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Standard Bank Assessment
Standard Bank is a South African financial services group that has corporate headquarters in Johannesburg. Founded in 1862 as a subsidiary of a British overseas bank, Standard Bank now operates in 20 countries in Africa as well as elsewhere - they have locations in Brazil, the USA, England, Isle of Man, Jersey, China, and the UAE.
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Assessment center days are often used during the application process for early careers, and candidates are expected to come to one of the main offices or another location to spend a day with the Talent Acquisition Team and other applicants for some in-depth pre-employment testing.
The assessment center is a chance for the recruiters to see how you act in the workplace and to assess your soft skills like leadership, communication, teamwork and negotiation. They want to see that you are able to put into practice the skills that you have mentioned in your application form and through the interview, and that you can cope well under pressure and in unfamiliar situations.
There are several types of tasks that you might take in an assessment center.
Psychometric assessments are used to check aptitude and skills. The content of these tests is not based on things that you will have learned in university or even through previous experience, but on the inherent skills and abilities you have. Some tests that you might take include:
Numerical Reasoning - questions in the form of graphs and tables, with multiple choice answers that require you to read, understand and analyze numerical information and complete some basic calculations
Verbal Reasoning - candidates need to read, understand and analyze passages of text in order to be able to answer questions about the content.
Logical Reasoning - in the most common type of logical reasoning assessment, the candidate is presented with a series of shapes or images that are in a sequence, with one item missing. They need to find the rule that governs the sequence and apply it to the multiple-choice options to find the right answer.
Situational Strengths - this is an assessment of work behaviors and personality traits, with a series of sentences that describe different behaviors and traits. The candidate needs to decide how well each sentence describes them at work.
During a case study exercise, a group of candidates are given some information relating to a fictional customer, and need to work together to come up with a plan to solve the problem that the client has.
This is usually finished with a presentation to the recruitment team and the other groups, outlining the plan and the reasoning.
Sometimes, the case study might be an individual project, with the end product as a presentation or as a long-form written piece.
If you have applied for a role that needs a specific technical skill, such as programming or coding, you may be invited to complete a technical or skills test.
In this type of test, the Talent Acquisition Team is checking to be sure that you have the right level of skill to be successful in the role, and they do this using questions that are related to the type of tasks that you are likely to undertake - for example, if you are coding, you might be asked to debug a portion of code used in a banking app.
The final interview is your chance to really shine - and show that you match not only the values of the business but also that you have all the skills and attributes that they are looking for specifically for the role.
The final interview might be a competency-based interview, where you will be invited to provide examples from your previous experience that demonstrate you have certain competencies. For instance, you might be asked to provide an example of where you have provided leadership for a project, and had to deal with things like competing deadlines and working with other people.
It is a good idea to prepare for this type of interview by looking at the specific attributes that the role requires, and think of some examples before you head into the interview so that you ensure you give all the information with no waffle.
Make sure that you know the role really well, including what is needed for successful applicants so that you are ready to show the panel you have what it takes. Be ready to demonstrate your commercial awareness - so stay up to date with financial news on a local and global scale, and find out all you can about the day-to-day business operations of Standard Bank. This will help you seem more knowledgeable and passionate, but it will also give you some ideas of what questions to ask at the end.
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