Nationwide Grad Scheme


Hear dit wasn’t too bad… can anyone fill me in?


Nationwide is a super good place to get on a grad scheme. The reason for this is because it is extremely focussed on training, and is an especially good place to go if you want to be an accountant, but you cannot seem to secure a place at an accounting company. Well, Nationwide will pay for your training so you become qualified… CIMA, ACCA. Not bad really. Plus you get a household name on your CV. Pay is not bad in this sector, although you could get a better mix of training and money in an investment bank or city firm, though you would probably have less free time.

This is from Nationwide’s Grad site:

Training & Development

We know that our people are the key to success, and the investment in our training and development programme reflects this.

Your development
Our Nationwide Management Development Programme allows you to develop a breadth of skills across the Society. The programme involves working on real jobs with real expectations and targets, with your performance and development being continually measured over the two years. You will be given clear objectives to help you develop as well as regular performance reviews where we will help you identify your strengths so that you can build on these and also spot the opportunities for further growth. You will also have regular exposure to senior and executive managers.
You will be provided with a Comprehensive Development Plan which supports the
following Nationwide Leadership Capabilities:

Driving the Business
Managing Self
Relationship with others
Leading the Team

Your development calendar will start with a residential induction where all new graduates get together at our Training Centre in High Wycombe to introduce you to Nationwide. This is a great networking opportunity for everyone - to meet graduates across all our different programmes and start to form the relationships that are important to your development and, of course, social life. There are guest speakers, dinners with key people from the business and the chance to make lasting contacts with the other new and existing graduates. Followed by a residential team build event to build relationships with your peers and providing an understanding of the Business.

In addition to the above training is provided through a blend of group learning, on-the-job initiatives, coaching and skills training which include leadership, presentation skills, project management and relationship skills, as well as sharpening your business and technology skills there will also be other courses essential for your specialist area.

We also have an excellent mentoring approach, linked to regular discussions and feedback to ensure your personal and professional development stays on track. Your mentor will be a Senior Manager who will be able to help you guide your career and help you achieve your development goals.

And your ‘Buddy’ (a previous graduate) who’ll be able to help with day-to-day issues (After all, they’ll have been through the same training themselves, so they’ll know exactly where you’re coming from.)

In addition, each specialist scheme is operated by a Scheme Manager to ensure that you are coached and developed effectively. A member of the Talent & Executive Development team will also be there to support throughout and after the scheme.

Where appropriate, you’ll have the opportunity to study for professional qualifications, e.g., CIMA, ACCA, CIPD, ACT etc. We provide both financial support and study leave to help you successfully complete your studies.


I am taking part in an assessment day for Alliance and Leicester in two weeks. I have been told that the assessment will include a series of group exercises, an individual presentation and an informal interview.

Can someone help me out with the group exercises - is there any website that provides examples/scenarious so I can get some practice?

Also, what sort of questions do they ask in the informal interview? Any help/advice would be much appreciated.

Many thanks


Hi Eni0202

First of all, well done for getting through to the [[assessment day]]. How has your interview/application process been so far?

There is currently no information on WikiJob specifically about Alliance and Leicester assessment days. However, have a look at our general articles on [[group exercise|group exercises]], [[presentation|presentations]] and [[general interview advice|interviews]].

Regarding specific questions to prepare for - find out as much as you can about A&L, the retail banking industry and problems currently affecting it (like the [[credit crunch effect on audit|credit crunch]] see article, [[credit crunch effect on audit|here]]). Also prepare for some [[competency based questions]] (see [[competency based questions|this article]]). Re-read your application form and CV to make sure you know these like the back of your hand too, as it is likely your interviewer will discuss your background/experience/life to date.

Have a look at our Wiki profiles on [[HSBC]], [[Barclays]] and [[Lloyds TSB]], as these should give you some further tips on what to expect at the A&L interview.

Good luck - please do let us know how it goes and what the assessment day is like… it is extremely appreciated!


