Candidate Briefing Pack
Here's some information to help you put your best foot forward during our assessment process.
Congratulations on securing an interview with us, we receive around 70,000 applications and hire around 6,000 people each year so well done for getting to interview stage.
We've pulled this together to help you prepare for your interview and hopefully to remove as much of the unknown as possible.
There's quite a bit of information here but don't forget you can always contact your Resourcing Consultant for more. Their contact details will be on the invite to interview email.
Who we are
We're the world's largest building society as well as one of the UK's largest savings providers and a top-three provider of mortgages in the UK. We're also a major provider of current accounts, credit cards, ISAs and personal loans.
With around 15 million members, we have a relationship with almost a quarter of the UK population.
We’re committed to building society - for the good of our members and the communities in which they live and work. We believe everyone should have a place fit to call home, and we're working on a new programme to help make this happen.
Based on feedback from members, we're developing a new social ambition to find local solutions to national housing issues. We're working with members and colleagues locally to make a long-lasting difference to their communities.
At Nationwide you'll have the opportunity to be involved in volunteering. Every employee gets two charity days which allows them to get involved in the charity or good cause that's closest to their hearts.
Assessments at Nationwide are designed to measure how you demonstrate our 15 key Nationwide competencies, called the Nationwide Development Framework (NDF).
Competencies are a mixture of the skills and behaviours that we need to do our jobs, and they’re designed to support us in our aim of building society, nationwide.
These 15 competencies are listed below, your Resourcing Consultant will be able to give you more insight into these should you need it.
(For more information about assessment see What to expect in an assessment further down this pack.)
Always learning - Stretching, Sharing, Experimenting
We learn from things that happen every day and actively look for new opportunities. We share what we learn with our colleagues and help to create a culture where people want to grow
Be our best - Self-awareness, Self-management, Self-belief
We show self-awareness and confidence, especially when we’re challenged or have a setback. We develop habits and practices which help us to be resilient and perform at our best during difficult moments.
Build relationships - Networking, Relationships, Promoting
We create lasting relationships both inside and outside the Society, building strong connections and finding common ground with colleagues, partners and members. We champion Nationwide and have our members’ interests at heart.
Decide what’s right - Judgement, Risk-management, Accountability
We take a balanced approach and have good intentions when we’re making decisions. We take action promptly when we need to. We identify risks and evaluate these within the control environment, making sure we take ownership of any outcomes.
Engage with others - Communicating, Adapting, Story-telling
We communicate clearly and in different ways with members and colleagues. We adapt our style to suit the person we’re speaking to, always in a heartfelt and straightforward way.
Freedom to lead - Developing, Performing, Empowering
We develop and coach our colleagues to perform at their best. We motivate and encourage others to take responsibility for achieving their goals and remember to recognise their success
Get the job done - Planning, Monitoring, Achieving
We plan and prioritise our work efficiently. We create and are ready to use Plan B if circumstances change. We make sure our plans are relevant, practical and purposeful so we can get the best results.
Keep improving - Creating, Improving, Agility
We think creatively and come up with new ideas to increase efficiency and improve how we do things. We embrace change and are agile and flexible to make sure we’re always progressing.
Keep us safe - Conduct, Standardisation, Integrity
We stick to our policies, processes and procedures to make sure we protect our members. We adopt standard and automated process to ensure we work efficiently. We act with integrity to keep our Society safe and secure.
Make an impact - Influencing, Negotiating, Gain Commitment
We understand our members and colleagues and find out what’s important to them. We have a positive impact and influence others to make sure they’re committed. We negotiate to agree the best way forward.
Members matter - Delivering service, Distinctive, Advocacy
We know what’s important to our members. We build a unique service, deliver it in the best way for each member and make sure it brings ‘fair outcomes’ to them. We make their experience with us simple and easy, so that we encourage them to become our long-term advocates.
Shape our future - Thinking ahead, Thinking conceptually, Thinking strategically
We create long-term plans and see the bigger picture. We make connections and explore new possibilities so that we can deliver our future strategy.
Think business - Market orientation, Financial acumen, Commercial awareness
We understand what we do, our commercial impact, our market and the wider social and economic picture. We create and manage financial plans and budgets in a way that benefits us and our members.
Think it through - Researching, Analysing, Problem-solving
We research information and analyse data to create new insights. We use these insights to solve problems and make logical and reasoned recommendations.
Work together - Collaborating, Caring, Inclusion
We collaborate across our communities in a caring and respectful way. We look for people with different perspectives from our own. We listen to and value their ideas so that we reach better outcomes. We share information with our colleagues.
Depending on the position you're applying for, there may be the need for a further interview or assessment. Details of this will be provided to you by your Resourcing Consultant at the appropriate time.
What if I require adjustments to the recruitment process?
At Nationwide, we're proud to be a Disability Confident employer and we consider all applicants on their abilities alone to ensure a fair recruitment process. If there are any reasonable adjustments you may need us to make, please contact your Resourcing Consultant at your earliest convenience so they can work with you to ensure you are fully enabled and supported throughout the interview process.
For more information about what being a disability confident employer means please visit www.disabilityconfident.campaign.gov.uk.
What to expect in an assessment
These are structured interviews based on a mix of the skills and behaviours considered to be important to do a job. All candidates in process for a role are assessed against the same set of competencies and given the same amount of time to ensure fairness.
