Graduate Software Developer at TPP The Phoenix Partnership

The Phoenix Partnership
TPP

#21

I’m surprised you think they would have the time to be browsing these forums when, as you say, they fail to update their website with relevant information about the interview. To confirm: I don’t work for TPP - I haven’t even graduated.

I agree there are jobs which would put you under more pressure, like consultancy firms, and I also doubt they’d be nearly as rude. My argument would be TPP are still establishing themselves and, as a way of doing that, require their employees to be building new working relationships all the time - some very difficult. You work for someone like PwC, on the other hand, you’re going to be (generally) dealing with clients they’ve been working with for years, and so you’d expect to be treated with respect before anything. I think the governments recently made it compulsory firms change their auditors at least once every 15 years for that reason - because firms like PwC, KPMG and EY get comfortable in their long-standing relationships with clients and don’t do their job properly (as we’ve seen with the coop bank).

I didn’t mean to belittle your experience - it sounds pretty brutal and i can’t be sure i’d be able to handle it myself. Maybe the guys who were instructed to ‘toughen you up’ went a little too far. Its a shame because TPP may have been the place for you - at least you found something else. More then anything I’m probably just trying to convince myself this is still the company for me, as I’ve been looking into them for years.


#22

Hi ash, do you have an update for us on how everything went?


#23

Hi Teddy, sorry I completely forgot to reply. I would say that my overall experience with TPP was much better than the unfortunate experiences that Ephinii, Walker 90 or Linneus had. I’ve sent you a PM going into more detail.


#24

Ash, is there any chance of sending me some more details too? I have an interview with TPP on Monday and I’m not sure about going after reading this.

Anyone wondering about the phone interview, along with asking the usual questions i.e. what attracted you to the job, what do you know about the role (in my case Business Analyst) they asked me some pretty ridiculous ones too such as “how many golf balls can you fit into a suitcase?”, “how many street lamps are there in the UK?” and out of nowhere “what’s 7x8?”.

Overall, it was a very unpleasant experience, don’t get me wrong I didn’t expect it to be like having a friendly chat with a mate over the phone or anything, it just seemed… odd.


#25

Hi George

What was “odd” about it exactly apart from those questions? I think those a very good questions. They require you to think creatively and intelligently and in a non-traditional way. Also I would have thought that questions like that are not wholly unexpected; I had similar questions at a university interview a few years ago, but maybe that’s just me?

In any case, I would most certainly say don’t let the experiences here put you off going. Perhaps TPP didn’t appeal to the personalities of the people above and perhaps that’s why they had such a negative experience, but perhaps you have a different personality and perhaps you would find TPP a good fit. In any case I think it would be foolish to not even use the opportunity to find out more about the company. Going to an interview doesn’t mean you’re taking up a job offer.

Yeah I’d be interested to hear what you thought was odd, because in my view, the experiences that other people in this thread have mentioned don’t seem as bad as they make out (left-field questions, cold demeanour of interviewees - I would have thought these things are par for the course). But perhaps I am wrong.

If you do decide to go to the interview (which I think you should), then good luck.


#26

Couldn’t agree more with what Jimmy said. The fact you’ve made it through to the interview shows TPP think there is a very good chance you’re the person for the job. Even if you end up not wanting the job Interviews are always good practice… Out of curiosity, how did you answer those bizarre questions?

Anyhow, i’d be interested in hearing about your experience so if you’re up for it please let us know how it goes. Also, if you’re going there with a second language please let us know if they put that to the test!

Good luck on Monday either way!


#27

Who do they think they are? Google? I guess these questions are odd because they aren’t want you expect. Odd doesn’t always mean bad though. Just more beating around the bush and corporate bs.


#28

Jimmy - I don’t know how to explain it what was odd about it, I just didn’t get a very nice vibe over the phone, I felt like the interviewer was talking down to me. Just because I’m a graduate doesn’t mean I don’t deserve a certain degree of respect.

