Learn more about IBM Application Process

Are you applying for an internship or position with IBM? Have you been invited to take the IBM IPAT test, attend an assessment centre or interview? Learn more about the stages of the IBM selection process and how to prepare for them with JobTestPrep.
Practice for IBM's IPAT Test

A selection of questions and answers known to appear in IBM's IPAT/IPATO, including score reports. 

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The IBM recruitment processes follow similar structures at all levels, although some of the details may change. All recruitment levels take the IBM IPAT an online aptitude test designed to test your logical reasoning abilities, as well as assessment centres and interviews examining you against IBM’s competencies. IBM take on 500 new students (on the IBM internship) and graduates each year not to mention experienced hires, so there is always something going on. Competition is high for places, you need to show your value at each stage. The IBM selection process can take several months, especially if there are a lot of candidates for your position.

IBM Recruitment Processes

IBM hiring processes follow similar patterns for each type of recruitment, but the exercises you will encounter depend on the level you are applying to. There are also some differences at each level between technical recruitment and business roles.

IBM School Leavers eXtreme Blue -
IBM Internship
GraduatesExperienced Professionals
Online Application FormYesYes Yes - with questions, different depending on role Yes
CVFollow templateFollow template No Yes
IPAT TestYesYesYesYes
Telephone InterviewNoNo No Yes
Assessment CentreOne or two daysTwo days One day One day
Final Interview or Second ACInterviewInterview Final interview Presentation and interview

IBM Competencies

You are tested against these skills and abilities throughout each recruitment process, from the IBM online applications through to the IBM interviews.

  • Adaptability - How flexible are you? Can you cope with changing demands, stress, competing deadlines?
  • Communication - Can you give over information in an easy to understand format? Can you adapt your style for different audiences?
  • Client focus - How do you approach a client’s needs?
  • Creative problem solving - Can you be innovative in how you approach problems? Can you anticipate problems, use logical methods and analysis in your solutions?
  • Drive - Are you willing to learn new skills, and put in the effort to excel at them?
  • Teamwork - How do you work with others to achieve shared goals? Are you good at building relationships with others? Are you a team player?
  • Passion for IBM - Do you know what IBM does? Do you believe in the work of IBM? Are you up to date with current events in the industry, the challenges IBM face?
  • Taking ownership - Do you take responsibility for your tasks? Do you implement decisions quickly?

IBM Application Form

IBM School Leaver Programme and IBM eXtreme Blue Applicants

IBM applications contain two parts: an online application form asking for personal details and education; and a CV template asking you to provide more information about yourself, including a personal statement and space for you to write 150 words describing when you have demonstrated six competencies. Two additional questions ask you to write up to 150 words about your motivation in applying for the job and any achievements. This section is all about you, so make sure you tell IBM all about you and how you will be an asset in the role you are applying to with IBM. Use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Response) to organise your answers against the competencies and ensure that you cover all necessary information.

IBM Graduate Programme Applicants

Graduate applicants also face a two part application with the online form and a fuller application form. You are asked to list your three favoured roles with IBM, so make sure that the rest of the application form including the personal statement all refer to your skills in the context of these roles. Use all your experience in examples demonstrating your skills. This experience can include university projects, volunteering work and internships. You also need to write 150 words against each competency listed on the form as described above.

IBM Experienced Hires

Experienced hire applicants are required to send in your CV as your application. Ensure that your CV addresses the IBM competencies and the requirements of the job with IBM. Use our CV builder to help you create a CV that really stands out from the crowd.

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