Glassdoor is your free inside look at UBS interview questions and advice in Switzerland. All 10 interview reviews posted anonymously by UBS employees and interview candidates.
Accepted Offer – Reviewed Jan 15, 2013
Interview Details – It was a nice interview without any unexpected questions or challenges. Questions asked were matter and work related and can be answered easily if you are prepared as you should be when entering a job interview. There was only one interview with the direct line management and after some days I got their offer.
Interview Question – none Answer Question
Accepted Offer – Interviewed in Zürich (Switzerland) Nov 2009 – Reviewed Dec 30, 2012
Interview Details –
1. Analytical test (math + logics) for GTP positions, you've got to get at leats 50% right. Look out for time. It will be very difficult to complete the entire test, so, be fast and pay lots of attention not to make any mistakes
2. Business interview: very similar to case interviews. You actually get an 8 page case. You've got limited time to prepare it and then present your case. Case arevery numerical and might involve basic concepts of finance (buy, hold or sell equity of company XYZ)
Interview Question – When you finish presenting each business case they'll ask you, "how do you think you went on this case". The right answer should be something like: well, I read it through the entire case ans them listed the most imporatnt points/issues. The next step was working through this issues to understand them and be able to work on them. For each of these main issues, I've thought about possible and viable solutions. After this, I concentrated on preparing the presentation in a way that I would communicate in a way that the public would understand. So, based on this aspects I think I covered the main aspects. Of course, there might be specific aspects that I could have oversaw or missed, but I don't feel that this happened". Answer Question
Accepted Offer – Interviewed in Zürich (Switzerland) Jun 2008 – Reviewed Sep 6, 2012
Interview Details – I met the country team head through a friend, we had coffee, he liked me and sent me straight to HR for a maths test. I passed and got hired, we negotiated over salary and rank.
Interview Question – It was not the typical interview. I demonstrated previous financial knowledge and the ability to multi task, and show respect to clients. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – Difficult! They made no room for manoeuvre on the rank, everyone starts at the bottom if no previous experience, then expect you to pass between 6 and 8 internal exams before promotion is even considered. Salary was more flexible and I got towards the higher end of my rank of 'non-officer'. This Phase was all conducted via email through the HR recruiting dept, who seemed incompetent at the time.
Accepted Offer – Interviewed in Geneva (Switzerland) Jul 2010 – Reviewed Aug 27, 2012
Interview Details –
- First interview with direct manager and HR
- Questions were general on background and motivation to join
Interview Question – None Answer Question
Negotiation Details – Negotiation was open and flexible, but I didn't get what I wanted
No Offer – Interviewed in Zürich (Switzerland) May 2012 – Reviewed Aug 14, 2012
Interview Details – Took about 4 weeks. First rounf with HR, second round on the phone with hiring manager, 3rd round with 8 people at the offices. Last round was with the whole team, plus HR.
Accepted Offer – Interviewed in Zürich (Switzerland) Jun 2012 – Reviewed Jul 23, 2012
Interview Details – Applied through the website and was contacted for two phone interview, one with the line manager and one with HR.
Interview Question – What did you learn from your previous position? Answer Question
No Offer – Interviewed in Zürich (Switzerland) Dec 2010 – Reviewed Jan 19, 2011
Interview Details –
First step with UBS was the online test, which consists of a Numerical Reasoning and a Logical Reasoning (Diagramatical, the one you have to select the right picture) all from SHL. If you are successful, your application is sent to the department head of your choice, in my case Foreign Exchange / Money Market. If they are interested, they will give positive feedback to HR which in turn will arrange an interview date and time with you (of course you'll be contacted this time by a trainee or something).
First interview lasts for 30 minutes and is with HR. They'll ask you questions about you, why you've chosen this programme, why you want to work in Switzerland and so on. German is a plus for positions in Switzerland, so if you stated on your CV that you speak German, the HR will ask you a couple of questions in German.
