Hiscox Graduate Scheme: Interview Questions & Application
Hiscox is a large global insurer which currently employs over 1,100 personnel in offices situated throughout the world.
Rather than offering regular insurance policies, Hiscox takes a different approach to insurance, insuring the unique and unusual. Classic cars, rare artwork and even ships are just some of the items insured by Hiscox, so nothing is off-limits.
Candidates hoping to join the firm, therefore, need to display an inquiring mind to find insurance solutions for the most unusual of items. This aptitude will be tested throughout the application and interview process.
Classic cars are among the more unusual items Hiscox specialises in insuring.
The application process for Hiscox is certainly in-depth, with each stage designed to challenge, test and explore your skills in different ways. Whether applicants are interested in an advertised vacancy or an internship or graduate programme, the application process for each of these remains the same, consisting of:
- Online application form
- Telephone interview
- Critical thinking assessment
- Assessment centre, which includes an initial interview
- Final interview
- Role play assessment
The application form is your first opportunity to make a good impression.
In the experience section, try to frame your past employment around achievements, rather than just simply listing the duties of your previous roles.
As well as the usual education, employment and skills sections, the application form for Hiscox includes three additional questions which will ask you for further information about yourself, focusing on you, your ability to build professional relationships, and the environment in which you live and work. You can also include here anything that you have not already provided that you feel might add value to your application.
If you make a good impression in your application form you will be invited to a telephone interview. The purpose of this telephone discussion is to determine whether you possess the specific professional and personal qualities that the recruiters at Hiscox are looking for in applicants.
The interview is skills-based, so be prepared to answer a lot of questions on your specific areas of expertise. You may also be asked some technical questions too. It may help to print out a copy of your application form so you can refer to it throughout the interview.
Some of the common interview questions at Hiscox include:
- Provide an example of a time you successfully negotiated.
- Why do you want to work for Hiscox?
- Where do you imagine yourself being in five years?
- What factors would you take into consideration when insuring a building?
- Why should we appoint you?
- Provide an example of when you led a team.
- Outline a problem that you have had to solve and how did you develop a suitable solution?
This list is by no means exhaustive, so you should try to find out as much as you can about the role and Hiscox before the interview.
Unlike many other large employers, Hiscox uses the Watson Glaser critical thinking test rather than the traditional SHL aptitude assessments. This test will review your skills across five different areas of critical thinking and decision making. You will need to demonstrate your aptitude in recognising assumptions, logical interpretation, drawing inferences, deductive reasoning and evaluating arguments. There are lots of resources available online where you can learn more about this type of test and the selection of activities that you will be expected to complete, such as JobTestPrep, and it is strongly advised that you carry out relevant preparatory work before the actual test.
If you are invited to attend the Hiscox assessment centre, you will have to complete a number of activities over the course of the day. These include a case study, a group exercise and an interview.
Applicants are presented with a briefing document, and then set a task based on the case study. This will usually involve the presentation of findings to a recruitment panel. One case study in the past has involved a brief relating to a chain of cinemas, whereby applicants were asked to provide specialist advice to one of the branches and present this to the recruitment team. You will have to review and synthesise a lot of information in a short space of time, and after your presentation, you will be asked a number of questions on what you have presented.
During the assessment day you will be asked to join a group of eight other candidates and allocated a period of 45 minutes to work through a group activity. This could include a number of scenarios but you will usually be given a task based on the same brief that you were provided with in the case study (in the case of the cinema case study, the activity involved organising a fundraising event at the cinema). The recruitment team will not just be looking at the conclusions you reach but also at how well you collaborate with other team members, the ideas and suggestions that you provide, and how you respond to ideas put forward by your fellow team members.
The assessment centre **interview** consists of a number of elements which usually relate to your CV and technical knowledge; it will aim to find out more about you as a person and your previous experience. The technical element of the interview will assess your understanding of insurance and your ability to address issues relating to complex and unusual insurance packages.
If you make a good impression through the different activities during the assessment day you will be invited to attend a final interview, and perhaps a further set of tests. The interview will be held with senior managers at Hiscox who will ask you more detailed questions, focusing on the strategic elements of the business along with your specific career ambitions. Each interview is different depending on the role, so there isn't any definitive set of questions that apply to every final interview.
The Hiscox application process may also involve the completion of an additional role play exercise, or vocational assessment as they are sometimes called. The role play will be a final opportunity for the recruiters to assess whether you have the specific skills needed for the role you have applied for. An example of one of these tests is a sales-based assessment, where you are asked to identify client requirements for a particular item and then deploy a range of strategies to secure a sale.
The application process for Hiscox is lengthy, with a number of different steps consisting of tests, interviews and activities completed over several weeks. The process is designed in this way so that Hiscox can select the candidates of the highest calibre to join their organisation.