Aviva Grad Interview

Aviva

#1

Hi,

Anybody on here had a telephone interview - sorry, I mean “discussion” - for the Aviva grad scheme? I’ve literally trawled through older posts and posters have said they have found good info but, from what I’ve found it’s sometimes years out-of-date. I’m looking to start a thread with all info regs. the interview protocol, assessment centre, general help, etc from say 2012 onwards please.

Any general updated feedback from the process would be good to get started so post on here if you like.

Thanks.


#2

Hi.

I also have telephone interview the scheme later this week. Have you already had yours? If so, do you have any tips?

Will post the info on mine once its done.

Thanks


#3

Hi to both of you,

I went through all the stages back in December and have reached the assessment centre stage although I have not been told when it will be yet. The interview is a pretty standard competency interview that focuses on why you applied to whichever scheme you did, why Aviva, an example of teamwork etc.

Which schemes did both of you apply for? I applied for the insurance scheme. Also congrats on passing the online tests too, which I found incredibly difficult compared to others I had done :slight_smile:


#4

Good luck with your interview


#5

Hi,
Have you had your phone interviews yet?
I have mine tomorrow… very nervous!
Thanks


#6

Hi RJ,

Hope you see this before tomorrow but it’s all fine. I must admit I got more nervous than I had anticipated probably due to lack of info on here to dispel any doubts I had. I had a lady who was actually really really nice and answered all my questions (relatively honestly, hard to be objective when you’re hiring lol).
Be prepared to ask questions that you naturally may have towards your role and the organisation etc. Why Aviva? Why your scheme? I got asked why my degree was beneficial to the role and I’d have in mind some ideas for the question of “tell me about yourself” although it was not directly asked.
I found it helped looking at the job spec/ description and picking out key competences (time management, leadership, organisational skills, etc) and relating them to any skills or situations you’ve experienced.
What role is it you’re going for?
Let us know how it goes. I found the experience enjoyable looking back as it was very 2-way which I didn’t really expect. As I say the lady was very nice however, I wasn’t sort of prompted in my answers so just think about the message you’re trying to get over.

Good luck!


#7

d4321

I second you on the tests… really weird. The logical ones were hard. For a test that aims to gauge a candidates accuracy and numeracy to have improperly labelled graphs was amazing ha. I’d be interested to find out what I scored on those ones.

Did you get an email saying you were successful but then not heard anything since like me? Waiting for a hiring manager to contact me apparently.


#8

Hi HarryPorter,

Yes I got that email from them back in December and had been waiting since then to hear about the AC date. I actually got an email on Monday saying that the AC for my particular scheme is scheduled for the 8th April. If you haven’t received an email from them yet don’t worry, I think they are waiting to receive all applications for that relevant scheme before finalising the date as I noticed that since I received my email with the provisional date that they are no longer accepting applications for the scheme I applied for- so check out the website and then you will see.

Having said that it is still not 100% confirmed that I am going through as the hiring manager has the final say but hopefully it is a yes as I think it is by far the best programme I have seen in the insurance sector :slight_smile:


#9

Hey,
I did see this about an hour before the interview and it helped so much thanks! :slight_smile: My interview was very similar to how you have described and also really enjoyable. I have been successful to the next stage which is another phone interview so I am very excited about that…
Thanks again!


#10

Hi all,
I have my AC for the Business Management Scheme on Tuesday in York. Is anyone else here attending? Does anyone have any information on the types of things which could be asked in the individual presentations and group discussions? Starting to get a bit nervous now!


#11

Hi, I completely agreed with the sentiment about most posts and data being out of date (so much as that I decided to sign up and post!)

I have recently had both the telephone interview and AC for a graduate Revenue Analyst Role with Aviva investors - which may not be exactly the same as other graduate Aviva Roles

The telephone interview: (about 30-45min)

  • Why Aviva
  • Technical Question: mine was the difference between asset management and investment banking
  • Favourite excel formula
  • a couple of competancy based questions

Assessment Centre - I have to admit the AC is one of the nicest I have been to.

