Difficulty Rating


Interview experience







  • Sales Executive

    Difficulty Rating


    Interview process

    I applied to Pareto through their website-I did apply for a specific role but I cannot remember what this was now. Within a day or so, I was left a voicemail from a very pleasant female recruiter. I called her and we had a brief chat about what I wanted , what sectors I was interested in. She then invited me to proceed with a telephone interview with her, which took around ten minutes. The questions were what you might expect-
    - Why Sales
    - What do you know about Pareto
    - Tell me about a time you worked on a problem and solved it
    - Tell me about a time you had a goal or target and what you did to hit or exceed it.
    These were the sort of questions-mainly competency based. So my advice hear is as with any application, do the research and know what sort of qualities they are looking for and link these back to your experiences.
    I passed this stage, and was actually offered there and then a chance to go to a tailored assessment day for a role with Virgin Media. I could not attend this, so we rescheduled and I went to a general day about a week later. The recruiter sent me a detailed email itinerary so I knew how the day would go and what to prepare for.
    On the day, I arrived at the Wilmslow office and was registered, name badge etc. I then proceeded into a reception room with about 40/50 other grads (this was the case on both days I have been on). Yes it was a bit hot, but I don???t think this is a big deal. My advice here is to introduce yourself professionally to the others in your area, just be brave and shake hands and be friendly. This is a skill important in nearly every career so it is useful practice whatever happens. As a group we were taken into a large room with chairs (air-conditioned for those concerned) and given a short talk about the day. The staff I found were very professional, relaxed and interesting and not robots or somehow terrible in any way. I say things like this because I have read other reviews that criticise everything from the appearance of the staff to the temperature in the room, so I am trying to address these points as an aside. Try to be as un self-conscious as possible, it is only for one day after all! Try to think of something original for this section, something perhaps business focused, related to the role etc. Many people have travelled around South-East Asia on their own???I once went to Turkey all by myself, even took a public bus while I was there! We were asked to state our name, a celebrity we admire (dead or alive) and our greatest non-academic achievement.
    You will then do two group tasks in the group you are assigned-make sure you listen out for your group as the self-introductions are run through. These range from a reasonably complex points and colours based exercise to ranking essential items for a survival situation. I found, contrary to other reviews, that the ones that shouted the loudest did NOT get through. They assess your skills of communication, persuasion, logic and teamwork. I actually noticed I struggled to get a word in edgeways on both occasions-but I made contributions that were impactful, and I made sure to say ???you said this, but what about if we thought about it this way???? or ???Shall we review what the actual objective is so we do not come off track????. Take the lead if you feel the opportunity arises- read the group.
    Eat something at the break to keep your energy up-biscuits are always good for the sugar. The 3-minuite presentations come in the afternoon. It is essential to practice beforehand and focus on what they want you to do the presentation about. I broke mine down into three distinct points for each section. Weave in your experience to interact with what they look for in a candidate. This is the time to show the assessor that you are professional, confident etc. It will only be you and them in the room. [Personal presentation is important at this point, so make sure your suit fits you well and does not drown you. Same with the shirt (pale blue or white are safe bets) and a SILK tie properly done up to the neck, not skinny. Shape the knot with your fingers. Polish your shoes well. I promise this will help with confidence and making you look the part]
    Later you will be told if you are successful. I followed the above formula an I have landed a fantastic job through Pareto. Just try your very best, because they do work hard for you-I have been offered countless interviews and gone through to four different ones. The opportunity I have is astonishingly good-so the Pareto process does work for those willing to work hard.

    Most difficult question

    (For the specific assessment) Tell me what you know about X company and this role.

    Interview tips

    1) Look the part-Present yourself well. A suit that fits, a proper shirt and shoes and a silk tie properly shaped and done up. Buy a GQ for inspiration if needs be.
    2) Do your research and think about how you can present yourself as a person that fits their competency needs
    3) Be confident, talk to others and be conversational.
    4) Show yourself as the professional you are-no inappropriate remarks at any time.

    Experiences at the assessment centre

    1) A self introduction
    2) A 3-min presentation

    Interview steps


    • Phone
    • 1:1
    • Group / Panel
    • Senior Management
    • Video


    • Numerical
    • Personality
    • Verbal reasoning
    • Psychometric


    • Assessment centre
    • Group exercise
    • Background check
    • Presentation
    • Competency based questions

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