Prepare for ECB Aptitude Tests and Interviews

Are you applying for a position with the European Central Bank? The ECB recruit approximately 800 people across all levels from the ECB graduate program and ECB internships through to managers in their fields. The recruiters are demanding, so you will need to make the most of each stage of the application process to prove your worth.
Prepare for ECB's SHL Tests

Our SHL style practice tests are similar to those used by ECB!

The European Central Bank is in the process of recruiting 800 new employees across a whole range of levels including graduates, traineeships and experienced hires; and across the whole 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 Europe has to offer. This article goes through the common features of ECB recruitment providing guidance on how to prepare for each one.

The stages to the recruitment process for ECB internships, the ECB graduate program and many experienced hires are:

Applicants for management positions have additional stages to their recruitment process:

ECB Application Form

The ECB application form is set out like an extended CV, designed to allow the ECB to extract the information they want from you, including 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 to the job. The answer you give will be used by the selection committee to understand what motivates you, and whether the job you have applied to will suit you.This question is looking only at your motivation, not what you know.

ECB Interview

The interview day for graduate and internship applicants may contain more than one assessment, including:

  • Written exercise - written exercises can take any number of forms from report writing to letter writing. Refresh your skills with JobTestPrep.
  • Presentation - presentations can be either prepared on the day or in advance. Use the JobTestPrep website or blog to brush up on the points to remember in a presentation in advance.
  • Panel interview - interviews are usually competency based, and can be by telephone, video conference call, or in person. You will be notified in advance what to expect.

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

ECB Panel Interview

The ECB interview will ask you about your knowledge, experience, opinions and how you have handled past situations and work based scenarios. The aim of the interview is to learn more about your skills, experience and behavioural competencies, directly related 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 that you developed and implemented.
  • Describe a situation where you took the lead.
  • What is Operational Risk Management?
  • What is Business Continuity?

In order to prepare for the interview, plan your examples and sample answers to common question types so that you are easily able to answer 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 element is to consider 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 to familiarise yourself with the ECB, its’ main tasks and objectives, and how you can contribute to the ECB and the role you are applying to. 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 also make sure that they are not easily answered by the information on the website.

The final element of preparation for an interview is to rehearse answering questions. The best way to do this is within a mock interview environment. A Skype based interview with JobTestPrep offers an interview with a trained assessor who will give you feedback on areas of strength or with need for improvement.

ECB Management Applicants

Management applicants are asked to sit three online tests provided by CEB's SHL before the competency based interview. The outcomes of these tests are combined with the answers you give in the competency based interview to create a report on your application.

Occupational Personality Questionnaire

You are asked to assess yourself against work related situations, focussing on how you like to work, and what types of work satisfy you. Learn more about this personality test with JobTestPrep.

Motivational Questionnaire

This test looks at what drives you to do well in your job, or what stops you putting more time and effort into your job. Learn more about CEB's SHL’s Motivational Questionnaire on the JobTestPrep website.

Executive Scenarios Test

This test is designed to test your ability to make managerial decisions. This test is a form of situational judgement test requiring you to put yourself into the role you are applying for in order to answer questions. Find out more about taking Situational Judgement Tests with JobTestPrep.

Prepare for your ECB Management Tests.

ECB Competency Interview

For management positions, this is a two hour interview, during which you are expected to give examples of where you have demonstrated behaviours against six competencies:

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

You should use examples showing where you 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 will also look at areas of development, and may also 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

For some positions you are asked to take a CEB's SHL aptitude test, whilst for others you may be asked to take numerical and verbal reasoning tests by Cubiks. The test you are asked to take will depend on the position itself, so always check your test invitation, but here are some of the common tests:

Numerical Reasoning Test

The numerical reasoning test assesses your ability to understand and use information provided in a numerical format to inform your work. In this test you are given information in graphs and tables and asked to answer multiple choice questions based on the information given. In order to answer the questions you must be able to work out the answer, calculating percentages, ratios and more. Depending on the role you have applied to, you may be asked to take either an SHL test, or a Cubiks test. Luckily for you, we have tailored practice packs for both types of test.

Verbal Reasoning Test

Verbal reasoning tests look at how well you use written information. In this test you are given a short text to read and asked questions about the information in the text. Questions are usually in a true, false, cannot say format, meaning that you have to decide the validity of the statement based on what you have read in the text only. This test is also provided by either SHL or Cubiks depending on the role you have applied to. Prepare for this test with our range of verbal reasoning test practice packs.

Prepare for your ECB Cubiks tests with our Cubiks style practice pack.
Prepare for your ECB SHL tests with our SHL-style practice pack.

Deductive Reasoning Test

Deductive reasoning tests measure your ability to draw logical conclusions from a set of known, true 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. Practice how to answer these questions with JobTestPrep’s deductive reasoning practice packs.

Inductive Reasoning Test

Also known as a logical reasoning test, this test is a non-verbal reasoning test. In these tests you are asked to identify the next shape in a series, by identifying the pattern and choosing the correct option from a range of possible answers. Practising for these tests can teach you how to identify patterns and pick the correct answer. Prepare with JobTestPrep’s CEB's SHL style logical and inductive reasoning test practice pack.

Profiling for Success for ECB

Some candidates may be asked to take a different range of tests provided by Profiling for Success.These tests include numerical, verbal and abstract reasoning along with a decision analysis test. If these are the tests you have been asked to take, please contact us at and we will be happy to recommend our most accurate materials.

In Summary

The ECB are currently in the middle 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 that you do the best you can at each stage, enough to ultimately get the job. This article has described some of the assessments you can expect to face, and guided you towards the resources available to help you prepare. We hope you have found this article useful, and good luck!

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