Thames Water Interview Prep

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Thames Water Application Process

Thames Water Application Process

Updated 16 October 2021

Written by the WikiJob Team

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Thames Water Interview Prep

Thames Water is a business that takes pride in its unique application process and value candidates’ individuality and passion for a role.

Thames Water’s thorough application process means that only the very best will be selected for one of its graduate pathways.

Introduction to Thames Water

Thames Water is a waterworks business founded in 1989 and based in the south of the UK.

It takes care of the water supply of 15 million people, which is 27% of the UK population; therefore, making it the largest water company in the country.

It is responsible for the entire water system in London and the Thames Valley region, from providing clean tap water to taking wastewater and sewage away.

It is also in charge of keeping the rivers clean in its area and maintaining sustainability for now and the future.

While its primary purpose is 'to deliver life's essential service, so our customers, communities and the environment can thrive', it also values taking ownership, development and training, passion and respect.

Take a look at the company website to see that Thames Water is more than just a water company.

Building a career is valued by Thames Water. It believes in hiring based on passion, personality and inclusivity.

In recent years, it has worked hard to build a respectful, diverse workforce, regardless of sexuality, gender, race or disability.

Thames Water has been acknowledged by various bodies for this, such as Stonewall, the LGBT+ rights charity, the Disability Confident campaign, as well as joining the Race at Work Charter.

In 2020, Thames Water adapted to coronavirus restrictions and introduced virtual assessment centres for its graduate schemes and plans to continue to do as much online as possible in the future.

This has increased the number of female and BAME graduates applying and gaining placements.

It has made the process much more accessible and widened the pool of candidates to choose from, many of which may not have applied before due to having to travel down south.

Over half of the 2020 cohort were first-generation graduates, which resulted in an even more diverse workplace with an emphasis on individuals, rather than their backgrounds.

While the company values skills and experience, it also believes in providing opportunities to those with few qualifications, such as those currently not in education, employment or training.

Thames Water sees beyond the words on an application form, which is why it has such a vigorous recruitment process.

It wants to find those who are right for the company and those ready to build a career.

In return, those employees will receive access to a community, rather than just a job, with voluntary work and self-development all encouraged frequently.

Thames Water Graduate Programme

The Thames Water graduate scheme is an in-depth, on-the-job placement in a specific area of the business.

Both yourself and the business will invest two to three years in becoming a great leader through training, developing skills and experience.

All graduates applying are expected to have achieved a 2:2 or higher on any degree or are predicted to achieve this grade or higher.

Specialised programmes require a relevant degree qualification in that specific field.

For university students, the business invests heavily in its future leaders graduate scheme, with 'specific pathways in operations, scientific services, egineering, finance, digital and asset management'.

Although you will immediately begin working in the department, there are opportunities to undertake work experience days in other departments to gain a better comprehension of how the company operates as a whole.

Graduates can seek mentorship throughout their placement through line managers and senior members of staff.

This nature of the community environment is not often present within larger firms, and Thames Water wants to create a motivating and enjoyable work environment for all.

Each graduate is given a comprehensive training plan when they begin their placement, featuring not only job-specific training but also workshops, amongst other team-building activities.

Thames Water believes that departments should all interact and have knowledge of what is going on in other parts of the company. Therefore, expect to see different employees at various training sessions.

Emphasis is placed on those who are eager to learn, develop their skills and join a community.

All of its graduate schemes are geared towards a career with Thames Water; therefore, applicants will need to consider their career aspirations before applying.

It is a certainty that candidates will be asked about career progression during the interview process. Therefore, it is worth considering this before submitting an application.

Thames Water employs only 25 graduates a year and receives over 1,000 applicants for its graduate scheme; therefore, it is important to stand out as best you can.

Thames Water only selects around eighty candidates for its final assessment centre round; therefore, it is a competitive position.

However, you can be one step ahead by reading more.

Thames Water Application Process

Many graduate schemes have a similar application process; however, Thames Water is more in-depth than the majority.

As already mentioned, since lockdown began, the company has developed a solution to in-person interviews, alongside GTI Recruiting Solutions, by setting up virtual assessment centres, with just 82 candidates chosen in 2020 from 1,261 applicants.

Thames Water Application Process
Thames Water Application Process

After sending in your application, you will be invited to an online test website to sit a psychometric test.

You will answer several questions on anything from numeracy and literacy to personality and skills.

