The IBM apprenticeship recruitment processes consists of an online application form, an online test and a video assessment.

If your application is accepted and you will be invited to complete an Assessment Centre which is followed by a final interview.


Kelly’s Application Hints & Tips

Kelly is a key member of our apprentice recruitment team, and one of the people who will assess your application. Here are her hints and tips on how to maximise your applications chances at IBM.

IBM Apprentices’ Hints and Tips

Here are 15 top tips from our current apprentices about the IBM assessment centre and how to make the most of your day!

  • Enjoy the experience – the assessment centre was my favourite part of the recruitment process because I wasn’t stuck behind an application form or IPAT test. – Sarah Naylor
  • The key to giving yourself the best shot in assessment centres is preparation, prepare so that you’re not going in blind, attain some key facts that might prove useful, but don’t overload yourself with information – you still want your personality to come through. – John Longworth
  • In my experience you’re not necessarily expected to have tonnes of knowledge or experience, you are a school leaver after all! I think it’s a lot more important to demonstrate how keen, interested and willing you are. – Will Speirs.
  • Make sure you introduce yourself to the other candidates – it is likely you will have to work with them at some point during the group exercises. – Sarah Naylor
  • Keep it simple, especially with the presentation! The first day I practiced mine I had 22 slides to go through in a 10-minute presentation, I was franticly rushing through trying to fit everything in before the timer ran out. After some practice, I had a 5-slide presentation and some key words memorised to keep the presentation flowing. – Joe Barry.
  • In the group exercises, I think it’s important to demonstrate what you can offer, but be careful that you’re not over-powering. They’re group activities after all, one of the key elements is how well you work with people – completely taking over is unlikely to do you any favours! – Will Speirs.
  • Being early and being ready is something that is so easy to do but not everyone does it. How hard is it to arrive 20 minutes early? Along with most people I always forget things when rushing around. Allowing time to practice beforehand and to make improvements is invaluable to any Interview/Assessment centre you attend in your career. – Joe Barry.
  • I think being cool headed and not rushing things will help, remember it’s pretty much a full day and each of the tasks you get set are going to span 30 minutes, maybe even an hour, so make sure to give yourself time to think before acting. – John Longworth.
  • Dress smartly! – Richard Cure.
  • Remember that in a lot of scenarios, you’re not necessarily competing with the people around you for a place (at least in my experience, multiple people from my assessment centre were taken on). As such, I found it was important to not treat every scenario as a competition and instead focus on yourself and what you can offer. – Will Speirs.
  • Be yourself, if you go in trying to be someone you’re not, it’s going to show and you want to be hired for who you are, otherwise you’ll end up putting on an act for the rest of your career. Which sounds like far too much effort with the amount of work you’ll end up doing! – John Longworth.
  • The observers want to see you use the individual strengths of the group to get a task completed. I consider myself very comfortable leading a group however some of my colleagues had better technical knowledge. Therefore, I was able to bounce ideas around the group and ultimately, we were able to work well together and complete the task. If you are given people to work with, make sure their strengths are utilised! – Joe Barry.
  • Make the most of your opportunity to ask questions! – Sarah Naylor.
  • In the group exercises try to stand out with your ideas but be adaptable if the group choose to go with another candidates’ – it still shows your efforts to contribute. – Gus Parkhouse.
  • Be confident in yourself – it’s noticeable to the assessors. – Richard Cure.


Did you know you can now achieve a management accountant CIMA qualification as an IBM Apprentice? Or become an HR Consultant? Or even become a graduate with a degree qualification? All through the apprenticeship route. Apprenticeships at IBM are all about picking up skills for the workplace and embarking on a long and successful career.

Please note, we are currently reviewing all listed recruitment opportunities due to the ongoing uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and will be updating the Time To Apply information soon.

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