Santander telephone interview

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7 January 2010 - 7:49pm

I have a competency based telephone interview with santander for the private banking advisor programme. Just wondering if anyone has had this and what kind of questions they ask? I'd really appreciate as much help as possibe.


7 January 2010 - 8:47pm


when did you apply? i have applied ages ago and havent heard back yet? guessing the interview will be competency based!

7 January 2010 - 10:11pm

I applied a week and a half ago..n they said if you havent heard from us in 5 days to email i did! sorry i applied fot the accelerated entry level personal banking advisor role! is that what u applied for?

11 January 2010 - 4:51pm

Hi s_s87! Did you have the phone interview yet? I applied for the same thing and I will have an upcoming interview too. Please write back if you can. Thank you!

13 January 2010 - 11:58am

@s_s87 thanks for your advice. I have applied for the same programme. the accelerated one. i did email them and got an 'out of office' message. does this mean the whole of graduate recruitment team is out of work today?!

how did your interview go?

13 January 2010 - 11:58am

@s_s87 thanks for your advice. I have applied for the same programme. the accelerated one. i did email them and got an 'out of office' message. does this mean the whole of graduate recruitment team is out of work today?!

how did your interview go?

13 January 2010 - 2:24pm

Im not sure. I had also got that out of office reply..but i think that was due to the holidays at the end of the year. They replied to me a few days after though. I think it would be best if you just gave them a call and ask them the progress of your application. I haven't had my interview yet. Its later on this week.

14 January 2010 - 9:35am

do you have their telephone number? i cant seem to find it.

good luck with your interview!

14 January 2010 - 1:52pm

hi i was wondering did you have your interview yet? what sort of things did they ask you?

14 January 2010 - 2:13pm

@TZ: You can try call them on 0870 8509 142!

@charlenep22: Haven't had the interview yet. I'll let you know how it goes.

15 January 2010 - 11:06am

HI first post!

Got my telephone interview with Santander at 14:15 today!

Tell you how it went after people.

15 January 2010 - 11:24am

@ s_s87

thanks. got a reply from them. they said they have received it and are reviewing. good luck with your interview!

15 January 2010 - 9:23pm

hey guys, had my telephone interview day. It was a standard competency based interview. Not too sure how I did though. These were the questions I was asked:

1)Why Santander 2)Why the personal banking advisor role? 3)Describe a time you had to work in a team? 4)Describe a time when you had to change the way you do something to meet a target 5)Describe a challenge that you have been through 6)Describe a time when you had to serve a customer with excellence.

Thats pretty much all they asked. However, there were some probing questions within those like what did you learn from the experience, what motivated you, what would you change if you could do it again.

They said I should find out in a week if im through to the AC.

Hope this posts helps all of you! Goodluck!!

15 January 2010 - 9:41pm

Thanks a lot for sharing s_s87! It was very helpful. Good luck!

15 January 2010 - 10:02pm

thanks for the insight s_s87. good luck!

19 January 2010 - 1:06pm

Have u heard back about the job yet

i have just had a competency based interview and they asked the same questions

Did they ask you for your national iinsurance number at the end?

19 January 2010 - 4:12pm

hey yeah I heard back yesterday. Ive been invited to the AC! What about you?

No they didnt ask me for my NI number!!

19 January 2010 - 5:05pm

hey i just had interview they asked why abbey why personal banking advisor leadership as a team challenges how you overcome them motivation

how long did it take them to get back to you? are any of you having to travel from northern ireland for the next stage?

20 January 2010 - 10:27am

Nah not heard anything back yet Did they let you know through email or phone? Whats the AC?

20 January 2010 - 11:39am

They emailed me with an invite to their assessment centre (AC). Its going to involve a comptetency based interiew and some group excercises. Thats all it says about that!!

21 January 2010 - 1:35am

When did you apply s_s87 ? Do you know where is the AC ? Thanks and good luck!

22 January 2010 - 2:23pm

I have a compentency based interview telephone interview as well :( bit nervous.. its the first telephone interview.. im a recent graduate, hey s_s87 how did u answer some of your questions if you dont mind sharing.. it would really help me..

22 January 2010 - 5:04pm

When is everyone who is through sttending the ac?

22 January 2010 - 9:33pm

s_s87 said they were through, my telephone interview is this coming friday and i was hoping for a few hints and tips..

23 January 2010 - 10:16pm

if you look at the above comments you will see some of the questions, you just have to give a lot of examples of hat you have done in uni or in organoisations when you are answering. eg are you a leader, give examples. why personal banking advisor, whats the role? give examples of how you fit the role from your past experiences.. at the very start of this thread there is two links clickon them and it will give you sample questions you just answer by telling them ur experiences.