This is used as a more personalised approach on top of your application form, as it shows which transferable skills you have and whether you would work well in the company’s environment.

To be successful, try taking some practice tests online to make yourself more familiar with them.

Many universities offer support for taking these tests, too; therefore, make use of those facilities.

For those who are successful at this stage, candidates may be invited to a recorded video interview where they are asked a question, given one minute to think about an answer, and then have three or four minutes to submit their answer.

Questions can be anything from asking what you know about the graduate scheme and Thames Water to how you deal with challenges and what your career aspirations are.

Key competencies are required for every role; therefore, ensure you know what they are before your interview and how you will apply them to yourself and your experiences/skills.

Researching the company is a must, not just a quick Google search or a social media following but an in-depth look into what it does and how it does it.

Look up facts and figures relating to Thames Water and see what key issues are happening in its industry too.

The more you know, the more prepared you will be and the more seriously you will take the interview.

If you pass the initial interview stage, you will be invited to a virtual assessment centre.

Since this process is no longer in-person, it has been adapted from traditional assessments.

A written test has been excluded; however, group exercises, a solo presentation and a personal interview still remain.

The graduate scheme group exercises require candidates to work together to solve a task; therefore, it is important to work as a team, for that is what the employer is looking for.

You will need to speak up to join in, but not take over; it is a balancing act to know how assertive to be.

This is followed by a solo presentation.

Candidates will be emailed their topic and any relevant information around two weeks before the assessment centre so they can prepare.

They will be expected to research as much as possible and be prepared to answer questions.

Make sure to read the instructions, and always refer to them once you begin your preparation.

You will have to email the slides in advance for them to be set up.

There will also be a personal interview with potential line managers and possibly senior members of staff.

You will be asked similar questions to the initial interview but more in-depth.

Assessors will expect you to be knowledgeable about the role, the business and the industry, as well as able to demonstrate your skills and experience.

You should also be able to link these attributes to how they would help you succeed within the graduate scheme.

Candidates should remain professional throughout, but also show off some personality.

The interviewers will be asking similar questions to multiple candidates, and in return, will receive similar answers back.

If you can have a unique take on some of them, they will be impressed. Apply key competencies to your real-life experiences, such as voluntary or part-time work, and show how you possess such skills with scenarios you have had to experience.

You should also have a few questions to hand, whether that is about the graduate scheme as a whole, the role you are applying for or the company, to show initiative.

Top Tips for Applying to Thames Water

Do Your Research

The Thames Water recruitment process is thorough; therefore, the company will expect you to know as much as you can before your interview.

Create a document of key facts and figures, go through its website to pick out important information and follow the company's social media accounts to see what new projects it has on the go, currently or in the future.

Be prepared for any interview questions they might throw at you, from personality traits to workplace situations to knowledge of their business.

Show Passion for the Company

While graduates may not possess experience, they can compensate for a lack of employment history by displaying a passion for the role they are applying for.

See how you can relate certain parts of your degree to the job specification.

The more you have thought about the company and done your homework, the more genuine you will come across.

Tailor Your Application

Graduates are often applying for multiple roles at any one time. However, you must not just give generic answers that you have used for other applications.

Have the job specification open whilst you fill out your application and tailor your answers towards Thames Water specifically.

Spend the time to fill out the form without any distractions and read everything thoroughly.

Have an Open Mind

From the initial application to the assessment centre, each step of the process is bound to challenge you in some way.

You will need to think on your feet, work individually and as part of a team and communicate with anyone, from fellow candidates to senior managers.

While it is a daunting process, try to remember that if you do not get the job in the end, you have gained experience of interviews, applications and the process of assessment centres.

Be Yourself

Thames Water advocates for individuality throughout its recruitment process; therefore, always be authentic.

Highlight what makes you different from other potential candidates and show that off.

Ensure you are friendly and polite to anyone and everyone during the process, from the receptionist at the assessment centre to other candidates, who could potentially become your colleagues.

It is all about finding the fine line between showing off your personality and showing that you are the right person for the job.

Final Thoughts

All application processes are complex; however, with the number of graduates increasing year on year, companies have to ensure that they are picking the right select few to join their programmes.

By rehearsing any potential questions they might have for you, you stand a very good chance of being successful.

Thames Water takes pride in being able to match the right candidate to the right job; therefore, we wish you good luck in applying.

Thames Water Interview Prep


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