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To ensure quality of its workforce, Barclays uses numerical and verbal ability testing in its recruitment process, testing objectively and fairly for abilities essential to career success in banking. Barclays’ graduate programs are open to all graduates, and numerical/verbal reasoning tests are a highly effective tool for testing ability, particularly when candidates do not have significant work experience, or have graduated with a non-relevant degree subject.

Barclays uses (CEB) SHL for both their numerical and verbal tests. The function of the tests is to screen out candidates without adequate numerical and verbal ability, ensuring that only those suited to a career in banking progress with their application.

The Barclays Process

The Barclays selection process is made of four stages:

  • Application: Applicants will be required to provide their contact details, education and work experience. Similarly, a CV will need to be uploaded as well; this is to ensure that the candidate meets the minimum entry requirements for their selected role.
  • Testing: Candidates will then need to undertake both a numerical and verbal reasoning test; both these tests are produced by SHL. Candidates will be informed upon completion if they have not met the entry requirements for the test they have undertaken.
  • Telephone Interview: Candidates that are successful in the testing stage then undertake a telephone interview, which will be competency based, and will assess your knowledge of the role and the organisation.
  • Assessment Centre: The final stage is at an assessment centre, in which candidates will undertake role play exercises, presentations and in-tray exercises to gage the candidate’s ability. Successful applications at stage 4 will be given an offer of employment from Barclays.

Barclays Verbal Test

In these tests candidates are provided with a passage of written information, often workplace related, and asked to analyse and draw logical inferences from that written information. The questions will be multiple choice with the answer options being: true; false; cannot say. The key here is to answer the questions based on purely the information contained within the passage (ignore any prior knowledge you may have). Think literally and go only on what you have been told in the passage.

Barclays Numerical Test

In these tests numerical data is provided to a candidate, usually in the form of graphs, tables, statistics and financial data. To answer these questions, candidates must analyse this data and make logical conclusions from it, allowing them to select the correct answer. Typical numerical skills which are tested include addition/subtraction, multiplication/division, ratios, fractions and percentages.

Reasoning Tests

SHL reasoning tests are timed, multiple choice tests which assess a candidate’s numerical and verbal ability.

Candidates will also be under strict time constraints during these assessments (almost always online), and are therefore advised to work both quickly and accurately.

Banking and finance are becoming increasingly selective, and in this job market having an edge over less prepared candidates can mean the difference between an early screening out, or a successful career in the City.

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