I just wanted to quickly share the experience I’ve had in going through the Atos grad scheme application process. There’s nothing particularly out of the ordinary, but I always found it helped to read other people’s accounts of the process, so I hope this helps you!
As usual, it begins with the online application. This includes all the usual stuff like work history and so on, but also has a few longer form questions about extracurricular activities and your motivations for applying.
After you submit your application, you’ll be invited to take a few online tests. You’ll get a few practice questions before the actual test starts, but it’s well worth practicing beforehand. In fact, you probably won’t stand much of a chance if you wing it – practice!
Atos tests are created in-house, which means you won’t be able to find identical practice formats online. However, as they are still numerical reasoning and verbal reasoning tests, most practice tests will still put you in good stead.
The numerical test has you analyse data in the form of graphs and charts and then answering questions based on that data. I had 30 questions to answer in about half an hour, so quite pressurised and longer than most of these tests.
The verbal reasoning test is similar, but uses written information instead of numerical data. You’ll get multiple choice questions relating to the text, and will have around 30 seconds for each question so you’ll need to be able to analyse and interpret the text fast.
Next stage is a competency-based phone interview. This took around half an hour – so make sure you’re not going to be disturbed and that you have good signal (or use a landline).
Since it’s fairly short, they won’t go super in-depth. You’ll be asked about your career motivations, why Atos, some examples of when you’ve shown leadership, quick thinking, etc., and a few things about the company itself. Do some preparation, and don’t be afraid to ask the interviewer to repeat the question if you can’t quite hear. This is your first chance to make an impression!
If you impress in the phone interview, you’ll be invited to the final stage: an assessment centre.
There’s not too much out of the ordinary here. I had two one-on-one competency-based interviews while there, as well as an individual case study and a group exercise.
The individual case study concerns a topic given to you beforehand, so you can prepare it in advance. You then give a 10-15 minute presentation on it, and take questions afterwards. You’ll be given a business case and will need to assess the benefits and drawbacks and come up with a recommendation. It’s important that your analysis is good, but equally important that your presentation skills are good, so it’s well worth practicing presenting it as well.
The group exercise also concerns a case study, except this time you get it on the day and have to perform the same analysis as a group. You’ll need to make your input heard to be noticed by the assessors, but be careful not to be too overbearing. You need to show that you’re a good teamplayer too.
Finally, the interviews last 45 minutes to an hour, so there’s much more depth and much more room to range widely in the questions. The questions will be in the same style, though. You’ll need to be well prepared with examples to show your strengths and attributes and to back up your CV, as well as reflecting on your weaknesses, talking about your aspirations and philosophy and answering a fair few questions on Atos, their clients and current affairs.
And then… that’s all! Once you’ve made it through the tiring assessment centre, you just need to wait for the result. I had to wait around a week and a half for mine, but I’m not sure how indicative that is. Overall, it’s a fairly standard corporate process – fairly long, quite tough, but nothing out of the ordinary to worry about in particular.
And please share your own experiences below!