Environmental Interview Questions

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  • Forestry Commission - Graduate Development Programme Opportunities

    5.0/5 | Interview date: April 2015 | Job offer? Yes |

    Was this helpful? Yes 0

    Sectors: Environmental

    Difficulty rating 20.0 / 100

    Interview process

    The final interview took place at the end of a gruelling four month application process. It began with several online tests, and then moved to an "X-Factor Style Interview". This was a five minute interview, during which we had to present an object that summed up why we wanted to work for the forestry commission. I made and took with me an insect hotel created from wood cut from my own garden. The next stage was a full day at an assessment centre in Stirling. The final stage was an interview in Edinburgh. This was with a panel of three members of senior management and lasted roughly an hour.

    Most difficult question

    Describe a risk you have taken that has not paid off.

    Interview tips

    Be yourself. At the end of the day with a process this long if you are faking it you will be found out. They value honesty and are looking for a certain type of person. If you are a good fit (as I was) then that will ring true and you will be well rewarded.

    Experiences at the assessment centre

    There were four parts to the day: Group exercise, presentation, role play and psychoanalytical interview. In the group exercise we were split into four teams and asked to trade blocks in order to make cubes of certain values. This really tested our risk aversion, teamwork and ability to negotiate. The presentation was a ten minute presentation after being handed a document to study. We were given an hour to assimilate the information into a coherent presentation. The role play was very interesting, we were given the role of a member of management who had to deal with the antisocial attitude of a member of the gardening team. The gardener was played by a professional actor and was very convincing. The analysis was simply a read back of an online questionnaire with opportunities to question and reason the assumptions that were made from our answers.

    Interview steps

    Interviews

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

    Tests

    • Numerical
    • Personality
    • Verbal reasoning
    • Psychometric

    Other

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

    Rating the interview

    • How would you rate the pre-attendance information? 5/5
    • How well was the interview organised? 5/5
    • What was your overall impression of the organisation? 5/5
    • What was your overall impression of the selection process? 5/5
    • Did the interview reflect the overall values / culture of the organisation? 5/5
    • Would you recommend this company to a friend? 5/5
    • Did you want the role following your interview? 5/5
  • Assistant Sustainability Office

    3.5714/5 | Interview date: June 2014 | Job offer? Yes |

    Was this helpful? Yes 0

    Sectors: Environmental

    Difficulty rating 80.0 / 100

    Interview process

    I had a personal interview with my now line manager where we discussed my interests with regards to sustainability and also how my core research skills would relate to the roll. This lasted 45 minutes.
    The interview was unconventional as we started talking about smart cities an area of mutual interest. Because of this the interview became more like a conversation where we swapped knowledge of academics on the subject.

    Most difficult question

    The most difficult question I was asked was probably 'what is your biggest failing?' It is difficult to tailor this question to the job role whilst still making yourself look good.

    Interview tips

    Although at the outset the interview system seems very formal they definitely appreciate some warmth from applicants. It is also valuable to express your knowledge of the role, be friendly forward and outgoing.

    Experiences at the assessment centre

    We began with a group interview, the first was our ability to sell a household object, I had to sell a notepad to the senior management.
    The second test was our ability to reason with each other, this took the form of a thought experiment about people trapped in a cave, we had to make decisions on who had to live and who had to die. We did this as a team.
    The final section of the group interview was a debate, we were given sides to argue on the subject of fox hunting, I was for and the opponent against. We were then told to swap, this tested our ability to make reasoned arguments about things we might no care about.
    I was also given a timetable, a group of projects and some imaginary interns and had to order my workload with explanations on why I had chosen the order I did.

    Interview steps

    Interviews

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

    Tests

    • Numerical
    • Personality
    • Verbal reasoning
    • Psychometric

    Other

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

    Rating the interview

    • How would you rate the pre-attendance information? 3/5
    • How well was the interview organised? 5/5
    • What was your overall impression of the organisation? 5/5
    • What was your overall impression of the selection process? 3/5
    • Did the interview reflect the overall values / culture of the organisation? 1/5
    • Would you recommend this company to a friend? 3/5
    • Did you want the role following your interview? 5/5
  • Veolia Water Graduate

    3.7143/5 | Interview date: June 2013 | Job offer? Not yet |

    Was this helpful? Yes 6

    Sectors: Environmental

    Difficulty rating 80.0 / 100

    Interview process

    I have had an initial phone interview for the application process and am waiting to hear back from them as to whether I have got through to the assessment center.
    My preparation for the phone interview was slightly wrong as I ad prepared alot on the company but I was only asked on the graduate scheme specifically.
    I was asked 6 questions which I was told would be given a score.
    Questions were along the lines of:
    -Why did you chose to apply to a graduate scheme?
    -Why did you decide to apply to Veolia specifically?
    -Why are you successful? Draw upon past experiences
    -Why do you think you will be successful on the graduate scheme?
    -As a graduate on this scheme, who do you think your main competitors will be?
    -What are you passionate about?

