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Barclays wants graduates to fully understand their chosen business area and role

If you have done an internship with Barclays or met recruiters or employers on campus, reflect on the information about the business that you obtained.

Graduates with a good understanding of their chosen business area and role at Barclays have a higher chance of being offered one of the bank’s trainee positions. This is because they’ll be equipped to convince recruiters that they truly want the job and have the required strengths and potential to do it well.

Research your chosen business area

The bank recruits graduates into seven broad business areas:

  • Barclaycard international
  • business banking
  • corporate banking
  • customer banking solutions
  • group functions (such as human resources and marketing)
  • operations
  • investment bank
  • technology
  • wealth

There are descriptions of the seven divisions on the the bank’s graduate website. Read the one for your chosen division, but it’s essential your research doesn’t stop there.

Check out Barclays on YouTube

Barclays’ early careers and graduates page on Facebook is a useful source of information. It features short videos in which current hires at Barclays discuss aspects of their chosen business area and role. The videos naturally have an air of ‘Barclays is a wonderful place to work’ but you should focus on the facts about the scheme that support your application.

Making notes on the following would be useful at this stage:

  • typical projects that people in the department work on
  • the skills and competencies you need to succeed in the role
  • the day-to-day requirements of the job
  • who you’d be working with – colleagues, clients and otherwise
  • the training and development opportunities

Answering Barclays' interview questions

Having a good understanding of your chosen business area and graduate scheme will help you to answer questions you might be asked such as:

  • 'Why have you chosen to apply to this particular role and why at Barclays?’
  • ‘Describe a recent development in the banking industry. What implications might this development have for the division to which you have applied?’

Think about the different aspects of the graduate programme (see the five bullet points above) and explain why you think you have got the right attitude, qualifications and skills to do the job. With the first question, you could mention any of the five bullet points above to explain why you have chosen the particular graduate scheme. Perhaps you’re keen to work with colleagues across the business and clients throughout the financial sector, so a sales role within the markets division is ideal.

Bear in mind the first question is really asking two things: why the role and why Barclays? To answer the latter part, you’ll have to also think about and establish why you want to work for Barclays over other banks that offer a similar opportunity. Our guidance on tackling the question ‘Why do you want to work for this investment bank?’ will help you with this.

Our 'How to get hired' articles are written by TARGETjobs editors and writers with job candidates in mind, helping you research and understand employers. Copyright of all material written by TARGETjobs lies solely with GTI Media.