If you see yourself as someone who actively chips in to the creation of newest technologies – IBM is probably the best place to start your career. As the largest technology and consulting employer in the world, IBM have clients in 170 countries to whom they deliver expertise services and knowledge in Cloud, Analytics, Security, Mobile and the Internet of Things.

IBM offers Graduate Schemes in Business, Consulting, Technology, and Design.

To join the team of thinkers and doers through one of their Graduate Schemes you will need to jump through a lot of hoops.

Intel how to get prepared for the IBM Application Process.


IBM Application Process

There are 5 stages to the IBM Application Process:

Stage 1: Online Application

Stage 2: Online Psychometric Tests

  • Numerical Reasoning Tests
  • Diagrammatic/ Logical Reasoning Tests

Stage 3: Video Assessment (optional)

Stage 4: Assessment Centre

  • Case Studies
  • Group Exercises
  • Confirmatory IPAT test
  • Interview/ Presentation ( pitching an idea for an app)

Stage 5: Final Interview

Please note that the assessment day will vary depending on the role / scheme applied to. The following are a guideline of the type of exercise you may encounter.


IBM Psychometric Tests

IBM’S Information Processing Aptitude Tests are a key component of IBM’s Application Process. Upon filing the application you will be asked to complete Numerical Reasoning Tests and Diagrammatic Reasoning Tests that will match the role you are applying for.

In order to pass this stage you have to practice beforehand – candidates will have a very limited time to complete them, as they are invited to sit these tests with a really close deadline. Whether you are committed to apply for IBM, or still deciding on your next move – we highly recommend you to start preparing as soon as possible.

Details on psychometrics tests used in IBM’s Application Process can be found below.


IBM Online Numerical Reasoning Test

IBM Online Numerical Reasoning Test is IBM’s version of a standard numerical tests that are designed to assess your ability to evaluate, analyze and interpret numerical information that will be provided to you in charts, graphs, tables and strings of numbers.

You will have limited time to find a correct answer, so all the calculations like percentages, ratios, and basic arithmetic should be executed quickly and accurately.

There will a number of different topics and you are advise to visit IBM website for more information.


IBM Diagrammatic/ Logical Reasoning Tests

These tests will assess your sequence and pattern identification skills, logical thinking and ability to approach a problem and how good you are at solving it. IBM stresses that the skills they are verifying can be summed up to those three words: math, deduction and inference.

Similarly to the IBM Online Numerical Test you will have a limited time to do answer it – a minute or less per question. The difficulty of questions is also likely to increase gradually. Therefore, good timing is vital.

IBM has their own variations of Diagrammatic/ Logical Reasoning Tests, however the usual way of checking deducing powers of candidates, is by presenting them with numbers, figures and shapes arranged in particular pattern. Your task as the brainy IBM employee -to – be, is to deduce the underlying logic of patterns presented to you in an exercise and guess what is next to follow.

To know how to correctly identify the missing steps, you need to practice these tests like a demon – so try now, to avoid regrets in the future.


IBM Video Assessment

Your application might be conditioned on further Video Assessment. This stage will be personalised depending on the role you are applying for as well as your performance and scores from the previous stages of the application.

It’s a s a typical question and answer evaluation, the only difference is the format. To nail it try giving as much examples supporting your skills as possible.

More useful advices on the IBM Online Interview can be found on Glassdoor.


IBM Assessment Centre

If everything went well you would be invited to one of the IBM headquarters to participate in an Assessment Centre that usually is a mix of group and individual exercises.

Case Study – This will be a simulation of a problem encountered by the company or a conversation with a potential client. Your creativity and independent thinking will count but you must also be able to think on your feet as loads of data will be provided for you to analyse. It might also be the case that you would be expected to ask questions to your assessors.

Group Exercise – the exercises will vary, but the general skills that the assessors are looking for is a good balance between teamwork and leadership skills. You might be a great leader, but approach the group exercise as a test of your collaboration and teamwork skills. Communicating in non-aggressive manner will get you few extra points. You have to be prepare for doing some maths and logical thinking together.

Presentation – usually candidates are asked to to pitch for an idea suggested to them by the assessors. To excel you are strongly advised to have some pitching and presentation sessions
Anyhow, it is important that you practice your presentation skills. If you are not a born speaker and feel like you could use a little bit more advice, you can check the Assessment Centre Guide, for more useful tips.

Confirmatory IBM Psychometric Tests – these will be another series of IPAT tests similar to those you had to take on Stage 2 of this Application. Although they usually tend to be a little bit less extensive, as it’s just a confirmation of what you should know anyway.Unfortunately – calculators are not allowed.


