Towers Watson Assessment Day: 2012 start

Willis Towers Watson
#1

Hi Guys! Please share you experience of the assessment day…

#2

I have an AC invite to. Would be nice to get some advice.

#3

Hey WastedFun,

Yeah, it would be great to get some advice as I also got my invite this morning for Investments. What business line are you going for?

#4

Hey

I went for Benefits as I, perhaps wrongly, believed this role would be in the highest demand from a client perspective as pensions seem to be an increasingly important issue.

What office is your AC at?

#5

Okay. How many people are they hiring in Benefits? Any idea about Investments? I’ve my AC in their London office.

Good luck with the AC. Will let you know if I have any information regarding the AC!

#6

Actuarial: 60 overall (not sure how many in Benefits specifically)
Investments: 31 (10 in London)

#7

For summer internship in SE England areas EPSOM, LONDON, REIGATE
16 spaces for benefits
less than 14 spaces for RCS

#8

Hey Steven! Thanks for the info. I guess you are going for Summer Internship? What stage are you at?

#9

If anyone has any information to share regarding the role play exercise that would be much appreciated. I have an assessment centre coming up later this week and I do not really know what to expect!

Thanks!

#10

Hi all, this is my first comment on Wikijobs, I thought I would join as it has been very helpful so far (especially for the telephone interview for TW)

I’ve applied for graduate in Benefits for the Bristol office. My AC is not until 13Feb but I feel nervous already. It seems like a whole day of hell really haha.

If anyone has had theirs yet and has any light they can share that would be amazing!!

Good luck to all and thanks for the help so far!

#11

I did my AC earlier this week, let me know if anyone wants information on that. I did it for Communication and Change Management.

#12

Has anyone gone to a benefits actuarial AC yet this year? Any information on how the day goes?

#13

Hi, have somebody got the information of AC for software engineering? Is it same with the AC of other divisions in Towers Watson?

#14

Hey, I’ve got my assessment centre on Monday for RCS.
Any help or advice would be appreciated (especially for the role play section).

#15

Does anyone know what’s involved in the Problem-Solving Interview? Is it logical questions like “How many bricks does it take to build a house” etc. or is it a bit more technical or commercially-focused?

I asked Graduate Recruitment about it but they couldnt give me much help, just said to prepare by having some commercial awareness.

If anyone has experience of these types of interviews advice would be much appreciated!

#16

Hey everyone, I’ve received a couple of personal messages asking about my experience at the AC. I went for one in Communication and Change Management. Here’s a detailed description of my experience. Hope this helps!

I’ll do my best to remember the details you asked for, I did the AC over a week ago, but hopefully they’re still in my head somewhere. For the interview, the questions they asked were a little different to the telephone interview. It was more in-depth. Here are the questions I remember, sorry they won’t be in order or anything, I’ll just type them out as I remember them:

  1. Briefly outline the main points in your CV
  2. Why TW, why consulting, why your chosen program (make sure you’re enthusiastic here and show you’ve done a lot of research into the company)
  3. What is your greatest achievement?
  4. What is your biggest mistake?
  5. A time when you had to manage simultaneous deadlines (mention your planning strategy, how you planned your time, etc. include things like you used a planner and discuss how you prioritised your deadlines)
  6. A time when you could have worked better in a team and how
  7. A time when you supported someone/a colleague without being asked
  8. They might ask you a problem solving question, at my AC we got: “How many TVs are there in the UK”, don’t know if you have experience doing these kinds of questions, if not, message me again and I’ll try to help

I wish I could remember more of the competency questions they asked. These are questions I believe they asked, but not 100% sure, but prepare for them anyway I think:

  • A time when you had to work without all the information
  • A time when you had to adapt to change
  • A time when you had to deal with someone difficult/not easy to approach

OK so for the role play, I really struggled here, I’m not sure if you’ll get the same kind of role play, but here goes. They give you information about a client company (retail). The director there is unhappy about the advice the previous consultant, before you, gave him. Now he has too much stock of a product that’s not selling. You’re not given a lot of info about the company itself, e.g. budget, target market, etc. so you need to extract that information from him. You’ll then use that information to make recommendations as to which product the client should invest in and sell in their stores. But don’t give the client recommendations in your initial meeting, even if they ask for it, which they will. When they ask, just say something like you need to gain more information about the company before making a recommendation and that during your next meeting you’ll be more prepared to recommend a strategy. So during the initial meeting you basically have to try and extract as much info as you can from the client to figure out the type of company they are and which product would do the best in the their company, base it on information you get in the pack and on what you get from the client. Just get the client to talk about their business, if they fall quiet, just keep asking follow-up questions, which will be helpful when you try to come up with a recommendation. Then you’re given time to review the information and come up with a recommendation. You then have a second and final meeting with the client to discuss your recommendation, make sure you back it up with the sales figures you’ve received in the booklet and the info they gave you. Internalise the role and try to act as you would in an actual client meeting.