…further to my original post, I just wanted to ask you which of A&L’s grad schemes you have applied for? The interviews may be different.

Also, are you aware that a third party company called ‘Pareto Law’ actually hold the assessment day for A&L?


Thanks very much Editor. Actually I am am applying through Pareto Law and they have been good so far. My first screening interview was with them.
This website is proving invaluable in my preparation and I will provide some feedback once I undergo the assessment on the day. I have been told I need to prepare a 3-min presentation on why A&L should employ me. Although I have a good idead what I will say, I’m finding it hard to squeeze the informtion down to three minutes. Any advice on that?

The grad scheme I am applying for is the Commercial Banking one, based in London.

Thanks again



No problem! …when is your assessment day?

Regarding the presentation, if they’ve told you to prepare a presentation of three minutes, make sure it is around three minutes. Anything less than 2 and a half looks like you haven’t prepared and anything over 3 and a half will seem excessive and you run the risk of boring your interviewers.

If you have too much content just stick to the very best of what you have. Keep things sharp, succinct, intelligent… don’t over elaborate. Don’t try too hard (with humour, for example) just keep things simple. Be confident and articulate (don’t ever use slang!) - be professional. At the end of your presentation briefly (and I mean very breifly, as the presentation is so short) sum up your key points and finish on a positive note. At the end you could also ask “any questions?”

…the most important thing is ‘‘how’’ you present - your interviewers want to find someone they would be happy about putting in front of one of their clients. Make sure you:

  • ‘’‘Voice’’’ - Speak clearly and loud enough for veryone to hear. Vary your tone to make things more interesting. Don’t speak too fast. Feel confident enough to leave space between key points, catch your breath, etc.
  • ‘’‘Eyes’’’ - Maintain eye contact throughout your presentation - and look from person to person as you talk to keep everyone engaged.
  • ‘’‘Smile’’’ - Smile when you start. Smile during your presentation… and smile at the end! People like people who smile - especially your interviewers!
  • ‘’‘Stance’’’ - Stand up straight and tall, shoulders back, feet pointing straight at your audience, use your hands to elaborate what you are saying if you need to - but not excessively.

It is essential you practice your presentation before the interview - with parents, friends, mirror, record on video/tape. Giving the presentation is a very important part of the interview. If you do well here you will give a very good impression of yourself!


I have also got an assessmentment centre for a+l i dont know what to expect, as is this assessment centre ran in the same way as they recruit there sales graduates or will peopl from a/l b der


Nellyp - What position/role are you applying for exactly? Where is your assessment centre? …I wouldn’t use the phrase “b der” at your assessment centre, if I was you.

Eni0202 - How did your [[assessment centre]] go? Any good? What happened… did you get the job?!


I recently went to one of the Pareto Assessment days and I didn’t think it was too bad either. I quite enjoyed myself and met some really nice people! It was a few hours from about 1 till 6 but we were kept busy so it didn’t seem that long and we had lunch and snacks provided.

Yes there were a few loud people there shouting to get there point across which is what they probably thought would get them through, however a lot of them didn’t. I am not an overbearing person and I managed to be successful. At the end they explained they look for confidence and ability to influence, however also being able to work with others and valuing others opinions.

I am not looking for a new business role, I want account management and I have explained this to them and since Wednesday I have had 2 interviews offered to me already however the locations were not right for me so they are looking for something that will suit me, not them.

I have had bad experiences with other recruitment agencies that promise you the world but then never contact you, however Pareto seem to be proactive and have not let me down yet!


hi guys,

I got through the screening and now have to take a numerical test for the grad scheme. can someone please tell me the level of difficulty they are? Are they on the same level as rbs/barclays?- they were ridiculously hard!!

thank you


Hello Guys

I have done online tests, both numerical and verbal, awhile ago, but i havent heard back from them yet. does anyone know how long does it take??

Many Thanks


its simple its from 10+2 i believe, i got it through, i only got time to answer 13 and 14th i guessed and it was altogether 18 questions and i passed


when i did my test the numerical the next day results came