How graduates can demonstrate Barclays’ five core values

You’ll be asked to provide examples to prove that you have demonstrated the values that Barclays is looking for.

Throughout the application process, Barclays recruiters will expect you to possess and demonstrate, the bank’s five core values: respect, integrity, service, excellence and stewardship. You will not win over recruiters if you simply claim you possess the values and regurgitate what you have read online.

Find out what the bank’s values mean

Visit the ‘About us’ section of the bank’s website and find out what the values mean. Each has bullet points that detail its features. Then view the short videos in the ‘Purpose and values’ section which spotlights projects that reflect Barclay’s values. You might also want to take the banks ‘Cultural fit quiz’ to see whether you might align with its working environment and values.

Even though it happened it 2013, it’s still worth reading one or two news stories about the dramatic introduction of Barclay’s code of conduct. It was big news then and is still very important now.

Establish the attributes of the values

Barclays doesn’t give a dictionary definition of each value – the bank lists the actions, behaviours or attitudes its workforce will have to uphold to deliver it. For example, two elements of the ‘respect’ value are: ‘build trust with the colleagues and partners we work with’ and ‘collaborate proactively with colleagues across all of Barclays to get the best results’. So relationship-building and teamwork are essential skills.

Implicit within these Barclays-specific definitions are skills you’ll need to possess to deliver on the main value. Interpersonal skills, broadmindedness, loyalty and a good level of diplomacy would support the respect value, for example.

Go through each value and note down the ‘hidden competencies’. Doing this will enhance your understanding of the values and will help you find examples to back up your responses to any value-related questions during the selection process such as the following: ‘What do you understand about our company values?’ or ‘Give an example of how you have demonstrated one or more of our values.’

Display Barclays’ values at interview and during the assessment day


At least one competency question – such as ‘tell me about a time when you contributed to the success of a team’ or ‘how have you developed relationships within a team?’ – will come up during your telephone or face-to-face interview.

Although the competency questions may not explicitly mention any of Barclays’ five values, they will all circle back in some way to teamwork, relationship-building and interpersonal skills – competencies we identified earlier as aspects of respect.

By developing a good understanding of the values, it should be easier for you to find instances from your university, work or extracurricular experiences where you demonstrated them. Sticking with the example interview questions above, think about a time when you demonstrated respect for others by doing any of the following:

  1. actively listening to alternative views
  2. understanding the points of view of your customers, clients or colleagues
  3. building and maintaining positive working relationships
  4. sharing information with others
  5. supporting others
  6. keeping verbal and written communication clear, concise and – crucially – confidential
  7. tailoring your communication to meet the needs of the audience

Assessment day

At assessment day you’ll find opportunities to prove that you have demonstrated the values that Barclays is looking for. But – particularly the group exercise and presentation – you will be expected to exhibit them through your actions.

For instance, in a group exercise – where past candidates have been asked to work with other candidates to scrutinise information and make a decision – listening to colleagues and working with their best ideas are among the qualities that assessors will be looking for. Again, these relate to Barclays’ respect value.

Demonstrate the skills that make you employable and show you can work to Barclays’ five core values. However, bear in mind that the examples used in this article relate to only one value: respect. You’ll have to break down the other values in the same way to understand what they mean and ensure that you demonstrate them.

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