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Interview: Tips & Advice


"My best tips are to make a comprehensive but concise application, do some preparation for the test and be yourself for the interview and assessment day. I would recommend preparing for the interview by understanding what an engineering consultancy is and how they operate. I did not pass the interview on my technical knowledge but more on how I think and my enthusiasm."
Entry level, Glasgow and Edinburgh
"Read up on the company's values and ethics and make sure that none of your answers go against these in any way. Read up on some of the interesting projects that the company has worked on and try to incorporate these into an answer."
Graduate, Bristol
"Having a basic understanding of industry best practice methods for project management would be useful. It's also good to understand the markets and clients that we work for in some way."
Graduate, London
"The interview was good. The interviewers were friendly and tried to make me feel as comfortable and relaxed as possible. The interview included competencies and technical questions, nothing too complicated or difficult. My tips are to revise basic concepts related to the job that you are applying for. Think of challenges you've overcome, work experience, skills and future growth plans."
Graduate, Glasgow
"The are multiple steps in the application process including an online application form, online tests (mathematical and logical), a telephone interview and an assessment centre (including a face-to-face interview). For the best chance of success, make sure you know about the role you're applying for as well as the company so that you can demonstrate that you know what you're talking about."
Graduate, Stockton-on-Tees
"Presentation skills are a necessary evil and you'll be required to present in your interview. You need to be comfortable speaking to new people all of the time (including people more senior to you) and presentation skills can demonstrate that you are. In this line of work we are selling our skills as engineers so need to be able to show how competent we are."
Graduate, Warrington
"When I applied, I had to complete a situational judgement test followed by aptitude tests. I was then invited for a telephone interview followed by an assessment centre. If possible, apply as a summer/placement student well ahead of your graduate application. This will give you an insight into the company and set you up better for the interview as you'll develop very quickly in a short space of time, which could give you an edge over other applicants. This may also mean you can go straight to the interview stage when applying as a graduate."
Graduate, Birmingham
"I had to do two online tests and was then invited to an assessment centre. The assessment centre takes a full day and includes tests, interviews and a group exercise. The day also involves getting to know the company with graduates and senior staff in attendance to talk to you about their work."
Mid level, Epsom
"Be yourself and have how you can bring value to the company very clear in your mind. Know Atkins' values and make sure that they are aligned with your own values."
Experienced, Epsom
"The assessment day is an opportunity to impress the employers so make sure that you're punctual and give a good first impression. Practise psychometric tests before sitting the application form and use real world examples in the one-to-one interview to demonstrate actual cases."
Graduate, Epsom


"Approach the application with an open mind and enjoy it. Know your CV, but more importantly know your subject area. Practise your public speaking, debating and presentation skills too."
Graduate Civil Engineer, Epsom
"You should read about the company's projects, especially in your sector of choice, and have some knowledge (both technical and general) about your role. Prepare for a short written assignment and presentation as well."
Graduate Structural Engineer,
"Learn about the organisation and the type of work that the specific business sector does when you are applying. Mention any examples of your versatility, be personable and show that you will be good at client-facing tasks."
Human Factors Consultant, London
"Know the relevance of your work experiences to the sector you are applying for and know about some of the current projects the sector is involved in."
Consultant, Manchester
"Make sure you review the company website thoroughly before the interview, and prepare for your presentation: you should practise it several times before the day. Dress the part and socialise during the lunch break."
Graduate Project Manager, London
"Apply on the online portal, followed by a telephone interview and then an assessment centre day. Make sure to be really enthusiastic and show an interest in the projects the interviewers discuss. Just make sure you know why you want to be at Atkins - you don't necessarily need a load of experience in the specific area you're applying for, but make sure you know what you want to achieve in your career."
Graduate Transport Planner, Leeds
"The first stage was an online application form, next a 15-minute telephone interview and then a one day assessment centre. Before the interview make sure you have a good understanding of what an engineering consultancy company does, and why you want to work for Atkins. For the assessment centre make sure you have an awareness of issues facing the industry you have applied to, and any relevant technical information."
Graduate Process Engineer, London
"Have a sound understanding of your previous experience and the projects you have worked on. It doesn't matter if it's not directly relevant to the role you will do, but if you can show that you are able to learn and understand, it goes a long way."
Graduate Environmental Scientist, Epsom
"The assessment centre for the graduate scheme is long and covers a lot of areas. Research Atkins and some of the projects it has done, make sure you practise answers to HR questions or have scenarios in mind that could be used as examples in HR questions. Be yourself, be interested and ask questions, it's ok to clarify things being asked of you and shows you are trying to answer the best way possible by thinking about the question more."
Graduate Environmental Scientist, Warrington
"Do your research regarding the fields in which the section of the company you are applying for works. Relax, they are mostly looking for 'people' people, Atkins is a consultancy so it's all about how you can fit in to the team and whether you would be okay at being put in front of the client."
Graduate Mechanical Engineer, Bristol


"Actively research the company, paying attention to the type of services offered, the projects that they engage with and the values that they look to promote to staff."
Graduate, Birmingham
"The most important thing to prepare for is to have some good explanations of events in your past that demonstrate your skills and abilities. Additionally, practise presenting short simple ideas."
Graduate, Epsom
"Try to get work experience or a work placement here when studying at university so as to build up a relationship with the company. My tips for interview are that you should not be a dominating character during team exercises."
Graduate, Aberdeen
"Get plenty of experience, both work and life experience. The company wants to employ people who can work with other people, as cooperation and teamwork are key parts of the company's culture."
Graduate, Stockton
"Research the company, understanding what Atkins does in general and in the specific area noted on your application form. Understand the Atkins competencies and how they can relate to academic and extra-curricular activities that you have undertaken in the past. Use STAR when answering questions. Use the assessment centre as a chance to find out about the business, ask lots of questions, talk to people and see if the company is a good fit for you"
Graduate, Swindon
"Practice structural qualitative analysis. The technical questions are to gauge your general knowledge of structures and how they behave. Make sure to have prepared answers for the usual questions about demonstrating a time when you dealt with a difficult situation, demonstrated leadership, etc."
Graduate, Epsom
"Demonstrating that you are a genuinely honest person who is willing to learn and make the best out of any situation will stand you in good stead. More specific things that they will look for are evidence of a client focused outlook; an ability to act on own initiative and be pro-active; an ability to effectively work with a wide range of stakeholders; and at least a basic understanding of business and project management."
Graduate, London
Our 'Inside Buzz' reviews are the comments and views of recent graduate recruits, giving you a view of what it may be like to work for an organisation. Copyright of all TARGETjobs Inside Buzz material lies solely with GTI Media.