Coutts & Co Interview Questions

Updated May 29, 2015
10 Interview Reviews

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  1.  

    Graduate Trainee Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Coutts & Co.

    Interview

    I applied in November, then I was invited to take a numerical test and logical test. They are different from SHL format and they are adaptive to your performance. I passed the test and they provided with an electronic feedback. Then I was invited to a phone interview in December. The questions are predictable and straight-forward. The HR staff was basically copying down everything I answered.
    I was told that I passed the benchmark of the interview but there was no more space for the assessment centre. They have put me into Adam & Co 's graduate scheme and I have not heard back from them.

    Interview Questions

    • Rate yourself 1-10, 1 being to do what you think is right, 10 being to do what your boss tells you to do.   Answer Question
  2.  

    Graduate Interview

    Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 8 weeksinterviewed at Coutts & Co (London, England (UK)) in December 2014.

    Interview

    Applied late October 2014.

    Filled out their standardised application form, with basic screening questions such as why RBS, why Coutts, etc.

    First step was a psychometric test that analysed how you dealt with certain professional situations. Usually a long paragraph of text detailing the situation, and 4 responses that need to be graded between 'most appropriate response' and 'least appropriate response'. This seemed mostly common sense but there were a few pitfalls to look out for. I think these might have been SHL.

    What followed was your standard banking SHL numerical reasoning test. Practicing before taking the test might help finally it's down to whether you are actually good at this kind of math.

    After passing the test I was invited to a telephone interview, which I booked online at a convenient time in mid November. I received the call on time. The interviewer informed me that the interview would be divided onto 2 stages. If I didn't pass the first stage, then there would be no second stage. Quite intense to have to think about.

    The first part was basic such as why RBS, why wealth management, your strengths and weaknesses, what makes RBS different and what you see yourself doing in a few years time.

    After passing this the next step was the STAR style interviews. (Situation, Task, Action, Result), how you should answer these questions. Name a time when...

    Received a message early December that I was selected for the Coutts assessment day. Notice was short (9 days), and they stated that there is no guarantee that there will be other days available if they fill all of their positions.

    The day was divided into 4 task:

    1. Group discussion where you sit down with the other candidates and the interviewers present Coutts, RBS and give a run down of what working there will be like. Then there is an exercise where they look for how you behave in a team and interact with other people. Do you come across as a leader...?

    2. Case study. You are given the following information. Person X (The name was gender neutral) has won the lottery, 1.4 million pounds, and was encourage by a friend to visit coutts and learn how their 'wealth' can be managed. They were supposed to meet your manager, but she/he has been caught up in a tube strike and couldn't make it, so you are drafted in to make the introduction and get some important details from the prospective client. You have 15 minutes to think of what you need to ask. 12 minutes later the interviewer entered with an 'actress' (a member of RBS staff). The interviewer sits down behind you and actress in front. You must get into your role as a Coutts employee immediately. The actress plays the role of a difficult and disinterested customer. You need to ask as many questions as possible and get as much information. Don't try to sell products. Things such as are you married? Do you have kids? Their education? Planning? What you want? and so forth...

    3. Assessment: You are given 3 emails.

    One is from an intern who proposes some interesting ideas for the bank, but his language is inappropriate for professional communication. Your manager instructs to discipline/educate him on correct business language without offending or being aggressive.

    The next is a customer complaint, who has been told repeatedly that an issue will be resolved when it hasn't. You need to convince him that this time the issue will be dealt with sincerely. He mentioned some small business owners meeting where he intended to dissuade other businesses from approaching your bank. You obviously need to convince him to not do that.

    Last was an email from your manager, who (I think) asked to list the Pro's and Cons of implementing the new technology that the intern earlier was talking about and what you thought should be done. The technology had something to do with making payment easier...

    4. Personal interview:

    Here you sit down with a member of Coutts staff, who describes his job briefly and how much he/she enjoys it. Then the telephone interview is repeated in person. Why Coutts? Why wealth management? What makes us different? etc. and then the same Situational questions to be answered in the same STAR format. When thats done there is a brief discussion about your thoughts on the day, your experience and any questions you may have (Always have questions)

    If you are successful in this stage, you are made an offer, i.e. this was the last stage.

    They give EXTENSIVE feedback about your performance.

    Interview Questions

    • Telephone Interview:
      On a scale of 1 to 10, with one being more likely to stand your ground and stick by your ideas, to 10 being more likely to submit and go with the crowd, where do you place yourself? Why?
       
      1 Answer
    • What makes RBS different from other banks?   1 Answer
    • Name a time when you helped someone achieve their goals.

      Name a time when you handled confrontation in a team.
       
      Answer Question
    • Why Coutts and why wealth management?   Answer Question
    • What are some of the current and future challenges that RBS faces?   1 Answer
  3.  

    Client Service Support Officer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took a weekinterviewed at Coutts & Co (London, England (UK)) in May 2014.

