Founded in 1812, Citi is a global banking organization headquartered in New York. Offering services to businesses in over 160 countries, the organization provides financial services to institutional investors and wealth management and personal banking to individuals.

Citi offers a range of opportunities for undergraduates, graduates, and MBA students across its global offices. The fierce competition for places on these schemes requires applicants to prepare for recruitment thoroughly.

This article explores Citi’s assessment center in more detail. Outlining what the organization looks for in its applicants, the Citi assessment center, and some hints and tips that will help you become more confident should you be invited to attend the Citi assessment center.

Why does Citi use assessment centers?

Citi attracts a significant number of applications to its various student and graduate programs. The initial stages of the selection process focuses on an applicant’s suitability for the role, such as their numerical and logical reasoning abilities, in addition to whether they have the competencies needed for the position.

Those successful in the initial stages of the recruitment process are invited to attend the Citi assessment center.

The assessment center enables recruiters to understand a candidate’s skills, abilities, and technical competencies (where applicable). Candidates are assessed against several criteria, such as team working, communication skills, and critical thinking. This insight enables recruiters to select the best candidates for the role based on their skills and abilities.

What skills is Citi looking for?

There are several skills and abilities that Citi looks for when recruiting candidates for each of its six main teams.

  • Problem-solving: The ability to solve problems, thinking logically, analytically, and critically.

  • Strong teamwork skills: candidates need to work with others internally and externally to ensure that the client’s needs are met and the values of Citi as an organization are upheld.

  • Communication skills: Communicating effectively with others and presenting and discussing this information for the client’s benefit is at the core of every role in the organization.

  • Organization: Working in the fast-paced banking and financial services industry requires well-developed organizational and time management skills. The ability to plan your time, juggle multiple demands and meet client deadlines is a must.

  • Commercial acumen: All candidates must be interested in the sector that Citi works in and have the desire to continually learn and develop their knowledge and curiosity in the financial industry.

  • Decision-making: The core of Citi’s work is to provide financial advice to its clients; this requires individuals to use their knowledge and expertise to make rational decisions in the interests of their clients.

These skills and attributes enable employees to uphold Citi’s values of providing responsible financial services, understanding the core of the business, and the ethics of working in this sector.

Citi assessment center format

The Citi assessment center comprises of:

  • Group exercise: evaluates an individual’s ability to work with others to achieve a common goal.
  • Case study: requires individuals to read through information given and write a short report based on their recommendations.
  • Presentation: assesses individuals’ ability to prepare and deliver a presentation and answer questions related to the presented content.

Citi group exercise

The group exercise enables recruiters to see how well individuals can work with others in a group. In groups of up to six, candidates are given information to look through, analyze, and discuss within the group.

The information is aligned with the information provided to individuals in the case study but covers a different part of the topic. The assessment evaluates individuals on their recommendations and proposals and how individuals share this information.

Recruiters will be specifically looking at the following:

  • Your ability to share your views
  • How well you react to others’ input and are able to build on their views
  • If you can persuade others around to your way of thinking openly and professionally.

Example topics for the group assessment can include:

  • Developing a marketing strategy for a new product launch
  • Whether an organization should invest in acquiring another organization
  • Investment scenario: looking at the options available for investing a large amount of money

Citi case study

The Citi case study evaluates individuals’ ability to read, analyze and synthesize recommendations on their proposed course of action and document these in a written proposal.

The information provided is in the form of written information (up to 20 pages) and is usually based on a fictional organization. Candidates’ ability to think critically and analytically is assessed in the case study, along with their ability to make rational and logical decisions based on the information given.

Examples include:

  • A pharmaceutical company looking to make a new acquisition or expand its operations into new countries. Candidates need to decide on which of the given routes may be the best to take based on the information they are provided.
  • A retail organization is looking to make a large acquisition. Several investment firms have been contacted to help with the acquisition. Candidates need to analyze the information, financials, and background to propose whether the acquisition should go ahead, suggested price, and criteria that must be considered.

Citi presentation

The presentation exercise evaluates individuals’ ability to draft and deliver a five-minute presentation.

The presentation’s content is also assessed in terms of its appropriateness in covering the most relevant content based on the information provided. Candidates are also expected to answer questions at the end of the presentation to ensure they have understood the information. They are also assessed on how they respond to follow-up questions.

As the presentation is aligned with the case study, topics will be similar to those given in the case study. These can include presenting investment strategies for acquiring a new organization or the options for investing a large amount of money for a private investor.

Tips for passing the Citi assessment center

Arrive on time

Put yourself in the best possible mindset by ensuring you arrive at the assessment center in plenty of time. If the assessment center is virtual, ensure that you have tested your login and equipment and are ready before the start time. In doing so, you set yourself up for success and ensure you are in the best frame of mind to perform at your best.

Stay calm

If you feel one part of the assessment center isn’t going as well as you would like it to, don’t panic. Remain calm, keep a level head and remain professional in your approach and responses. The assessment center simulates the scenarios you will face in the workplace, so keeping calm in your approach is essential to performing well.

Understand what is being assessed

Be aware of what is being assessed in each stage of the assessment center.

To perform to the best of your ability, it is essential to understand what skills and attributes are being assessed in each element of the assessment center. In doing so, you can ensure that you take into account these competencies, work well with others, and keep focused on the task you have been given.

Think as if you were already in the role

The Citi assessment center is a simulation of the situations that employees find themselves in daily when in their role. Think as if you were an employee in each assessment center task. When presenting, ensure you project your voice, make eye contact, and confidently deliver a presentation. In the group task, listen to others and build on their points. In short, make sure you mirror the types of attributes and behaviors that Citi looks for in its employees.

Show your enthusiasm

Be confident and show your enthusiasm for the role and the tasks you are asked to complete as part of the assessment center. The assessment center simulates tasks you will be doing when in the position, such as working with others and analyzing and discussing information. Showing your interest and enthusiasm for these shows the assessors that this is the type of role you want and will thrive and excel in.