How to tackle Bank of America interview questions for graduate roles

Last updated: 24 Oct 2023, 08:29

You’ll typically be asked competency-based, technical and motivational questions at a Bank of America interview. Discover our tips on approaching your answers, as well as other potential Bank of America interview questions.

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Have you secured yourself an interview for a graduate role with the US-based financial institution? Then read on for targetjobs’ tailored advice on how to answer Bank of America’s interview questions, based on questions previously asked of applicants, alongside an overview of the bank’s graduate interviews.

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Example Bank of America interview questions

Past candidates have said that interview questions have covered competencies, motivation and banking/markets/technical knowledge, including hypothetical scenarios such as ‘what investment recommendation would you make if you had £100,000 to use’ and – for technologists – being asked to describe the Java collection framework.

There’s also evidence of candidates being asked ‘curveball’ questions such as, ‘estimate the financial value generated by tie sales in the USA’. Below we explore some of the typical types of questions that could come up during your Bank of America interviews.

A quick side note before moving on: none of the questions outlined in this article are guaranteed to be asked at any of your interviews. However, practising your answers to them will allow you to go through the thought processes needed to address the questions you are asked.

Take the example about tie sales mentioned above. If a similar question comes your way at your interview, you’ll already have experience of taking considerations such as foreign trade duties, manufacturing and logistical costs and actual value to retailers into consideration – which will put you in good stead. It’s also a good idea to look into and come up with other potential Bank of America interview questions not covered in this article.

Past Bank of America interview questions: motivational

Motivational questions allow Bank of America to assess whether you specifically want a job with its institution, or whether you’re after the first job you’re offered. Past candidates have typically been asked ‘Why do you want to work for Bank of America?’ and ‘Why this division?’.

These questions are an opportunity to demonstrate how your values align with Bank of America’s, your interest in and suitability for the role and your commercial knowledge relating to the bank.

To answer these, you should…

Consider the different areas of your life: work, study and extracurricular to think of examples of when you have aligned with the values, skills and traits required for the position, as well as to show your genuine interest in finance. However, being able to do this also requires thoroughly researching Bank of America.

See our dedicated article on how to answer ‘ Why have you applied to Bank of America? ’ for more in-depth advice.

Past Bank of America interview questions: commercial

The bank may ask more specific commercial questions to better gauge your knowledge of the organisation. Possible questions include ‘What are the biggest issues facing Bank of America today?’, ‘What distinguishes us from our competitors?’ and ‘Which global market trend might most affect Bank of America in the coming year?’.

To answer these, you should...

Read Bank of America’s organisation profile on targetjobs and the ‘our company’ section on its website for a general overview of what the bank does and who it serves. That should be your foundation. You should then find out what’s going on in the marketplace and how it may affect the business. For example, how will expected inflation rates for the year impact global markets and how may Bank of America or the division you’re applying to respond to this?

Head to our article on how to impress investment and banking employers with your commercial awareness for more tips. You can also read the business sections of newspapers such as The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph – to deepen your knowledge.

Past Bank of America interview questions: competency-based

Competency-based questions are a cornerstone of Bank of America’s graduate recruitment process and you are sure to be asked several throughout. We outline a select few previously faced by Bank of America applicants below, but also have an in-depth guide on how to answer competency-based interview questions with further examples should you want more advice.

What will you struggle with most in this role?

This question could also be worded along the lines of, ‘What do you think will be a challenge in this role?’ or even ‘Describe a time when you have had to do a task without much time to prepare for it’. These questions are designed to assess your adaptability and your understanding of what it takes to do the role rather than your weaknesses.

To answer this, you should...

Research what the job entails. Check if there’s more information on LinkedIn (which the bank uses to advertise jobs) about the skills and traits required to do the role and relate these to your strengths and experiences. If you’ve applied for a client-facing role, for example, would dealing with customers’ demands within a tight timeframe be a challenge? If you have gone for a technical position, would you need to brush up on your IT skills?

On LinkedIn you’ll also be able to read the profiles of graduates who have completed the programme or are currently doing. Bank of America also has a presence on Twitter. Perhaps you’ll gain insight into how, for certain positions, last-minute client requirements can change up your workday at a moment’s notice. If you’re more experienced in working to a fixed schedule and tasks, would developing a more adaptable approach be something you would need to dedicate extra effort to initially?

However, if you have any specific questions, it might be worth contacting a recruitment officer at Bank of America. If you have broader questions about the investment banking industry, visit the accountancy, banking and finance sector on targetjobs .

Can you give me an example of a time you showed resilience or motivation in the last 6–12 months?

Bank of America wants all its graduate recruits and interns, irrespective of what they’ve applied for, to have the ability to withstand stress and hit targets in the face of obstacles. The graduate roles, especially for the front office, are challenging, require sustained mental concentration and managing several projects at once.

Some alternative interview questions that could allow you to demonstrate your resilience and motivation include, ‘What is your biggest individual achievement?’ and ‘How do you deal with failure?’.

To answer this, you should...

