EON Graduate Scheme Application Process
E.ON is one of the world’s largest investor-owned energy companies, employing around 80,000 people worldwide.
Although E.ON is ultimately a German company with their headquarters in Dusseldorf, it has a worldwide presence.
E.ON is involved in all aspects of the energy market, from research and exploration to energy generation and renewables, commodity trading, and commercial and domestic retail. In the UK, E.ON employs around 12,000 people in a wide variety of roles.
Overview of Schemes
E.ON offers a number of graduate schemes, which are either international or UK-based – it’s worth taking a look at both, as they have separate application processes.
The E.ON Graduate Programme is a leadership development scheme, in which participants are expected to undertake a number of international placements across 24 months. Recruitment to the E.ON international Graduate Programme is handled separately from the UK schemes – to find out more you need to access the E.ON international website and apply there. For the international scheme, participants will be expected to be geographically mobile. Speaking an additional language – ideally German – is an advantage.
E.ON also offers a number of primarily UK-based schemes (although international travel is strongly encouraged) and most UK candidates apply to these schemes. These are broadly split into Commercial and Engineering Schemes, as follows:
- Customer Operations Leadership
- Human Resources
- IT and Business Change
- Engineering Leadership
- Science and Engineering Excellence
Recruitment for these schemes is managed within the UK and you can find out more about these opportunities on the E.ON UK website.
The Application Process
The application process for the E.ON UK graduate schemes involves four stages:
- Online application and situational judgement questionnaire
- Online testing
- Interview (and technical interview if you are applying for an engineering scheme).
- Assessment centre
Throughout the process you will be assessed against E.ON’s competencies, which are:
Understanding the Business. Requires you to demonstrate that you understand the energy market and the needs of customers. To be successful, you need to understand the challenges and opportunities of the energy market, key competitors and technologies.
Embracing Change. You must demonstrate that you are flexible and responsive to change, able to work with uncertainty and identify opportunities to continuously improve performance.
Enhance Teamwork. Show that you are able to build strong, effective relationships, and show empathy and support for others.
Personal Impact. How you present yourself and how closely this is aligned with E.ON’s values and ethos. You need to show that you are reliable, that you proactively value and support diversity, and that you’re always keen to develop your own skills and knowledge.
The Online Application Form and Situational Judgement Test
The online application forms not only collect the information needed to ensure that you meet the minimum application standards; they also aim to ensure that only candidates who meet E.ON’s needs progress.
It’s a reasonably standard online form with a number of free text questions and the opportunity to upload your current CV. Most of the E.ON schemes have particular requirements around degree discipline and performance (a 2:1 is required for all schemes) so double-check the requirements of your particular scheme before you fill in the application, to make sure it's not automatically rejected.
The second step of the application form is a situational judgement test. This aims to understand how you respond to particular situations and assesses whether you are likely to be a good fit with the requirements of the role. Candidates are presented with a number of scenarios and asked to select their preferred way of responding in that situation.
Online Aptitude Tests
If you are successful at the initial application stage, you will be invited to complete online aptitude tests in numerical and verbal reasoning. These are pretty standard SHL- type tests and some candidates report that they are less challenging than for some other employers.
The next stage of the selection process is an interview. For commercial scheme candidates, this will be a telephone interview that will last around 45 minutes and will be based around the E.ON competencies and your motivations.
You should expect to be examined in depth about your understanding of the company and the sector, so to be successful you will need to prepare and do as much research as possible. Previous candidates have reported being surprised by how much the interview focused on analysing and explaining their views about the industry (including competitors, trends and challenges). They report being asked questions including:
- How does E.ON compete with its smaller competitors?
- Describe a time where you were told to change in order to improve performance.
- What motivates you?
- What do you know about E.ON?
- Tell me about a situation where your leadership qualities were expressed.
- Describe a time when you have had to work with people from different cultures or backgrounds, and the difficulty you had with it.
- Can you tell me about a time when you’ve had to come up with a creative solution to a problem?
Engineering candidates will also complete the competency-based interview and in addition will have a technical interview with a Senior Engineer, who will assess their scientific and technical knowledge.
These interviews will be tailored to the candidate’s qualifications and the role they are applying for. This will usually be face-to-face and last up to an hour. It is strongly recommended that you spend some time revising relevant course materials prior to this interview.
The assessment centre lasts a full day and is reported to include five activities:
1. A presentation about yourself and interview. Candidates report being asked to prepare a short (10 minute) presentation about themselves and delivering this as part of their interview. The interview is reported to include both competency questions and motivational questions, and to test your knowledge about the company and sector.
Questions previous candidates report being asked include:
- You did this type of role at a more exciting, more innovative company than ours, why would you want to work here?
- Give an example of a time where you had to implement change.
2. A case study. Candidates are provided with a large volume of written material and given 45 minutes to read and understand it. They must then create a 20-minute presentation and be prepared to answer questions relating to it.
Previous candidates report that the presentation tends to focus around particular issues or opportunities facing a fictional company.
3. A mini case study. This is a short exercise where candidates are provided with a small amount of incomplete information (about 2 -4 pages) and then asked to discuss it for 10 minutes. Candidates are given very limited time to prepare and the exercise apparently aims to assess the candidate’s ability to think on their feet.
Previous candidates have reported that this exercise focused around an investment proposal.
4. A role play exercise. In this exercise, candidates are asked to assume the role of an E.ON employee and then role-play a meeting with an assessor, whereby they try to influence or negotiate with a colleague. This tests your team-working and influencing skills.
5. A group exercise. This is a pretty standard group exercise, in which candidates are put into a small group (usually 4 people) and asked to work through an issue or scenario as a team. Following this, the group has to present its conclusions.