About Oliver Wyman
Founded in New York in 1984, Oliver Wyman is a management consultancy company based in America, but with global reach.
Oliver Wyman, which is a subsidiary of Marsh and McLennan Companies, has offices in over 60 countries and employs more than 5,000 people to carry out consultancy services for industries as diverse as energy and education, but with a particular focus on banking and financial services.
Oliver Wyman operates in three 'business verticals', which govern how the company is structured internally, and what each employee is focused on. The three verticals are:
- Financial services — this is the biggest area of focus for the business, and what the company is primarily known for.
- Consumer, industrial and services — essentially all of the consulting work that Oliver Wyman does outside of the financial services remit.
- Health and life sciences — this is the smallest vertical. It is concentrated on working with clients in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries.
Oliver Wyman Application Process
As with most internationally-known and celebrated financial companies, the application process for Oliver Wyman is rigorous and competitive.
Candidates must be prepared to take part in online assessments as well as multiple tasks and interviews to make it to the end of the process.
Research, preparation and test practice are essential if you want to give yourself the best possible chance of success.
The start of the process involves filling out an online application form.
This is your first chance to make a good impression, so it's important to ensure all details are accurate and that everything you've written is spelt correctly.
You'll be asked to provide key details such as your relevant experience and educational qualifications, and you may even need to respond to some motivational questions that are designed to probe a little deeper into your behaviours and personality type.
Oliver Wyman employers will be looking for examples of how you align with, or embody the organisation's key competencies:
- Personal initiative
- The client comes first
- We succeed when our firm succeeds
If the hiring employer likes what they read on your application form, you'll be invited to complete a series of online assessments.
The tests you're asked to take will depend on the role you're applying to, and the level of seniority, but they could include any of the following:
Numerical Reasoning Test
The Oliver Wyman numerical reasoning test sits at around GCSE mathematics level and examines your ability to work with simple numerical principles through the lens of hypothetical workplace scenarios.
Each question allows you less than a minute to read the problem, make your calculation and answer, so the skill really does lie just as much in managing time pressure as it does mathematical aptitude.
It's worth brushing up on geometry, counting and probability, as well as practising past numerical reasoning tests to familiarise yourself with the kind of questions you may be asked.
Verbal Reasoning Test
Verbal reasoning tests are used in hiring processes across the world as they seek to better understand how well a candidate can read, assimilate, and extract key information, often from very dense passages of text.
No prior knowledge of the subject is needed. Instead, you'll be presented with a chunk of text to process, before being asked to read related statements and determine whether they're 'true', 'false', or if it's 'impossible to say' based on the information in front of you.
It's a good idea to practice verbal reasoning tests in advance of your Oliver Wyman test. This will help you to read faster, improve your understanding of what pieces of key information to extract and remember, and bolster your confidence in your abilities.
Personality tests can't really be prepared for. This is because they're designed to assess your key drivers, traits and characteristics to see how well you're likely to fit with the role and company you're applying to.
The test normally requires you to read through a series of statements, before responding by picking how strongly you agree with, or relate to, what you've just read.
Answering the questions as honestly as you can is really important if you want to end up in a role that you're suited to. However, it doesn't hurt to think about the type of person Oliver Wyman is likely to want to hire based on the company's objectives and key motivations.
First Round Interviews
If you do well at the online assessments, you'll be invited to take part in a first round interview. This is sometimes split into two parts: the 'conversational interview' and the 'case study interview'.
Taking place either in person or via video call, the focus of these interviews is for Oliver Wyman to learn as much as possible about you.
In the conversational interview, this could mean you cover topics including your accomplishments and educational qualifications, any relevant work experience, career goals, and even hobbies and interests outside of work.
This interview is competency-based. This means the manager interviewing you will want to see solid examples of where you have demonstrated key skills expected from candidates, as well as the Oliver Wyman values.
This is also an opportunity for you to ask questions and to learn more about the company so you can ensure it feels like the right fit for you, should you be offered the job.
The case study interview is designed to assess your problem-solving skills. It sets you up as a representative for Oliver Wyman, and the interviewer as the client you need to support.
As well as fully assessing the challenge, you'll need to show evidence of how you selected your strategy, what you hope to achieve, and finally — your recommendation.
You'll be measured on your professionalism, presentation and communication skills, credibility, and presence.
Second Round Interviews
The second round interview is sometimes referred to as the 'assessment centre' (UK) or 'Super Day' (America).
The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has meant that the assessment centre has now been shortened to a 30-45 minute second interview similar to the first round, rather than an onsite day. But once restrictions have eased it's likely that the original format will be reinstated.
- A business case interview (similar to before).
- A behavioural fit interview (similar to before).
- Case presentation
In this task, you'll have 30 minutes to prepare a case based on the information you've been given, before spending the next 30 minutes presenting and answering questions on your process.
You may be asked questions while you're presenting, and you'll be expected to seamlessly answer them before returning to presentation mode, (just as you would if a client were asking you questions during a pitch).
To best present your case, it's important to try and remember these key steps:
- State the problem you're trying to solve.
- Show how you recommend solving it, and up to three reasons you think this is the best approach. These reasons should be supported by any information or data you have.
- Sum up the challenge, the recommendation and any potential benefits or pitfalls of your strategy. Ensure you finish strong and instil the interviewer with confidence that your approach is the correct one.
This is an informal chance to get together with a current Oliver Wyman employee so you can ask questions and find out more about what it's like to work there.