Energy & Utilities Interview Questions

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  • Operations Analyst

    2.5714/5 | Interview date: July 2017 | Job offer? No |

    Was this helpful? Yes 0

    Sectors: Energy & Utilities

    Difficulty rating 60.0 / 100

    Interview process

    They sent me an email with the date and time of the phone interview and a case scenario where the energy service of a customer was changed. The role description seemed more like an engineering role but the interview was a customer service role play with the case scenario they sent, where I had to play the part of the company and give answers to the client, more like a sales representative. Then they asked the regular questions about why did you apply for the role and what did you like about the company.

    Most difficult question

    Playing the part of a customer service/salesperson and having to invent a story of benefits a company might have

    Interview tips

    Read carefully the role description and ask questions to define if it actually corresponds to what you are expecting. For the customer service case, make sure you previously made up a whole story about the company's services and be convincing during the interview, as you will be selling a service

    Experiences at the assessment centre

    During the phone interview, they asked me to play the role of a customer service analyst

    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? 3/5
    • What was your overall impression of the selection process? 2/5
    • Did the interview reflect the overall values / culture of the organisation? 3/5
    • Would you recommend this company to a friend? 2/5
    • Did you want the role following your interview? 1/5
  • Severn Trent - Graduate Business Leadership Programme UK

    4.8571/5 | Interview date: July 2015 | Job offer? Yes |

    Was this helpful? Yes 12

    Sectors: Energy & Utilities

    Difficulty rating 40.0 / 100

    Interview process

    After submitting my CV, the first stage was in taking several online tests, in numerical and verbal reasoning, for which I was given some advance warning and advice on preparation. These were very difficult to complete in the allotted time! The intent was for judging whether under pressure you could achieve a good balance of quality vs quantity.

    My initial telephone interview was conducted by a member of their recruitment team and lasted for around 30 minutes. During this time, I was asked to discuss what I understood about the company and the role I had applied for, asked why I had applied (with reference to any relevant experience or proven interests), asked about my degree and what I had enjoyed about it, and finally asked a couple of competency based questions, regarding working in a team and discussing a time when I had been faced with a difficult work colleague. Finally, I was asked to ask any questions I had.

    Most difficult question

    Explain a time when you have had problems when working in a team and how did you face these issues?

    Interview tips

    Prepare by researching the company values and recent press releases so you can always ask a question about recent events if the interviewer has already answered all of the tradition fall back questions!

    The company value individuality and a bubbly personality - try to remain positive and upbeat throughout the day, and be prepared to be adaptable in case someone pips you to the post to lead the group exercise. Someone did that to me so I quickly piped up and said I'd record what was said so we could present more effectively at the end.

    Experiences at the assessment centre

    Upon being successful at the interview stage, I was called to a full day assessment centre, which would also include a one-on-one interview with a member of senior management. This interview stage was first, and lasted for an hour. It was essentially a more detailed version of the telephone interview, which also allowed for a more relaxed atmosphere. Some main questions focussed on what I liked about the company and where I thought the main challenges were, as well as further competency based questions, some of which were repeated from the earlier stages. Following this interview, there were two exercises - one was individual, and required a hour of critical analysis of some arguments, selection of one to back, writing a report explaining your choice, and then presenting your explanation to persuade, one-on-one, a member of senior management toward your way of thinking. The second exercise was a group exercise, conducted in a scenario of a meeting preparing to present to the board of directors (in front of a board of examining recruitment staff) and then presenting as a group to that board.

    The whole day lasted about 6 hours, and involved lunch and some chance to chat to current graduates.

    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? 4/5
    • 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
  • Scottish Power - Business & Marketing Graduate Programme

    3.5714/5 | Interview date: January 2015 | Job offer? Not yet |

    Was this helpful? Yes 2

    Sectors: Energy & Utilities

    Difficulty rating 40.0 / 100

    Interview process

    The interviewer started by going through personal details and explained the type of topics we are going to discuss. The interview was not focused on my knowledge about the company but it was more of a competency based interview.

    They first asked me to give an example where I contributed as part of a team and delivered results to a task. This was a straightforward question, although the time was very limited to answer.

    The next question was very simple, and asked about the tools and resources I used to research the company, again very short time to answer.

    The most challenging question was about my problem solving skills. "Describe a situation where I had to change my approach about completing a task due to a change in information." I felt appropriate time was given to think about the answer although it was hard to tell whether my answer was as crispy as they would like it to be.

    In overall, the interview lasted about 25 minutes. The telephone interviewer was a third party recruitment agency which was a huge disappointment as there was no room to ask questions about the role.

    Most difficult question

    "Describe a situation where I had to change my approach about completing a task due to a change in information."

