Banking Summer Internship [2024]: Practise & Ace the Test
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Avia, Finance Sector Specialist at JobTestPrep.

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Table of Contents



Is It Hard to Get a Summer Internship?

Short answer – yes.

It is hard to get a Summer Internship, in the same way that every position is hard to get in the competitive investment banking world.

Because the banks have a lot of applicants, they use online tests and assessment centres to eliminate a large portion of them. This means that if you don’t get a high score, they will not even look at your application.

How high? Well, Morgan Stanley only looks at applicants that score in the 90th percentile. Yes, you read that correctly!

So, how can you beat the competition and secure a summer internship?
Ace the online tests.

Let’s see how.


Get Accurate Preparation for Every Bank You Apply To

If you apply to several banks, which you should, then you will probably encounter at least one of these tests:


  • Numerical Reasoning
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Logical Reasoning
  • Situational Judgment

While the basic idea of each test is roughly the same for every bank, the question types might be very different, depending on the test provider.
Most banks use these 5 major test providers:



We have created this preparation pack to prepare you for all major banks.
It includes practice questions, guides, and explanations for each of the 5 major test providers, and for the assessment centres. This means that this pack has got you covered even if you apply to several banks in the next month.

 

JobTestPrep Summer Internship Preparation By Test Provider: 

*For more information about the assessment of a specific Bank, please click on the suitable link in the table below.

 
✻ Aon (cut-e)
✻ Pymetrics
✻ Cappfinity
✻ SHL

Don't miss out on the most accurate and up-to-date prep pack on the market! Designed to prepare you for the internship tests at the 11 leading banks and finance firms, our tailored materials feature test SJT, gamified challenges, and personality practice tests. Focus on test-providers style questions, from SHL and Talent Q (Korn Ferry) to Pymetrics and Aon (cut-e); our PrepPack™ ensures you're fully ready for success. Only £119 for 3 months!


Summer Internship Online Tests – Sample Questions (With Solutions)

We specialize in preparation for employment psychometric exams. You can watch our video on Summer Internship Online Tests, and test yourself with sample questions below:

Numerical Reasoning Test

Since banking is a numbers game, the most popular test used by banks is Numerical Reasoning. The emphasis would be the ability to read charts and tables and analyze the data quickly and efficiently.

Let’s see what a question in the test might look like:

Spring Week Numerical Sample Question

In 1990 the population of France was 56.5 million people. Since then, it has been growing at a 0.4% rate per year. Approximately how many more/less applications were submitted in France in 2012 than in 2010?

369 less
913 more
384 million less
384 less
Cannot say
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

The correct answer is (D) - 384 less

Consider 1990 France-population as 100%. Therefore, an increase of 0.4% a year, makes the population in each year that follows 1990: 100% + 0.4% = 100.4% of its previous year's population. Expressing it in decimal to ease the calculations:
100% + 0.4% = 100/100 + 0.4/100 = 1 + 0.004 = 1.004

Start by calculating the population in 2010 and in 2012 according to the formula:
Pop. in year Y = Pop. in 1990 x (1 + annual percentage increase)No. of years passed since 1990
Population in 2010 = 56,500,000 X (1.004)20 = 61,195,953.22 ≈ 61,195,953
Population in 2012 = 56,500,000 X (1.004)22 = 61,686,499.98 ≈ 61,686,500

Next, calculate the number of applications submitted in 2010 and in 2012 according to the formula:
Applications submitted in year Y = Population in year Y x (No. of applications per million inhabitants / 1,000,000)
Applications submitted in 2010 = 61,195,953 x (241.89 / 1,000,000) = 14,802.7 ≈ 14,803
Applications submitted in 2012 = 61,686,500 x (233.74 / 1,000,000) = 14,418.6 ≈ 14,419

Finally, subtract the number of applications submitted in 2010 from the number of applications submitted in 2012:
14,419 ― 14,803 = ―384
Notice! The negative sign before the difference in the applications' number stands for 'less' applications in 2012 than 2010.
Thus, 384 less applications were submitted in France in 2012 than in 2010.

Note: These questions have a lot of data, not all of it is relevant to the answer. To answer quickly, you need to learn a technique that will help you sort out all the data and beat the clock. You can find this technique and many others in our full preparation pack.

Logical Reasoning Test

The most popular type of Logical Reasoning question is the logical sequence. Again, this is designed to test your analytical skills and see how you can cope with new details you have never seen before.

