European Central Bank (ECB) Recruitment Process, Assessment Tests & Interview Preparation – 2021

Civil Service Exams

What Is the European Central Bank?

The European Central Bank, situated in Frankfurt Am Main, Germany, is one of the youngest yet most distinguished financial institutions in the European Union (EU). The organization’s primary focus is the cooperation and supervision of the central banks within the 19 countries comprising the EU. Within this system, ECB’s mission is the stabilization of the Eurodollar leading to economic growth and job creation. Within its 31 years of operation, the company has grown to have 2,500 employees with diverse backgrounds from all across Europe. There are many benefits that an ECB employee will receive, including:

  • Family allowances and benefits
  • Upward mobility within the company
  • Skills development and training
  • Pension plans
  • Health benefits


ECB Vacancy

If you are seeking a position within this organization, the first place to look is the vacancies page on the ECB official website.

Naturally, you will have to read the job description carefully to ensure that you are a good fit for the position. This organization is known to disregard any application that does not meet the minimum requirements for that specific job.

Furthermore, for those who have a disability which deters them during the application process, you can contact the ECB, and they will be happy to assist you.


ECB Recruitment: Online Application

The first step in joining the ECB family is to create a profile through their online application portal. If you opt to create more than one, your profile will be removed entirely. There is no need to attach a CV since there is a multitude of questions in the application form which extract the information found on a CV.

Within the application form, the ECB places a huge emphasis on your motivation. Why do you want this position? What motivates you? Can this job meet your own personal needs?

After submitting your application, the selection committee will then start the elimination process. Applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements and additional criteria are eliminated.


ECB Recruitment: Pre-Screening Stage

The pre-screening stage entails you passing the following assessments:

Psychometric Tests

This ECB test comprises a group of assessments that evaluates your numerical, verbal and abstract reasoning. The test is administered online and has a multiple-choice format. You will have the opportunity to complete the test over the course of a couple of days, as long as it is completed before the deadline.

There are three aptitude tests that every applicant has to complete:

  • Verbal Reasoning Test
    The verbal reasoning test is used by companies to evaluate an applicant’s ability to extract concepts from a given passage. You will use logic to appropriately interpret certain texts and provide answers in a true, false, or cannot say format.
  • Abstract Reasoning Test
    An abstract reasoning test or conceptual reasoning test is used by employers to test your fluid intelligence. This is the ability to detect trends, internalize the data, and then apply it to answer the questions. Great puzzle-solving skills are required to receive excellent marks in this ECB test. You will have to identify similar or different patterns amongst varying shapes presented.
  • Numerical Reasoning Tests
    Employers utilize this test to grasp an applicant’s ability to interpret numerical data from graphs, charts and tables. The ability to do simple calculations is vital since the use of a calculator is not permitted. Graphs, tables, and charts need to be accurately interpreted to select the best answer.
  • Deductive Reasoning Tests
    ECB uses the deductive reasoning test to assess whether the applicant can draw their own conclusions and discuss the strong and weak points of each argument. Again, logic is necessary here. This test is only administered to a select group of applicants.
  • Situational Judgement Tests
    As the name suggests, Situational Judgement Tests or ECB SJTs entail using intuition or experience to make sound and appropriate decisions for different scenarios and conflicts. This is mostly administered for those taking the leadership or management assessment tests.

Pre-Recorded Video Interview

Do not view this as a daunting task but rather as an opportunity to win the interviewers over with your winning personality. For the interview, you will be provided with a set of questions which you should answer in order. ECB offers a set preparation time for which you will gather your thoughts and a maximum time to deliver them. Your response will be recorded.

As the cliché goes, practice makes perfect, and since you will want to leave a lasting impression on your interviewers, it is vital that you practice your responses for the given questions. Below, there is a list of questions that previous applicants received either in the pre-recorded interview or Interview stage.

Remote Written Exercise

Some job positions require a written exercise to evaluate your depth of knowledge within the field. It usually is given through email at a scheduled time, and you must complete the test within one hour. Some examples of written test are essays, econometrical tests, and tests surrounding particular topics.