    Interview

    application and feedback was quick. Was contacted by manager of client service department for telephone interview which lasted 30min. The interview was behavioural questions. describe your greatest achievement and why? and last 5 min was a listening exercise. The interviewer was friendly and remained very neutral throughout the telephone interview. 3 hours after the interview they emailed me that I was not successful

    Interview Questions

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  5.  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in London, England (UK)
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied in-person. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at Coutts & Co (London, England (UK)) in December 2013.

    Interview

    Had a formal interview with two members of the executive directors. Had to do a competency based assessment and then evidence certain skills. Asked me three competency based questions

    Interview Questions

    • Give an example of when you've worked as a team to overcome adversity.   1 Answer

    Negotiation

    Had to take base level as existing employee.

  6.  

    PMO Support Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in London, England (UK)
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 5 weeksinterviewed at Coutts & Co (London, England (UK)) in March 2012.

    Interview

    3 rounds interview. Met twice the hiring manager and once 2 other manager from the team. Interview with hiring manager was about past work experience and competence based questions (RBS format). While last interview was past experience only and more to see if I could fit in personality wise.

    Interview Questions

  7.  

    Intranet Manager Interview

    Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 5 daysinterviewed at Coutts & Co (London, England (UK)) in January 2012.

    Interview

    I was contacted by a recruiter about an Intranet Manager role, and it sounded like a good fit. I attended an initial interview with the hiring manager, and I felt it didn't go well. She was standoffish and almost mocking when asking me about my previous work experience.

    I was surprised when I was invited for a second interview, but thought maybe the hiring managers cold manner was just her style.

    The second interview was held in a Starbucks coffee shop near the Coutts offices, but rather than being with anyone with authority, it was with a man who said he had been hired as a freelance consultant by Coutts and didn't elaborate any further. He didn't ask about anything specific, which I thought odd, and when asked specifically "what is the purpose of this interview?" he replied "it's just a chat".

    Within minutes of leaving the interview, I received a call from the recruiter to say I was unsuccessful in the role, without any further explanation. I expressed my concern about the interview to the recruiter, and she said no one she submitted for the role was hired.

    A strange experience, but enough to put me off ever being involved with Coutts and Co again.

    Interview Questions

    • Did you manage an intranet site, or was it just a sub site of another intranet?   1 Answer
  8.  

    Specialist Manager Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Singapore (Singapore)
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at Coutts & Co (Singapore (Singapore)) in August 2011.

    Interview

    Job specific questions on past experience
    Personality were heavily questioned - due to the role

    Interview Questions

    • What is your biggest issue faced and how did you manage to solve it?   1 Answer

    Reasons for Declining

    got a better opportunity else where

  9.  

    Business Analyst Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Zürich (Switzerland)
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at Coutts & Co (Zürich (Switzerland)) in January 2011.

    Interview

    No such different with others. It really depends on how urgent they need you. Normally 3 rounds, but only the round with your reporting manager is important. Other 2 rounds are from his/her manager and HR, which more care about your expectation (salaries etc)

    Interview Questions

  10.  

    Risk Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Singapore (Singapore)
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 4 weeksinterviewed at Coutts & Co (Singapore (Singapore)) in May 2010.

    Interview

    4 business interviews - 1 exec management in UK; 2 regional business exec mgrs. (incl. Country Manager). Regional Risk mgr. One with HR.
    Interview process was very much by the numbers, following the HR policy to a tee.
    I found however that many interview processes have lost the candidate as response time from London (to Asia) was excessive. I was fortunate that the hiring manager was fresh from UK and had worked for the company many years and as such could 'call in favours'. It was not so much a case of a lack of eagerness to meet with people, but turnaround times from HR were 'blamed' rightly or wrongly in my case. I was patient, but with two or three other offers in the market this company would have lost.
    One issue I had was a lack of meeting peers in my division. It appeared as if they were hidden away. Not an error to be repeated if one is to build up a better idea of who you will be working with - especially if in a role where you are the 'Change champion' for the division.
    I would say that the overall experience was fair and even for a senior hire, but i was very prepared.

    Interview Questions

    • Derivatives. Futures activity. Quite advanced questioning for a Private Bank. Felt more like questioning for an Investment Bank. Perhaps this was their benchmark for the level of deep credit knowledge. Surprisingly this knowledge was then 'rarely applied' when in the role.   1 Answer

    Negotiation

    Pretty straight forward and hiring manager had decent influence over HR. Transparent.

  11.  

    Private Banking Assistant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in London, England (UK)
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at Coutts & Co (London, England (UK)) in July 2008.

    Interview

    Was invited to assessment centre. It took place in a centre near Liverpool Street, and is not an Coutts owned building (ie was rented for this event).

    This consisted of a 2:1 interview with two Coutts Private Bankers, an interview with an HR Partner, and a "client meeting" role play with a Business Partner.

    The Coutts staff were very friendly, and it was obvious they were trying get to know you rather than try catch you out.

    Interview Questions

    • Can you give an example of when you worked with others to achieve a team goal.   Answer Question
    • Why did you apply for this position?   Answer Question

    Negotiation

    I did not negotiate salary, but I recommend others to try.

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