Before you come to an interview you'll have been told the areas that we will be asking you about. This will give you a heads up about what we feel is important to the role and what we will be assessing you against.
For nearly all of our vacancies there will be an interview component. We find this a really useful way of getting to know you, and gives you the chance to meet people you'll be working with. Just as important it also gives you the opportunity to ask any questions you may have.
So what else can you expect?
Check the invitation to interview we sent you and the attachments included. If there’s anything you'll need to prepare in advance we will tell you here. You'll also find the contact details of someone who can help you if you have any questions. Please get in touch if there is something you aren't sure about.
How should you prepare?
In terms of how to prepare, here are some pointers:
Think about the competency areas we'll be assessing you against - what do you think these mean in the context of the role you’ll be assessed against?I If you aren't sure more information is available about competencies on the internet.
Consider the work that you’ve done to date that shows really good examples of the personal qualities that we are looking for. Remember, this might not be the biggest or most successful project you have worked on, but the one where you showed your skills at their best.
Structuring your response
To answer the questions, it can be helpful to use a structure. One of the more recognised ones is called the STAR technique: Situation, Task, Action, Result.
- Situation: Describe a recent challenge/situation in which you found yourself.
- Task: What you were trying to achieve from the situation.
- Action: What did you do? Why you did it and what the alternatives were.
- Result: What did you achieve through your actions and did you meet your objectives? What did you learn from this experience and have you used this learning since?
It can be a lot to remember, but STAR is fairly simple, and will really help structure your answer for maximum impact. Whatever approach you use, the key thing is to listen really carefully to the question and make sure you give a full answer to it.
Try and make your examples transferable.
It can help to pick examples that allow interviewers to see how your communication skills can be transferred to the job that they are recruiting for. For example, if the job you are being interviewed for involves lots of presentations as a way of communicating with people, use an example in the interview of where you have communicated verbally, and delivered a presentation. If you find this difficult, use an example of other styles of communication you have used, and then explain to the interviewers how you would have adapted your style and approach to deliver the communication as a presentation.
Think about how you explain your example.
If the project you are trying to describe is quite technical or complicated, give some thought to how you would break this down and explain it simply to people who might be less familiar with the project.
Practice explaining your example to a friend who has never worked with you before. If they are able to understand how you did a great job without knowing anything about the complexities of the project, the interviewers will be able to do the same. Ask your friend to be honest. Really honest. If you ramble too much, gesture too much, talk too fast, or all of the above it's better to hear about this from a friend rather than an interviewer.
Think about the little things you did.
When we work on some really big projects it's sometimes easy to forget the little things that we've done that made it a big success. Sometimes we're so good at taking care of those little things that we forget how good we are at them.
Think of some of the examples that you want to use and see if you can explain them to some of the people who have worked with you closely - ask them if there is anything they would add that you haven't thought of, nine times out of ten they saw you do something really useful that you would never thought to have mentioned in the interview.
Try and relax and take some time.
It's not a race. If you are asked a question feel free to ask to think for a minute about how you want to answer. If you aren't sure of exactly what the interviewer wants, ask to hear the question again.
And finally remember that we're on your side.
No one wants to see a nervous candidate who is upset or anxious about the process. That's why we try and give you as much notice as we can about the interview, tell you what we will be assessing and make sure we give everyone in our processes the same chance at showing their skills.
We aren't trying to trip you up, or catch you out. We just want to book in a bit of time to sit down with you and hear more about you, and give you a chance to meet us.
Other useful info
Most of our administration centres have parking. If no parking is available at the particular site that you are visiting your Resourcing Consultant will be able to advise of the nearest public car park.
If you're attending an interview in a branch or using public transport to attend an interview, we recommend you check you know where you're going before you leave. Google Maps should be able to help you find the nearest public transport.
Do make sure that you arrive in plenty of time, our reception areas can get busy, especially first thing in the morning so leaving yourself extra time should make this process smoother, and hopefully leave you feeling a bit more relaxed. When you arrive at reception, they'll take your name and then take a photo to make you a visitor's pass. Your interviewers will then be contacted, and will come and collect you.
At Nationwide, most people wear smart casual except in our branches. However, interviewees usually dress in business-wear. A good example of this is a clean and ironed shirt with smart trousers/skirt or suit and smart shoes.
We know you'll be keen to hear the outcome of your interview, and we'll aim to update you as soon as we can after the last interview has taken place. If there will be any major delays in letting you know, we'll keep you updated.
As part of our offer process, we will require you to prove your eligibility to work in the EU, as well as supply details that will allow us to undertake pre-employment checks. We ask you to bring ID documents with you to your assessment, so that if you are the successful candidate and we offer you the job, we can start the pre-employment checking process without delay.
Here is what we need:
- Passport. An expired UK passport is okay, as long as the expiry date is within the last 12 months. If you don't have a passport, please bring your National Insurance card AND long birth certificate.
- Right to Work Documentation Any documents that prove you have the right to work in the UK (e.g. residence permit). If you have less than 6 weeks left on your current visa, please bring evidence of your application for a new visa to your interview.
- Proof of address dated within the last 3 months Mobile phone bills and driving licenses are not acceptable, but online bank statements are, as long as they show your address.
- Marriage certificate/deed poll document if you've changed your name.