    The interview lasted approximately 20 minutes.

    Most difficult question

    I struggled with questions related to the graduate scheme specifically because the description of the scheme which i applied for said very little on the role I would be doing. Therefore in order to answer the questions, I would have been required to do extra research into the graduate scheme so that I had alot of detail and information on it.
    I was unable to answer the question about the customers I would experience on the scheme as I didn't know the job description and so wasn't sure of the things I would be doing with the scheme.

    Interview tips

    The initial phone interview was very specifically related to the graduate scheme and nothing else.
    If I was to do it again, I would have gained more detailed information on the scheme to guarantee that I got through the phone interview. I would have maybe rang up the company and asked them questions on the scheme and the tasks I would be doing as the advertisement offered very little information.

    Experiences at the assessment centre

    Haven't had it yet

    Interview steps

    Interviews

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

    Tests

    • Numerical
    • Personality
    • Verbal reasoning
    • Psychometric

    Other

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

    Rating the interview

    • How would you rate the pre-attendance information? 3/5
    • How well was the interview organised? 4/5
    • What was your overall impression of the organisation? 4/5
    • What was your overall impression of the selection process? 4/5
    • Did the interview reflect the overall values / culture of the organisation? 3/5
    • Would you recommend this company to a friend? 4/5
    • Did you want the role following your interview? 4/5
  • Mott Macdonald - 2013 UK Environment Graduate Scheme

    3.8571/5 | Interview date: June 2013 | Job offer? No |

    Was this helpful? Yes 26

    Sectors: Environmental

    Difficulty rating 60.0 / 100

    Interview process

    After applying for the graduate scheme, I received a phone call from a recruitment administrator asking if I would mind working in one of their Norwich offices and if I would like to attend an interview. After agreeing, I was given an interview date and told I would be asked a variety of questions covering my education, career aspirations, knowledge of Mott MacDonald and my competencies.
    My interview was with two employers of the company that are managers of the project I would do if given the job.
    It was a really informal, relaxed interview which I didn't expect at all. The beginning part was just general chatter about what the job would involve, training I would do and what the company does. I added in what I knew about the company to show I had done my research on them.
    Having two interviewers meant the atmosphere was more chilled than just a one to one interview as both the interviewers were contributing to the interview as well as talking to each other.

    The interview wasn't structured with set questions but more like just a chat where the questions asked were related to the answers I had given so that they could gain more information about me and the reasons why I had made choices in my life for instance why I decided to do my degree.
    The interview was quite focused on my university studies and the modules I studied and what I like about them. I was also then asked to look at a printed version of the job description and say which things I think I would be able to do and things that I think I would struggle with and maybe need additional training for.
    I was asked to describe a time where I have shown various skills such as problem solving and when I have had to make a difficult decision, but there was only a few of these questions.
    Overall it didn't feel like an interview as there wasn't straight forward structured questions but more of just a discussion. The interviewers told me a lot about themselves and what their jobs entail which was nice to find out about them as I didnt feel like all the questions were just on me.

    Most difficult question

    I struggled with questions relating to the company. For instance, 'What are the challenges that face this industry?' and 'What are MottMacdonald's main competitors and what makes us more successful than them?'

    Interview tips

    Make sure you have the basic information covered.
    -Know about your degree, the modules studied and why you have chosen your degree and are passionate about it.
    -know about the job position and why you are applying for it
    -know about the company and up to date information about what are the challenges the company faces and its main competitors as if you are asked this you don't want to be caught out without an answer.
    -don't worry about having structured answers to questions, just be able to chat and get your skills across.
    -I prepared specific answers I thought I would be asked but wasn't asked on any of them so I tried to incorporate them into other answers.
    -have a few questions to ask them as it makes you look genuninely interested for instance, what training do you offer for your graduates?

    Experiences at the assessment centre

    I only had one interview

    Interview steps

    Interviews

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

    Tests

    • Numerical
    • Personality
    • Verbal reasoning
    • Psychometric

    Other

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

    Rating the interview

    • How would you rate the pre-attendance information? 5/5
    • How well was the interview organised? 4/5
    • What was your overall impression of the organisation? 4/5
    • What was your overall impression of the selection process? 4/5
    • Did the interview reflect the overall values / culture of the organisation? 2/5
    • Would you recommend this company to a friend? 4/5
    • Did you want the role following your interview? 4/5

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