The basic application process for Mott MacDonald’s graduate programmes and internships is pretty much the same, whether you are aiming for a career in building services engineering, fire engineering, project management or management consulting. First of all, you create an account; watch a video about Mott MacDonald; answer some basic eligibility questions and fill in a diversity form. Next, you are sent a strengths-based online test. Then you complete an application form, which requires answering a couple of application questions.
Mott MacDonald uses the application process to find out about you: your interest in the field and graduate programme you are applying for; your interest in working for Mott MacDonald; and your potential for being successful in the field.
So our advice at TARGETjobs is to write an individual, tailored application.
Mott MacDonald’s strengths-based assessment tool is created by Capp. Capp defines a strength as ‘something you do regularly, that you do well, and energises you when doing it’ and Mott Macdonald states that the assessment involves video-and-scenario-based questions and a ‘numerical element’. Mott MacDonald stresses that you are not expected to prepare.
However, it will be worth you:
- becoming familiar with online tests by accessing our practice ones, especially numeracy tests and situational judgement tests.
- reflecting on what you do well and what you find motivating and energising.
- taking a look at Mott MacDonald’s values (which form the acronym PRIDE: progress, respect, integrity, drive and excellence) and identifying where and how your own values coincide with them.
The above actions will get you used to the sort of questions you might be asked and will also help guide your responses.
For more advice on strengths-based assessments, see:
There is no word count for your answers to the application questions, but you’ll need to strike a balance between giving sufficient detail and context for the recruiters to fully understand your answers and to recognise your talents, while avoiding waffle. Previously, Mott MacDonald has advised aiming for around 200 words per answer; use this as a guide, but don’t cut parts of your answer that prove you would be a good recruit in order to keep to 200 words.
The precise questions you will be asked will vary according to the role. Below are two questions from previous years. Hopefully, our tips on how to answer them will give you ideas on how to answer the ones for this scheme.
Previous Mott MacDonald application question: what has been your greatest achievement to date and why?
There are two elements to answering this question well: choosing the right achievement and explaining properly why it was an achievement. Our advice is to pick an achievement that says something unique about you and how you respond to hard work, obstacles and setbacks. Remember that an achievement by definition requires effort, skill and the courage to go out of your comfort zone. Great achievements to mention could include:
- raising money for charity and exceeding your target
- training for a marathon and beating your personal best
- building your confidence through teaching English as a foreign language or taking part in a public speaking competition
- winning a closely fought student election
- volunteering your time to work with disadvantaged children who went on to exceed expectations.
Ultimately, the secret to answering this question well lies in the telling. Whichever example you choose, you need to explain why the goal was important to you, the reasons for pursuing it and why it wasn’t going to be an easy task, what you had to do in order to achieve your goal, how you dealt with difficulties, how you found the motivation to keep going, the skills you developed and the scale of what you achieved.
Previous Mott MacDonald application question: tell us something interesting about yourself that demonstrates your interest and passion in your chosen field
Note here that Mott MacDonald is looking for one thing about your interest in the sector or job role that you are applying for. How do Mott MacDonald recruiters define ‘interesting’ in this case? Probably as something that gives them an insight into you. If you are stumped, consider whether you could write about any of the following:
- what drew you to the sector and the field in the first place
- any industry awards, bursaries or competitions that you’ve won or reached the final for
- what you learned about yourself (for example your strengths and preferred ways of working) while on work experience, when being involved with a relevant student society or when attending a networking event
- how you approached a research project or dissertation.
Whatever you write about, make sure you provide detail about how and why it proves your passion.