Stage 1:

  • Excel test - I would recommend your standard mix of Vlookup, if, sum equations and graphing/formatting abilities
  • Excel Debrief interview - make sure you brush up on whats happened economically
  • Interview - Standard interview fare - they are looking at you as an individual which I found was much more enjoyable.
  • Group Exercise - give a presentation on a subject

At this point we were given lunch and told that 1/2 the participants would be leaving.

Part 2: Final Interview and an opportunity to talk to current grads.

the assessment day really did give the chance to get a feel for the company and I must admit I really hope I get the position (should find out this week!)

Hope this helps!


#12

Thanks Amero for that info. I have an AC on the 8th of April for the insurance scheme and whilst they hopefully won’t ask for my favourite Excel formula haha, that info is definitely very helpful.

Fingers crossed you get the job :slight_smile:


#13

Agreed, excellent post amero.

I am still waiting for any information as to whether I will be progressing through to the next stage. May I ask where you did the AC? Did all service areas/ grad roles do the same tasks on the day eg Excel?

Thanks


#14

Hello everyone,

I recently had the Aviva assessment centre in Norwich and surprise surprise no-one seems to have posted any info on it.
Okay, so as other posters have mentioned it’s a 2 day affair. It mentions on the confirmation email you verify your online tests the first day. You arrive at the Aviva marble hall building then you meet all the other candidates etc etc and we got taken down into the basement where you do the tests.

The tests
They are a paper based assessment on the day and for those that are concerned they are SHL tests. Pretty easy just time constrained as per. You have a verbal reasoning and numerical. That is it.

After this we were told to make our way back to the hotel and then meet in the hotel lobby in the evening for dinner.

The hotel
The hotel my group stayed in was pretty nice to be honest and some people were extremely happy as they were given a “suite” not a room… Anyway it was a good mark for Aviva because it was obvious they had gone out of their way to try and almost sell themselves to us. Breakfast is also a bonus as there is a buffet - it was at breakfast I realised that a lot of the assessors were staying in the same hotel as us so goodness knows where they had come from, London or York I guess.

Dinner
We meet at the reception and then make our way to a restaurant (Pizza Express). The dress code was on the smart side although the leader of the assessment centre - a HR person - told people to come in what they were wearing for the assessment centre (suits)… I declined the invitation to wear a full suit - so did nearly everyone else - opting for a less formal outfit. Girls were wearing dresses and guys wore shirts and/or jackets.
The dinner itself was with about 3/4 Aviva staff (can’t remember properly) - 2 grads and the HR person - I was lucky as I had some decent people but it is your usual mix of uncomfortable small talk and strange conversation. People did drink throughout the meal.

After dinner you are invited to accompany the 2 grads to go for further drinks. I obviously obliged. It might be helpful to reiterate that although the dinner is a chance to ask grads questions, break the ice and the chance to get to know the other prospective candidates if I was one of the Aviva grads I would want to recommend people who I could get along with and who had manners etc. After all you will be working with the candidates so I’m not sure you come across as a team player, etc if you go home at this point, however, I’m certain it will NOT count against you in any way if you don’t come for drinks. That’s just my opinion.

The morning after…
You are told to meet back at marble hall at about 8:15. Contrary to other threads we are NOT provided with taxis as it is about 10 mins walk - I got lost and was nearly late.
When I arrived we all went down into the basement rooms where we did the paper based assessments the day before. When we got into the room there was a large rectangular table with name places according to each seat. Around this table were 12 chairs for the assessors i.e. 1 assessor per person. It was extremely formal and disconcerting, I wasn’t expecting this at all as I imagined they would try to put everyone at ease - I was wrong. When we were all seated we had to then go round the room and introduce ourselves. Standard.