The second interview lasts 1 hour and a half and is with the department head and maybe with its superior, but anyone one is the head of the other. After a very very long description of their role, which you will not undestand as you'll be nervous and would need some time to get acquainted instead (as opposite to Credit Suisse, where the first questions were to make me comfortable), they'll ask you questions about your experience but also questions related more to the Finance market, although you applied for an IT role. My questions were:
- Tell me a problem that arises with payments, on an IT perspective
- What is an option (I didn't know what it was)
- What does Investment Banking do (I definitely missed this one as I said only issuance of securities while the name itself of the department I was applying for was one of the other products the IB was issueing)
I would say the interview was hard not just because of the focus on Finance although it was an IT role, but also because the interviewers kinda seemed like behaving like "We're UBS and we're the best" and in their questions the general tole was "OK let's see if you're capable of answering this one..." rather than showing interest in your answers. The good thing is that it's the only company, as far as I've seen, which really treats well rejected candidates: they call you personally also to give you a negative feedback, supposedly you can also ask questions to the HR which I did not make as I was expecting this outcome and I kinda knew what was wrong.
Accepted Offer – Interviewed in Zürich (Switzerland) Mar 2010 – Reviewed Aug 4, 2010
Interview Details –
I have a master's degree in computer science and will do another degree in quantitative economics and finance. To gain some experience in banking, I wanted to an internship at an investment bank, but it was difficult for me to be heard at almost all of the big banks I applied to (mostly in the UK). Apparantly an ETH master's degree does not qualify for a job in finance.
So one Monday, I thought to give it a try with UBS Switzerland. I initially looked at the career website but found no suitable position, and to avoid more disappointments, I decided to call the HR department. The person I reached was not really happy about that, but still offered me to send my CV directly to her. She almost immediately got back to me with two job offerings, one of which was on the website, the other was not published. I told her that I was interested in either position.
To go forward with my application, I still had to use their official application process, that is, going through the online application forms and do the numerical test. Shortly after I did that, the HR person called me saying everything looks fine and that I should come in for an interview on Wednesday of the same week.
I had to do three interviews. The first one was with HR in Zurich city, where I first had to re-do the numerical test to verify the results from the online test. After that, the HR person asked some standard questions such as where I would see myself in 5 years, what my strengths and weaknesses are and so on. The interviewer was extremely friendly and it was good fun.
After that, I went to Opfikon, a bit outside of Zurich city, where I met with the line managers of either position. They were both extremely friendly. The first line manager brought an IT guy with him to help him assessing my IT skills, which I though was funny. They asked me really tough questions about databases and how I would respond to conflicts if given two tasks from different persons. I actually had fun and after the interview they told me that it was the same for them. They were extremely happy with my answers and said that this was by no means required for an internship position, they even apologized for the tough questions :) The second line manager for the other position brought his youngest team member and asked almost no questions, only explained about the position and was really enthusiastic about it. He then introduced me to the team showed me the trading floor. I really liked that experience.
The next day the HR person called back with offers for either job. I went with the second one, the position seemed more interesting to me and I really liked the line manager and the team.
Negotiation Details – no negotiation
Accepted Offer – Interviewed in Zürich (Switzerland) Jun 2008 – Reviewed Jul 4, 2010
Interview Details – It takes a long time to get an interview. There were some problems between HR and the line management. The interview was at two different places. Not the best situation. The interview was very interesting. Nobody ask some details about your special education. The line manager was more interested about your work experince.
Declined Offer – Interviewed in Zürich (Switzerland) Mar 2010 – Reviewed Mar 16, 2010
Interview Details –
Initial contact was a telephone interview with both technical questions and more general discussions about myself. The usual sort of core Java questions were asked: hashCodes/Equal and their use in HashMaps etc. Mainly questions to ensure that you know or at least have thought about what is going on under the Java APIs. The phone call was around 40 minutes.
This was then followed up with an in person interview in Switzerland. The interview was more of the same, technical interview with three teams over the course of an afternoon. The interview technique varies between teams but you can expect to have a well known computing problem to walk through. Remember the right answer is no always as important as showing your workings and talking to the interviewer about what you are doing and thinking. Other teams just wanted to talk about my cv, the role and why I was looking to move to Switzerland.
The office tour was brief but from what I saw it the open plan areas was very quiet (good or bad you decide) and desks seemed reasonably well equipped, though there were developers with only one screen or just a laptop.
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