    Interview tips

    Do you self-analysis about your skills and make sure you check the company's requirements. Have to give examples of team work skills and problem solving skills during telephone interview.

    Verbal reasoning and numerical test were challenging enough so do recommend practising them. The process has numerous stages and does not allow your personality to come through as it is all done online.

    Experiences at the assessment centre

    Not relevant due to telephone 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? 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? 3/5
    • 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
  • Graduate Nuclear Safety Consultant

    4.4286/5 | Interview date: July 2013 | Job offer? No |

    Was this helpful? Yes 55

    Sectors: Energy & Utilities

    Difficulty rating 60.0 / 100

    Interview process

    Initially applied to Atkins via their website. The application process was fairly simple not taking more than an hour. A week later I was sent numerical and verbal reasoning tests to carry out.

    Approximately a month later I was contacted on my mobile for an on the spot telephone interview. Fortunately I was busy at the time and rearranged for the next day.

    The telephone interview lasted between 10 - 15 minutes and asked the following questions:
    - Why Atkins
    - Why nuclear
    - What interests you about this position
    At the end of the telephone interview she congratulated me and told me that I would be invited to the assessment centre next week and she would email me the details.

    Most difficult question

    None of the competency based questions are difficult. Remember to use the STAR technique.

    The difficult questions arise in the technical portion of the assessment centre. Make sure you go over the basics in terms of material balances, reaction engineering, controls and safety.

    Interview tips

    Be confident. In your breaks, talk to the other candidates and employees. Find out more about their work and make it seem as if you're interested. Make it obvious.

    Experiences at the assessment centre

    The assessment centre lasts approximately a day from 9am to 3pm. The assessment centre will take place at the office in which you applied. Mine was in the Bristol office, however talking to peers who had assessment centres with Atkins in other cities for different positions the layout of the day is exactly the same.

    The day starts off with a presentation from the Atkins team followed by short introductions of ourselves. In total there were 6 candidates of which there were 2 positions for the office. After this we were all given an individual timetable of the activities that we would be doing throughout the day. Each person had a random arrangement of the activities, except for the group one. In no particular order the activities were as follows:

    Writing test:
    You are given 45 minutes to complete a task. You imagine you are a consultant working for Atkins and you have been given £10 million for the regeneration of a fictional city. You have different things you can spend this money on, however you have to try and accomodate for all the different stakeholders. You have to write a plan stating what you will do with the money and why. You also have to create a stakeholder management plan.
    The key here isn't to get it finished. It is to be able to think carefully about what you do and being able to successfully articulate this. This is something I did, and although I didn't finish it, when I got my feedback they thought it was an excellent piece and said outright to me that they didn't expect anyone to finish it.


    Presentation:
    The presentation won't necessarily be automatically after the writing test, but won't be before. You now have to present your idea to one of the government officials. You are given 15 minutes to prepare and 7 minutes to present. You are given a flipchart and pens which you can use to help you. My advice would be to use it! Following the presentation there will be a few questions regarding it. Nothing too difficult.

    Technical test:
    This was the most difficult part of the day in my opinion. Everyone struggled with this. This is a written technical exam that lasts 45 minutes, with no calculator.
    The first portion was quite simple. It is a mass balance over a reactor and you need to find the amount of water required in order to separate two substances. Revise the basics.
    Then things start to get more complicated with reaction engineering and controlling reactors as well as the different types of separation processes.
    The second portion is you are given a scenario, you have a tank that has excess residue of nuclear waste, how would you remove it. The answer is quite simple. Then theres a few questions regarding how you would stop it from overflowing, the different types of pumps and safety.

    Technical interview:
    This along with the test was the most difficult. You walk through your answers to the technical exam with the interviewers. They'll try and help you as much as possible to guide you towards the correct answer.

    Competency interview:
    Easiest part of the day in my opinion. Basic competency questions like:
    - Tell me about a time you worked with someone difficult?
    - What was your greatest achievement?


    Group task:
    This is pretty much like most other group task done at other assessment centres. Since there were only 6 of us, all of us were together as one big group. We had been commissioned to create a new tourist attraction in a fictional country. There were a number of things we could do, we had to choose one, choose a location within the country and justify. This is all about how you work as a team. You don't have to be the leader to be successful is the advice I was given. So don't jump in to lead, get others involved who aren't speaking as much. Listen, explain. Imagine noone is watching you (Expect there are approximately 10 people all with eyes on the table in the middle watching everything you do - No pressure :) )!

    Lunch happens before the group task and you get to meet some of the graduates on the scheme. Talk to them and find out about the work.

    I heard back from them after two weeks via email being informed I didn't get the job. I then arranged a time for them to call me for feedback, which was then given.

    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? 3/5
    • Did you want the role following your interview? 3/5

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