Preparing for the Oliver Wyman Test – To Get Your Dream Job
Do you want to work for a fortune 100 consulting and management company? Is helping clients navigate a dynamic business environment something you would enjoy doing? Do you want a job where you will be challenged?
If so, then applying for a job with Oliver Wyman may be what you are looking for.
With offices in over fifty countries and a range of interesting jobs in the business management sector, you need to prepare for a demanding recruitment process.
On their website, the company attribute their success to not hiring just anybody. In their own words, they state they do not hire people who do not meet their high standards.
It can all sound a little daunting, but there is a simple solution if working for Oliver Wyman is your ambition. Read on for information on the hiring process and the resources that will help you get that dream job.
Table of Contents
What kind of employees is Oliver Wyman looking for?
To get a role with them, you will have to be prepared for pre-employment assessments before you advance to the interview and case study stage.
You will also have to show them you have the attributes they look for in their employees:
They like people who are:
- Team workers
- Constantly striving for excellence
What is the recruitment process?
Here is the full recruitment process in detail.
When an open position is advertised, you submit your application online. You may also be asked to submit your resume and supporting documents.
This is not a task to rush through.
Read the job description carefully. Allow yourself time to focus on any experiences you may have had that will make you stand out from other applicants. Keep a picture of the ideal Oliver Weyman employee to the forefront of your mind when completing the form.
Over time resumes grow stale and need to be adjusted to the job being applied for. Double-check if yours needs a refresh.
Your first interview will be conducted over the phone or via video. You can regard this interview as a conversational style interview.
The interviewer will want to check your qualifications as well as your reasons for wanting to work for Oliver Wyman. If they are satisfied with your interview, you will then be asked to do online assessments.
You can expect to do one or more of the following:
- Numerical reasoning
- Verbal reasoning, i.e. critical reasoning
- A personality test
As you might expect, working in any business setting requires good numerical ability. The numerical reasoning test assesses your mathematical abilities in the areas of:
- Algebraic equations
- Quantitative skills
As with all pre-employment tests, this test assesses how capable you are of dealing with numerical data a client may present you with.
Oliver Wyman needs to know that when approached by a client, you will be able to work efficiently through numerical data to highlight weaknesses in their business practices and to suggest ways of improving on them.
The numerical assessment is an SHL style test that is known to be challenging.
Try your skills with the following free sample numerical reasoning test.
Verbal reasoning, i.e. critical reasoning
When working with Oliver Wyman, you can expect to be presented with a lot of written information. Clients will approach you with a business problem. It will be your task to work through the information they give you to solve the problem.
Doing the job to a high standard will require you to deal with a lot of documentation and to be able to extract information from it.
The verbal reasoning test measures your suitability for this part of the job. Getting practice at verbal reasoning exercises will also help you prepare for the case interview that comes later in the recruitment process.
The following question from a verbal reasoning test wants you to decide if the statement that follows the passage is True, False or Cannot Say based on the information given in the passage.
In the past few years, the government has turned to shock tactics to fight the battle against smoking and the burden smokers pose to the country’s economy—manifested in sick days and health issues. The latest anti-smoking campaign showed tumors growing from a cigarette. Needless to say, this advert was contentious.
On the one hand, the advert has become a viral sensation since its launch and has attracted plenty of attention to the subject. The government estimates approximately 300,000 people will attempt to quit smoking because of the campaign.
On the other hand, some argue that using a hard-hitting approach is not best because people become terrified. If someone thinks they might have cancer or a symptom of cancer, they’re likely to push it out of their mind. Health experts claim the new campaign is ineffective in targeting all smokers and recommend using it alongside other measures.
The anti-smoking ad is funded by the Department of Health.
- Cannot Say
The major difficulty people face with these types of questions is they allow their own thoughts to guide their answers. All answers have to be based on the information supplied in the text.
To put it simply, even if the information in the text is glaringly incorrect, your job is not to correct it but to answer questions based on the given information.
Regular practice on sample verbal reasoning tests will train you to skim quickly for information and follow the flow of an argument and you will learn some of the tricks to doing these questions.
For example, a lot of people find it helpful to read the questions first.
Try doing the following SHL verbal reasoning test within the time allowed and check your scores afterwards.
When checking scores, focus on mistakes made and why you made them. This will train you to weed out errors as you practice.
If asked to do a personality test, find out everything you can about the company and its culture before doing the test. Personality tests judge how well you align with the company values.
Read through the pointers about the type of person Oliver Wyman like to hire by visiting the company website.
Bear in mind that personality is measured from behaviour. In the personality test, you are showing your likely workplace behaviour.
Preparing for the personality test
Doing sample personality tests will train you to present as the ideal employee, but at the outset, you can expect some trial and error.
To begin your preparation, try the following exercise.
Attempt the question below and then check your answer against the type of person the company likes to employ. If you feel you are not presenting as the ideal Oliver Wyman employee, try playing around with the answers again.
Try an OPQ test sample question:
Choose ONE statement that is most like you and one that is least like you:
- I really like to help others.
- I work best in teams.
- I like to get things exactly right.
Doing regular questions of this type will teach you how to tweak your answers.
Continue your practice with a free sample personality test.
You will by now have done your telephone interview and assessments. However, the face-to-face interviews present their own challenges.
If you are worried about doing interviews, you can get interview prep packs to help you with your preparation.
One is a standard conversational interview, looking at your reasons for applying to the company. The interviewer will be getting an idea of your suitability for the job and essentially judging if you are a good fit for a career at Oliver Wyman.
