Hi Everyone! I went through the AC process on 23rd Apr and recently received an invitation for the next round of interviews. Sorry for not being able to reply earlier, I was stuck in a hotel in Brighton where the internet connection was too good to load any webpage.
General Setup: There were appx. 20 applicants in my AC, who were then divided into 4 groups. All activities throughout the day would be carried out in groups, so it would be very helpful if you make effort to know the people in the group. The day is split into four sections: manager presentation, interviews, lunch and presentation.
Manager Presentation: A manager in the fixed income team would give a 20min presentation on the fixed income business and BNPP. This may be your first chance to really understand the nature of the job other than the information on the website. So I would suggest that you pay attention to the presentation, and hopefully this can also get you warmed up for the activities later.
Interviews: Like I have previously mentioned, all activities are carried out in your group. In my AC, 4 groups of interviewers rotated among the applicants so that each group of applicants was interviewed 4 times(30 min each interview). All questions were competency based. Although one of the interviews was supposed to be technical, applicants were not asked to write any code or explain any complex concepts. In my opinion, the ideal applicant would be a tech-savvy person with experience in project work and has the ability to work well in a team.
Lunch: The food was GREAT! The graduates were very friendly and helpful. It was also a great chance to network with people in other groups. It was great to meet people with similar passion and interests.
Presentation: Each group is asked to choose 1 from 5 topics available and is given 1.5 hours to prepare for a 10min presentation. Interviewers would observe the teams during the preparation to look for signs of team work, project management, etc. My advice is to manage the time well, and have a general structure to the 1.5 hour preparation time. Be confident, but do not try to bluff the assessors. The presentation from other groups were very interesting too!
Conclusion: Personally, I find the AC at BNPP very enjoyable. The assessors are friendly, every applicant has some unique experience and exciting stories to share, the lunch was great, the presentations were interesting. However, this form of assessment would make people show their true selves, so I guess there isn’t much one can do to prepare. After all, they are looking for people who naturally fit into their culture and working environment.
Best of Luck!