impact on the world. This makes their internships and international graduate programmes extremely coveted. The internship is a 10-week insight into working life, while the graduate programme is an intensive 18-month training course. Both the internships and graduate programmes allow you to choose from a number of 'streams', which are specific areas of financial business, so you can do what interests you the most. Some of the streams are:
- Global banking
- Corporate finance
- Wealth management
- Retail banking
- Risk and conduct, Financial Crime and Compliance
Standard Chartered Recruitment Process
The recruitment process is slightly different from some other companies as they are looking for a diverse workforce, so it is designed to encourage applicants from less traditional backgrounds. Minimum requirements for their internships and graduate programmes are very simple: eligibility to work in the country you are applying for, fluency in English, and being a university student or graduate. This is because the process relies heavily on Standard Chartered's psychometric testing, which assesses strengths, cognitive abilities, and cultural fit.
Online Application Form
The first stage is the online form, which includes your CV and short personal statement. Standard Chartered want to encourage applicants from all disciplines, so do not be discouraged if you do not have a background in finance. For the personal statement you will be asked to show how your previous experience is relevant and what you will bring to the role - this is your chance to show your unique perspective and potential strengths.
You will not be shortlisted or excluded solely because of your CV; this is more dependent on how you perform on the psychometric testing.
Standard Chartered Strengths Assessment
A strengths assessment is a type of personality test which Standard Chartered uses to get a feel for who you are, how you operate, and if you are compatible with the work culture of the company. These are similar to situational judgement tests - presenting you with hypothetical workplace scenarios and then asking you to pick the response you most identify with. Many key workplace behaviours can be predicted through these tests such as communication type, relationship building skills, and leadership potential.
While there are technically no right or wrong answers on personality tests, Standard Chartered are looking for specific strengths and behavioural preferences that align with their code of conduct. When writing your personal statement and taking the strengths test, it is a good idea to be mindful of the key values:
- Do the right thing. Work with integrity and be a force for change.
- Never settle. Always be willing to learn from successes and failures in order to keep innovating and improve business.
- Better together. Understand the importance of the network and have the mindset of "how can I help?"
Standard Chartered Numerical Reasoning Test
If your strengths test is successful then you will be invited to take a numerical reasoning test. This is a type of psychometric test which gauges your competency when working with numbers and interpreting numerical data such as graphs and statistics. Although it will differ from job to job, if you're looking to work in banking, there is an expectation for a certain level of comfort when processing numbers.
When it comes to preparing for these, the best thing to do is take practice tests. There is a practice section on the actual test, which you must complete and gives you feedback on your answers, but doing more beforehand will be immensely helpful. You can also try financial reasoning tests, which provide more focussed questions on financial-based problems.
Their tests are 16 minutes long and are adaptive - this means that it adjusts according to your performance on the previous answer, creating a unique test for every candidate. They encourage you to have a calculator, pen, and paper handy when you do this test.
Standard Chartered Abstract Reasoning Test
Also known as diagrammatic reasoning, this test is designed to assess your pattern recognition and logical thinking skills. You will be asked to identify patterns and relationships between shapes and sequences, applying logic and inference from previous information to choose the correct answer.
These are becoming an increasingly popular recruitment tool as they provide a more objective assessment for potential candidates. While you can, and should, practice abstract reasoning, they are not based on prior knowledge or educational background. Instead, they give an insight to your lateral and critical thinking abilities, as well as how well you perform under pressure.
The Standard Chartered test is 15 minutes long and you will not need any additional equipment for it, but you are allowed a dictionary if required.
Strengths Based Video Interview
Strengths-based interviewing is used as it shows your passions and what you're good at better than other types of interviewing. This is preferred for companies like Standard Chartered who have plenty of intelligent and highly-qualified candidates, so are looking for those who will truly thrive in the roles, rather than just showing they are capable of doing them.
Common SBI questions look like this:
- Describe a significant accomplishment.
- Describe a time you took initiative.
- Why do you want to work for Standard Chartered? Why this sector?
- What strengths do you have that make you an asset?
There will be an opportunity to practice the questions beforehand and make sure that your set-up is appropriate for recording. Remember to take this as seriously as an in-person interview, meaning dress professionally and make sure that you are not interrupted or distracted while recording your answers.
Finally, the last stage in the recruitment process is meeting with the graduate team and people you will be working with in your stream. This is your final chance to really show who you are and why you are the right person for the job, so be confident and make sure that you are prepared to give specific examples of your skills and achievements.
The best way to prepare is to familiarise yourself with Standard Chartered's code of conduct, the expectations of the role, and recent business developments in the sector you are applying for. They are looking for people who are passionate about the field and excited about the future of finance, so you need to show how you embody this. You should also try to come with questions for the interviewers, particularly specifics about the role and company, which show your genuine interest in the day-to-day reality of the job.