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Royal Bank of Scotland Insight Programme Review

  • Work/Life Balance

  • Practical Skills Learnt

  • Live Up To Expectations

What made you want to apply for the programme in the first place?

I was keen to discover more about the roles of Sales and Trading in an investment bank. Having already completed and really enjoyed the A-Level Insight day with RBS, it was a sensible progression to try and complete a Spring Week with them too.

What was the application process like?

Pretty standard and very similar to that of other banks. RBS’ application process is an online application form. It involved 6 competency-style Questions and an upload of your CV. If the screening of this was successful, you were invited to complete a Logic test which was 12 questions involving symbols- this is worth practising before taking the test as it is not always obvious what the answer should be. Once you have completed this, if you are successful, they will invite you to assessment centre. It is at Assessment centre that you will have your first interview(s).

Were there any interviews involved in the application process? If so what kinds of interviews were included?

Yes, once you have successfully completed the online application process, you will be invited down to London to spend half a day on Bishopsgate. Here you have to do two interviews and a hand-written numerical test.

What questions did they ask you in your interview? (List as many as you can)
  • Tell me a bit about yourself (incl. university as with one of my interviewers we had both been at Warwick and so got onto a long conversation about the university.)
  • Why RBS?
  • Why Markets in particular?
  • Demonstrate a time when you had to work in a team to solve a problem
  • If you had a cake and you wanted 8 equally sized portions but only 3 cuts, how would you cut it?
  • There are two planes. One sets of at 30mph. Half an hour later, the other sets off travelling at 60mph. How long does it take the second plane to catch up the first?
  • How many miles from London to New York?
What was the structure of the programme (i.e. presentations, work shadowing etc.)? Describe each day if possible.

Day 1:

  • Welcome and Introduction to the week
  • Networking for success
  • Business Overview (Markets)
  • Business Overview (Capital Markets)
  • Lifecycle of an Investment Bank
  • Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Day prep

Day 2:

  • Compliance talk
  • Trading game simulation
  • Client Briefing simulation
  • Work Shadowing- Rotation 1 (3 hours)
  • Quiz – evening social activity

Day 3:

  • Breakfast and Economics update
  • Work Shadowing – Rotation 2 (3 hours)
  • Work Shadowing – Rotation 3 (3 hours)

Day 4:

Half-day of Assessment Centre:

  • Two interviews
  • One competency and skill based
  • The other was on an airport case study. Given the material on the day and required no prior knowledge.

Half-day of CSR:

  • Building a balloon chair with individuals who are disabled and striving for employment 
  • Closing and networking event
How many people were on the programme?


What hours did you spend in the office?

Most days started at 7.30 or 8.00 and then working days finished at 17.00 but social activities went on until 20.00

Did you find there were any particular degree subjects that were highly represented on the scheme?

There were a fair number of Economics, Finance and Accounting- style degrees but there were also students from History of Art and Language subjects

What was the culture of the organisation like? Did they emphasise any aspect of the firm’s culture/strong points?

The culture of the organisation is very collaborative and inclusive. RBS were keen to stress how you will always be learning and there’s an open, feedback culture.

RBS Values:

  • Friendly and professional
  • Clear vision for future
  • Responsibility
  • Colleagues encourage you to share opinions and ideas
  • Passion, commitment and potential
  • Self-motivation, curiosity and eagerness to learn, develop and grow
  • Views we share and differences we celebrate
  • Diversity, community involvement and sustainability
During your time there did you get exposure to different divisions and departments?

It was a Markets division insight but we got to rotate complete within that area. Rotations included: sales, trading, research, structuring and DCM

Did they help differentiate themselves from their competitors?

The one thing that I didn’t experience on other programmes was actually participating in their community involvement programmes whilst on the Spring Week. This emphasised to me how important CSR is to RBS.

Were you assessed during your time there? If so, how?

Yes, the Spring Week is somewhat considered a week-long interview for the Summer Internship

Did the program offer any opportunities to be fast tracked for future opportunities within the company?

Please explain the fast track process if so.

Yes, the interviews at the end are to make a decision as to whether you will/won’t get an off for the Summer Internship. As outlined earlier, the last day of the programme is an Assessment Centre.

What would you say are common mistakes to avoid while on the programme?
  • Never be late
  • If you organise an additional rotation or meeting, make HR aware immediately and double-check it is okay.
  • Use all networking opportunities






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