Pick a recent example if possible. Doing so will show how ‘ready for work’ you are, and your recent university, work-related or extracurricular experiences may be more pertinent to the role. An example where you encountered an unforeseen challenge or the project involved a steeper learning curve than you had expected could be particularly effective. Following through in these circumstances would show that you are resilient and motivated.

Other examples could be training and completing a marathon despite an injury; gaining good academic grades in spite of illness; or following through on a fundraising bid after others dropped out.

For more advice, we have an article on how to demonstrate your resilience to graduate employers.

Tell us about an idea that you managed to sell to your colleagues

On the global technology industrial placement programme, for example, entry-level technologists have been expected to collaborate with software testers. Alternative wording of this question could include, ‘Tell us about a time you had to persuade your team members to take your stance’, ‘Give an example of a time when you influenced a group or person in making a decision?’ or ‘When have you dealt with a disagreement?’.

To answer this, you should...

Recognise that Bank of America recruiters don’t expect you to arrive at your interview with perfect persuasion techniques. What they will expect, however, is that you can identify the importance of being able to influence a decision and identify when the skill should come into play.

You’ll be able to convince them with a good example. Have you persuaded colleagues at work or university to agree to an idea? What was the outcome? Remember to pinpoint the approaches or strategies that you used. Did you argue your case with logic? Did you focus on the needs of the group?

Find out more about how to tackle interview questions assessing your persuasive abilities .

Tell me about a time when you built a good relationship with a client

Focusing on the needs of the other party is a key ingredient when dealing with clients or co-workers. For example, on the global corporate and investment banking analyst programme, graduates have previously been required to ‘help the team deliver solutions to clients’. A similar interview question could be, ‘Tell me about a time you went above and beyond for a customer’.

Once the other party is convinced that you’ve got their interests in mind, he/she is more likely to trust you. Mutual trust is one of Bank of America’s top corporate values. It’s mentioned on its website specifically relating to trust between teams within the bank – but, of course, being trusted by your customers is also vital.

To answer this, you should...

Choose an example where you can clearly show that you took time to listen to the client carefully and found out about their interests and expectations. These steps are essential to winning them around.

Remember not to view clients as just paying customers of a company you worked for. They should be seen as the recipients of the products/services you deliver in a range of settings, be it in a classroom or on a football pitch.

If you don’t have a specific corporate client-related experience, consider when you have engaged with peers, students or attendees, or better yet, an engagement with people outside of your peer group and age range that allowed you to leave your comfort zone. Did you complete a teaching English as a foreign language course and build good relationships with the students? Or perhaps you volunteered with a refuge charity and built trust with older refugees. Think about the techniques you used.

Past Bank of America interview questions: technical

You can expect your technical knowledge relating to the role to be assessed by Bank of America’s recruiters. Along with the technical-questions advice below, we’ve also got insights from a graduate software engineer and analyst programmer (not employed by Bank of America) for more help with approaching this style of interview question.

Explain three features of object-oriented programming (OOP)

You could be asked to explain (OOP) or to discuss the disadvantages of using indexes, along with a series of other ‘tech’ questions if you’ve applied for one of Bank of America’s technology programmes. Some previous candidates have said their Bank of America interviewers had a list of basic and advanced technical questions, and they wish they had come to the interview better prepared.

Depending on the programme you have applied for, you might also face other technical questions such as, ‘Describe a time when you have had to analyse data in order to reach a solution’.

To answer these technical questions, you should...

Go over the job description to anticipate the types of questions that could be asked. Also check LinkedIn for any current or previous Bank of America technologists, to see if there’s more information on the requirements of the role.

Then compare your findings to what you did in your degree (Bank of America has specified that computer science, mathematics, physics or engineering degrees may be advantageous) as well as your related work experience.

The Bank of America interview process

It’s likely you’ll have either two or three interviews when applying for a graduate role at Bank of America. The first interview is a pre-recorded video interview that is undertaken as part of the initial application stage. There are five Bank of America video interview questions. Although the focus at this stage is primarily on your competencies, you may also be asked about your motivations for joining the bank according to graduate applicants on the Glassdoor website. To answer Bank of America’s video interview questions, you’ll need to record and upload your responses. The bank will give you instructions for how to do this. If you want a head start preparing for your Bank of America video interview, take a look at our article on expert performance tips for video interviews .

Following the video interview, some graduate analysts report having a telephone interview. The questions asked during this conversation reportedly focus on your technical understanding of the role along with your competencies. You may also be asked to discuss your CV.

Graduates will have a final interview at the Bank of America assessment centre. Once again, competency-based and technical questions will be on the agenda.

More help from targetjobs for your Bank of America application

If you’ve also got an eye on the final stage of the Bank of America graduate recruitment process – the assessment centre, then look at the following articles:

Want the best from targetjobs? Then create your targetjobs graduate profile ! It’ll take the hassle out finding the job-hunting advice that you want with recommended content tailored to your career interests.

targetjobs editorial advice

This describes editorially independent and impartial content, which has been written and edited by the targetjobs content team. Any external contributors featuring in the article are in line with our non-advertorial policy, by which we mean that we do not promote one organisation over another.

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