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About the European Central Bank

The European Central Bank recruits new employees across a wide range of levels, including graduates, traineeships, and experienced hires, as well as across a range of business areas, including macro economists, research analysts, risk analysts, HR specialists, auditors, and more. The ECB recruits from across Europe, so you will be pitted against the best candidates Europe has to offer. This page outlines the common features of ECB's recruitment process, providing guidance on how to prepare for each of its phases.


ECB Application Form

The ECB application form is set out like an extended CV, designed to allow the ECB to extract the information it wants from you. This includes information about your education, competencies, achievements, and professional experience. Be thorough on your application form, as the information you put in it is evaluated against the requirements of the role as set out on the vacancy notice. You are also required to answer a question about your reasons for applying for the job. The answer you give will be used by the selection committee to understand what motivates you, as well as to determine whether the job you have applied for will suit you. This question is looking only at your motivation, not what you know.


ECB Pre-Screening Process

Before you are invited to attend an in-person interview, or asked to complete a presentation, you must first undergo the pre-screening process. The process consists of the following steps:


ECB Interview

The interview day for graduate and internship applicants may involve one or more of the following assessments:

  • Written exercise – This can take any number of forms, from report writing to letter writing.
  • Presentation – Presentations may either be prepared on the day of the interview or in advance. Use JobTestPrep's website or blog to brush up on the points to remember when delivering a presentation.
  • Panel interview – Interviews are usually competency-based. They can be conducted via telephone, video conference call, or in person. You will be notified in advance on what to expect.

Each of these assessments will evaluate you on the key technical and behavioural competencies required of the role you have applied for.

ECB Panel Interview

During the ECB panel interview, you will be asked about your knowledge, experience, opinions, and how you have handled past situations and work-based scenarios. The aim of this interview is to learn more about your skills, experience, and behavioural competencies, as these may directly relate to your success in the job. In a competency-based interview, you are asked to give specific examples of past performance.

Example questions include:

  • When was the last time you used your problem-solving skills to resolve an issue?
  • Tell us about an occasion when you were faced with a number of demands simultaneously without enough time to deal with them all.
  • Give an example of a strategic plan you developed and implemented.
  • Describe a situation where you took the lead.
  • What is Operational Risk Management?
  • What is Business Continuity?

To prepare for the interview, plan examples and sample answers to common question types so that you are easily able to respond to questions in a way that highlights your strengths and experience. One way to plan answers to these questions is to use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result). A further aspect to consider is what the challenges were in this specific experience—how you addressed them; the result of your actions; and if you faced the same challenge again, what would you do differently?

A second element of preparation is familiarising yourself with the ECB, its main tasks and objectives, and how you can contribute to ECB and the specific role you are applying for. Pay particular attention to the business area you are applying to. Don’t forget to prepare some questions to ask at the end of the interview, but make sure they are not easily answered by information provided on the website.

The final element of preparing for an interview is to rehearse answering the questions. The best way to do so is within a mock interview environment. Our interview preparation pack offers an interview with a trained assessor who will give you feedback on areas of strength or those that need improvement.


ECB Management Applicants

The management applicant hiring process consists of the following steps:

  • Personality assessment – The Personality and Preference Inventory takes approximately 40 minutes to complete.
  • Self-reflection questionnaire – This questionnaire focuses on your professional experiences and goals for the future.
  • Competency-based interview – The competency interview requires you to provides examples of past work performance.
  • Role play – This exercise provides you the chance to highlight your strengths in leadership by handling mock people management issues. 
  • Business case study – You are provided with information and then asked to make business decisions based on the information. This is another chance to highlight your leadership skills. 
  • Feedback loop – You are guided through the results of the Personality and Preference Inventory you sat. You also have a chance to review your self-reflection and identified preferences at work. Key observations will be shared with you. Additionally, the feedback loop is completed with a self-reflection on how the different exercises went.

Prepare for your ECB management tests with JobTestPrep today.


ECB Competency Interview

For management positions, the ECB competency interview is a two-hour interview in which you are expected to provides examples of how you have demonstrated behaviours related to the following six competencies:

  • Managing teams
  • Coaching/ developing
  • Guiding people
  • Adaptability/relationship building/influencing
  • Innovation/strategic thinking
  • Communication

You should use examples that display where you have made a difference, how you did that, and what the outcome was. The assessors will look at the positives you present in your examples, but they will also look at areas of development, and may even look for negative behaviour in relation to the competencies. The requirements of the interview are similar to the panel interview described above.


ECB Aptitude Tests

The test you are asked to take will depend on the position itself. They are primarily administered by Profiling for Success, but also sometimes by CEB's SHL, so always check your test invitation. Below are some of the tests you may be asked to sit:

Numerical Reasoning Test

The numerical reasoning test assesses your ability to understand and solve numerical problems. In this test, you are provided information in graphs and tables and asked to answer multiple-choice questions based on that information. To answer the questions, you must be able to work out the answer by calculating percentages, ratios, and more. You must then select the correct answer from between five possible options. 

Verbal Reasoning Test

Verbal reasoning tests look at how well you use logic to assess written information. In this test, you are given a short text to read and asked questions about the information contained in the text. Questions are usually presented in a true, false, cannot say format, meaning you have to decide the validity of a statement based on what you have read in the text only.

Abstract or Non-Verbal Reasoning

Abstract reasoning assessments, also known as non-verbal reasoning tests, measure how you identity relationships between shapes. You are given two sets of shapes—'A' and 'B'. All of the shapes in both set 'A' and set 'B' are similar, but they are not related to each other. You need to determine how the shapes in each set are similar to each other, and then which set additional shapes belong to.

Deductive Reasoning Test

Deductive reasoning tests measure your ability to draw logical conclusions from a set of known andtrue premises. The type of questions you will face include completing scenarios or identifying the strengths or weaknesses of an argument. These tests require specific skills to answer the questions correctly.

It's important to note that only some candidates encounter deductive reasoning tests. For those who do, it is likely to be SHL's deductive reasoning test. 


Prepare for ECB Tests and Interviews

The ECB is currently in the midst of a large recruitment drive, and now is the time to take advantage of it and join this prestigious organisation. Preparation is key to ensuring you do the best you can at each stage so that you ultimately get the job you desire. Ensure your success with JobTestPrep's ECB preparation resources