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Santander Application Process

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Santander Group is the trading name of a Spanish multinational financial services company based in Madrid, and it is the 16th largest banking organisation in the world.

Banco Santander was founded in 1857 and employs nearly 200,000 people globally.

Santander UK launched in the UK in 2004, following the acquisition of Abbey National, Bradford & Bingley and Alliance & Leicester.

Santander UK is a wholly owned subsidiary of Banco Santander and offers retail and commercial banking solutions.

For people who are considering a career with Santander, there are several business areas that you could work in:

  • Audit, risk, governance and control
  • Branch and business banking
  • Corporate and commercial
  • Corporate and investment
  • Digital innovation
  • Financial crime
  • Head office
  • Operations and automation
  • Telephone support services
  • Wealth management and private banking

The benefits of a career with Santander are in line with its aim to be the best bank to work for in the world – a great salary, a minimum of 25 days’ paid holiday, employee perks, family-friendly policies and flexible work options.

Santander Career Opportunities

Experienced Hires

Santander offers executive recruitment opportunities for experienced hires; senior roles for business leaders with a salary and perks to match the experience you can bring to the business.

It also offers a comprehensive return to work scheme for those who have had a career break, like parental leave.

Emerging Talent

The emerging talent umbrella covers entry points into the Santander workforce straight from education, and there are several career paths that can begin here.

Work Experience

This is aimed at teenagers aged 14 to 19 years old, with a one-week placement in one of the Santander offices.

You will complete a project as well as work alongside apprentices and graduates and create a portfolio.


The traineeship scheme is for those who have left school but are not quite ready for a career, and gives applicants the opportunity to complete work-related activities and create a portfolio.

It is a seven-week programme based at one of the Santander contact centres and offers a combination of interactive workshops and work experience.

People on the traineeship scheme will have an interview at the end and an opportunity to get access to the Retail Contact Centre Apprenticeship.


There are two main apprenticeships available at Santander, and whichever route you choose, you can earn a qualification while working and being paid.

You can choose Corporate and Commercial Banking or Financial Crime.

Apprentices get hands-on experience and training over a two to three-year period.

Summer Internships

In the penultimate year of your degree, you can join Santander on a six to 10-week placement that pays a salary equivalent to the National Living Wage.

You can choose an internship in Corporate and Commercial or Corporate Investment, and typically shadow senior-level colleagues.

If you enjoy the internship experience, it is a great way to get onto the graduate scheme.

Graduate Scheme

The graduate scheme at Santander is for graduates who have either attained or are predicted to get at least a 2:1, with strong numeracy and communication skills.

Graduates who are successful on the scheme need confidence, an interest in leadership and great collaborative skills.

Depending on the programme you follow, it will take 18 months to two years to complete, and you will start on a salary of £30,000.

You can choose:

  • Audit consultant
  • Corporate and commercial
  • Finance graduate
  • Retail and business banking

What Does Santander Look For in Employees?

Santander values the way employees interact with each other, customers, shareholders and communities – and it has specific core behaviours that it looks for in applicants.

These include:

  • Passion
  • Straight talking
  • Able to embrace change
  • Respect
  • Confidence
  • Integrity
  • Supportive
  • Great listening
  • Active collaboration
Santander Application Process
Santander Application Process

Santander Application Process

Online Application

For all positions, the online application is likely to be the first contact that you will have with the Santander recruitment team.

This includes basic contact information, details about qualifications and education – so basically, information from your CV.

Be sure to be accurate and check your spelling and grammar before hitting send.

The Santander recruitment team will review the application and check that you meet the requirements for the role, and you will usually hear whether you have been successful within a week.

Online Testing

If you have been successful with your initial application, you will be invited to take part in some online psychometric assessments that will test your inherent aptitudes as well as your personality and work behaviours.

Situational Judgment Test

Situational judgment tests are work-related scenarios presented in video format, and candidates need to select the most appropriate course of action to take.

There are usually several options, and these will demonstrate the way you would behave in a workplace situation, based on your own judgment.