Sam - I tried to explain my working out (as the person over the phone explained, it was your working out they are looking at), for the “how many streelamps are in the UK?” question I said I’d first try to find out how many cars and roads are in the UK. The golf balls one stumped me completely though. As for the multiplication question, I’m pretty good at maths so I answered it almost immediately, but for me that was the most unnecessary question of the lot, looking at a CV tells you how good someone is at maths.


#29

I wouldn’t have a clue how to answer the golf balls one. It sounds like one of those questions you get at a funfair, with the closest guess getting the prize of the suitcase. I suppose the multiplication question was thrown in there to test how nervous you were. From looking at your CV there’d be no reason why you couldn’t answer that question other then nerves. You answered it straight away so I suppose they took from that you weren’t very nervous. How did the face-to-face interview go anyway?


#30

In short, the worst interviewing experience of my life, they were so unprofessional they didn’t even have an interview room booked for me when they knew I was coming a week in advance, one of my interviewers was like a robot and oh ye they lied to my face at the end without even flinching. The words heartless, cold and disgusting come to mind. This is not the way to treat people.


#31

I was recently rejected from the Business Analyst position; I made it to the final stage of the interview process (which is a feat in itself as I had 5 interviews). By the end I had talked with 9 different people at TPP!

There is no information on their website for how they structure their recruitment process, so I’ve outlined it here:

  1. Phone interview; 2) First interview; 3) Second interview; 4) HR interview/chat, 5) CEO+Senior manager interview.

Oh, and a BIG heads-up: TPP offices, dress-code and senior management are informal. I used to work at a company where even a hint of unprofessionalism would be chastised (for instance, I wouldn’t even think of being informal in internal email-communications). However, when you arrive, expect jeans, trainers and the occasional swear-word from senior management! - Very much two opposite work environments, both have their pros and their cons!

I ‘think’ this is why I didn’t get the job, as I was perceived as not a ‘good fit’ for the company. During my second interview, I was told the answers I gave to their questions sounded ‘rehearsed’, which was definitely not a good thing from their perspective. Whereas, at my previous job, if I sounded rehearsed that would definitely have been a good thing!

The last thing I would note: don’t pay attention to the first few comments. I met 9 people at TPP during the interview process and I walked out of each interview thinking that the interviewers had been engaging and competent. Most importantly, I thought of each person that ‘I could definitely work with you’, which is important for me. Obviously, you should bare in mind that the first few comments (the ones describing the interviewers as ‘dicks’, ‘mr.nasty’ etc.) were made by people who were not offered a job, so they have nothing to lose by venting their frustration on a social forum.

I’ve conducted a lot of interviews: try telling the CFO of a multi-million pound organisation that they’ve been doing their job wrong for ‘x’ amount of years and that this fresh-faced, university graduate is here to tell them how to do it better; then tell me that being asked a multiplication question or being asked to describe your favourite book in 3 sentences makes an unpleasant interview. At the end of the day, If you can’t handle the pressure of interviews, then don’t apply to this job because the recruitment process has a lot.

Even though it was a completely different work environment than I am used to, I am quite sure I would have enjoyed working there. So, I was disappointed when I didn’t receive the job offer, especially as I walked out of their office thinking that I had done well.


#32

Does this mean you had to go back 5 different times of was it all done the same day?


#33

The phone interview was on a separate day, but the rest of the interviews were on the same day. Although, I was talking to a girl who was interviewing and she said that she had to go back for her last interview.


#34

Joseph. Please do not belittle other people’s negative experiences of TPP. It’s great you had a good one. But to suggest that other people, including myself (thank you for the quote) are lying because we didn’t get the job is not only offensive, it’s really stupid. If you want to defend TPP. you’d be better off attempting to justify how they treated me, Ephinii, and others, rather than accusing us of making it up.

Clearly, a lot depends with which interviewers you get at TPP, but the fact that they have not done anything about their bad interviewers, plus the dodgy way they structure the interview process, is enough for me to keep thinking badly of them.

