Barclays competency based interview - help!!!

(46 Posts)
sapphirestar Mon 11-Mar-13 11:34:39

Just that really, I have an interview with Barclays on Thursday and I am ridiculously nervous. I had a telephone interview with another bank a few weeks ago that I thought I was well prepared for but it was awful and I didn't pass, which really knocked my confidence.

They've told me 4 competencies I'm going to be assessed on;
1) Communicate well and make relationships work
2) Drive commercial success
3) Drive service excellence
4) Make informed decisions

The second one is the one I'm most worried about, haven't worked in a bank before so no idea what the questions will be, it says understand fundamental financial principals, know what's going on in local marketplace, able to use financial/market information to inform local plans and make commercial decisions.

Any advice or ideas would be much appreciated, really need to get better at this as being made redundant in 5 weeks! confused sad

pepperrabbit Mon 11-Mar-13 11:41:05

What sort of role is it for?
Sales/Risk/Admin and is it a local branch based job or HQ?

AlwaysReadyForABlether Mon 11-Mar-13 11:42:16

I think you should make sure you're up to date in what's going on in banking in terms of competition e.g. what are the biggest threats facing them just now. There are new entrants to the market e.g. Tesco Bank and M&S. It could be argued that they have an advantage in terms of customer loyalty, ease of access etc. So how could you compete with that.
Maybe also some knowledge of locak area - how would you engage with the community etc.
What kind of role is it? That might help with what kind of question to expect.

CecyHall Mon 11-Mar-13 11:43:15

You need to use the STAR system and think of a couple of examples for each competency

Situation- what was the situation
Task- what needed to be done
Action- what you did
Result- what the result was

Are you able to take cue cards in with you?

I worked in quite a specific area of Barclays so not overly sure what they'll be looking for, but for mine my examples came from all areas of my life, old jobs, temp jobs etc.

CecyHall Mon 11-Mar-13 11:44:53

Competency definitions are also online here

sapphirestar Mon 11-Mar-13 11:54:00

It's a customer advice role in a branch.
They say to follow them on facebook and twitter which I've done, and to look at their website, but there's so much! I'm not sure which bits I need to remember!
I had a list of 12 questions I made notes on for the phone interview, but only got asked one, and 4 others I had no idea how to answer, hence why it didn't go well.
CecyHall thanks, those are the definitions I have in front of me, and have highlighted the ones I'm going to be tested on.
Any ideas which questions may come up for them? Especially the commercial one?!

pepperrabbit Mon 11-Mar-13 12:19:26

I guess you need to relate it to what you would actually be doing on a day to day basis.
So you'll see customers face to face, they will have general queries about their accounts, complaints and things they want to sort out - saving/borrowing for example.
"Commercial" to me would be things that made business sense - only providing services customers actually need and want, not chasing targets, as customers don't remain loyal if you sell them things they then complain about - this would cost the bank in the long run.
Make sure you are up to speed with the new business aims - respect, integrity, service, excellence and stewardship.

AlwaysReadyForABlether Mon 11-Mar-13 12:20:54

For a customer advice role in branch I would have thought they would focus more on knowing your local market.
So how do you keep up with what competitors offer - maybe by doing your own local mystery shopping - to give you ideas on how to improve. How would you handle a customer who says they can geta better deal/rate from a competitor - what else can you highlight as a benefit e.g. customer service.
What types of role have you had in the past that might help you with examples?

nulgirl Mon 11-Mar-13 12:40:50

The annual report has just been published and is probably worth a read. There is lots in it about the strategic direction of the company. You should pay particular attention to what they say about RBB (Retail and Business Banking) as that is the part of the company that you'd be working for. Also make sure that you swot up on the Transform programme and the new company values RISES (as mentioned by Pepperrabbit).

Good luck. In spite of the bad press recently, Barclays is a good company to work for - she says being a good corporate citizen.

sapphirestar Mon 11-Mar-13 13:31:12

Ok thanks, these seem like good ideas. I'm dreading that question/s I haven't prepared for and don't know how to answer!
I'd best head over to the Barclays website and try to dig up, RBB, Transform and RISES and work out what they are!!!