First task
This is a group presentation. The presentation was based around picking an organisation that you can pitch to the CEO of Aviva who himself would then pitch to the government as an example to help stimulate growth and get the public excited about business (something like that I don’t remember properly). You have like 5 mins individually to come up with 2 organisations and then after this 30 mins amongst the group to narrow down everyones choices to 2 organisations and prepare the group presentation.
I did not have a good experience as we decided to go round individually and say the 2 organisations we had picked and why we had picked them. This took ages and ages and people were just saying really weird stuff. In one case someone suggested a direct competitor to Aviva, to pitch to the boss of Aviva as being a great organisation… Other people were picking foreign organisations and even Amazon. Amazon who recently faced SIGNIFICANT negative press. Anyway we spent ages discussing and eventually split in to 2 smaller groups - 1 per organisation - and had spent no time preparing the presentation.
The presentation was even worse. You have to present to all the assessors as a group. We had some basic points written down and people were just jumping in at random points and literally just rephrasing what had already been said. The presentation must have lasted about 20 mins and then we took questions. The assessors were all accountants themselves - so smart people - and a few of them seemed to try to purposefully ask ridiculous questions to catch people out, put people under pressure and probably found some weird pleasure in this. Anyway its just my opinion but it would have been better if we were in smaller groups to start with and for some other ice breaking session as you are literally thrown in the deep end.

I’m going to post this and continue underneath in case this gets deleted, so to be cont…


#15

Continued.

Its probably useful to mention that we each had our own personalised timetable for the day which basically split our group in 2. Anyway, I think my first task was called understanding Aviva which involved 2 new grads talking to us about the challenges facing Aviva and its competitors e.g. unemployment, eurocrisis. Its unassessed apparently but its probably just the grads deciding who they like in the group. Its easy and the grads were nice. I don’t even think you have to say anything and you wouldn’t look badly. If I remember correctly we had lunch at this time as well as the other half of the group were doing their interviews.

After this task I was then taken out of the room to do my individual analysis exercise.

Analysis/ personal presentation exercise
This task involved you read a short document with a background case and then presenting your findings to 2 managers. The brief was basically an organisation had grown too large for it’s building and you are presented with 4 courses of action to make your recommendation on. Anyway the 4 options are expanding your current dilapidated building, moving to a cheap building, moving to a medium priced building and then an expensive one. Obviously the brief states that the organisation has always had a cheap and cheerful approach to its buildings but as a result the staff morale is horrendous - as shown by the employee surveys you are provided with - and each office has its own drawbacks and benefits. Again standard.
After about 30 mins working by yourself the 2 managers come back in the room - in role play mode - and you have to have a pretending meeting with the HR person who doesn’t understand any of the finance of the organisation i.e. don’t waste your time on financials with her. I may have misunderstood the brief but I thought the meeting was the get further information and treat them as if they were a real manager. Anyway I was acting and asking her questions about the staff surveys but the manager seemed to have not read the brief themselves and when asked questions that were specifically covered in their written answers they would just answer “don’t know” with a blank face. Anyway I clearly didn’t ask the right questions because when I finished leading the meeting and ended it the other assessor then read out all the answers I should have gleaned from the HR manager…
Next is the actual presentation. I spent most of my time on the recommendations as I guessed this would be the most important part. I evaluated all the other options together and then basically made the ultimate recommendation at the end - I picked middle priced option. I’m almost certain there is no right answer and it’s just how well you argue your point. That’s it for that part.

Then we go back into the main room of the AC. For me the next part was a tour around Norwich. This has it’s own section of the day but the weather wasn’t amazing so we did a quick lap with 2 more new grads that had joined us and came back. Again these grads seemed fine - pretty friendly and happy to answer questions.

After we came back for me it was my interview.