Preparing for this interview, remind yourself again of all you have heard about the company and the work they do, as well as the type of person they want to hire.
Oliver Wyman state on their website that the purpose of the conversational interview is to get to know the job candidate and to give the applicant an opportunity to learn more about the company. Take this as your invitation to ask questions as well.
The second is the case interview which works in a different fashion from the regular interview. In the case interview, you will be presented with a business problem to solve.
The interviewer now plays the part of a client bringing you a problem. The problem will be typical of something you might face when working for the company.
The company state that the purpose of this style of interviewing is:
- To give them a view of your analytical skills and how you go about problem-solving
- To study your ability to communicate with a client
- To see if you can respond to business challenges by applying common sense while at the same time coming up with new approaches and thinking “outside the box”
They will be evaluating you to see if you can handle unstructured challenges, easily manage data, and apply it to finding a solution.
You need to show them you are capable of asking the right questions and communicating your ideas logically and clearly.
When doing the case interview, keep the following in mind:
- When presented with the problem, your first task is to make sure you fully understand the situation. If you need to ask questions, now is the time to do it.
- Analyse the situation, attempt to get to the finer details. Make sure you use the numbers and data they give you in your search for a resolution.
- See the interviewer is a client waiting on a solution. Explain your thinking clearly. Finish the case interview by advising the client on what they should do.
- Engage your interviewer in a problem-solving dialogue while you show your communication skills, professionalism and convey your credibility.
- Keep reminding yourself you have to show analytical skills and display intellectual curiosity and a genuine interest in coming up with new ideas.
To best prepare for this, use the interview techniques you get with your test prep pack.
And remember, behave as if you were already working for Oliver Wyman.
If asked to do a presentation, you will be given information on a business scenario and allowed 30 minutes to analyse it. The following 30 minutes will be devoted to answering questions on the scenario.
Once again, your answers must be logical and structured as they would be in any real-life business presentation.
How do I prepare for the Oliver Wyman tests?
Preparing for pre-employment testing, it is advisable to use the services of a job test preparation company. For this, we recommend using Job Test Prep, a reputable company with many years of experience in preparing applicants for job assessments and interviews.
From them, you will get accurate information about the assessments as well as sample tests modelled on the real assessments Oliver Wyman use.
Their preparation materials come in a test prep pack with sample tests that mirror the real ones. This gives you the added advantage of doing similar assessments to the ones you will be doing in the real examinations. You also get a system for tracking your scores as you prepare, explanations for questions and answers and helpful study guides and videos.
Put a preparation plan in place
When you have found out what assessments you are likely to have, it is time to invest in a test prep pack.
A test prep pack prepared specifically for the Oliver Wyman assessments offers you 7 Maths tests and 12 SHL style verbal tests.
You can also get other all-inclusive prep packs if you need to prepare for more tests than this.
The tests come in two formats, both of which you are encouraged to use.
The first format is a step-by-step mode and walks you through the tests. To allow you time to get used to the difficulty level of the questions, the step-by-step tests are untimed.
Having followed the step-by-step mode, you then move on to the timed tests. These are closer to the real tests as now you will be dealing with the challenge of doing the tests within the time allowed.
When putting your preparation plan in place, you might try doing the following:
- Designate a place for your preparation: We work best when following a routine.
- Work to a timetable: Ensure you leave the day before the assessments free to do a quick review and get a break.
- Use effective study techniques: 50 minutes of study should be followed by 10-minute breaks.
- Pay attention to your physical well-being: Our brains work better when we take care of ourselves. Preparing for
- job tests can be stressful so adequate sleep and nutrition are called for.
Use your sample papers
Your sample papers should form the backbone of every study session. This will allow you to:
- Become familiar with the style of questioning
- Monitor your progress from paper to paper
- Address areas causing you difficulty immediately they arise
- Learn how to work within the time frame of the tests.
- Avoid any unpleasant surprises in the real assessments
- Make sure you follow the guide laid down in your test prep pack. Do the step-by-step papers first
Doing the tests and interviews
You need to approach both assessments and interviews:
- Clear-headed and well-rested. This is not the time for all night preparation marathons.
- Have some stress-busting techniques to the ready should you find the situation overwhelming. Deep breathing and a few stretches can help, or you may have your own techniques.
Are the Oliver Wyman tests hard?
Pre-employment tests generally mirror the difficulty level of the job you are applying for.
In the case of Oliver Wyman, you are applying for a job in a demanding sector and you can expect the tests to be challenging.
Add to that the company’s determination to only hire people who meet their standards, and you will see how important it is to be prepared for an intense series of assessments and interviews.
However, with the correct preparation tools and your own work, it can be done.
Be prepared to go in there and give it your best shot. You can ace it!
If working for Oliver Wyman is your dream job, you will find all the resources you need to realise your ambition here.
Written by Elizabeth O Mahony
With 25+ years’ experience as a teacher and state examinations corrector, Elizabeth now writes for the education and careers industry. Her experience preparing students for examinations and running an academy for supplementary education give her invaluable insights into what it takes for job seekers and graduates to succeed in assessments.
Sarah is an accomplished educator, researcher and author in the field of testing and assessment. She has worked with various educational institutions and organisations to develop innovative evaluation methods and enhance student learning. Sarah has published numerous articles and books on assessment and learning. Her passion for promoting equity and fairness in the education system fuels her commitment to sharing insights and best practices with educators and policymakers around the world.