Watson Wyatt application


Not sure if this is the right section for posting, but I’m in need of a bit of advice for the following question:

“Describe your understanding of a) what a role in your chosen practice would involve and b) the market Watson Wyatt operates in.” (400 words max).

a) is fine. However, I’m a bit unsure about what they mean by the word ‘market’. Investment consultancy deals with practically anything with a fund: NGO’s, pension funds, rich guys, healthcare systems etc. etc. So, it’s quite troublesome really pinpointing what Watson Wyatts “market” actually is! How would you think I should go about this question?

Thanks in advance.



I completed that application form and felt just as you did.

Basically, what I talked about the areas/services they provide. They focus on human capital and financial management. Human capital services incl. employee benefits, retention and communication. Also, they manage pensions and insurance, provide a range of investment consulting (asset management, risk analysis etc.) services.

I would advise you to look through the services they provide. What I really did was write a very brief overview of that. I wrote less than 300 words in total but it was fine and I got asked for the psychometric tests.

Good luck with it!


I’M doing the numerical test tomorrow
Anyone care to share any tips please?


I did the online numerical test for watson wyatt and was unsuccessful! Any advise on how I can improve as I have tried all the practice psychometric tests at my careers service ad seem to be getting nowhere?

Any advise/comments will be appreciated



Well what was it like please?
Was it similar to the SHL practice tests?


Yep, it was similar to the SHL practice tests.

Jobless, I suggest that you look at the mistakes you made. Some of these tests have solutions and tell you what questions you got wrong. I looked through my mistakes to see what I was getting wrong, pinpointed what I tended to mess up and tried to pay extra attention to tt sort of questions.

Hope that helps. Good luck!


I had 25 mins to do 18 questions and the questions are hard, even though I am a maths student. I applied for actuarial work, so maybe they require harder numerical questions. There were a few questions that were simple, but most are difficult as I don’t know how to get the answers as u have to calculate differnet things in one question and keep track.

Does any know the past rate mark maybe if u have to reach a minimum percentage?

I don’t know how to get solutions as I don’t think they tell u the answers?


Well dont worry i just failed my test as well, which im seriously annoyed about.
More complicated than the practice tests ive done.
I was only trying to do the non-acturial route anyway.
I didn’t expect the thing that would stop me being hired was my numerical skills as i thought i was reasonable. Guess i need more practice.
good luck to all


Hi, I’ve applied for an actuarial position with watson wyatt.
I passed the online test, but there were some slightly tricky parts including a killer trick question about exchange rates which I’m sure most people got wrong. Agreed though, it was a hard test. I’m not sure what the standard is but I’m certain, unless there were any more places to trip up in that I was unaware of, I got roughly 16/18. I am however a Master’s of Maths student, so this should be my strong point.
Then I had to do verbal which was ok, but now I’m having trouble actually booking a telephone interview! There are never any slots.

For the ““Describe your understanding of a) what a role in your chosen practice would involve and b) the market Watson Wyatt operates in.” (400 words max).”

a) I talked about day-to-day roles (ie/ group meetings, regularly phoning the client), as well as talking about some of the main lines of actuarial work - pensions, life-insurance etc…

b) I concentrated on the size and scale of their clients and talked about how they regularly deal with FTSE 350 and Global500 companies. I wrote a lot more in a), than b).

I hope that helps. If anyone is interested I will post further details about the telephone interview.


The same problem…currently no slots available…Will there be any in the next few days? I doubt…


Hey Tb_yeovil

I have recently failed the numerical test, so let us know how you do at telephone stage and what it involved. It’s looking likely that I’m going to reapply next year as this year is looking blank for me cos I’m not getting anywhere.
Are u a graduate or undergraduate?
Wat actuarial position u applied for?


Ring them up and find out your mark. I was in the 37th percentile which isn’t so far from the mean, but not good enough here.
For reference, are SHL negatively marked, because i guessed the last couple of questions just so that i go an answer down? Is this a good idea?




Hi congratulations and have u booked ur telephone interview?
Do u have any clue what will they ask during the interview?

so many thanks!!


Hi All,
I passed the online tests and had my telephone interview last night, am now waiting on the results of that, fingers crossed!
My tips on the numerical test is to do all of the SHL practice tests, as the actual ones are very similar, and just scribble stuff down as you go along to keep track.
The telephone interview was fairly pleasant, starting off with why I chose the degree I did (Physics) and then why I decided to move into finance and why I wanted to be an actuary. Followed by a few questions about Watson Wyatt and the practice group I had applied for. It then finished off with some competency-based questions (~5) about the usual stuff - teamwork, communication etc.
Good luck to you all!


Hi everyone

Can anyone give any websites or books that give solutions to numerical tests? I’ve only came across the efinancialcareers website that gives solutions.
I need to understand the methods used to acheive the answers!



try shl or psl



I had the telephone interview but sadly didn’t get beyond tt. Still waiting for my feedback.

Being the geek I am, I took notes on my interview. First they asked what other companies I applied to; why I want to work for them; why I was interested in non-actuarial consulting (what I applied for). Then the competency questions: example when I improved a process or system (sth like tt); worked as a team; exceeded expectations; when it was impt for me to form a good relationship; took the initiative.

It won’t be too technical because it is HR interviewing. My only gripe was the girl interviewing me sounded really ill. I have sympathy for her but she was quite grumpy and kept interrupting me with her coughing and nose-blowing… sigh


Did they ask questions in the frame of commerical awareness?


I rung them up and left a message with the HR woman, moaning about lack of telephone interview slots. To be fair she rung me up and about 2 hours later and I now have a telephone slot on November 25 … I imagine it’s just be why did you apply to this line etc… and the usual competency stuff. It fustrates me that initial interviews in general and I imagine even more so in a telephone interview are just basically exams that you have to revise for. crap system
anyway will let people what sort of stuff they asked…


Sorry “jobless”, to answer your question I am an undergraduate and applied for Total Reward and Benefits