Personality Test

Understanding a candidate’s personality helps the Santander recruitment team get to know you – and work out what your motivations are, as well as how you deal with problems.

Personality tests are not pass/fail. Instead, you will be marked against what Santander feels are desirable personality traits for the role you have applied for.

Numerical Reasoning

The numerical reasoning test at Santander is gamified – which means that it doesn’t feel so much like a test.

Numerical reasoning isn’t a test of your maths ability, but more about your ability to use numbers and data from tables and graphs to find solutions.

You will usually get the results of the aptitude tests within 48 hours, and if you are successful, you will be invited to the next stage.

Telephone Interview

The telephone interview stage at Santander is more of a get to know you discussion, focusing on your application information, your right to work in the UK and an opportunity to discuss the position in more detail.

This is also the best time to let the recruiter know if you are interested in more than one position so you can discuss how that might work.

You should usually hear whether your application is being taken further within a week of the telephone interview.

Interview or Assessment Centre

Depending on the role you have applied for, the final stage of the process is an interview – and this could be just a face-to-face interview, or it might be part of an assessment centre.

The interview might be a pre-recorded video interview – which means that you will be presented with several questions that you need to answer on video.

This is not live, and there is usually a good opportunity to practise answering the questions before you send through your responses.

Usually, an assessment centre brings a number of candidates for several roles together for a full day of assessments at one of the Santander offices.

During the day you will be asked to complete several tasks, from group exercises to solo projects, often with presentations. There will be opportunities to ask questions, with seminars and Q&A sessions.

At the assessment centre you will be meeting a few senior Santander staff, and this is a real opportunity to demonstrate your suitability for the role – highlighting the core behaviours that Santander looks for in employees.

This is the longest part of the process, and it could take six to eight weeks before you get to the assessment centre after your telephone interview, depending on demand. You will hear soon after if you have been successful with a verbal offer.

Top Tips for Applying to Santander

Be Prepared

Do your research on Santander, the history of the business, how it is positioned in the global financial markets and where the business is headed in terms of innovation.

This research is useful for you to not only understand the organisation but it can also give you lots of information so that you can ask detailed and insightful questions at interview.

Learning all you can about the careers process as well as employee information will help give you a balanced view of the position you have applied for so that you know you are well qualified and suitable.

The Santander website is full of useful information, with a whole section dedicated to careers.

Be Ready

Preparation isn’t just about research – you need to be ready to speak up about your qualifications, successes and experience because that will demonstrate your suitability for the role in the best way.

If you are travelling to an interview or an assessment centre, leave plenty of time to get there and make sure you have planned your route so that you are ready to go as soon as you arrive without feeling flustered.

Be ready in smart business clothes and project enthusiasm and confidence.

Be Engaged

While a thorough and in-depth application process helps to ensure that the best candidates become employees, when you are waiting to hear back about how you have performed it can be easy to switch off.

Be engaged throughout the process, and if you are offered any constructive criticism as part of your feedback be sure to act on it.

Whether in the telephone interview, during the assessment centre or at the face-to-face interview, be engaged with the people you are talking to.

No distractions, maintain eye contact and truly listen to everything that you are being told.

Share your enthusiasm for the role and make sure that the recruitment team can see how motivated you are – and how well you align with their desired core behaviours at every stage.

Be Curious

There will be lots of opportunities for you to ask questions about the role, and the best candidates ask insightful and interesting questions during interviews.

Take the research you have done about Santander and prepare questions before the interview, so you know what you are going to say.

If you have any questions during the application process, you will be able to contact the recruitment team at Santander for information and advice too.

Final Thoughts

Santander has big aspirations – to be the best bank in the world to work for – and that means it has created a streamlined yet in-depth application process that ensures only the absolute best candidates are offered a position.

The graduate scheme and all the other student offerings that come under the Emerging Talent banner demonstrate that Santander is serious about nurturing talent at every stage – and with all the opportunities for personal and professional growth alongside industry-recognised qualifications and certifications, it is no wonder it is a popular choice for graduates.

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