Preparing for Aon’s virtual graduate assessment day

Aon’s early careers team explains how you can prepare for its assessment centre, research the company and get yourself in the right frame of mind to take part successfully.

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Aon’s virtual graduate assessment centre is a core element in how it selects students for its graduate career programmes. To help, Aon’s early careers team hosted a webinar full of useful advice. We’ve pulled together these tips on how to prepare for the tasks at Aon’s assessment centres while giving you some information about what to expect on the day.

Aon has a range of graduate schemes. Whether you’ll end up working in insurance, reinsurance or risk management, you will have completed the same assessed activities as the final part of its selection process.

If you’re invited to an assessment centre you’re encouraged to join a briefing session, which allows you to connect with the early careers team and get some more hints and tips before you take part. In the meantime, read on to get a sense of what Aon is looking for and the most important advice it wants you to follow for each activity.

How the Aon assessment day is structured

The structure of Aon’s assessment centre is:

  • a group activity, typically lasting for about an hour
  • short break
  • presentation with questions at the end
  • short break
  • a one-to-one interview with someone from a specific team that links to the stream that you’ve applied for.

You’re asked to complete a written activity prior to the day. This is something that you can complete in your own time. Aon will send you the instructions and guidance you need to complete the task.

Essential tips for Aon’s virtual assessment centre

Before the day:

Get an idea of what the company does and of the role you’re applying for. Make good use of the company’s website:

  • Get an overview of what Aon does – which is more than just insurance. What is that interests you? What does Aon do that helps its clients and how?
  • Read the news section, and general news sites for industry trends. Think about how what you hear in the news could impact Aon’s clients and what Aon might do as a solution.
  • You might also want to watch Aon’s webinars and see if you can speak to anyone from your university who now works for Aon.

Note: you’re not expected to know everything about the industry. To effectively articulate your motivation for applying, focus on a few key things that you find interesting and be thoughtful about what you read. This will come across as more authentic than trying to memorise lots of facts.

What Aon is looking for with the graduate assessment group activity

Group work is a chance for you to show your skills in team working, communication and problem solving a challenge that Aon sets you. Teamwork is key. This means knowing what your strengths are and using them – and supporting your team colleagues to use their strengths.

Aon is looking for graduates who can delegate – the point of being in a team is not to do everything yourself. Bounce off others. Active listening is all-important; it shows you take seriously the day-to-day goal of working as a team. Listening to others also brings home the fact that there will always be a range of opinions. And be assured, there’s not always a right answer in terms of what Aon’s assessors look for. It is important, however, to be able to express the rationale behind your answers.

Use the chat function if required. Online, it can be trickier to gauge how to speak in turn. If a fellow student talks over you, don’t take it personally. Re-enter the conversation via a shared message. You can also use the chat function to take notes in a way that is visible to the recruiters, rather than writing on a piece of paper no one can see.

Online, it can also be difficult to know if someone is listening to you – so do your colleagues a favour (and visibly be a good team worker) by doing a spot of head nodding. And trust that the recruiters will listen to you – it’s their job to do so and you don’t have to be loud to get their attention. Keep on expressing yourself even if it seems the group will never be able to agree (in other words, don’t be disheartened and fall into silence).

Do watch your timings, however. As with any type of communication, it’s easier to follow succinct and well-made observations and questions as opposed to longwinded, unfocused rambling.

You might want to observe your body language. Sit up with your back to the back of the chair. Good posture can help with confidence.

Advice for the presentation

Be positive. Aon is a solution driven business. It wants to know how you can look forward and make improvements.

Do rehearse – don’t learn every line you’ll speak but be very clear about your key points and the structure of your presentation. People tend to speak too quickly when they present. Avoid doing this – and do make timing your presentation a part of your rehearsals.

Tackling the interview at Aon’s virtual assessment day

Top tip: use the STAR technique to answer questions.

Situation. What is the context of what you’re explaining? This situation can be drawn from a study, work experience, volunteering or any other relevant event. Be as specific as possible.

Task. Describe your responsibility in that situation.

Action. Describe how you completed the task and met the challenge.

Result. Explain the outcomes and results. What did you learn?

Check your technology

Finally, do check your laptop and internet connection before assessment day. Aon uses WebEx for its assessment centres. As a backup plan, it recommends that everyone has the WebEx app on their phone or mobile device so that if they can't connect through their laptop, they can join through their phone.

You’ll find a recording of Aon’s webinar about how to prepare for assessment centres on its organisation profile .

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