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Royal Bank of Canada Recruitment Process

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What Is the Royal Bank of Canada?

A financial services company with multinational operations, the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) is Canada’s largest financial institution and one of the biggest names in banking across the whole of North America.

Founded in 1864 as the Merchants Bank of Halifax, it has since established itself as a leading provider of commercial and personal banking, insurance, capital markets, wealth management, and investor services.

Its international presence can be found in 34 countries outside of Canada and the US, serving some 17 million customers, with a global staff count of over 86,000 employees.

For those starting out in their professional career, RBC offers a number of internships and graduate programs.

These include:

  • RBC Amplify Program – A summer internship available in both technical and business-oriented roles, providing intensive, hands-on work experience.

  • RBC Career Launch – A paid 12-month internship with three rotations that see participants working with clients, charity partners and business units.

  • RBC Leadership Development Program – An accelerated two-year training program with four rotations focused on either global finance, internal audit, enterprise, risk management or personal and commercial banking.

In addition, RBC offers a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) program, an analyst program and graduate schemes dedicated to both investor services and capital markets.

What are the Benefits of Working for the Royal Bank of Canada?

In 2021, RBC was recognized as one of Canada’s top 100 employers and, as a multinational corporation, its standards are mirrored across all global locations.

It offers a competitive salary and bonus scheme alongside a core benefits package, including paid vacation time, flexible working and pension plans.

There is also an optional benefits package that gives access to a range of additional employee benefits like medical and dental care, income protection, and life insurance.

Employee wellbeing is also a priority for RBC. Its EmployeeCare program provides staff with round-the-clock support, inclusive of access to free online resources and counselling services.

In terms of its corporate culture, RBC works around a set of key values – integrity, teamwork, accountability and diversity – all driven by its client-focused approach.

It looks to attract and retain top talent through a supportive working environment and encourages employees to achieve their long-term career goals through strategic performance management, with plenty of opportunity for professional development.

What Is the Royal Bank of Canada Recruitment Process?

Royal Bank of Canada recruitment follows a three-stage process, comprising an application, online assessment and interview.

1. Application

Once you have identified an opportunity of interest, you will need to create a candidate profile in order to apply.

It is a simple process that requires you to upload your most recent resume and input basic personal information.

The application does not require the submission of a cover letter, though if you want to include one you should do so as a continuation of your resume.

Once your application is submitted, you can check its status at any time through your candidate profile.

The hiring team will aim to contact you within 10 working days if you are selected to progress to the next stage.

2. RBC Online Assessment

If your application is successful, you will be sent an email invitation to complete one or more online aptitude tests.

These vary according to the role on offer, so the tests you sit will be specific to your application.

Most graduate roles in Canada, the US and the UK require completion of an online assessment akin to a situational strengths test.

You will be asked a series of questions designed to measure skills that are otherwise hard to evaluate, such as problem-solving, decision making and teamwork.

These tests also help the hiring team assess your suitability for both the role and the organization based on your preferred working style and behavioural tendencies in a professional context.

You will need to complete this assessment within three days of receiving your invitation and should assign around 45 minutes to do so.

For some roles, additional RBC assessment tests are administered, such as verbal and numerical reasoning tests.

These are timed, multiple-choice questionnaires that measure your natural abilities in various areas.

For example, a verbal reasoning test requires you to critically evaluate and interpret written information, identifying things like assumptions, inferences and conclusions.

Numerical reasoning, on the other hand, focuses on your ability to work with data sets.

3. Interview

If your application and assessment performance prove you a strong candidate, you will be contacted to arrange an interview.

Interviews will take place either in person or over the phone, and typically revolve around a combination of motivational and competency-based questions.

If applying for a technical position, you should also be prepared to answer technical questions.

What Is the Purpose of the Royal Bank of Canada Assessments?

RBC online assessments assess strengths that can be difficult to measure through your resume.

Predominantly, these are soft skills like communication, teamwork, problem-solving and leadership.

