In terms of the assessment day, it’s a half day. First part you meet a current grad, have a chat about the bank and the scheme you’ve applied for and give him your documents etc. Get all the niceties out of the way first.
The second part, you go off with one assessor, who doesn’t work for the bank but is an outside psychologist. He asks you a lot of personality based questions such as: How do you react under pressure, what would your perfect job be, think of two of your past managers what were their good/ bad points, when last did you upset a colleague?
After this, you get to read a comprehension exercise on customer service. You are given a memo on customer service and how the bank should improve its customer service and loyalty. There are four proposed plans of action of which you have to pick one based on the facts and research findings you are given and argue you choice. You pick what you think the best course of action would be and argue your point of view to the assessor who asks you various questions to get you to doubt your choice. The main point of this exercise is to see how well you stand your ground and how you rationalise your decision.
The last exercise is a role reversal. You are given four profiles of people linked in some way to the bank. You have to conduct a ten minute interview with them, in order to find out what their experience with the bank has been and how the customer service could be improved. After this, the assessor asks you questions on the individuals to find out what you learnt about them. The main points of this exercise are time keeping, getting the information asked for initially and being professional.
I applied for the commercial management, was successful at the assessment centre stage, but like everyone before has said the positions are filled till Jan 2010. However, I have been offered a place on the Retail Management programme to start in Sept, just got to decide whether or not to take it.
Hope this helps