Let’s see what a question like this might look like:

Spring Week Logical Sample Question

Find the answer that completes the logical sequence matrix correctly.

Spring Week Logical Sample Question

Were you able to complete the sequence?

Solution and Explanation

The correct answer is the bottom-center alternative.

Columns: Each cell consists of three symbols, dictated by the following logic: when moving from one cell to the cell
below it, the symbols “move” one step to the left each time so that a new symbol appears from the
right and the left symbol disappears. The sequence is not continuous throughout the Matrix’s columns,
as each column is based on a different sequence of symbols.

Thus, in order to find the symbols in the missing cell, we need to “move” the symbols from the cell
above it one step to the left, resulting in ‘×’ and ‘☼’ becoming the left and middle symbols respectively.
Next, we need to work backwards and “move” the symbols from the cell below it one step to the right,
resulting in ‘≠’ becoming the right symbol. Therefore, the correct answer is #13.

Rows: None of the symbols appears more than once in the same row.

Note: Symbol questions like this have patterns that are used over and over again. The trick is to know how to identify the pattern quickly. For example, let’s look at the sample question. The fact that in each column there is a diagonal line of identical symbols (‘€’ in the left column and ‘∆’ in the right column) serves as a hint to indicate that this is a “movement of a sequence of symbols” question. Techniques like this are offered in our preparation pack.

Situational Judgment Test

This test is designed to evaluate your personality regarding the work environment. It seems there are no wrong or right answers, but actually – there are.

Let’s see it in an example:

You have recently started your internship in a global law firm headquartered in London. You have just finished writing a long and tedious report that is going to be delivered to your office manager. Martin, a more experienced and well-respected intern from your office, tells you that he thinks it is possible to improve your report by making some alterations in a few sections.

What would you do in this situation?
Rank TWO of the following options, one as the BEST and one as the WORST.

  1. Thank Martin politely for his suggestions but leave the report as it is since you trust your own judgement.
  2. Discuss the suggested changes with Martin and try to understand the reasoning behind each of them.
  3. Make some of the changes Martin has suggested but retain the core elements that you think work best.
  4. Make all the changes Martin offered, trusting his greater experience.

So, what do you think?

Solution and Explanation

Primary competencies: Openness to criticism
Secondary competencies: Building and maintaining relationships; Independence, achievement striving
Best response: 2
Worst response: 1

Explanation: In this scenario, you deliberate on whether to rely on your own judgment of your work or to accept criticism from a colleague.
Let's consider each response individually:

Response #1: This response displays an inability to work in a team since you do not seem to trust your colleagues. You do not seem to handle criticism well or consider it a chance for possible improvement. Thus, this is a very negative response choice.

Response #2: Since you are willing to listen to Martin's criticism and learn from it, you display excellent abilities to work in a team and build positive relationships. In addition, you are modest and open to other ideas. This response will lead to a better report, which is in the company's interest, and you may learn something new and develop as a professional. This is a very positive choice.

Response #3: In this response you don't appear to try and understand Martin's criticism. Rather, you decide to implement some of the minor changes without touching the core elements. This response does not display a high level of team work and openness to criticism; however, it is not the worst choice.

Response #4: In this response you don't appear to try and understand Martin's criticism. Rather, you decide to implement all the changes he suggests without further consideration. This response does not display a high level of teamwork and independence, as you leave no room for your own point of view and rely solely on your colleague's opinion. Nevertheless, it is slightly better than response #1 because you display the ability to accept others' opinions and are open to criticism. This is not a negative response choice, but it isn't a positive one either.

Note: The hard thing with this type of questions is its weird structure. Marking two answers is not something you got used to in your school days. Practising makes you familiar with different types of questions. It will reduce the stress and help you perform much better.

Get ahead of the competition with our market-leading PrepPack™! Our comprehensive and constantly updated materials prepare you for 11 of the top banks and finance firms with 3 months' access for only £119. Tailored specifically for each organisation, with test providers-style questions, including SJT, gamified exercises, personality practice tests, and assessments from SHL, Pymetrics, Talent Q (Korn Ferry), and Aon (cut-e).


How to Ace the Summer Internship Tests and Get a High Score

As you have seen in the examples above, none of these tests present very hard questions.
The problem starts with the time limit.

You will have very little time to answer many questions, which can get very stressful. Imagine you have only 30 seconds to answer a numerical question. Or 50 seconds for a logical question. Not that easy anymore, is it?