Interview
This was with 2 managers who decided to give me a proper grilling. It was just my luck that I had one of the assessors that was asking the tough questions at our presentation earlier in the day… The interview was standard procedure although they strictly follow competencies and the whole thing is structured. The ask questions from different headings. From what I can remember there was Leadership, Change, Decisiveness, possibly Achievement of goals but apart from those I don’t remember fully. I got absolutely annihilated on Decisiveness as I had never ever heard that one before so I made a really weak answer for that. The questions each have like 4 parts you have to answer in them from my memory. Sorry I can’t help more here but it’s all competency based really.

After this I then had a task that involves you working with another candidate.

Candidate Role play task
This task is really weird as I don’t think it actually shows anything as you’re both obviously wanting the job so you’re not acting in a real-world way. It’s all some kind of forced acting in a way that you think is employable.
The task is centred around building a team of 6 people (I think) but the little challenge is that you have both been given different briefs. You are given a bio of 6 employees and their strengths and weaknesses. You and your partner are both managing projects and between you have to decide who will go on whos team. The problem comes that there are some people who have many more strengths than others so you are competing and “working together” to get 2 strong teams. There are little things in the brief like one person can’t work with another person. It’s hard to describe what this task is all about but it’s basically dealing with conflict and teamwork. The other candidate I was working with was actually all right as I heard some people can just be really stubborn and not work together which is a massive ball ache. Anyways it went all right and the assessors were quite passive as from other people I heard they can be really stubborn and throw unexpected things at you.

After this we had a debrief. It’s just a chat with a manager to ask you how it went etc.

Sooooooo I think that is basically it for the day. It was a really long day and if I’m honest it kind of put me off. Although they told me it would be placed at Norwich OR York it was apparent that it was only Norwich…
Other points were that the offices were really cool but unfortunately I did not get a that kind of high performing sense of a FTSE 100 financial services company which I wanted to experience - thats probably the asset management office in London. It seemed muted at best and I’m pretty sure you just get put in a specific division e.g. tax and that’s that for you ha.
I thought everything the organisation did was nice and they made an effort and clearly spent a lot of money on it but after meeting the people and the other candidates I would not have wanted to work there.
It is important to note that I was UNSUCCESSFUL and it probably seems like I am bitter but at the time I attended the AC I already had an outstanding job offer in a bank in London so I probably didn’t take it seriously. I can honestly say I put a lot of effort in for the telephone interview and then about 1hr at most for the AC so it was not going to be my best performance.
After going to the AC it put me off because I didn’t like Norwich, I definitely couldn’t have worked with some of the other candidates and the culture of Aviva wouldn’t have fit with me and as you may have gleaned. I don’t want to put people off as this is MY view and my experience only but I think this thread could help people in the next intake have better preparation and know what you’re going in for. No doubt they will change it next year but if there is anything at all you need to know feel free to PM me.

Thanks and sorry for the length. Good luck.


#16

Forgot to mention that I actually thought they were bluffing about re-doing the test on the first day as that happens in some ACs.

The tests are SHL and nothing like the online tests you do earlier in the application phase. I have no higher information but I bet they are the same tests every year lol. If you don’t realise when you do them, the tests show 1 graph/table for one question and then have a different graph for the next few questions until they repeat the cycle again. You’ll know what I mean if you have done them before.

Peace.


#17

Thanks very much for the information amero, I hope that you did get the job in the end.

I know that this AC was a while back now but as I have an AC with Aviva Investors soon I don’t suppose that I could ask you two questions could I? I would be extremely grateful if you could answer them for me.

Firstly I was wondering whether the final interview was a technical interview, as there does not seem to explicitly be a technical interview?

And secondly was the group presentation on a topic that was given to you on the day?

Thanks very much, any level of detail would be much appreciated.


#18

Hi 123ghj, I have an AC for the Aviva investors summer internship next week. all i know is that the group will have to play an investment game and then there will be final interview. please could you give me details of your AC and what questions you faced, I know this is 3 years later and probably a long shot but would appreciate a reply if possible!!