Hey job seekers! I’ve always found posts where people tell their story of their application process helpful, so I thought it’d be good to give back by doing the same. So this is how the process went for me applying for JP Morgan.
Starting with the online application, it’s all pretty normal stuff. Your typical employment history and education and so on. There is also a fairly long covering letter you can add (about 400 words). This is the real ‘flavour’ of your application, so work hard on it and make sure it’s the best it can be. You’ll also need to upload your CV, so make sure it’s up to date.
After this, you’ll be invited to complete the online aptitude tests. They use CEB’s SHL-style tests, and there are four sections to complete: numerical, verbal reasoning, inductive reasoning and situational judgement.
I had 18 questions to answer in 20 minutes for the numerical test, and, as you might expect, it involves analysing data in tables and graphs and stuff to answer the questions with. You’ll need to be quick, so I’d definitely recommend practicing a lot to get used to it. Also, remember that you can use a calculator!
The verbal reasoning test is similar, except you’re dealing with written information and data. The questions are in the form of statements, which you must deem True, False or Cannot Say based on the given information.
The inductive reasoning test is like many other logic tests – it’s all about pattern recognition. You’ll be presented with a sequence of abstract shapes in some sort of pattern, and you must identify the pattern and correctly choose the next in the sequence. Again, practice is key here – it’s not too hard but you’re limited in terms of time.
Finally, I had to do a situational judgement test. You’ll be given workplace scenarios and asked how you would handle the situation or react. There are no ‘right or wrong’ answers here per se, but what I imagine they’re looking for are responses that display their core values. Have a read through their corporate responsibility webpages (https://www.jpmorgan.com/global/corporate-responsibility) and make sure you reflect their values in your answers. That goes for the interviews, too!
Afterwards, you’ll have the first round interview, provided you scored highly enough in the tests. For me, this was a phone interview, and it was competency-based. This means that they asked questions about my motivation, my strengths and weaknesses and so on. Mostly pulling me up on things from my CV and asking for examples of when I’ve shown x trait, such as leadership. It wasn’t too long nor gruelling – only around half an hour – but prepare well nonetheless as it’s your first real chance to make an impression.
If they like your interview, then it’s the assessment centre!
This took up the whole day, beginning with a few exercises. For me, these were a role play, a case study presentation and a group exercise.
A couple of days before I arrived, I was given a case study to prepare a presentation on, to be delivered to a couple of assessors with a Q&A afterwards. For this, you’ll need to analyse the case thoroughly and list out the pros and cons you can see, and then give you recommendation on how to proceed with your reasoning behind it.
Then we had the role play exercise, which was based on the same case study. There are a bunch of different roles you can get, but mine involved presenting the case to a client and talking them through it.
Lastly (for the exercises) was the group exercise. This is again similar to the case study exercise, but uses a new case study shown to you on the day, and the analysis must be done in the context of a team meeting with other candidates, so you’ll need to listen to other people and present your arguments and, eventually, come to a conclusion that you’ll present as a team. It can be quite difficult to be heard here, as you’re all competing against each other in a sense, so you’ll need to make sure your voice is heard. Equally, though, they’ll notice if you’re being overbearing or forceful, so play nice. Striking the balance between the two is key.
At the beginning of the day, you’ll be told which interviews you’ll have and how many you’ll have. I had two – one technical and one competency-based.
The competency based one was very similar to the phone interview, though of course it was more thorough and in-depth. Prepare in a similar way therefore, but expect some tougher and more searching questions, with less leeway given to waffling or poor examples.
The technical interview will depend entirely on the role you’ve applied for – it might be another case study exercise, or financial maths questions, or anything. Do some research into what the role entails and work out what they’re likely to ask you and what skills you’ll need to answer them.
After all that, that was it! I heard back around three weeks later, so don’t panic if it takes a while for them to get back to you.
And please share your own experiences below if you’ve also been through the process! Or feel free to ask any questions