Most full-time graduate programmes closed between late October and mid-November, although some banks recruit into early December. Certain divisions, notably technology, operations and finance, have extended the recruitment process into the new year. Summer internship deadlines close in mid-January.
Application form or CV
Increasingly, banks are favouring CVs because of the volume of applications they receive. For more tips and guidance, see our article on CVs, Cover Letters & Apps
The majority of banks recruit on a rolling basis so interviews will take place from September, when applications open. You should find out whether you have made it to the first round of interviews within one to four weeks, depending on the volume of applications, with the actual interviews taking place a couple of weeks after.
The first round of interviews is usually with human resources (HR) and/or representatives of the division you’re applying to, and consists of a first round of
competency-based interviews and a possible presentation or case study. If you are successful, banks aim to inform you 24 to 48 hours afterwards, with the aim of staging the second round one or two weeks later.
The second round is also sometimes the assessment centre (see Testing, Testing on page 20) and will generally consist of more competency-based and technical interviews, a group exercise, psychometric tests and a networking event.
Most banks target a restricted number of universities in each country. In the UK, think Oxbridge, LSE, Imperial and UCL; in the eurozone, think HEC, Essec, Paris Dauphine, WHU, EBS, SDA Bocconi and Università degli Studidi Genova, to name a few.
Assuming you submit your application online rather than apply through a target university, the deadline is towards the end of September or beginning of October for full-time positions. For internship recruitment, the deadlines run from mid to late January.
Application form or CV
Both. Some banks will accept resumes from students while on campus; others require students to submit them electronically or fill in an online application form. They are reviewed in January and, if you’re attending a university on the campus recruitment circuit, banks will inform you and allow you to sign up for interviews a week before their visit.
Expect two rounds of interviews. You will meet numerous people during this time, with the first taking place in early February. The final rounds of interviews will take place about one or two weeks later. Some banks take this process a step further. For instance, Bank of America Merrill Lynch runs a series of ‘super days’, during which candidates are interviewed in New York over a single day.
Definitely. A lot of banks fill many business areas through their on-campus recruitment programmes, which normally target a core of 30 universities. These include Wharton, Dartmouth, NYU, and Columbia.
In Singapore and Hong Kong, application deadlines are similar to Europe: October or November for graduate schemes and November to January for internships. Australia follows a different calendar, with most banks closing full-time graduate programmes in March or April and internships in July or August.
Application form or CV
Most banks in Asia-Pacific request a combination of application form and CV. The former extracts standard information about an applicant, and ensures that all candidates answer the same questions. CVs offer an opportunity for students to highlight information that the application form has missed.
You should find out whether you have an interview within a month of sending your application, and you will typically be given up to two weeks’ notice before the interview takes place. Depending on the bank, first-round interviewees face a grilling from human resources and/or representatives of the division they have applied to. Waiting times for the next stage depend on when you were initially interviewed, but it is best to prepare for a quick turnaround of just a week or two.
The second round may consist of a competency-based interview, case-study presentation, group exercise, networking event, and sometimes a psychometric test. This is similar to the assessment centre approach used by banks in other locations.
Banks in Asia-Pacific actively target returnees from leading universities in the US and Europe. Closer to home, they like graduates of colleges such as The National University of Singapore, Singapore Management University, The University of Hong Kong, City University of Hong Kong and The Chinese University of Hong Kong.
In Australia, some of the preferred institutions are: The University of Sydney, The University of New South Wales, The University of Melbourne, Monash University, The University of Queensland, The University of Western Australia and The University of Adelaide.