24 January 2010 - 12:05pm

Hi, i got invited to a telephone interview but they didnt say when. Maybe it will be sooner to the time i graduate later on this year, also any idea where these assesment centre's are? because im not gonna travel 200 miles for a job im probably not gonna get.

24 January 2010 - 12:40pm

Tina_259: I posted the questions i was asked a bit earlier on this thread so just check those out!! I think they will be pretty much the same! With regards to how to answer them.. I did what charlenep22 did..I just used my past experiences and explained what I gained from them and how they would help me in this role! Dont worry im sure you should be fine!!

Charlenep22: What AC are you going to? I've booked the 3rd feb @1:30! Do you know what the day will consist of??

Does anyone have a clue on what santander ACs are like??

24 January 2010 - 4:10pm

where is the AC located? is it one place, or hundreds over the country?

24 January 2010 - 4:13pm

Ive been invited to the one in london. Not sure if they are holding them all over the country. I didnt have any choice on my location though!

24 January 2010 - 6:11pm

Is anyone going to the assessment centre in Milton Keynes tomorrow? Has anyone been to one already? Not quite sure what to expect as the e-mail doesn't really give much info. To be honest I'm not even sure what the role actually is!

25 January 2010 - 8:41am

asn- im going to london 3rd feb. let me know how you go today, what the day entails plz. e-mail just says bout group work and interview not much detail at all.

businessman- ac's all over but its a mater of waitin for one to come up near you, im traveling over from northern ireland you do get up to £50 travelexpenses its up to you how much you want the job.

s-s87 - im goin to the same ac as you. what prep are you doing for it, im coming over from ni i catch plane from belfast at 630 goping to be a long day

25 January 2010 - 10:17am

Chearlenep22: Im not really sure how to prepare for it! At the moment just preparing for the interview. Do u think there will be any numerical tests or anything?? How are you preparing for it??

25 January 2010 - 10:32am

I'll let everyone know what the assessment centre was like after Im done with mine today! I reckon its just going to be an interview and two group exercises plus them giving us some info on the role. I hope so anyway because I haven't done much prep!

25 January 2010 - 10:58am

hey guys.. was just wondering when you go for an you memorise the answers to the most likely questions that will come up like why santander? or even an example of when you worked in a team?

On my last interview with another firm, i got feedback saying that i sounded over prepared and they couldnt tell if that was the real me! I dont want to seem under prepared though! Any adivce??

25 January 2010 - 1:04pm

hi s_s87 i havent started prep yet. for my phone interview i had notes on the following

Info about Abbey from website why i want to work for abbey why personal banking advisor what am i most looking forward to in the role where do i see myself in 5 yr time why should they hire me describe a time when i had to change the way i do something to meet a target describe a time when i had to work as a team describe a challenge i have been through describe a time when i lead a team give example of time when i failed to complete a task describe a time when i dealt with aconfrontation describe a time when i had to serve customer with excellence

it does say that the interview will be competency base doesnt it? can you think of any other comp based questions they could ask i do learn some examples s_s87, however when i am talking i try to change the tone of my voice so as it does not seem like i am reading it from a page or reciting it word for word. give yourself a breath between your sentences so as you are not just ryming answer after answer.

i have ideas of exapmles in my head but i find that when i start to explain to the interviewer i remember the experience which make it sound like it is not memorised as an answer, but memorised as an experience that i enjoyed

asn-would be really appreciated if you do let us know how it goes, think when in the group exercises you have to remember we are all from different areas so there are plenty of places so just work through it together to get best mark they will be looking how you conduct yourself in a team i.e listening!! as well as giving ideas withough talking over one another

25 January 2010 - 1:16pm

Thanks charlenep22! A few more questions are:

An example of a time you had to think on your feet An example of a time when you had to use intiative An example of a time when you had to teach someone something that they had no prior experience of. An example of a time when you had to change someones view point, how you did it.

Do you think they'll ask any commercial awareness questions? Are you going to preparing anything about the banking industry and whats been happening lately in the news/economy??

25 January 2010 - 3:33pm

i went onto there website and got a few details

given the current circumstances what steps could santander take to adress credit crunch?

who are there main risks what impactdo they have on business decide what to do with risks put policies and procedures in place - tougher lending, focus on customers, encourage savings

mointor risk with time review and make changes were necessery

introduce new products - get customers interesated value for money products increase customer loyalty

aquistitions (bradford bingley, alliance leisceter, abbey increase growth=increase profit = goal achievement as world leading bank

santanders future plans

customers - fiancial inclusion - make banking available to all ie those on low incomes treat customers fairly customer service focus on customers at all times this is what will difereniate them from competitors manage complaints, root cause an prevention

employees - equality developing work in partnership i.e rewards health and safety work life balance i.e flexy working

environment energy saving 'switch it off' policy if your not using it wadte management - recycling

25 January 2010 - 3:41pm

how would you answer this

given the current circumstances what steps could santander take to adress credit crunch?