The best way to ace the tests is to practice. Talk to your alumni, your 2nd and 3rd year, and they will tell you the same. I can’t stress enough how this is the safest way to get it right. Even if you overdo it and the test will be easy, you will be glad you did it once you get invited for an interview.

Practise will make sure:

  • No Surprises – Familiarize yourself with all question types and reduce stress
  • Fast – Know how to answer very quickly and beat the time limit
  • All Banks – Know how to ace the tests for ALL the central banks

Ace the test & score higher than your competition! With our PrepPack™, you will get the most accurate and up-to-date preparation materials on the market, carefully crafted for the 11 prominent banks and finance firms. Master all your assessment tests with our providers-style questions, including SJT, gamified simulations, and personality practice tests for 3 months for just £119!

Want more information about the Banking summer internships?
Let’s start from the top.


Pre-recorded Interview

A pre-recorded interview, sometimes called a one-way video interview, is a tool used to screen candidates in the recruitment process for the summer internship by most of the leading banks and financial firms, including Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley, UBS, and JP Morgan.

The interview assesses job-related competencies, personality traits, and behavioural tendencies in a way that actively involves the candidates by requesting them to respond to work-related questions or tasks.

There is no direct interaction with your recruiter; instead, you will address questions or assignments alone in front of a camera.

During the pre-recorded interview, you usually have up to two minutes to prepare each answer and up to three minutes to record it.

The number of questions varies but generally ranges from 5 to 8, taking about 20-30 minutes to complete. The questions you’ll receive are tailored to the specific position you applied for to ensure you have the skills required on the job. Some pre-recorded interviews also include job simulation assignments, such as case studies and situational judgment tests.

These interviews are administered through online platforms like HireVue, Cappfinity, and Amberjack, but sometimes, you may be asked to record your answers on your own devices. Once submitted, your recruiters review the recordings to determine whether you will proceed to the next stage of the recruitment process.

It’s important to note that pre-recorded interviews do not always replace traditional in-person interviews but usually serve as a way to gain initial insights into your work-related skills and attributes.

Not sure how to prepare for your pre-recorded interview? Learn all you need to know with our interactive Video Interview Guide, which offers a comprehensive simulation and answering tips for real pre-recorded interview questions!


What Is A Bank Summer Internship?

Summer Internship programmes are offered to students in their penultimate year (second last year of the degree), which means 2st-year students in a 3-year course or 3nd-year students in a 4-year course. Therefore, The ideal time to apply for a summer internship would be the end of your first undergraduate year. 

Summer Internships are usually offered by all BB banks (Bulge Bracket banks), and some smaller or boutique banks as well. 

Depending on the bank, some internships are generalist, which means that you will go through different divisions, while others are divisional, which means you will spend your time only in one division.

During the programme you will get a chance to experience what it is like to work in a big bank and network with industry people. You will be shadowing employees of the bank and seeing exactly what their day looks like. Exciting stuff!

Many finance graduates are also interested in accountancy firms.

If you are one of these graduates, check out our Big 4 bundle, which features practise for EY, KPMG, Deloitte, and PwC, including online immersive assessments, job simulations, and an Arctic Shores Games simulation.


When Does Summer Internship Happen, and How Long Is It?

banking-internship-time

 

As the name suggests, the Summer Internship usually takes place in July-September, right after the spring semester is over.
Because this programme is designed for students, it is aligned with the academic year schedule. Summertime is perfect to get the students while they are free from university duties.

Note: some banks will offer off-cycle insight internships. Those can take place any time of the year, and are a good solution if you missed the Summer deadlines.

The programmes mostly last between 8-10 weeks.

Having said that, some internships last 5 weeks and some last 16; some start in June and some in September.

A few weeks seems short, doesn’t it? Well, not quite…
As short as they are, summer internships are VERY IMPORTANT. Here is why.


The 4 Benefits of Doing a Banking Internship

It would be best if you considered applying for a summer internship for several reasons:

 

Benefit #1 - It's good for your CV

Studying in academia is important, but the emphasis is on theory and less on practice. Bank recruiters would weigh your resume more solemnly if they knew you have hands-on experience working in a bank. Also, it will make you stand out from the abundance of finance alums.

 

Benefit #2 -  It may lead to a graduate position

The opportunity to secure a graduate job while you are still in school is perhaps the main reason students are applying for internships. It is only natural that employers prefer to hire someone they are familiar with and have left a good impression than to screen, interview, and test a brand-new candidate.

