Atos Interview Questions & Application Process
Atos is an international IT consultancy with a reputation for innovation. It seeks to employ people who really understand their roles and want to be a part of Atos because of their interest in the company. So if you're looking to apply, you need to ensure that you understand the organisation and the scheme you’re applying for before you start the application process.
Atos will expect you to demonstrate your knowledge of their values throughout the application process, so it is worth taking the time to think about times and examples of when you have demonstrated them. The values are listed below, and you can read the definitions of each here.
- Operational Competitiveness
- Social Wellbeing
Atos also has a number of additional attributes that they believe to be important for success on the graduate scheme. They will look for you to provide evidence that you have these competencies/characteristics, and you should try to demonstrate this in your answers throughout the application process.
The additional attributes are:
- A proactive and flexible approach
- Commitment to delivering
- Strong business motivation
- Immaculate communication skills
Atos offers both technical and business graduate schemes, and you must apply for a particular programme within these. It is important that you give this careful thought, as a key element of the Atos recruitment process is assessing your fit and motivation for a particular role.
The technical schemes at Atos include:
- Business Intelligence Information Management
- Business Operations Management
- Client Service Management
- Information Security
- Networks and Infrastructure
- Project Management
- Software Development
- Solutions Architecture
- Technical Consultancy
The business schemes are more commercially focused, though you will still be expected to have an interest in technology and be able to work effectively with technical people. Business schemes at Atos include:
- Account Management and Sales
- Business Consulting
- Business Operations Management
- Client Services Management
- General Management
- Project Management
The application process for the Atos graduate scheme is similar whichever scheme you are applying for and includes the following elements:
- Application form
- Online testing
- Telephone interview
- Assessment centre
Let's look at each section in turn, in greater detail:
The online application form for Atos includes basic information about you and your qualifications. Note that Atos prefers candidates to have, or be on track for, a 2:1, although they will consider a 2:2 when there is evidence of substantial extra-curricular achievement. The application form also includes two motivational questions, which aim to assess your fit with the company.
Unusually, the application form also includes a questionnaire on your preferred working style. This helps Atos understand how well you might fit within the organisation and what sort of work you are likely to enjoy. Be honest and don’t try to guess what they might be looking for as a) you’re unlikely to be right, and b) if your preferences aren’t a good fit with Atos then you probably wouldn’t actually enjoy working there.
Tip: Be specific and try to relate all of your responses to Atos, its values and your understanding of the organisation. You need to show that you have a commercial understanding of the IT industry. There’s no spell check, so copy and paste from an application that does (and keep an eye out for formatting errors).
All candidates for the Atos graduate schemes will be asked to complete online numerical and verbal reasoning tests. These are in-house tests rather than tests provided by third-party companies – they may look and feel a bit different to some of the more familiar tests, though, in essence, they will be very similar.
For example, in the numerical reasoning test candidates will be presented with numerical data in a number of formats (graphs, charts, tables) and asked to use this information to answer a set of questions. In the verbal reasoning test, you will be provided with a passage of information and asked to answer some multiple-choice questions to assess your understanding of the information provided.
Both tests have fixed time limits and contain 30 questions each. You can practice both types of test using WikiJob's own aptitude tests or with companies such as JobTestPrep and AssessmentDay.
If you are successful at the online testing stage, you will be invited to complete a competency-based interview via telephone. Atos has outsourced this element of their recruitment process, so you will be interviewed by a recruiter rather than a representative from Atos. This may mean that they may not be able to answer all of the questions you might have.
The telephone interviews typically last around 40 minutes and tests your motivation and suitability for the role you are applying for. Look for opportunities to show that you understand their business, can give instances when you have demonstrated their values, and have a good understanding of your strengths and development areas.
Questions that have previously been asked include:
- Why do you want to work for Atos? What do we do? How is Atos different from other companies?
- What makes you a good candidate for Atos? Why are you a good fit with Atos?
- Why have you chosen this particular graduate scheme? What do you know about this particular graduate scheme?
- Describe a time when you were part of a team and one of the members was not pulling his/her weight. How did you remedy the situation? What did you learn? What would you change if you encountered the same situation again?
- Tell me about a time when you changed the way you work. What did you learn? What would you change?
- Tell me about a time when you had to adapt to a new environment.
- Describe a time when you were working on a project and the parameters changed drastically halfway through the project. How did you cope?
You may also be asked some admin questions like: do you need a visa to work in the UK? Are you geographically mobile and able to work at any locations?
The final stage of the Atos graduate recruitment process is the assessment centre, at which you may have both business and technical candidates. The assessors at the centres are managers within the business who have a good understanding of what would be expected of a graduate.
The assessment centres run from around 9.00 to 3.30 and include three main exercises:
Individual Competency-Based Interview
You may have two very short interviews with two different managers, each lasting around 20 minutes.
These are typically competency-based interviews (although there may be the odd technical question thrown in as well) and one is likely to be with the manager responsible for the scheme you are applying for.
Questions that have been asked previously include:
- Why do you want to work at Atos?
- Tell me about a time you’ve adapted to a sudden change.
- When have you gone over and above to reach a goal?
- Tell me about a time when you’ve faced a difficult situation.
In the group exercise, candidates are provided with some information and asked to complete a short group exercise, which typically lasts around 20–30 minutes.
Candidates in previous assessment centres have been asked to develop a plan for how they’d launch a party for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Bear in mind that flexibility is one of the attributes that Atos are looking for in candidates; don’t be surprised if the details of the project change during the exercise.
In the case study exercise, you will be presented with some information (usually emails, reports, messages, etc.) and given around 45 minutes to prepare a 10-minute presentation.
You will have access to a laptop so you can make PowerPoint slides. You will then present for 10 minutes to two hiring managers, followed by 5 minutes of questions.
Previous case study exercises have included:
Putting together a plan for the director to implement a process which will save them 20% of their time.
Developing an analytics tool so that the company could carry out reporting in order to make more informed business decisions.