And by the way, I wrote my first comment long after my TPP interview, after I’d already got my dream job. I am not bitter that I didn’t get a job with TPP. I am relieved I didn’t, because I would have faced some difficult choices. What I am bitter about is how badly they treated me and how they seriously knocked my confidence for a long time. In that way, I am grateful to Ephinnii and others for showing that it wasn’t just me.


#35

I had my interview at TPP today and I read these comments yesterday which made me uneasy about coming. I wish I had listened and not bothered really. Yes they can be perceived as rude, but that’s because they are trying to find out if you are right for the company. I applied for the account executive position. I’ll start from the beginning.

As people have said, you get an impropto phone interview within a few days of applying. This was relatively easy, the hardest part was trying to find out who was calling me at the start, but it’s generally okay. Afterwards I got invited to an interview. I was told over the phone that I was to have two interviews and if that went well I was to meet the CEO. I was also to present a topic of my choice for five minutes.

After arriving it was generally nice. The two interviewers, a man and women interviewed me in a large meeting room. The interview definitely wasn’t relaxed and informal. I was asked about how my friends perceive me, how to describe myself in 3 words, what I’ve done when I handle criticism and how I’ve responded to a customer who had criticised a company policy.

They generally listened well, they proved my answers a lot. But I felt they were quite critical of myself, when I said something about my weakness an how I’ve tried to improve that, they then said it sounded like I was disorganised. So be prepared to be on the defensive. They asked me how I would react if I handed them some work and they said it was shit? I couldn’t believe they swore during this, but what they are trying to do is show if you are the right person from the job. I also found that it seemed I was boring with them with my answers.

Honestly, if you are the person who likes a relaxed, open and low pressure environment, DO NOT GO TO THE INTERVIEW. You will waste your time. I spent 4 hours travelling there today and I wish I hadn’t. They are rude and to the point. But that’s because that’s what their work environment is like, they want that type of person and if you are not, don’t kid yourself and don’t bother with the company. They are successful which is why they are on the times list, but you nee to be tenacious.


#36

Sorry forgot to add. After my first interview I was told to sit down like everyone else. In my head I was preparing my presentation when the girl came over and told me they would be in touch.

I couldn’t believe they never asked me to do it when I spent hours rehearsing it. In the end I only had the one interview so felt very flustered on the way home.

I can see why they are a good company, but you need to ask if you are suited to a direct, hard working and pressurised environment. If you are go for it. It’s just a shame they don’t give that impression on their website. Would have saved me a lot of time. Even though I haven’t been officially told, I know I haven’t got this job.


#37

Hi united1968,
I also have a phone interview this week for the Graduate Analyst position. Do you mind me asking you what kind of questions they asked you? Was it a positive experience? Having read others’ accounts of the interview process I’m a tad apprehensive!

If you have the time to reply I’d really appreciate it.

Queen C


#38

Hi Joseph- I saw your comment here about the TPP interview and just wanted to ask you some questions. I have mine next week and have also applied for Business Analyst position. When I read the ad for this role it said that there are opportunities for people who speak foreign languages. Do you have any other languages, and if so, did they conduct any part of the interview in these languages? I speak Spanish and Portuguese so I’m pretty sure it’s a possibility.

Also, did you have to do any psychometric tests or similar as part of the process?

Cheers,
Lucy


#39

Hi Everybody,
I have a interview on Thursday with TPP for the graduate Business Analyst position and after reading all your comments I am now panicking!! All I have done so far in the application process is:

  1. Send off my CV/Cover letter
  2. 3min phonecall asking a few admin questions and setting a date for a face-to-face interview

All they have said about the interview is for me to bring my ALevel certificates, Transcripts and my Passport and that it will last approx. half an hour. I have prepared answers to the obvious questions like Why TPP?, Why this role?, Where do you see yourself in 5 years? etc but I am worried about the suprise questions they might throw at me … how do I prepare for them? Or can I not?
What else does the interview entail?

Any information would be brilliant,
Thanks,
Louise


#40

Hi Louise, All I know is that the interview will be non competency based. I have emailed you as well.

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