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Application process

Ok, so we've whetted your appetite and now you want to know what happens next. Questions are buzzing around your head… What are they looking for? How do I apply? What happens at the assessment centres?

In this section we'll give you all the 'must have' information to help make your application to IBM successful.


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The selection process

Our process has been designed not only for us to understand if you are right for us, but also for you to understand if we are right for you. So, take every opportunity you can to ask questions along the way.

STEP 1 – Submit your application

In order to apply to IBM, you will need to apply through our online application tool.

For the ‘Graduate Strategic Analytics Consultant’ role:

The application and selection process for this role differs slightly to our other graduate positions. You will need to download the application template when you click 'Apply now' and follow the full instructions.

For all other graduate roles:

There are 2 parts to your application.

The first part is to download and complete the IBM Application template. This can be found by clicking on the ‘Apply now’ button. You will be asked to upload the IBM Application template in the CV/Resume section. This is straightforward to complete, lists all the skills that we look for and asks you to give examples to demonstrate when you have used these. You can use examples from any aspect of your life - school, college, university, hobbies, charity work, work experience etc.
The second part is an online application form which asks for personal details as well as information about your education and work experience.

STEP 2 – Online Test

If your application is successful through the initial screening phase then we will invite you to take an online computer aptitude test (CAT) - the IBM IPAT test. If you are successful at this stage, your application will be fully screened by one of our Professional Development Managers.

The IBM IPAT test has been developed to test logical reasoning and the ability to process information quickly. All the instructions are included in the email that will be sent to you inviting you to take the test.

The test itself is divided into three sections, however, you will only be asked to complete two of the three sections. You can choose to take these in either one or two sittings. You will have seven days to complete the two sections before your password expires.

The test can be adjusted for anyone that needs a reasonable adjustment and you will be asked to self select whether you need this when you log on for the first time.

For the 'Graduate Strategic Analytics Consultant' role:

If you are applying for this role and are successful on the IBM IPAT Test, you will be asked to partake in an additional SHL Test. This test is split into two sections and will look at your Verbal and Numerical Skills in more depth. The SHL Test is not a requirement for all other Graduate Roles.

You will have seven days to complete the two sections before your password expires.

STEP 3 – Assessment Centre

If you achieve the required score in the online test, the application you submitted in Step 1 will be reviewed by the Graduate Managers. Then, if we think you are a suitable candidate for the IBM Graduate Scheme we’ll invite you to a selection day. You will be given a presentation about available opportunities with the chance to ask more questions and meet recently hired graduates and students. You can expect to take part in some or all of the following activities...

STEP 4 – Final interview

For the majority of our roles, we’ll invite you in for a final interview. This is an opportunity for you to meet our business managers and to ensure the role we will potentially offer you is what you want, and also that you have the specific skills that we require.


What we look for

To begin with, you'll need to have achieved or be expecting a 2:1 honours degree, and have an interest in the discipline you’re considering. For most of our vacancies, any degree discipline is acceptable, because this is a graduate training scheme that can be tailored to your needs. (If there are any specific degree subject requirements, please refer back to the individual job descriptions.)

The most successful people at IBM share a distinct set of characteristics. These begin with energy and creativity, along with a clear focus on delivering exceptional customer service. Here’s the lowdown on them.


How do you cope with changing demands and stress? Are you flexible? Have you successfully completed several projects with competing deadlines?


Do you present information clearly, precisely and succinctly? Adapt the way you communicate to your audience? And listen to others?

Client focus

Can you see a situation from a client’s viewpoint, whether that’s colleagues or customers? Can you anticipate their needs?

Creative problem solving

Do you use ingenuity, supported by logical methods and analysis, to propose solutions? Can you anticipate problems? Do you put forward innovative ideas?


Will you proactively learn new skills – even if they’re beyond the scope of your current job? Will you put in the time and energy needed to achieve results?


How do you work with others to achieve shared goals? Do you easily build relationships with others? Are you a team player?

Passion for IBM

Do you know what IBM does and what our most recent achievements are? Are you up to speed with the latest trends in our industry? What are the biggest challenges we face? You’ll need the facts at your fingertips and the enthusiasm to match.

Taking ownership

Do you take responsibility for tasks/decisions? And implement decisions with speed? Can you show when you’ve worked to correct your mistakes?


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