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Standard Chartered Bank PSL Aptitude Tests
Standard Chartered Bank is one of the largest financial institutions in the entire world and one of the world's most global companies, operating in over 115 different nations. It is also the current sponsor of Liverpool Football Club.
This page contains a large amount of information. If you wish to skip to the section on Standard Chartered's Aptitude Tests please click the link - skip to aptitude testing section.
Standard Chartered Application Process
There is extensive information about applying to Standard Chartered all over the world in various online resources, so PracticeSHLTests.com has attempted to summarise this as accurately and concisely as possible.
Standard Chartered's recruitment process varies wildly depending on the division you wish to work for, the position being applied for and also which country you wish to work in. All applicants begin by submitting an initial online application form. Following this, candidates are invited to take Standard Chartered's online aptitude / psychometric tests: a logical reasoning test followed by a numerical reasoning assessment.
There is extensive feedback from applicants to Standard Chartered in the last 18 months (2009 onwards) that often candidates who believed themselves to have done very well on the aptitude tests would be rejected very soon after the tests, only to have this rejection recinded later. There was some opinion that all applicants were being rejected due to the small number of positions that were available at Standard Chartered during the recruitment period of 2009-2010. It is not clear if this rejection issue is deliberate or a fault in their systems, and at present PracticeSHLTests.com is not clear on whether this is still happening, so all applicants sitting the online testing need to bear this in mind.
If candidates successfully pass the aptitude test section of the process they will then be presented with what is known as the personality test. This consists of three mini-essay questions. These questions are designed to ascertain elements of the applicants personality, experiences and motivations for working for Standard Chartered. The questions that have been presented to many applicants are:
1. Please explain your understanding of the business function to which you are applying, and give two specific examples of how your skills and experiences will help you succeed?
2. The International Graduate Programme spans across 20 different countries - please tell us how you will be an effective global colleague?
3. What differentiates you from other candidates?
If your answers to the above questions are deemed acceptable then you will be contacted to take part in a first round interview. Depending on the logistics of the candidates situation (if the candidate lives in the same country as where they are applying to) a first round interview can either be telephone based or an in person interview. However, there have been instances of a candidate living in the UK and applying to the UK offices and still having a telephone interview, but if applicants live in the country they are applying to they will receive a face-to-face interview more often than not. First round interviews are normally conducted by a member of the human resources team.
If a candidate is successful in passing their initial interview, some parts of Standard Chartered will conduct second round group interviews whereas others will skip straight to individual interviews with an important member of staff from the division they have applied for. Applicants for positions where group interviews take place, if successful can sometimes face a third round final individual interview, there are instances where both interview workflows have occured. Candidates applying to roles in countries different to where they live at this stage of the application may be flown to the country where their job is by Standard Chartered for the final round of interviews at the companies cost.
Based on extensive applicant feedback, the response time from Standard Chartered for all stages of the recruitment process varies wildly. Previous applicants have received rejections or notification of progressing to the next stage almost immediately, while others have had to wait for weeks or any period up to three months to be notified. If an applicant is concerned at the lack of response they should contact Standard Chartered.
For certain divisions of Standard Chartered the company requests applicants can speak at least two languages to a business level standard. It is unclear how strictly this is enforced and for which divisions and positions. In addition, for those applying to graduate roles, Standard Chartered request the minimum of a 2:1 level degree. Failure to achieve at least a 2:1 could result in a job offer being withdrawn.
Standard Chartered's Use of Aptitude & Psychometric Testing
As stated above, Standard Chartered do use aptitude tests in their recruiting at an early stage of the process, however their approach is slightly different to the traditional "numerical and verbal reasoning" combination used by many companies such as BDO Stoy Hayward, Deloitte and Deutsche Bank. Instead Standard Chartered require applicants to first complete a logical reasoning test and this is followed by a numerical reasoning assessment (click here for some more information).
Standard Chartered use the PSL (Kenexa) brand of aptitude testing rather than SHL or any others and have done so for some time. Applicants concerned that they have received an incorrect rejection from Standard Chartered after taking the SC online tests should please read the section discussing this in the application process section (for anyone who skipped to information on aptitude tests).
Advice for Those Taking Standard Chartered's PSL Aptitude Tests
Previous applicants who have taken the Standard Chartered PSL Tests have stated that the logical reasoning test is of medium difficulty, requiring applicants to finish 24 questions in 12 minutes, or one every thirty seconds. The numerical test which follows is in the format of 20 questions in 20 minutes, allowing one minute per question.
According to past candidates, The logical reasoning test contains a lot of pattern matching questions, if you can determine the image patterns quickly this will stand you in good stead with this test. The numerical reasoning test consists of largely typical numerical reasoning aptitude test style questions. There are questions related to profit calculation, currency exchange, profit ratios and standard calculation style questions. Past candidates have advised that they have not always been able to answer all the questions within the time limit but still progressed to the next round of the employment process. It is wise for candidates to have some working out paper and pens or pencils handy for rough working during the tests (though this more general advice than Standard Chartered specific).
Where to get Practice for Standard Chartered Aptitude Tests
The best place to get SHL and PSL style practice aptitude tests online currently is the Assessment Day website. Assessment Day has many numerical, verbal and inductive reasoning tests for their users to practice on, allowing them to get experience of what it is like to sit the real company aptitude tests. Getting practice in these tests could make the difference between progressing to the next round of the recruitment process and being rejected.