This summer, Bright Network member Manraj will start his Industrial Placement with Bank of England. He was happy to share his insightful knowledge of the application process and offer up his advice for fellow members.
Why did you choose this firm and this role?
The Bank of England is at the centre of the Financial System and UK Economy. Which means that the bank has an impact, shapes and rounds up the society we live in today. Having the opportunity to be able to contribute towards this is unparalleled and something that stood out for me when applying. Alongside the impact you can have at the firm, the investment the firm makes in its employees from all levels was another primary reason for me choosing the Bank of England. You have a real chance to build a long term career at the firm which was evident through the employees I had met.
In terms of this role, an industrial placement enables you to get valuable experience of working within the bank and being able to understand how the Bank makes the key decisions it has to. Also, I firmly believe this programme will develop me as an individual through refining key skills such as teamwork, leadership and many others, which can equally be utilized in my quotidian life outside the financial industry. This particular role is admirable with regard to the level of responsibility entrusted in their recruits. This is particularly appealing to me and also unique for placement roles.
What was the toughest part of the application process? And your favourite part?
I believe the toughest part of the application process was the video interview. A video interview involves reacting to questions on a screen and can be unrealistic which also eliminates the opportunity to build rapport and create flow which is available in standard interviews. This was tough in the respect that I had to remain focused both on providing relevant answers to questions and still looking at the screen in a manner that would be expected of me in a face to face interview.
My favorite part was the assessment centre. I relished the chance to engage in group exercise in particular which enabled me to express and demonstrate the skills that I have developed throughout my academics and extra-curricular. Facing tasks as a team shows allows employers to gauge how you would act and see if you fit with the firm. I really enjoyed working with candidates as oppose to against them and I think this was reflected in my feedback. It can be easy to think of the process as a constant competition and battle but this can hinder your performance and not give a true illustration of how you behave in team scenarios.
Were you surprised by anything in the process?
I was pleasantly surprised by how approachable and friendly the interviewers were in my competency and technical interview. This relaxed atmosphere helped put me at ease and really provide the answers that I wanted to express without being inhibited by nerves or any other debilitating thoughts. Alongside this the interviewers also happily shared their experiences and knowledge which was incredibly insightful for me personally and a great learning experience.
What three top tips would you give your fellow Bright Network members?
1. Do thorough research of the firm, role and industry you are applying to.
2. Participate in as many mock interviews and assessment centres you can.
3. Regularly keep up to date with commercial awareness as this will help when it comes to technical interviews.
What was the toughest question you faced at interview?
What would you say is your biggest weakness and what are you doing to address it?