Watson Wyatt Interview Questions & Reviews
Getting an Interview
Actuarial Analyst Interview (Negative Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Watson Wyatt in January 2009.
Interview Details – Typical behavioral interview. Sat through three one on one interviews with the more outspoken and friendly members of the staff. The truth is that these people were the only friendly workers at the company so it gave an unrealistic view of the company. The interview process was not challenging but required you to be able to effectively communicate how you would work on teams and handle difficult situations.
Interview Question – Be prepared to talk about your social media and how you overcame difficult challenges/obstacles in life. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – Without a masters or experience there was very little room to negotiate.
Senior Analyst Interview (Negative Experience; Difficult Interview)
The process took a day - interviewed at Watson Wyatt in February 2010.
Interview Details – I submitted my resume CV and online and got a phone interview by email.
Interview Question – I don't remember exactly how it went, but he gave me a scenario and explain all the sum of monetary figures. It was a very broad question that involved specific numbers while reading the newspaper. I have many years of interviewing potential job candidates, and I don't think that it was a well-designed question at all. The interviewer began the call how tired he was as a result of being in a series of meetings between his travels. Answer Question
Actuarial Analyst Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took a day - interviewed at Watson Wyatt in October 2009.
Interview Details – Only had the first interview with a couple of guys for the Actuarial Analyst position in Fall 2009. They were asking mostly typical behavioral questions and needed specific examples in the answers. I was told they would contact me within a week to tell me if I have moved on to the next stage of interviewing but it took them more like three weeks.
Interview Question – Tell us about a situation in which you had to show a great amount of patience with someone you were working with. Answer Question
Actuarial Intern Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took a day - interviewed at Watson Wyatt in April 2008.
Interview Details – Talked with the senior actuaries and learned about what the company does. The interviewers asked basic questions like "what jobs have you had", "how many exams have you passed", etc. At the end there was lunch provided.
Interview Question – What do you know about actuarial consulting vs other actuarial jobs? Answer Question
Anonymous Interview (Positive Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Watson Wyatt in February 2009.
Interview Details – Phone interview followed by 6 on-site interviews. Interviews were on the informal side and the interviewees were very friendly and forthcoming. The structure of the interviews didn't vary.
Interview Question – What was your most challenging experience and how did you tackle it? Answer Question
Business Analyst Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Watson Wyatt in August 2009.
Interview Details – I was contacted by the recruiter and pre-interviewed. This was a basic interview to measure my skill level and go over my resume. I then had a phone interview with the hiring manager and her manager, I assume to see if they wanted to consider me further. Following that interview, I signed permission for a background check and was given a copy of the company benefits. Their scheduling center set me up with 2 more phone interviews and 2 face to face. This consisted of phone interviews with a developer and a project manager who were both based in different cities. I also met face to face with the HR representative for the area and with the hiring manager.
The actual interviews were not difficult. I think they were trying to determine my current skill set, my aptitude for learning, and overall fit with the company. It was stressed that the job involved some travel as well as lots of overtime during half of the year.
The employees all seemed intelligent, well spoken, and were overall really happy with their jobs. I did get the impression that they were all really into their work - didn't have much of a work/life balance but were fine with it.
The benefits package was interesting. I expected a better health plan from an HR consulting firm. They only offer one high deductible PPO option but do contribute towards an HSA for their employees. The PTO was interesting. You had the option to purchase additional hours. The company also offers a pension plan, although who knows how much those can be counted on. Lastly, and perhaps one of the most valuable benefits, the company is very virtual. Some employees work exclusively from home and others just here and there. I think generally, most employees are in the office more often than not but when working long hours, the ability to work from is a great benefit in my opinion.
Interview Question – I can't remember anything extremely difficult. Maybe how I have handled conflicting priorities for difficult clients in the past. Answer Question
Actuary Interview (Neutral Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Watson Wyatt in May 2008.
Interview Details – In general, an average interview in terms of an actuarial interview. Initial phone interview, few questions related to resume. 1 on 1 interview about actuarial exams and possible projects. Didn't get a call back.
Interview Question – What was the best class you took at University? Answer Question
Consultant Interview (Positive Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied in-person and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Watson Wyatt in January 2007.
Interview Details – Entire process was fast. Easy interview. Interviewed with everyone, even junior staff. More concerned about fit than skill set. 30 minutes each.
Interview Question – Why did I chose my current career path? Answer Question
Negotiation Details – Successfully negotiated higher pay. However this is not typical.
Client Developer Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through other source and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Watson Wyatt in May 2007.
Interview Details – Watson Wyatt suffers from a heavily matrixed operating structure. They are notorious for taking a long time to make decisions, especially in hiring. I had a couple of competing offers and thus, the process was accellerated for me. I met first with the hiring manager, then with the Managing Consultant at the time, and finally with my boss' mentor and Managing Consultant from a different office. Interviews were not centrally planned. Culture was fairly benign as a visitor; many actuaries in the office, so pretty quiet, difficult to get an accurate sense.
Interview Question – Describe your ideal work environment (if you could have anything). View Answer
Negotiation Details – Brief. I didn't ask for all that much above and beyond what I was offered. If you have leverage, you can get the company to make some concessions, but on certain benefits they are inflexible.
Marketing Manager Interview (Neutral Experience)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 4 weeks - interviewed at Watson Wyatt.
Interview Details – There was a series of local and national interviews including managing consultant locally and divisional marketing director.
Interview Question – Nothing was too hard; it was behavioral interviewing. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – It was straightforward, not a lot of negotiating.