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With over 100 offices throughout the UK, Atkins is the UK’s largest engineering and design consultancy. The Atkins graduate scheme takes in approximately 300 university graduates every year. Moreover, the Atkins graduate salary for a graduate is one of the best around with the successful candidate getting a “golden hello” of £5,000 just for getting into the company.

The Atkins Graduate Scheme

After you have chosen your selected field you will need to fill in an online application form. This is a fairly standard form and you will be given the opportunity to upload your CV to the site. There are however, some competency questions that you will have to answer.

Below are some example questions:

  • Why have you chosen to apply to work for Atkins?
  • Why have you chosen to apply for this particular job and why are your skills suited to this position?
  • What are your career aspirations?
  • What extra-curricular activities have you been involved in and did you hold any position of authority in them?
  • How have you built up a successful relationship that has helped you succeed delivering a project or task in a timely and professional manner?

These questions give you a chance to show off. This isn't a time to be bashful and self-deprecating. They want to know why you are the best person for the job. Therefore it is highly recommended that you follow the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, and Result) to answer these questions. If you do well enough in this stage of the process, you will go forward to the next step of application, the Atkins psychometric tests.

The Atkins Psychometric Tests

Once you have completed the application form you will be invited to do some psychometric tests. There are two tests that you are asked to complete: a numerical reasoning test and either a verbal or inductive reasoning test. These assessments need to be completed in the same sitting within a week of receiving the email. You must pass the tests in order for your application form to be considered and to progress through the stages. The Atkins assessments are provided by CEB’s SHL and are considered to be amongst the hardest engineering application tests, so it is vital that you prepare carefully ahead of taking the tests.

Atkins Numerical Test

The Atkins numerical reasoning test is slightly different to the tests you may be used to. This is test is designed to assess how well you understand and apply numerical information. You have 20 minutes to answer 24 questions. You are given information in a table, chart, graph or even just in a sentence or two. There are four questions on each information set. Each question is followed by six answer options for you to choose the correct one. In order to answer correctly you must be able to calculate the answer using the basic functions, percentages or more. With under a minute allocated to answer each question you need to work quickly and accurately through the test. Practice your skills and improve your technique with our practice packs.

The Atkins Verbal Reasoning Test

Following the numerical test, you may be asked to sit a verbal reasoning test. This assessment is 20 minutes long with 24 questions in it, and is designed to assess your ability to understand written information. In this test you are given a passage of text followed by a question. Each question has four statements below it, and your role is to identify the two statements that are true on the basis of the information contained in the passage. The content of each text is a topic that someone in Atkins may work with. There are four questions per text. This test is considered to be somewhat difficult, and it follows a different format to the verbal reasoning tests you may be used to. Taking practice tests helps you speed up your reading of each text, understand how to identify statements as true, and develop techniques for answering questions. Prepare for this test with our specially created SHL-style practice pack.

The Atkins Inductive Reasoning Test

Alternatively, you maybe asked to sit an inductive reasoning, also known as logical reasoning. This is a 20 minute assessment with 24 questions which uses shapes and patterns rather than words and numbers to present information. In inductive reasoning tests, you are presented with a series of shapes that follow certain pattern. Your task is to determine the pattern which links all the shapes, and choose from the answers provided which shape would fit best according to the pattern. Tests like these are tricky as they rely on pure logic. Hone your skills in preparation for the real test with our SHL-style inductive reasoning pack.

If you do well enough on these tests, you will be invited to have a telephone interview which Atkins call a telephone briefing call.

The Atkins Interview

If your Atkins psychometric tests are good enough, you will receive a call asking you to take part in a telephone interview. This interview will be with graduate advisor. In this interview you will discuss your application and you will be given some more details of the job itself. This interview focuses mainly on competency and therefore it is really important to answer clearly and confidently. You will be asked about your skill set as well as your interest in Atkins. One of the most important things that Atkins stress is that of curiosity to uncover something new. What this means is that they are always striving to be better and improve the world as a whole. Take this into account when answering the Atkins interview questions as there are buzz words in the company.

Some possible questions in this 15- 30 minute interview are:

  • Why have you applied to Atkins?
  • Tell me about your degree and why you chose it?
  • How does this degree help you in this particular job?
  • What skills do you bring to Atkins?
  • You may also be asked the questions that you have already answered in the online application form.

If you come through this stage of the process, you will move on to the Atkins assessment day.

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