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The Mercer Graduate Scheme

Mercer takes in approximately 80 new graduates every year and trains them on an 18-month program with the competitive Mercer graduate salary after which they will be fully qualified. The application process for Mercer has several steps. Below we will go through each stage in detail so you'll know what to expect and how you can fully prepare yourself for each stage of the process.

The Online Application Form

After carefully choosing your desired position, you will need to fill in an online application form. Here you will have a chance to upload not only your CV but also any other supporting documents that you think are relevant to the job. Part of the application form has some questions about the role as well as some other competency questions. Examples of these questions are:

  • Describe a time where your suggestions improved an established process.
  • What professional qualification would you like and why?
  • What challenges do you think our Investment clients face?
  • What do you think this job involves and why do you want to do it?

These questions are an opportunity to help you stand out from the crowd from the word go. You should research the position thoroughly and show the knowledge that you have gleaned in your answers. Moreover, there are several key competencies that Mercer wants you to demonstrate in these answers. They are:

An understanding of clients’ requirements and identify the challenges that will influence their strategy and workforce needs.

  • The ability to help clients design customised role profiles.
  • The ability to provide critical input.
  • The ability to organise teams to ensure a cultural fit with the clients’ needs.

After you have successfully completed this application, you will move onto the next stage of the application process, the Mercer telephone interview.

The Mercer Telephone Interview

At this stage of the application process, you will receive an invitation to have a telephone interview with one of the staff at Mercer. This interview will have questions concerning your academic results; the role you have applied for as well as testing your full knowledge of what Mercer is and what they do. You will also get a number of competency questions which vary depending on your chosen field. Some examples of Mercer interview questions are:

  • Tell me about a time when your views were met with opposition and how did you deal with this?
  • Can you tell me about a time when you performed beyond your expectations and how did you feel about this?
  • How have you helped a team member in a challenging situation?
  • Can you give me an example of when you came up with a new idea for a group to use? How did you go about implementing it?
  • Give me an example of a time when you had to explain a technical idea to a non-technical audience?

You will generally be asked three competency questions during this 30-minute phone interview. Our PrepPack provides you the full information on how to answer these questions as well as tips on your presentation method.

The Mercer Assessment Centre

If you have succeeded in impressing the interviewer during the Mercer telephone interview you will be invited to a Mercer assessment centre. This is a long day and you will face a series of tests and other activities which will all be assessed along the way. On the other hand, if you impress here you will almost guarantee yourself the job. The tasks that you will go through are:

Case study – You will be given about half an hour with which to prepare and sort through the information given to you. These are generally field related so you will get one that is in line with the job you applied for. For example, you may be given lots of information about a benefits package and what is offered in it. You will have questions about the different information and you will have to try to come up with some solid answers. Prepare for this assessment with our practice case study exercises.

Group discussion – Following on from the case study, you and your fellow candidates will have to discuss the pros and cons of each solution for 15 minutes and try to come up with well thought out conclusions. Find out how you can best present yourself with our PrepPack.

Written tasks – You will now face three writing tasks. The first is where you have to reply to an email someone has sent to you and it may not necessarily have anything to do with you. You have to respond in the way you see fit. It may be a complaint or a request. It is your job to make sure to write well with clear reasoning for every part of the decision you are making. For the second section of t, is task you will be given a document to analyse and address the grammatical errors in the text. You will also have to try and work out if the document is grammatically correct.

The last part of this exercise is really the preparation for your presentation which you will give later on in the day. You will be given reams of information relating to your chosen field along with an open-ended question which you have to do your best to answer in your presentation.

Presentation – You will have 10 minutes to explain your plan to two members of the HR team. Make sure you stick to your conclusions and be ready to answer the questions they might throw at you. They want to see if you will wilt under pressure so explain your points well but be accepting if you realise that you have made a mistake. The idea here is to show that you are firm in your opinions, but can also accept if you made a mistake or overlooked something.

Verbal reasoning test – This features a range of different verbal skills tests and includes questions that involve not only your critical reasoning skills but also your vocabulary level. This test lasts for about 35 minutes with at least as many questions. Find out how you can succeed at these tests with JobTestPrep. You may also get a numerical reasoning test which is an option they use for some of the candidates. Generally, if you have a degree that included some mathematical reasoning skills you will not be asked to take this test. You will be given 20 minutes to answer as many questions. Again, if you prepare well and practise you will be able to do well. Practise free verbal reasoning test sample questions


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The Mercer Interview

Sometimes this is the last step of the Mercer assessment day, however, in the main, you will be invited back for an interview with two managers from the department you applied for. This interview aims to do two things. The first thing is really a check-up to confirm the results of all the tests you have done. You will be asked about your qualifications and skills as well as the same competency questions that you have already answered. The second goal of this interview is for them to see if you will fit in with the rest of the team in the office. Therefore, try to research the office culture as well as the managers of the team.


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