Crinkle77 Mon 11-Mar-13 17:55:58

I would say that commercial success relates to sales technique. How often do you go in the bank and they try and sell you something else like a loan or an account upgrade (for a fee)

sapphirestar Mon 11-Mar-13 18:50:34

Commercial success is the one I'm worried about. Do you think they might ask something along the lines of when did I have to make a sale, or bring someone round to my way of thinking?
Have read some of the annual report, not all as it's 350+ pages!
I worked out that the UK RBB was strong last year, read the definitions of the RISES values, and the Transform programme is all about the goal to become the 'Go-to' bank right?

thegraduand Mon 11-Mar-13 21:05:31

Commercial success has to be sales technique. If you've never sold before, then think of examples where you've had to persuade people of things.

In terms of the local market, think if there is anything important going on that creates local sales opportunities e.g any competitors closing their branches, lots of house building going on could create opportunities for mortgages, lots of people about to retire leads to investment opportunities

KenDoddsDadsDog Mon 11-Mar-13 21:10:59

Commercial success is not just sales technique. It can be things such as understanding the annual value of customers to the bank (therefore providing the products and service to keep them for example a packaged account , premier etc ) and RETAINING those high value customers.
It means spotting opportunities - for example in branch do you get lots of people asking for something that your bank doesn't provide , can you suggest it, is it an opportunity for growth.
Think about if you have done similar in previous jobs - saved money through expenses, saved energy even .

KenDoddsDadsDog Mon 11-Mar-13 21:19:03

OP most businesses have similar competences / capabilities - this may help you.

sapphirestar Mon 11-Mar-13 21:21:06

Oooh I know that UK retail and business banking stayed strong and made Barclays £4,421m last year so that's probably worth remembering. I've never sold before, waitressing jobs, now in a school, so have no experience of making sales. I have made our budget go further by asking around and changing suppliers and not running out of money half way through the financial year!
Wouldn't have thought of that without you!
This is great, please keep them coming. wine all round if I get the job!

KenDoddsDadsDog Mon 11-Mar-13 21:24:35

See sapphire - the power of Mumsnet will get you the job smile
And you will have sold as a waitress - did you recommend extras, bottles instead of glasses of wine for example ?
Very important for sales is "people buy people" - if they like you you can sell to them. Think about your waitress job and how you made a great experience with something that was a treat for people and could have been an important occasion.

sapphirestar Mon 11-Mar-13 21:31:11

Oh yes, bottle only £1 more than two glasses of wine! That worked a few times, talking people into having irish coffee when they didn't want dessert!
Will you come to the interview with me, could have an earpiece like on that secret shoppers programme!

KenDoddsDadsDog Mon 11-Mar-13 21:36:28

No bother !! See you have loads of examples, just need to get your thoughts going.

sapphirestar Mon 11-Mar-13 21:36:53

Ken that PDF looks good too, I will definitely have to go through that with a highlighter!
A lot of the experience is probably locked away up there somewhere, it just needs bringing out. After the failed phone interview, I had lots of 'shit I should have said that' moments!

KenDoddsDadsDog Mon 11-Mar-13 21:46:07

Feel free to PM me if you get stuck.

sapphirestar Mon 11-Mar-13 21:54:22

Thank you very much! Although you might regret saying that by wednesday night when I'm bricking it and can't sleep!

CecyHall Thu 14-Mar-13 16:56:00

How did it go sapphirestar?

sapphirestar Thu 14-Mar-13 19:23:31

Hi CecyHall, it was a lot better than I thought thanks! I was really nervous this morning, but when I got there the manager but me at ease straight away. I thought there would be 3 or 4 people interviewing but it was just him and he was really nice. We chatted for 5-10mins both before and after the actual interview, and the questions themselves were ok.
He gave me feedback on my online assessment, top 9% for one part and top 6% for second part!
He should I should hear tomorrow, monday at the latest

kay126 Thu 14-Mar-13 21:35:25

hey im glad your interview went well! ive come across this thread as i will be having an interview with barclays too and im stuck on the commercial success competency also! may i ask what type of questions they asked you about this? did you have to do any roleplays or was it just questions? any help would be greatly appreciated, i am very nervous!x

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