Barclays is set to hire more than 100 graduates for full-time analyst jobs across Asia next year – but as application deadlines loom, competition for these places is fierce, says Yukiko Hiizumi, Asia Pacific lead of campus recruitment at the British bank.
Graduate applications for Barclays jobs remain open in Singapore until 15 November (they have closed in Hong Kong). You can still apply for a summer internship in both cities – the deadlines are 9 November and 31 December for Hong Kong and Singapore respectively.
We asked Hiizumi about the firm's hiring plans for 2015 and how best to prepare if you're a student or graduate applying for a Barclays job in Asia.
How many graduates are you hiring for 2015 analysts jobs in Asia? And how does that compare with your 2014 intake?
We aim to have a class of over 100 graduates across Asia to support our growing business across the globe. While the number remains flat on 2014, the spread of graduates across different countries continues to evolve – noteworthy locations are Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo and India. In Asia, we recruit across almost all business areas.
What’s the application rate like for these places?
The application process consists of a number of screening stages and at each stage a number of candidates are sifted out. Depending on business divisions, we would say on average 1% to 5% of total applicants get offers from us.
What about your hiring plans for 2015 summer internships in Asia?
Interns are direct candidates to the following year’s graduate programme. As we estimate a minimum of 70% intern conversion per year, we take a conservative approach in our intern numbers, which directly relate to the graduate class size in the next intake.
What makes an internship at Barclays unique?
Our internships don't just give students an opportunity to gain actual work experience, they present an opportunity for them to add value to the firm and build networks with senior management, which is very important for their careers. Throughout the internship, we place significant importance on providing structured training and development opportunities to broaden their knowledge of the industry, develop required technical skill-sets and enhance soft skills, including interpersonal skills.
What advice would you give to third-year students who haven’t completed an internship with you?
We're always keen to know what differentiates you from your peer candidates and we normally review this via the list of your extra-curricular activities, which are normally at the bottom of your CV. One tip is to highlight activities that illustrate your leadership, social responsibility and team-work experience – these are extremely important at Barclays.
Do you favour any particular undergraduate degree courses?
We're open to students across all academic disciplines. This enables us to recruit a diverse pool of candidates to enrich the organisation.
Do you recruit international candidates for graduate roles based in Singapore or Hong Kong?
While we accept applications from all candidates, we also need to be sensitive to various recruitment policies in the countries we operate within, such as the Fair Consideration Framework in Singapore.
What’s more important to you: excellent academics, prior internships, or fit with the firm's values?
Definitely a combination of all three factors. While academics and internships reflect a candidate’s knowledge level and experience, it's also critical that their values align to those of the company.
Describe the interview process for Barclays jobs in Asia
All candidates are assessed by senior representatives of respective business areas. Based on the role they are applying to, each candidate goes through different set of exercises such as strength-based interviews, group activities and individual case studies. Strength-based interviews consist of questions based on the strengths we expect graduates to have for each role. Group activities allow us to assess candidates' leadership, teamworking, flexibility and problem-solving skills, while case studies reflect real-life cases at Barclays and are unique to each business.
How has the type of graduates you recruit in Asia changed over the past five years?
Many students are becoming adventurous and more experimental in their career options. We're seeing more students who have spent a year or two on starting up their own business. We have also seen more students exploring career options which are not directly related to their academic qualifications. This is great for organisations as now students are bringing along a diverse pool of experience and perspectives.