Recruiter tips

Choosing a Department and Office

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We have four separate early careers programmes, and eight different business areas across 10 offices across UK, Ireland and Jersey so there a lot of options to choose from. Please note you can only make one application in a 12 month period so we strongly urge you to use the resources on this website to make sure you fully understand what the different roles are and what you are best suited for. For full details on our different business areas, programmes and offices, please select the relevant section of the website. You can also gain more personal insights from the case studies and testimonials from our employees. Please see the Our People section of the website.

When choosing a role, not only is it important to fully understand what it entails but to think about where your own skills and strengths may lie. This is key as you should apply to a position which captures your interest and which you will enjoy.

Whichever role you decide to apply for, as part of the trainee programme, you will also study towards a recognised qualification. For full details of our training programmes and the qualifications, please visit the Learning and Development section of the site.

Online Testing

Upon successful completion of the application form, you will be invited to take online numerical and verbal reasoning tests.

Useful tips…

  • The tests are timed so ensure you are fully aware of how many questions you have to answer and keep an eye on the clock! You will have 20 minutes for the verbal and 30 minutes for the numerical test.
  • You then have 10 working days to complete the tests once you receive the invite. If for any reason you require an extension on this, please contact our trainee and graduate recruitment team.
  • Our tests are compatible with laptops, tablets and mobile devices. Wherever you decide to take the test, make sure it is somewhere quiet.
  • Practice makes perfect! We cannot over emphasise the importance of practicing before you take an online test, there are a wealth of online tests for you to try.
  • Equipment – have a calculator, rough paper and pen ready for your working out.
  • Stay focused and keep calm!

Interviews and assessment centres

Whether you are attending a video interview or an assessment centre, here are some tips on how to prepare and make the most out of the experience.

1. Video interview tips:

  • Carry out a couple of practice answers before you start the interview to ensure you are comfortable and that your device is recording properly.
  • Ensure you are somewhere quiet and won’t be disturbed.
  • Take time between questions to think about the answer to the next question
  • Behave as you would do in a face to face interview
  • Dress smartly
  • Structure your answers and use examples

2. Preparation and research before the interview or assessment day:

  • Research is essential for any interview or assessment day.
  • Use the resources in the trainee careers site as well as the main Smith & Williamson website to understand us as a company, departments, as well as our culture and values.
  • You will be asked about your understanding and motivations of the role, so think about why you are applying and what makes you suitable.

3. The day of the assessment

  • Always wear business attire
  • Make sure you know where the assessment centre is taking place and plan your route beforehand, make sure you check traffic and rail updates before you setoff to avoid any delays to your journey.
  • Please call our switchboard on 0207 131 4000 to speak to our recruitment team if you are delayed.
  • Arrive early – we suggest you arrive 15 minutes prior to the start of the assessment day. Being there early and ready to start will prevent you from becoming flustered before the day begins.

4. Interview tips

  • Be polite and friendly
  • Use appropriate language
  • Have a good handshake and body language – remember eye contact!
  • Take a moment before you answer questions if you need
  • Always be honest
  • Structure your answers and always try to give an example
  • Think of some good questions back to your interviewer
  • Listen and show your interest in the answer – interviews are a two way process!

5. Group exercise tips

  • Fully understand the brief and what is expected of you and the group
  • Take notes during the exercise
  • Listen to all members of the rest of group throughout the exercise
  • Make sure you contribute throughout the discussion but do not dominate the conversation to the detriment of the rest of the group
  • Keep an eye on the time
  • Respectfully challenge any points you do not agree with
  • Be confident and enjoy the experience!
  • Help to drive the conversation forwards and do not get stuck on one point
  • Encourage your team mates to get involved if you can see they aren’t contributing

What are we looking for in a strong candidate?

We are looking for as many of the skills and behaviours below as possible in a strong candidate. Do your best to display these throughout the assessment process;

  • Passion for the role
  • Ability to learn
  • Enthusiasm
  • Attention to detail
  • Perseverance
  • Integrity
  • Ability to build relationships
  • Commitment
  • Teamwork


Useful links