Bank of England

Probably one of the oldest organisations in our client list, the Bank of England was established over 400 years ago. Now, while things have changed, the bank continues to promote, support and maintain monetary and financial stability in the UK. As you can imagine, it’s a prestigious place for graduates, so applications for their graduate and sandwich placements were high. A bit too high, if anything.

As you should when you need some support, the great British institute selected to work with us back in 2015. We were to help their Annual Rounds Recruitment team deliver effective selection and assessment processes for seven graduate and sandwich placement programmes. This included Economics, IT and All Disciplines schemes for first degree graduates, penultimate year internships and postgraduates. And it was our role to run candidate management and assessment up to, and including, first stage assessment centres for all of them.

As part of this, we set a self-scheduling for booking assessment centre slots and dedicated phone and email contact points to answer any candidate questions. Our assessors also went through a thorough briefing on marking guidelines and a benchmarking exercise to ensure we consistently met the Bank’s expectations.

The assessment centre included three written analytical exercises for the Economist, All Disciplines and IT applicants and we marked all three. When it came to the Economist exercise, markers needed a degree in economics or relevant experience. So our candidate sourcing team recruited three markers who successfully completed a benchmarking exercise and were approved by the Bank.

All of this was under an extremely tight timetable. But in true Penna fashion, we met all of the deadlines, assessing 2,550 initial applications. We also administered the Watson Glaser online test for Economist and All Discipline applicants. And we held 15 first stage assessment events in three weeks, followed by some smaller, ad hoc rolling first stage assessments for the IT graduate programme, which were held at our London offices. All of this, and more, led to The Bank of England filling every one of the 106 places across their seven programmes programme.


  • Assessed 2,550 initial applications.
  • Sifted those who met the agreed benchmark - 291 applications for the Sandwich Placement Schemes and 1,862 for the graduate programmes.
  • Managed 775 attendees and marked 683 written papers in three weeks.


  • Candidate Assessment