 

Benefit #3 - It will give you an inside glimpse of the banking industry

An internship is a perfect opportunity to better understand the day-to-day job of a banker. For instance, you may discover that IB isn't as appealing as you thought before and prevent future disappointment; maybe you will find out that a different banking job is a better fit. Ideally, the internship experience will reassure your concerns and make you understand that banking is indeed the right job for you.

 

Benefit #4 - It can open doors

Being surrounded by banking professionals is excellent for networking and may lead to different opportunities such as job offers and ventures.

 

 

Banks Internships History in a Nutshell

Investment Banking is a HIGHLY COMPETITIVE field, with some arguing that it is the hardest field to get into. Especially when you are looking at the BB banks, which are obviously the most desired places to get into.

These banks know how competitive it can get, so they decided to start screening and looking at good candidates early on. How did they do that? Summer internships for students. They are offered a full-time job if they perform well and impress whoever needs impressing. WIN!

Nowadays, the wildest dream for any student is to land a summer internship. They know it will improve their chances of getting a job offer, as external hiring is becoming more and more scarce.

This is why summer internships have become very competitive, and the chances of landing one in the desired BB bank are plummeting every year. 

Tip: to raise your chances of getting a Summer Internship offer, apply to several banks. If you get in more than one – great! It is recommended to go to as many SW as you possibly can.


When to Apply for A Banking Summer Internship?

Apply as early as possible!

Let’s break it down and understand why:

  • Rolling Basis – although we don’t exactly know how it works in each bank, we know that many of them recruit on a rolling basis. This basically means that they go through the applications in batches, and once they fill all their spots – they stop looking. Yeah, even if you are a top candidate, they would hate to lose.
  • Competition – most of the candidates apply around September. And if we said that firms look at applicants in batches, the earlier you apply, the smaller your batch. The smaller your batch, the less competition.

What does it mean regarding the timeline?
Most banks open for applications around August, and the deadlines go all the way up to March.

Note: it is different for each bank. Best if you check in the desired bank’s official site for specific dates.


Which Investment Banks Have Summer Internship Programmes?

Basically, all the BB banks offer these internships and then some.
They differ from one another in the stages of the application process, the length of the internship, and whether it is a general or divisional programme.

Note: the following information is an estimate based on past years. The details might change a bit.

Let’s talk about some of the major and most desired players out there.

JP Morgan Summer Internship

Duration: 10-12 weeks

Includes:

3 different paths:

  • Finance degree
  • Non-finance degree
  • Technology business

Application Process:

  • CV and Cover Letter
  • Phone interview
  • Recorded video interview
Goldman Sachs Summer Internship

Duration: 8-10 weeks

Includes:

divisional internship:

  • Analyst
  • Associate

During the programme, you will shadow actual employees and work on a case study.

Application Process:

  • CV
  • Recorded video interview
  • Phone interview
Morgan Stanley Summer Internship

Duration: 10-13 weeks

Includes: 

Divisional internship:

  • Investment banking
  • ISG
  • Technology
  • Investment Management (Real Estate Investing)
  • Market Risk
  • Bank Resource Management
  • Finance
  • Fund Services
  • Operations
  • Sustainable Finance
  • Financial Advisor Associate
  • Wealth Advisor Associate

Application Process:

  • CV and Cover Letter
  • Online tests: Numerical Reasoning, Logical Reasoning, SJT and Verbal Reasoning tests 
  • 2 phone interviews: the first is competency-based, and the second can be technical (case study)
Blackstone Summer Internship

Duration: 10 weeks

Includes: 

Divisional Internship:

  • Asset Management
  • Business Development
  • Data Science
  • Finance
  • Investment Banking
  • Marketing
  • Risk Management
  • Technology

In addition to experiencing the division itself, you will also take part in networking and social events.

Application Process:

  • CV and cover letter
  • Online assessment
  • Phone interview and a face-to-face interview

Learn more about the Blackstone online assessment and application process.

HSBC Summer Internship

Duration: 5-16 weeks

Includes: 

General programme, which includes:

  • Work shadowing
  • Case study sessions
  • Networking events
  • Meet senior bankers
  • Skills workshops

Application Process:

  • CV
  • Online tests – Numerical Reasoning and situational Judgment (HSBC Online Immersive Assessment)
  • Recorded video interview (Job Simulation)
  • Phone interview

For more information about HSBC Online Immersive Assessment or HSBC Job Simulation, please visit the designated pages.