IBM One-to-One Interview

Congratulations you made it to the last level of the Application Process! After the assessment centre you will fall into the very last pool of successful candidates who will be interviewed once more in a typical one – to – one interview. The assessors will now be validating your skills and detecting strengths necessary for the job. Although it’s the last stage of the application you have to equally shine on that stage as on the previous ones. Don’t get too relax and be ready to celebrate, once you have been confirmed successful!


Application Process

Stage 1: Online Application
Stage 2: Online Psychometric Tests
Stage 3: Video Assessment (optional)
Stage 4: Assessment Centre
Stage 5: Final Interview






Prepare for your IBM tests

  • Practice Numerical Reasoning Tests

  • Practice Verbal Reasoning Tests

  • Practice Diagrammatic Reasoning Tests

  • Practice Situational Judgement Tests

  • Practice Assessment Centre Tests

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You will be required to have a 2.1 degree and be interested in the discipline in which you are applying to. IBM have a list of qualities that they will be looking for in their candidates so you should possess these if you are looking to apply; Communication, Client Focus, Creative Problem Solving, Drive, Teamwork, Passion for IBM, Taking Ownership.

Depending on your interest and specialism, IBM offers placements in a number of different areas within the organisation. These include Business, Consulting, Technology and Design.

Business – within this field there are two possible opportunities, a Business Specialist and a Sales Specialist. As a Business Specialist you will focus on the commercial side of the organisation and work on a rotation based structure so as to gain experience in different areas and develop multiple skills as well as providing solutions to client needs. This will include project management, commercial management, business development, sales and much more. As a Sales Specialist you will interact with clients from all over the world and from many different fields. There are two roles within this position, field based where you will be visiting clients and office based where you will be talking to clients and ascertaining their needs.

Consulting – you will join ‘Consulting by Degrees’ which is IBM’s development programme. You will have full training and gain practical experience required to begin your career. You can adopt a role of Technology Consultant, Business Consultant, Finance and Analytics Consultant and Strategic Analytics Consultant. As a Technology Consultant you will be analysing business challenges and designing IT based solutions. You will focus on technical roles and in the first 2 years you will rotate assignments, spending 3-9 months on each. These include roles within business analysis, technical solutions design and software package configuration. As a Business Consultant you will focus on areas such as strategy and processes, asset management and transformational projects. You will work on a rotation basis, usually 3-9 months each in order to gain experience in all areas. You could develop skills as a general business consultant or specialise more so and become a business analyst or project manager. As a Finance and Analytics Consultant you will work on projects based both on and off-site and for a number of different roles and aspects of the finance world. As a Strategic Analytics Consultant you will work on projects providing specialist analytics or business modelling support. You will work on projects of varying lengths and at varying locations. Each role and project is different, offering your variation and a chance to gain a variety of skills.

Technology – there are a number of roles and paths within the technology pathway of the IBM scheme. These include Software Developer, Technology Solutions Specialist, Technology Consultant and Software Consultant. As a Software Developer you will be allocated initially to a particular product development team, however you will have the opportunity to work on a wide range of products and there will be times where you will have the chance to travel. As a Technology Solutions Specialist you will design, develop, build, test and implement systems for the client. You will develop understanding of the services offered as well as the products, including all aspects of IT including business analysis, database design and testing amongst others. You will gain experience and skills in all areas as well as a heightened knowledge of the products and services offered by IBM. As a Technology Consultant you will be analysing business challenges and designing IT based solutions. You will focus on technical roles and in the first 2 years you will rotate assignments, spending 3-9 months on each. These include roles within business analysis, technical solutions design and software package configuration. As a Software Consultant you will be faced with two different roles – Software Services Consultant and Technical Sales and Solution Specialist. The Software Services Consultant will work alongside experts, gaining experience on a variety of different roles and aspects as well as numerous types of clients. You will specialise in helping companies to get the most of their software solutions from Cloud to Analytics. The Technical Sales and Solution Specialists provide advice and work with clients to help solve their business challenges. Those suited for this role are those who are passionate about, and have backgrounds in, computer science, maths, engineering or a science based subject.

Design – Within this field there are two routes that you can choose; User Experience Designer for Enterprise Software whereby you will help to define the user experience for the next generation of software or User Experience Designer where you will help clients put user experience at the centre of programmes. As a User Experience Designer for Enterprise Software you will be initially assigned to one project but throughout the first 2 years you will have the opportunity to rotate through other projects. Gaining a wide range of experience. You will also attend a 3 month design camp in Austin, Texas. As a User Experience Designer you will be at the heart of innovation and technology within IBM. You will gain experience and skills in visual design as well as mobile application.