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Interviews

Time to show us why you'll be great for AXA

As interviews can often be the toughest part of getting a job, we hope this section will provide you with some useful hints and tips to enable you to perform at your best.

Prior to interview

What you need to know about us

  • Ensure you get all the information you need from the resourcing team or your agency.
  • Make sure you have a copy of the job advert and that you've read it thoroughly, understand what we're looking for and have questions ready on aspects that you need further clarity on.
  • Find out all about us on our websites: our products, our visions and values, recent press announcements and research the particular business area that this role will be part of.
  • Ensure you know the time and place of the interview and the name and job titles of the interviewer(s).
  • Plan your journey and build in contingency for traffic/accidents/parking/signing-in at reception. You'll make a better impression being early rather than late.
  • Think of any questions you want to ask.

What we like to find out about you

  • Make sure you can talk through your CV and experiences to date confidently, highlighting key areas of interest (bring a copy of your CV with you for easy reference).
  • Clear motivations behind why you want this role and want to join us.
  • Details of what you can bring to the role and the company and how your skills and experience are relevant and suitable to our requirements.
  • Details on how you've performed in the past, the actions you took and behaviour you demonstrated to achieve this (see Behavioural/Competency based interviewing below).

The interview itself

Interviews at AXA typically contain behavioural based questions where we look for evidence of your past behaviours and compare these to behaviours that AXA value. This means that we'll require you to give specific, relevant, detailed and positive examples of things you've done during your career to date or from recent full-time education.

Behavioural questions will tend to be ‘open questions' that will require you to give detailed answers. A typical behavioural based question will start with:

  • "Tell me about a time/situation..."
  • "Describe to me..."
  • "Give me an example..."

There will then be further probing questions that will look at:

  • "How did you..."
  • "What did you..."

When preparing examples for your interview, try to keep the following in mind when structuring your answers:

  • S. Situation – Describe the situation you found yourself in.
  • T. Tasks – What tasks did you identify that needed to be done?
  • A. Actions – What actions did you actually take?
  • R. Results – What was the outcome?
  • R. Reflection – What did you learn?

Please feel free to bring in notes to the interview.

The key to these questions is ensuring that you have answered the question and have clearly articulated the scenario (size, scale, relevance, impact) and have demonstrated what you personally did, said or achieved within the scenario.

Behavioural interviews at AXA will form a major part in deciding who will be offered a role; so even if you have extensive experience and knowledge, if you are unable to articulate this through the behavioural questions, you may not be successful.

Preparation for your interview may seem like hard work – however, if you are fully prepared you will definitely feel more confident on the day and deliver a better performance.

After the interview

  • Thank the interviewer for their time.
  • Ask about the follow-up procedure, information on further stages and when you can expect to hear the outcome.

General interview hints and tips

  • Enthusiasm! It's more enjoyable to interview people who show passion and interest and act like they want to work for us.
  • Maintain good eye contact with the interviewer and show interest in what they are saying - everyone in the room is likely to have a say in whether to take your application further!
  • Take notes with you on the scenarios you've prepared for easy reference. A pad and pen will also enable you to make notes on the points your interviewers are making (you can use this information to build on your questions later in the interview).
  • If you are not sure of a question, ask the interviewer to reword it. Alternatively, ask the question back to them to ensure that you have understood it correctly.
  • Keep your answers structured, focused and concise. It is best to start with an overview before expanding on the details.
  • Don't answer with just a yes or a no – always expand.
  • Always bear in mind that the interviewer are looking for evidence that you fit the role, so answer their questions accordingly.
  • Be open and honest – there's little point in disguising the truth and ending up in a role that's wrong for you.
  • Be mindful of your body language – make frequent eye contact, maintain good posture and don't fidget or fold your arms.
  • Switch off your mobile phone.