25 January 2010 - 6:53pm

just what i said above above doing a risk assessment and puting policies in place to avoid bad lending etc. they would need to have a risk strategy in place without this they are snooered

they would need to have tougher lending

just basically what i said above.

i wonder how asn got on today

25 January 2010 - 7:04pm

Do you know anyone else who has been to the santander AC? How many poeple do you think they are going to offer places to? Also, did the person who interviewed you on the phone mention anything else about the AC or anything??

25 January 2010 - 7:17pm

you guys are really scary with me all this information lol.

25 January 2010 - 11:23pm

Hi Everyone,

Got back from my assessment centre not too long ago, thought I better post up my experiences on here before I forget!

My assessment centre was in Milton Keynes, was really easy to get to from the train centre.. its the big reddish building you can see as soon as you exit the station!

I was running late for the interview due to my train being delayed, in the e-mail your told to get there 15 mins before the start time, I didn't get there till just before the start time but it didn't matter as all the other candidates were all still waiting in the reception area so I just joined them.

At the start time we were all taken to a conference room by the head of grad recruitment we were all greeted and told what the day was going to consist of (Interview & Group exercise including a presentation and questions) plus why Santander is different and going through a lot of change at the moment etc. We also got told about the role in a bit more detail. Then we were introduced to the other assessors, we all then had to introduce ourselves and give an interesting fact about ourselves!

Basically the format of the day is an interview and a group discussion which you then have to present about and get asked questions on. The interviews get done half and half, so if there are 8 people 4 will get interviewed while the others read the case study for the group discussion.


You get around 40 mins to read the case study, it has all sorts of fictional branch info and performance targets and staff performance info in it. The question is to prioritise 3 things for the meeting with the area manager. So in the case study there is info like staff performing badly, the branch not hitting targets etc. So those were the sort of things I picked! Its really straightforward, kind of hard to explain but you have plenty of time and its just about reading through the things carefully and picking them out as priorities and choosing which things are most important. So you get 40 + mins to read through while people are being interviewed and then when everyone is back in the room you have 20 mins with all of them to discuss and prepare a presentation with the 3 main priorities you have chosen as a group. You then have 10 mins to present to all the assessors, everyone has to talk. You then get asked questions for about 10 mins. There were seven of us at the assessment centre all working as one group so was quite hard to be able to speak at times! When your being asked questions at the end everyone is trying to answer the question, just make sure you think of what you are going to say which will be different.


The interview is really laid back and my interviewer was really nice and I guess it was more of a chat. The questions are also really similar to the telephone interview. It lasts about 40 mins. There are the standard questions such as Why Santander? Why this role? As well as question's about your uni and your course.

There were 4 competency based questions: I can only remember 3!

Time when you have had to provide good customer service

Time when you have had to make sales/influence people.

Time when you changed something/made a difference.

As I say I cant remember the 4th, but these were the ones I was asked, very similar to the telephone ones.

Thats pretty much it, I have probably forgotten something. If anyone does want to know anything I've forgotten just ask. It really isnt too bad, its pretty relaxed. Good Luck everyone!

26 January 2010 - 8:06am

asn - thats really good of you to post that info. does each person have tp talk for ten mins or the whole presentation 10 mins long. where you finished on time at 4.30?

s_s87 -i dont no any1 who has been? i think if they have a position near were u live they will ofer it im not sure re3ally. where r u from? they never told me ny other info bout the ac. i hope i dont get lost on the tube ive never been to london before. if i do i got 3 hrs to spare the way i had to work my flights to get tere for 130.

26 January 2010 - 10:01am

does anyone know what the dress code is for the assessment centre?

26 January 2010 - 10:02am

does anyone know what the dress code is for the assessment centre?

26 January 2010 - 10:08am

businessman: the dress code is formal, you should wear a suit!!

charlenep22: Gosh your going to have a really long day, at least ASN said its not too bad and its quite relaxed! Im from london, so will be quite easy for me to get there!!

what are you dreading, the group discussion or the interview??

26 January 2010 - 10:08am

are any of u guys in the same position as me? i.e gonna graduate later on this year, or have you guys already graduated. In my email it said my telephone interview would be sooner to the time i finish my studies if im still at uni. maybe this is why i havent been asked to arrange one yet.

26 January 2010 - 11:16am

it cud be. i graduated in 2005. not sure bout rest of the people on here

26 January 2010 - 12:08pm

i graduated in july 2009!!

26 January 2010 - 12:10pm

i graduated in july 2009!!

26 January 2010 - 2:33pm

I graduated May 2009

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