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Five top tips for applying to UBS

Book open Reading time: 5 mins

You have decided to apply for a job at UBS. To have the best chance to succeed, you should get to know us a bit better, who we are and what drives us as a firm. You should also understand our application process. Here's how you'll make it in five simple steps.

1. Do your research

Our website is a great place to start learning about us, and the downloads & research section is a helpful source of information. Company information is also widely available from a range of other sources. Talk to your friends, family and anyone else you know who might be able to provide some insight into who we are and what we stand for.

While you're researching, try to get a feel for our different business areas and think about what roles might interest you.  Think about what you enjoy doing and what you are looking for from an employer. Researching will give you an understanding of what we look for. 

"You do not need to be an expert, but you should have a degree of knowledge about the firm and the business area you're interested in"

You do not need to be an expert, but you should have a degree of knowledge about the firm and the business area you're interested in. And, your research will help you in your interview. You should know about the firm in general, have a basic understanding of the markets in which we operate.

 2. Come and meet us 

A great way to get acquainted with us is to attend one of our campus events.

Our on-campus presentations, educational workshops and marketing events will introduce you to our businesses and our culture. For more information on events in your area, check out the events section on our website. 

Before you come and meet us, make a list of all the questions you have and what you would like to know about us

Before you come and meet us, make a list of all the questions you have and what you would like to know about us. You should take advantage of any opportunity you might have to meet some of our people – that’s what we're there for. Ask as many questions as you can and see what you can learn from the representatives' stories and experiences. Talk to our managers about their roles and how they work.

Anything you learn from current UBS employees will almost certainly be useful later in an interview. Finally, understanding our culture will help you better understand what we’re looking for in applicants.

3. Make a good impression

Our assessment begins the moment you make contact with us, so it’s important to make a good first impression. 

We want to get to know you better as a person. In the beginning of the process for graduates, your passion and motivation are as important to us as your academic achievements.  We are interested in your ability to connect, communicate and build relationships with people.  We also want to get an idea of what sort of work colleague you would be.

Building strong relationships is very important in our business. Your initial contact with us is therefore an excellent platform for you to demonstrate that you have – or have the potential to develop - the necessary communication and social skills.

4. Prepare for each step 

We use a number of tools to help us evaluate your individual skills and qualities, and to assess your potential to meet the requirements of a given role. Think about situations where you've demonstrated the behaviors that really matter to us – integrity, collaboration and challenge. They can be from work experience, but also from extracurricular activities, clubs, hobbies or volunteering.  There are lots of examples that can demonstrate our core competencies and show us that you have transferable skills. 

Prepare for online tests

You may be asked to complete online numerical or logical testing to support your application. You will receive an email invitation if the online testing is relevant to your submission. Please note that online testing is not required in each region.

There are no wrong answers

Just take your time and compose your thoughts. Answer honestly and thoughtfully and make sure that you articulate why you think you'd be a great fit for our business and culture.

Prepare for your interview 

The first stage will be a telephone interview, carried out by a member of the campus recruiting team. 

What we want to do in the telephone interview is evaluate your competencies against those required for the position you're interested in. 

You'll be asked competency-based questions to give us a better idea of how you will react when presented with the issues, challenges and problems that can arise in business.

Prepare for the assessment centre

If you are successful at the telephone interview, you will be invited to attend an assessment centre at our offices. The assessment centre generally lasts a half day and will involve various exercises (including case studies, presentations and group discussions) and enables us to better gauge how your individual skills will fit with our requirements. 

Results of the various exercises will be assessed by one or more representatives from the business area for which you are being considered.

The assessment centre may also include an additional competency-based interview conducted by a business or human resources representative.

"Recruitment is a two-way process; make sure you take the opportunity to ask us any questions you have when we meet"

By taking the time to prepare well, and by keeping our list of core competencies in mind, you should be confident of a good performance.  Remember that recruitment is a two-way process.  Yes, it is a chance for us to assess you, but it is also a chance for you to make an informed decision about us.  Make sure you take the opportunity to ask us any questions you have when we meet. 

5. Be yourself

If you’re properly prepared, you have no reason to be overly nervous. Think of the interview as a focused conversation. Don't put on an act or try too hard to impress.  Be open and honest.

We are also curious about your interests and experiences, and what you have learned from them. We want to know more about your thought processes, in particular how you resolve issues and address problems. Who you are is important to us, so let us know.

"Who you are is important to us, so let us know."

When it comes to the assessment process, the same applies.  We want to understand how you naturally react and perform in particular situations.  Trying to be someone else will not help with this and you can put yourself under a lot of unnecessary stress. Be calm and be yourself. We want you to succeed.  That is easy for us to say, but our advice is to try to enjoy the process.  You have the chance to meet potential colleagues, line managers and peers.  You'll also get insight into our culture and what it might be like to work here.  So make the most of it and enjoy the challenge.