Competition for a graduate position at Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), or CommBank, is fierce, with over 4,500 applications received in 2010 for 125 places. This article will take you through the application process for the graduate program. People applying for an experienced position will find the interview section useful.
There are 11 different strands to apply for on the CommBank graduate program, and the process may vary slightly for some of these strands. The strands include Comminsure, Colonial First State, Local Business Banking, Marketing, Retail Banking Services, and more.
The CommBank application form is the first step towards employment with CommBank. Before you start to fill in the form, you must select up to two business areas that you wish to apply for. As well as the usual information requests about you, your education and work experience, the application form can have up to 12 open ended questions, each with a 200 word limit.
Some tips for your application:
If your application is taken forward, you will be invited to sit three online SHL tests:
Applicants for each strand will be asked to sit the same tests, but it may be worth considering that they could set different pass marks for the individual tests in each strand. You need to pass these tests in order to be put forward for the next stage, the telephone interview.
Numerical reasoning tests examine your ability to analyse and interpret numerical data. This data is provided through charts and graphs, and some questions may contain more that one piece of data. For each data set, there are a number of questions for you to answer using the relevant information. These tests are also time limited, with approximately 18 questions to answer in anywhere for 17 to 25 minutes, depending on the difficulty of the test. You may use a calculator in SHL numerical reasoning tests. This can cause its own challenges, so see JobTestPrep’s guide to using calculators in psychometric tests. Practising for the numerical reasoning test will help you sharpen your skills, and improve your score.
The verbal reasoning test looks at how well and how fast you can understand, process and analyse verbal information. In this test you are given a short passage followed by written statements. You are asked to evaluate the truthfulness of each statement, in the answer format True/False/Cannot say. The tests are time limited with 30 questions be answered in 17 to 19 minutes. There are two key elements to preparation for these tests: obtaining the skills needed to read and process information in order to verify the truthfulness of the statement; and doing this within a very tight time limit. Practising will help you improve your ability against both of these areas. JobTestPrep have created special practice packs based on SHL tests, along with answers and guides on how to do the tests.
Logical reasoning tests evaluate your logical cognitive abilities. They use pictures to test your logic without the use of words or numbers. The test sets out a series of shapes and asks you to identify the pattern and pick out the next shape in the sequence, from a group of options. Practising with JobTestPrep’s practice packs for SHL style logical reasoning tests will enable you to develop techniques for identifying the logical patterns, allowing you to be more confident on the day.
If you pass the tests to the level required by the strands you are applying to, you are next asked to book in for a telephone interview. The purpose of this interview is to discuss your skills as on your application form, and your desire to work for CommBank. In this interview they will be looking for you to give examples that demonstrate that you have used the skills you claimed you have on the application form. One of the best ways to bring examples into an answer is using the STAR method. Read more about it on JobTestPrep’s STAR method interview pages. In addition, don’t forget to reread your application form before the interview, and to think about why it is that you want to work for CommBank.
The telephone interview itself will require you to be on top form. Practising ahead of an interview can help you prepare answers, and help you overcome some of those pre-interview nerves. JobTestPrep can help you prepare for interviews including telephone interview in real life conditions with our interview preparation package.