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  • 1,000 - 50,000 employees

Five insider tips to apply for a graduate position at NAB

Jaymes Carr

Careers Commentator
GradAustralia surveyed recent graduates at NAB to bring you the top five tips for applying to the NAB graduate program.

1. Be well rested before you get well tested

While stringent selection processes are normal when recruiting graduates for competitive positions, our NAB insiders report that their application was particularly long. It involves aptitude tests, behavioural questions, questions related to social and emotional intelligence, and various tasks delivered at an assessment centre day. Some insiders see the length of the application process as a positive: it allowed them to prepare and revise between different stages, ultimately leading to a job offer.

"Candidates should prepare for a rigorous process that involved submitting an initial application, online testing, assessment centre day (with group activity, interview, and more), and then a final interview after that. There is also a quick informal interview with your team."

- Graduate, Melbourne

"The process was very efficient even though it was also lengthy. NAB always kept us in the loop about our progress and made the whole process very relaxing and fun."

- Entry level, Melbourne

2. Prepare for a range of technical and behavioural questions

A career at NAB will draw upon different forms of intelligence, from the ability to interact well with clients and colleagues to a strong command of the technical skills required for your specific role. During interviews and group activities, say our NAB insiders, you can expect to be asked not only about your area of study and work experience, but also about how you react to challenging interpersonal and professional situations.

"NAB is strong focus on behaviour, you could be very smart but if you are not good with people, not behaviour friendly, it would be very hard to get in NAB."

- Graduate, Melbourne

"I was asked about soft skills and general things, such as whether I would prefer to work in a technical role or a broader general, managerial role. The interviewers also went through my resume and questioned me on my extracurricular activities and previous work. I was also asked a couple of technical questions, such as what is the importance of banks in the Australian financial system or whether I thought the RBA cash rate was going to increase or decrease in the next year."

- Graduate, Melbourne

3. Be yourself—the savvy, bank-ready version of yourself

One of our NAB insiders gave some encouraging advice: “If you get past the initial online application, then you're clearly smart enough to be there. The rest is about your personality and how you conduct yourself. Don't be fake, people can see right through it. Just be polite, but firm and direct.” In other words, yes, be the professional, most employable version of yourself, but more importantly: be yourself.

"Be authentic and show them what's unique about you. Don't put on a facade that you think the interviewers will like."

- Graduate, Melbourne

"Be yourself. Answer all questions truthfully. Negotiate and compromise to the best of your ability. Be assertive. Not passive, nor aggressive."

- Graduate, Sydney

"Once you get past the online assessment, NAB do not look very much at your grades in the hiring process. They are very focused on your personality and work ethic fit within the NAB culture. So try to avoid being too technical in your interview answers and try to show more of how you do the work."

- Graduate, Sydney

4. Focus on NAB’s values and how you exemplify them

NAB’s 35,000 employees are all expected to abide by a Code of Conduct oriented around five core values: a passion for customers, winning together, being bold, respecting people, and doing the right thing. As with all large organisations, the values are not merely suggestions—NAB takes them very seriously. As such, our insiders suggest that you take the time to review the values and consider examples of when you’ve been guided by them.

"Ensure you know what NAB’s values are, namely fair value and doing the right thing in the community. If you agree with these values, base your answers around the shared values."

Graduate, Sydney

"Be confident and show your determination and willingness to learn to the company. Know information about the company and what values are important to the organisation."

- Graduate, Melbourne

5. Demonstrate that you’ll fit into NAB’s culture

Our insiders were almost unanimous in pointing out what makes NAB an appealing place to work: its culture. Recruiters obviously take great care to select candidates who will contribute something positive to NAB’s overall atmosphere of friendly cooperation. How can you show that you’re such a candidate? Without being disingenuous, it’s helpful to be mindful of the way you interact with other applicants during group activities or respond to behavioural questions. You needn’t fit perfectly within the culture already, but try to show that you’re ready to make the effort.

"Culture is fantastic. It is very much collaborative, with everyone working really together. The workforce is diverse which results in better outcomes and campaigns. They encourage different and innovative ideas. Socialising amongst colleagues and the other grads has been great, I have made many lifelong friends."

- Graduate, Melbourne

"The culture is very collaborative and respectful. My team is very supportive and fun, great investment in my development, work hard play hard mindset. Everyone is very open and happy to help you out if you make the effort."

- Entry level, Melbourne