An Overview to the Recruitment Process in UK Banks

Updated: Mar 12, 2021

Ever thought of heading to a new country, starting a new leaf? Immigration is on everyone’s

mind, especially with the recent shift in political dynamics across the world. Many are entranced by the prospect but find themselves unable to reach a conclusive decision on where to go and what career path to opt for. To that end, we find United Kingdom to be a prime candidate, boasting top 10 in the 2019 Best Countries Rankings and offering a more than enticing career in the banking industry.

Stable industry and attractive income

Over 70% of the UK GDP stems from the service sector, tallying up to £651,000 per annum.

1. Of the few dozen types of industry that falls under the sector, financial services like banks and insurance providers are particularly stable as they make up 9.4% of the service sector

contribution, second only to the transport industry

2. For reference, this amounts to £128,830 per annum, dwarfing renowned industries like Retail, £71,016, and Construction, £91,681

3. Owing to its significant contribution to the economy, the banking industry offers attractive

remuneration. Players in the industry, net on average £36,596 per annum which is above the

mean income across all industries at £30,831 pounds (a standard deviation of 111739).

4. In layman’s term, a job at the bank is stable and would garner above average pay.

High quality of life for solos and families

Number crunching aside, UK is renowned for its well-developed public education system and

healthcare. A new beginning in the UK would entail not only great education and healthcare for oneself but also for significant others accompanying you.

Landing the job

The recruitment process entails two components, the application and the assessment. The prior, typically completed online, requires the expatriate applicants to provide proof of English

proficiency (e.g. IELTS, TOEFL) and have the right to work in the UK prior to application in

addition to their resumes and personal particulars. Those who have been shortlisted will typically be given a chance to prove their mettle in the assessment component. The assessment usually includes some or all of the following: written test, numerical/logic test, group exercise, interviews and presentations. As of the recent decade, banks like HSBC and Standard Chartered have also opted for online workplace simulations that place applicants in a workplace scenario to contextualize their assessments. For example, they may ask applicants to write an email to overseas colleagues requesting for specific project data. After the initial assessment, applicants that meet their requisites are invited for further interviews.

One can expect approximately one to two additional interviews post assessment.

The process may seem daunting but it is important to remain level-headed. During the

application process, be sure to submit all relevant information and check the language

requirements for each bank. Although, companies employ an unspoken standard for English

proficiency (IELTS 7 or above), it is best to play safe and confirm.

For the assessment, do your best to play to your strengths and show your personality. The secret for success is to demonstrate your uniqueness during interviews and job simulation rather than being another cookie-cut graduate.

Plan ahead and practice some of the assessment components online. A good place to start, aside from the company website, is

Lastly, fall forward. It’s okay to not to score your dream job on the first attempt. Bank

assessments often include result reports. Make use of those to learn your strengths and

shortcomings to boost your next application.

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