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IBM is a leading global technology and consulting company. It prides itself on a culture that encourages progress to better business, but also improves society and the human condition. Its product and consulting areas include artificial intelligence (AI), automation, big data, and the Internet of Things (IOT).
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The first stage of the application process is to submit an initial application online. Before you apply, it is recommended to join the online IBM community, registering your areas of interest so you can receive relevant IBM career information.
You will need to create an IBM account to lodge an application. The initial application requires your personal details, education history, work experience and a CV.
It may seem brief and simplistic, but there is a second more expansive application form required after you have completed the psychometric testing stage.
IPAT Cognitive Ability Test
The IPAT Cognitive Ability Test consists of psychometric tests designed specifically for the IBM recruitment process: a numerical series test and a numerical reasoning test.
The numerical series test requires candidates to look at sequences of numbers or symbols and select the next or missing item. There are 20 timed questions to answer.
The numerical reasoning test consists of 20 multiple-choice questions covering mathematical topics such as ratios, percentages, fractions, algebra and conversions. You have two minutes and fifteen seconds to answer each question, adding considerable time pressure.
IBM’s aptitude testing round also includes a cognitive ability game to test your problem solving, and a learning agility assessment to scrutinise your ways of learning.
The IPAT test is considered to be of a greater level of difficulty than other online aptitude tests, so preparation through practice tests is even more crucial.
Once you have passed IBM’s online aptitude tests, you will be invited to submit a full application. This second application form covers your motivations: for working in your chosen area, and for choosing IBM.
You will be required to answer a series of questions on your skills, attributes and motivation. These questions aim to reveal your level of familiarity with IBM and what you would bring to the company if selected for the role.
The IBM assessment centre is a comprehensive and challenging stage of the recruitment process, consisting of multiple rounds of individual and group tasks. All the assessment stages are timed.
An assessment centre is an opportunity for the IBM recruitment team to observe how well you collaborate with others to deliver results. There are two group exercises: one focused on logical reasoning, and the second discussion-based.
Ensure that you actively participate in the group tasks, displaying your skills whilst allowing space for the opinions and input of others to be heard.
Candidates are required to sit an IPAT verification test, to confirm the grade of result achieved when previously sitting the test at home. The verification consists of taking the IPAT test for a second time.
You will be asked to deliver a presentation. This will, however, be pre-prepared due to the already extensive list of tasks to complete in the day.
Candidates will also have the opportunity to convey their skills and competencies during an interview.
If you impress at the IBM assessment centre, you’ll be invited to attend a final interview round, which will be competency based.
It will explore your CV and second application form answers regarding your motivations in greater detail. It will likely be with a senior manager and last an hour.
Using the STAR technique (Situation, Task, Action, Result) is recommended to ensure you strongly evidence your skills. Prepare by thinking of personal examples to illustrate each of IBM’s eight core competencies.
There will also be an element of commercial awareness required to answer some of the interview questions. Prepare by researching IBM’s past, recent and planned work in your chosen field and form opinions, comments, or observations to offer to the interviewer.
It is also sensible to prepare one or two considered questions to ask at the end of the interview.
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