Savills Graduate Application Process: Tips for Success

Savills Graduate Application Process: Tips for Success

Updated March 1, 2022

Written by the WikiJob Team

Savills is a leading real estate services provider whose vacancies and graduate programmes are extremely popular, which makes competition to join the company extremely tough.

Consequently, you need to take greater care with your application than you might with some of the less competitive firms, ensuring that it is specifically targeted and tailored to the role you are applying for.

Application Process

The application process to join Savills consists of:

Application Form

The application form at Savills is quite straightforward. It requires a few personal details, your education, work experience and a copy of your CV and covering letter, which are uploaded through the online application page.

Your CV and covering letter need to be crafted with care. A general CV and standard cover letter will not be adequate for the Savills recruitment team. You must outline why you have chosen to apply to the company and the specific business area, as well as clearly convey your strengths in relation to the values of the company.

If the graduate programme or vacancy you are applying for includes a job description and person specification, you should use this as a prompt: address each of the selection criteria, and draw on examples from your studies, employment or voluntary work to strengthen your response. Take key words and phrases from the Savills job description and incorporate them into your CV and covering letter, and illustrate how you can demonstrate these effectively. Ensure that you prepare a strong CV, which is well written and formatted, and proofread it thoroughly before you send it.

Assessment Centre

If the recruitment team are impressed with your application you will be invited to attend the Savills assessment centre. Your day at the assessment centre will be structured around a variety of activities and tests.

The day usually commences with a meet and greet, which is your opportunity to meet some current employees and to find out what it's like to work there. You may be given a tour and shown different areas of the business. Listen attentively to what you are being told and, if the opportunity arises, ask some positive questions about working for Savills.

The activities which follow the meet and greet at Savills typically include:

Numerical and Verbal Reasoning Tests

These will be used to assess your skills in assessing written and numerical information. The nature of the test may depend on the business area you have applied to; some organisations provide the same reasoning tests to all individuals and graduates hoping to join the firm.

If you haven't completed these tests previously, it is important that you carry out some practice tests first so you can refine your technique and complete them efficiently on the day. Each of the tests will have about 24 multiple-choice questions and you will have a little under a minute to complete each question.

The numerical reasoning test will provide you with a set of statistics, graphs or charts. According to the question in each case, you will be asked to identify the most suitable option. The verbal reasoning test will be in the same format but you will be presented with a paragraph, a question and a set of statements. It is your task to use your skills to narrow down the possibilities and select the most suitable answer.

Group Exercise

Group exercises can be daunting as you are required to work in an unfamiliar environment with people you have just met. The purpose of this activity is to assess how well you work as part of a group.

You will be presented with a case study or problem encountered by the business and asked to work as a team to devise a solution. This activity will be under timed conditions, with a small amount of time allowed to read through the scenario and a longer period of time to work on developing a solution. The recruiters will be watching carefully to see how well you interact with fellow group members, what role you assume and how well you contribute without taking over.

Presentation

The presentation will be on a topic closely related to the work of Savills. It may be a problem, a simple question or request (such as "tell us about Savills"), or it could be something related to a typical activity you would be expected to complete in your daily duties. You may be given the topic with your invitation letter, or you may be provided with a topic on the day and allotted a small amount of time to prepare a presentation. Once you have presented your findings, you will be asked a number of questions by the panel.

The presentation is often the last activity that you are expected to complete on the Savills assessment day. Once the day is over, your performance across all of the activities and tests will be carefully reviewed by the recruitment team. If they are happy with the results they will invite you to the final stage in the recruitment process, the interview.

Interview

Interviews usually take place in London, but they can also be held at the regional offices, so you should be prepared to travel. If you do have to travel, plan your journey in advance so you arrive in good time on the day. Depending on the distance from your home it may be advisable to travel the day before.

Ensure that you follow any instructions given in advance, as well as any guidance provided for dress code. The dress code for interviews at Savills is smart office clothing; for women, this would be a smart blouse and skirt or trousers, and for men, it would be a suit.

To succeed at the Savills interview, you should prepare a number of examples to outline how you have used the skills that the Savills recruiters believe to be important. Highlight any achievements, work experience or voluntary appointments that show relevant skills, and always try to relate your answers back to the values and ethos of the company.

Questions can range from the competency-based to the more hypothetical, and you may be asked what you know about the company. The interview panel will ask you a number of questions relating to information on your CV. Make sure you know what you have written so you can easily answer the questions you are asked.

It is advised that you conduct thorough research of the property market and find out what properties are popular in the UK and throughout the world. This will ensure that you can deliver strong answers, backed up with statistics and strong reasons, to any questions on property, the company and the market in general. In the past, questions have been asked about the Savills share price, so do be sure to check this before you attend the interview.

Questions asked might include:

  • Who do you most admire in the property industry?
  • (If applicable) Why didn't you do a degree in property/real estate management?
  • Based on current conditions, how would you characterise the outlook of the housing market?

The recruitment process for Savills is certainly thorough, and it might differ quite markedly from what you are used to. Prepare properly and familiarise yourself with what is required and you will increase your chances of success.


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