This process allows employers to narrow down the candidate pool when on paper they have a large number of applicants with similar backgrounds and experience.

Through the assessments, RBC gets an objective view of how your skills translate to the real world.

If you meet the required standards in your assessments, your results will be used in combination with your initial application and your interview performance to determine your suitability.

Regardless of whether you progress to the next stage, you will get a report from your assessment that will detail your working preferences, so you will have a deeper insight into the type of role you are most likely to enjoy.

This is a useful tool for career exploration, so even if your application is unsuccessful, you can use this newfound knowledge to inform your ongoing job search.

What Interview Questions May Come Up?

As mentioned, interviews tend to be made up of a mix of motivational and competency-based questions.

These give the hiring team a chance to better understand you as an individual, the skills you possess, what drives you and how you see your future within the organization.

Below are questions that commonly arise at RBC interviews, based on the experience of past candidates:

Royal Bank of Canada Recruitment Process
Royal Bank of Canada Recruitment Process

Some candidates report being asked sales-related questions – ‘sell me this pen’ for example – so be aware these sort of questions may crop up if you are applying for a client-focused role.

For technical positions, you are also likely to get questions about programming languages and their use in financial applications.

Of course, there is no guarantee of what you will be asked at your own interview, so you should practice answering a broad range of question types relevant to your job role.

Key Tips for Applying for a Job with Royal Bank of Canada

Do In-Depth Research on the Company

One of the key things RBC looks for in successful candidates is alignment with its core values and working culture.

It is looking for employees who will support its mission to provide a first-class client experience and to be one of the world’s leading financial institutions.

To present yourself as such a candidate, you need to know RBC inside out – what it stands for, how it operates and how it views the future of financial services.

Research its vision and values, and build an understanding of its various services. You should also be able to articulate how these services all relate in terms of corporate growth.

Its website is a good place to start.

Understand your Role Within the Organization

It goes without saying that you should read the job description thoroughly to build a picture of what the role you are applying for entails, and how your own skills and experience match the qualifying criteria.

However, understanding your role within the organization does not end there. RBC is looking for ambitious candidates who want to progress and have clear goals for the future.

When preparing for the interview, think about your own career development and be prepared to explain why you feel RBC is the right organization to support you in it.

Take Plenty of Practice Aptitude Tests

Passing the RBC online assessments does not require any pre-existing knowledge, but you can still prepare for them.

Your performance in numerical and verbal reasoning tests, in particular, can be greatly improved with practice.

Although these tests measure natural ability, their time limits add pressure. You will need to work through the questions at speed whilst maintaining accuracy, so it is important you are familiar with the format and confident with the task at hand.

Plenty of practice situational judgement tests are available online to help you understand the nature of these assessments and the part they play in the recruitment process.

Prepare Answers for Interview

Interview preparation is key to success in any recruitment process. Since RBC uses competency-based questions, it is advisable that you use a technique like the STAR method to formulate your answers.

This involves explaining a situation, task, action and result, and is the most effective way to put your past experience into context.

Try to come up with a few strong scenarios that could be used in response to multiple questions.

For motivational questions, it is important to spend some time thinking about your interests and future goals, and how these match up to the nature of the role on offer.

Ask Your Own Questions

The final stage of the Royal Bank of Canada recruitment process is not just a chance for the hiring team to get to know you better. It is also your chance to get to know them, and what the company has to offer.

Show enthusiasm by compiling a list of questions to ask your interviewer.

These could include things like more information on the company culture, expectations of the role and development opportunities.

Final Thoughts

As with any graduate scheme at a large corporation, entry-level roles with the Royal Bank of Canada are highly sought after and competition for them is fierce.

Prepare with practice, prepare interview answers and prepare to prove yourself.

To give yourself the best chance of success, it is vital you understand the company, its purpose, guiding values and plans for the future. It is also important you have your own professional aspirations and can explain why RBC is the right environment for you to achieve them in.

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