As for the group exercise, ours was different. We were given 10 major innovations and had to rank them in order of how significant their impact is on our lives today. For example, they gave us money, electricity, the wheel, etc. I guess you could get anything really, and it’s not really something you can prepare for. Just be natural, it’s obvious when some people try to be too keen, and keep saying things like does everyone agree, as a show to the assessors. Just be natural, say it once, make sure everyone’s on board and then move on. Try to encourage quieter members of the team, that’s always a big plus. Try to facilitate the conversation, if people get carried away and go off topic, bring them back on task. Also, time keep, that’s really important too. If you have an idea on how to start, try to be the first to say it, if you’re not, don’t worry about it, there are loads of opportunities during the exercise to show that you’re a team player.

We also had a presentation. Keep in mind that I applied for the Communication and Change Management program, so the presentation content may be different depending on your chosen field. We were given information about a company that wanted to introduce a change to their pension plan for employees. This was going to generally lead to a lower-valued scheme and would potentially upset employees and other stakeholders. We had to identify the communication tools to use to communicate the change to the employees/stakeholders, the risks involved with the change, the stakeholders, and the success factors/measures. The key with these presentations is to spend enough time on each section and to be confident about your content. They gave us writing material and a poster to use, make sure you use it. But make sure you’re concise. I saw some people writing long sentences, make sure you’re only using bullet points, with just a few words in each line, just enough to remind you of what you want to say and enough to be informative. So for my risks, this is what my bullet points looked like:
-employee dissatisfaction
-bad publicity
And a couple of others that I can’t remember now, but the point is that they need to be really brief. Try to avoid looking at your notes, if you need to refer back to them once or twice, that’s fine, but if you can do it off by heart that’s great. Just make sure the presentation makes sense and that your information is consistent. And be confident!

Hope this helps. If anyone has further questions, don’t hesitate to pm me. Good luck!

#17

Hi mnn78,

Thank you for your sharing.
I want to ask how long would they give you to read and prepare for the presentation. How many information is in the material, such as how many pages, does it include figures, numbers, etc. It is a brief of a pension paln or it also contains the information of other papers relate to this plan. How long for the presentation?
BTW, will you do some writting exercise or other online test?

Sorry for so many questions.
Hope you good luck to get their offer.

#18

Hey FeiSha, we were given 35 minutes to prepare for the presentation i think. it was enough time, but you have to work fast from the start. i honestly don’t remember how many pages, maybe 4-6? something like that. it contained info about the company, their current plan, the new plan they want to introduce, ur task. that’s as much as i can remeebr unfortunately.

We didn’t have a written exercise or online tests for my program, but I’m not sure what others are like. I’ve heard that there are written exercises for some.

Hope this helps! Feel free to ask anymore questions you have. Good luck

#19

Hi mnn78, thanks. Are all candidates for the same position or same division?

#20

I recently completed an assessment centre for AC in London. Experience was similar to mnn78 but we did not have to do a presentation. The day ran from about 8:45am to 4:00pm.

  1. Overview of company and AC
  2. CV-based interview with competencies (45 min), similar to telephone interview but more targeted towards past experience (2 interviewers)
  3. Role play - mobile phone case similar to what other people have mentioned in this forum (preparation with reading, 15 min interview with client, more time to prepare response, and 15 min follow-up meeting with client) (1 client and 1 assessor)
  4. Problem solving interview (45 min) - the problem solving portion involved market sizing type questions (e.g. “how many tvs are in the UK?”) and more curveball type questions (e.g. “how many bricks are in a house?”). Main goal here is to see your thought process, as my interviewer told me specifically that I did not need to do the actual calculations; also asked for commercial awareness - specifically knowledge of actuary field, testing requirements, definition of defined benefits, etc. (1 interviewer)
  5. Group interview, similar to what mnn78 mentioned with regards to listing 10 major innovations in order as a team. (20 minutes) With about 5 minutes left, they added 2 more innovations to evaluate (4 assessors)

Good luck!