Leadership Assessment Tests

Depending on the job position that you seek, you may have to take an additional written assessment. A leadership position will require you to complete the ECB Assessment of Leadership Competencies test, which influences whether or not you move forward to the next stage.

The leadership assessment has six portions:

  • Online Personality Test
    This is a tool that employers use to better understand your communication style, traits, and psyche. It is given online and takes approximately 40 minutes to complete. Despite being subjective, you will want to prepare for this test as there are certain qualities ECB seeks in its applicants.
  • Self-Reflection Questionnaire
    This questionnaire will bring your professional experiences and future career goals to light. This questionnaire will be administered online as well.
  • Competency-Based Interview
    The following tests will be conducted on-site and comprise a variety of scenarios. For the competency-based interview, you will have to answer a set of questions while highlighting great leadership qualities by using your past work experiences. Based on these past experiences, explain what positive changes you have implemented and the resulting outcome. ECB assesses for various abilities that a leader should possess, such as strategic thinking, communication, team management, providing guidance, managing change, and many more.
  • Roleplay
    The roleplay requires that you address a simulated scenario while also exhibiting your great managerial skills.
  • Business Case Study
    For the business case study, you will be presented with a variety of documents which you will use to formulate a decision and action plan that the company must take.
  • Feedback Loop
    Lastly, after completing the aforementioned assessments, the assessors will evaluate your strengths and weaknesses as a leader. With this, they will advise you on what areas need improvement and development.


A helpful video for leadership and management assessments:


ECB Recruitment: Interview

After passing stage one and two, it is now time to face the interview stage. It can either take place at ECB headquarters in Frankfurt, or over the phone or through Skype. If you opt to travel to the ECB headquarters, ECB will gladly provide compensation. You will be given at least five days to prepare yourself and ECB will inform you about the interview process.

A combination of the following methods can make up the interview process:

  1. Written Exercises – These are used to test your technical knowledge regarding the job.
  2. Candidate Presentation – You can deliver your presentation before or on the interview day. Remember that organization, informative and clear content, body language, and a sense of humour are key for a presentation that really stands out.
  3. Interview – This can be with the selection committee, manager, or other potential colleagues.

Similar to the stages mentioned above, you will have to properly prepare for this interview. ECB recommends that you reflect on your past experiences relating them to what is required for this job position.

Below are a few ECB interview questions that other applicants have received. These questions are given interchangeably between the pre-recorded video interview or the primary interview. Some of these questions are position specific, while others are general and can be asked no matter the position you have applied for. Review them and see how you can best answer them.

  • What are your specific programming skills?
  • Why do you want to work in this position?
  • What is in the balance sheet of a bank?
  • Tell us about a time you had a problem working in a team.
  • What are the main tasks of the division?
  • General questions about ECB
  • What is the job of an auditor [other position]?
  • Please briefly introduce yourself and tell us about the three main achievements in your professional life so far.
  • If you receive 100 Excel spreadsheets, how do you know there are several Null values?

There are many more questions that you can receive and this list is not meant to be exhaustive. Remember that the questions can change over time. However, it is generally understood that they ask questions about your motivation, your past experiences, knowledge about the role, and knowledge about the company.

After the interview, you are given the opportunity to ask a few questions of your own. It is advised that you have some questions prepared; however, avoid asking questions that you can easily find the answers to online or through another medium.


How to prepare for ECB Assessment Tests?

Reading and assimilating the information through practice is necessary to ace each of the recruitment stages. Each test has its own benefits that ECB uses to evaluate your skills and experience and it is a known fact that they choose only the best of the best. With practice, you will be able to familiarize yourself with the format of ECB assessment tests, craft the perfect response to each question and win over the selection committee. Therefore, it is wise to make proper use of the tools and materials provided here to help you achieve this goal because as the saying goes, fail to prepare, prepare to fail.

Best of luck with your applications!