UBS Summer Internship

Duration: 9 weeks

Includes:

Divisional Internship:

  • Asset Management
  • Human Resources
  • Global Banking
  • Global Markets
  • IB COO

Application Process:

  • CV
  • Online tests – Numerical Reasoning and Situational Judgment test
  • Recorded video interview

Learn more about the UBS online assessment and application process.

Barclays Summer Internship

Duration: 9 weeks

Includes:

A divisional programme:

  • Banking
  • Business Banking
  • Finance
  • Risk

Application Process:

  • CV
  • Online tests – Numerical Reasoning and Situational Judgment
  • Recorded video interview
Deutsche Bank Summer Internship

Duration: 8 weeks

Includes:

A divisional programme:

  • Investment Bank
  • Corporate Bank
  • Private Bank: Wealth Management
  • Technology, Data and Innovation
  • Infrastructure: Human Resources, Finance, Group Audit

Application Process:

  • CV 
  • Online tests – situational judgment, personality, and cognitive ability tests
  • Recorded interview
Citi Summer Internship

Duration: 10-12 weeks

Includes:

A divisional programme in one of the following:

  • Capital Markets
  • Corporate Banking
  • Investment Banking
  • Markets and Securities Services
  • Private Bank
  • Treasury and Trade Solutions

You will be shadowing in your division and attend networking events.
In your application you will be asked to rank the top 3 divisions you would like to intern in.

Application Process:

  • CV and cover letter
  • Numerical Reasoning online test
  • Video interview
  • Phone interview
Bank of America Summer Internship

Duration: 10 weeks

Includes:

Divisional programme in which you will be shadowing 2 lines of business of your choice.

Application Process:

  • CV
  • Video interview
  • Phone interview
BNP Paribas Summer Internship

Duration: 9 weeks

Includes:

A divisional programme:

  • Global Banking
  • Global Markets

Application Process:

  • CV
  • Online tests – Logical Reasoning test (Switch Challenge)
  • Video interview
  • Might be called in for an assessment center

Note: more banks are offering programmes, these are just the major ones.

As you have seen, a big portion of the major banks (and some of the smaller ones we didn’t cover) uses online tests.

Start Practising now for ALL leading banks for £119 for 3 months!


Conclusion

The Summer Internship is an essential first step into investment banking. Although the screening process can be challenging and lengthy, research and preparation can immensely reduce uncertainty and boost your skills.

Use all the information and tips I have given you, and land your internship!
Apply for a lot of banks, and practice, practice, practice.

Good luck, I believe in you!


 

Summer Internship FAQs

Can I get a Banking job without doing a Summer Internship?

Theoretically, yes, you can. But the competition is very tough, and your chances are slim. A summer internship in your resume will go a long way. It will improve your chances significantly. Therefore, it is HIGHLY recommended to get a Banking internship.

I attend a semi-target or non-target university. Do I even have a chance? Should I bother applying?

Yes, you should apply. It is true that a lot of candidates from target universities (ie. Oxbridge, UCL, LSE, Imperial and Warwick) are getting accepted. But they are not the only ones. If you are a strong candidate, with a good CV, a high score in the online tests and a very good interview – you will be accepted, regardless of where you attend.

I am a 3nd year in a 3-year course. Can I still apply?

Yes, you can. The only way for you to accomplish this to add a 1-year master to your course, which means you now have 3 years ahead of you. In that case, your application will be considered.

How does the Coronavirus affect Summer Internships?

Like many companies in the economy, the banking companies also had to adapt to the unique situation the Coronavirus led. After a period of uncertainty in which internships did not occur, all training took place by remote control. Today in most companies, the internships are back to being conducted face-to-face.

Admittedly, temporary changes have become the new norm, and they are here to stay - tests and admission interviews for specializations are now carried out almost entirely digitally.

It has both a positive side and a less positive side. The downside is that the admissions tests and interviews have become much more sophisticated - for example, there are companies whose admissions process contains three different tests, and the next stage will open to you only if you pass the previous step. In addition, the lack of the human element in interviews may lead to stress, decreased performance, and failure.

The good news is that a digital screening is more predictable when illuminating the human component. Therefore, research and proper preparation can absolutely help you nail your upcoming online assessments and interviews.

The online tests are very easy, why should I practise?

It is true that the questions are easy, but remember – you have a tight time limit. If you are not well prepared you will find it is very hard to get a good score. The more you practise, the better you get. The better you get, the higher your chance to get a Spring Week.

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