Ultimate Guide to the Barclays Assessment Centre: Prep & Tips

This Barclays assessment centre guide includes practice tests, top tips and insider secrets for success. We’ll walk you through each part of the day and show you how to prepare. Let’s get started.

Useful Starting-Point Resource

Download our Ultimate Assessment Day & Interview Guide 2022 here. (It's packed with tips, tricks and insider-secrets to help you succeed.)

Barclays Assessment Centre Overview

Barclays has a fantastic reputation for developing their employees. As a result of this, they expect plenty in return, and competition for places is fierce.

At the Barclays assessment centre you will have to perform in a rigorous set of assessment exercises. The exercises assess how well you are suited to Barclays and the role that you have applied for.

It’s a tough and long day. As ever, your success rests on your ability to effectively prepare for your Barclay recruitment. (We’ll come onto that shortly.)


How Long Does the Barclays Assessment Centre Last?

The length of time that you will spend at the Barclays assessment centre can vary between half a day and up to two days.

The exercises that you will be required to complete will differ depending on the role you have applied for. However, there are some core exercises that all candidates will face:

  • Numerical Reasoning test
  • Group exercise
  • Presentation
  • Interview

Let’s look at each exercise in more detail.


Barclays Assessment Centre Numerical Test

You will have already completed online tests before being invited to attend the Barclays assessment centre. Unfortunately, you will have to face another.

The Barclays numerical reasoning test is required in order to confirm the score of the previous tests that you took.

  • You can learn how to pass numerical reasoning tests by visiting our Numerical Test Hub which includes coaching videos and practice tests.

Are All Numerical Tests the Same?

No. Test formats vary by supplier. The test supplier for Barclays is CEB/SHL.

Barclays Assessment Centre Practice Tests

If you want to practice the Barclays CEB/SHL numerical reasoning tests go here: Barclays assessment centre test practice.

What’s the Format of the Numerical Test?

You will have 35 minutes to complete the test. Most candidates report that this test is more difficult than the original online test, so make sure you prepare effectively.

What’s the secret? Practice, practice, practice.

The All-conquering Importance of Practice

If you’re serious about succeeding at your Barclays assessment centre you must take the time to practice each of the assessment exercises you will face at the event.

We can give you great tips and advice, sure, but it’s down to you to put the preparation hours in.

  • If there’s one thing we’ve learned from long experience it’s that preparation is the difference between success and failure. Successful candidates are consistently better-prepared than unsuccessful ones.


Your Barclays Practice Resource

Barclays Assessment Centre – Group Exercise

This is one of the most dreaded exercises that candidates face. However, it doesn’t have to be; you can learn how to perform well in a group exercise. It’s a delicate art.

You and your fellow candidates will be given a brief. The exact details will be confirmed at the start of the exercise. You will have to discuss the details of the brief with your group. In this time, you must work together to come to a conclusion.


The exercise will last for 90 minutes. During this time you will be observed by assessors.

When taking part in group exercises, remember:

  • The conclusion you reach is not as important as your ability to function within the group. Don’t focus on the outcome, put all your energy into taking part positively and constructively during the process.
  • Make sure that you’re remembered for all of the right reasons. Make your voice heard, but don’t monopolize the conversation.
  • Be courteous to ideas presented by other candidates and try and influence them with your ideas.

Check out this video from Barclays which tells you about their group exercises in more detail:

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Pro Insider Tip

Your assessor may mix things up by announcing mid-discussion that you now have less time than you originally thought. If you are prepared that this may happen, you are less likely to panic.

At the end of this exercise you will be asked to spend 10 minutes preparing a presentation on the conclusion that you came to.

Barclays Assessment Centre Presentation

The next part of your Barclays assessment centre is a presentation. Even though presentations can be daunting, they are a great way of showing off your skills.

You have undivided attention. It’s time to shine!

Assessors will look at the content you have prepared but will also assess your communication and presentation skills.

Want to learn how to create, display and deliver a world-class presentation? Read our guide: How To Deliver A Killer Presentation At Your Assessment Centre

After your presentation you will face a question and answer session for 15 minutes.

This will include all of the candidates, so make sure that you participate. You cannot impress by sitting back and watching. Do not be passive during this exercise.


Stop worrying! Download a 12-step assessment day cheatsheet & be perfectly prepared.

Click here to download your copy


Barclays Assessment Centre Interviews

At some point during your Barclays assessment centre you will face an interview, or two:

  • The practical interview
  • The competency-based interview

Barclays ‘Practical Interview’

The practical interview will focus on your CV and experiences. Make sure you know your CV perfectly and have examples of key skills you have listed.

Be prepared to fully outline your previous roles and experience. You may also be asked some mathematical questions or brain teasers.

Barclays Assessment Centre

Competency-Based Interview

Barclays base their business practice on the following values:

  • Respect
  • Integrity
  • Service
  • Excellence
  • Stewardship

This interview will be looking to assess you against these values. How well do you align with this list of values?

A Must-do Exercise Ahead of Your Barclays Assessment Centre

  • Write down a list of examples of when you’ve demonstrated the values listed above.
  • Once you are happy with your list, memorize it.
  • This simple piece of preparation will be an incredible asset during your Barclays assessment centre. You will return to this list again and again during your interviews.

If you want to see how well you fit with the company’s competencies, check out the Barclays ‘culture fit’ quiz.

Whichever interview you face, make sure you are the most confident version of yourself. To do that, you need to be prepared.

Here are some articles which will help you prepare for your Barclays interview:

For more hints and tips on how to prepare for the Barclays assessment centre, watch this video:

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