Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    • Thread Starter

    Hi all. I'm interested in a career in sales and have a phone interview with Pareto Law tomorrow. From what I've read about Pareto law, you have a phone interview which determines whether you go onto an assessment day.

    I've found quite a lot of info about the assessment day itself but can't find anything about the phone interview and what it entails. Has anyone had one before and how difficult is it? I'm kinda nervous.

    Thanks in advance

    The interview is about 40 minutes long and usually standard sort of questions. Questions like why would you be ideal for a career in sales and describe yourself in three words. I had mine back in June when I graduated and I passed it to go onto an assessment day. The assessment day itself is like something from the Apprentice and their advice is 'get involved'. Usually this means that there are certain individuals who are obnoxious and shout over everyone else. The assessors seem to favour this over valuable insight and input. On the assessment day there are usually 30 candidates and around 5 or so individuals are selected. Some are there for the second time. Don't be put off though, if you really want a career in sales then there's nothing to lose. Good luck!

    The following is an in depth review of my experience with Pareto Law. It should also provide advice to those attending the assessment centre.
    I applied for a position with Marsh and was given a telephone interview, which I passed. I was then told I would have another telephone interview on the following Friday, but was not called for several days after that.
    After passing the second telephone interview, I was told that I would have an assessment centre at Pareto Law offices. I was strongly advised to not only read about Marsh extensively, but to attend relevant events, speak to people within Marsh and network.
    The assessment day was not enjoyable for me. At 9:00, the start time, I was waiting around with all the other 58 candidates outside the office. As we were led through the office, we had our picture taken and then were seated in a conference room.
    We had a presentation from one of the directors at Pareto. I personally found his manner to be very abrasive, pushy and unfriendly.
    Following this we had a presentation from a representative of Marsh, where he described his involvement of the graduate programme, and how thirty years prior he had been accepted into Marsh largely because of a shared enjoyment of the game cricket. We then had the opportunity to ask him questions.
    In an extremely tedious process, the Pareto Managing Director asked everyone in the room to introduce themselves, say their university and degree, and then describe their greatest achievement. I felt that this was more about having something interesting to say, rather than being an actual greatest achievement.
    We were then split into four groups, and had a group exercise that followed similar principles to prisoners dilemma. It’s called the Red-Blue exercise. Remember to listen to the instructions. He will say you need to “win” and get the MAXIMUM points. That you need to win is irrelevant in my eyes. Just remember that getting maximum points means getting the most points possible. Not necessarily getting more than the other team. This can only be done if both teams cooperate and go for the same colour. At my assessment centre we were criticised for not realising this.
    After this we had a survival exercise, based on a theoretical moon landing. The exact information for this exercise as well as the model answers chosen by NASA can be found here: http://www.shurdington.org/Downloads...20Exercise.pdf
    We then had lunch. I felt this was the highlight of the day. There was a wide variety of buffet food, and I could not fault it.
    Following this, we remained in our groups and were told to interview each other. That’s about 15 people all interviewing each other on why you should be chosen. It was completely up to the individual groups to decide how to interview, or what questions to ask.
    While this was going on, we were being called out to give our presentations and to have the informal interview.
    As a group we had to select one person who we felt most deserved a place, and then select another person to present to everyone else at the assessment centre on why they were chosen.
    At my assessment centre the presentation was three minutes long exactly. They used a timer. I was told before I went in that I would not be asked questions.
    The only questions I recollect being asked at in the ‘informal interview’ were related to employment dates, holiday plans, other assessment centres I have lined up, and whether I can refer any job seekers to the recruitment agency. No questions related to Marsh, or even the required competencies, were asked.
    At the very end, we were all seated and had another talk from the Pareto MD. He then selected a small list of people to go to another room, and then a slightly larger group of people to go to another room. He then told the remaining candidates that they were not successful.
    Pareto Law do NOT pay expenses to their candidates for travel to the assessment centre. The two times I had to demonstrate my knowledge of Marsh would be by asking questions to the company representative at the beginning, or through the three minute presentation. I do not believe that this is sufficient to demonstrate knowledge, enthusiasm or effort. I believe that during the three minute presentation I could have said anything, whether true or false, because I was not going to be questioned on it. I never had a discussion with anyone about the company, or the research I had done.
    Ask yourself…what company doesn’t even pay for your expenses?
    The purpose of this review is to help potential candidates make a more informed decision as to whether or not they will value the experience of the day, or the opportunities presented by it. The information presented is subjective and based on my own experiences, but true to the best of my knowledge.

    Hi paubates24, that you for your very detailed description of the Marsh assessment day run by Pareto Law. I am going to the assessment centre this year and was wondering if you knew the personalities/skills the people displayed during the short period f time that led them to get picked? I understand Pareto Law is a recruitment agency for sales - is this shown by what they look for ie. extremely confident, in your face and most importantly loud?

    I will post after my assessment day with an update if the format has changed or not.

    (Original post by poor_student)
    Hi paubates24, that you for your very detailed description of the Marsh assessment day run by Pareto Law. I am going to the assessment centre this year and was wondering if you knew the personalities/skills the people displayed during the short period f time that led them to get picked? I understand Pareto Law is a recruitment agency for sales - is this shown by what they look for ie. extremely confident, in your face and most importantly loud?

    I will post after my assessment day with an update if the format has changed or not.
    In a nutshell; yes.

    One positive thing I will say about my experience (a few years ago) is that, when I requested feedback after my unsuccessful day, the feedback given was very detailed and informative.

    The 'stand up and describe your biggest achievement' session was one of the (4?) areas we were marked on- displaying confidence and an ability to speak clearly to a roomful of people was key.

    Basically, you have to want to work in sales.
    Be prepared to assert yourself in a group of people talking quite loudly at each other, possibly with very little actual communication.
    Read the review linked above, especially about grabbing the pen and sitting at the front.
    The room is overheated and they aren't keen about letting you go to the toilet...
    You have to be everybody's best friend.
    It helps if you are into reality TV (esp. MIC) and talking about money.
    The feedback which I received was OK, not particularly helpful or insightful.

    I did not particularly enjoy the day...but you will probably meet some interesting people.

    I grabbed pens and sat at the front but I still didn't get it.

    I don't agree that the room was overheated and they told us we could go to the toilet whenever we needed.

    Overall, I really enjoyed the day, even though I didn't get it. Pareto seem like a really cool company and I would love to work for them, even though they were recruiting for clients.

    When I was giving my presentation, it ended up finishing in 2 minutes, rather than 3 minutes and then I was asked why it was so short, at the time I didn't realise it had only been 2 minutes and thought it was like 5 seconds under or something rather than a whole minute so this could have affected their choice.

    But they did ask me lots of questions after which I thought may have redeemed me as I spoke for ages answering but sadly this was not the case.

    Maybe I'm just not what they were looking for.

    Lots of people also had really extravagant achievements, such as building schools in Africa, running their own businesses or representing their county/country in sports and winning
Do you agree with the PM's proposal to cut tuition fees for some courses?
Useful resources

Articles and guides:

Hands typing

Degrees without fees

Discover more about degree-level apprenticeships.

A-Z of careers Advice on choosing a careerCV writing helpCovering letter helpInterview tips

Featured recruiter profiles:

CGI logo

CGI is open for applications

"Offering a range of apprentice and sponsored degree positions."

Deutsche Bank logo

Deutsche Bank is recruiting

"Thrive in an international banking environment"

ICAEW logo


"Merck is a global leader in specialized pharma & chemicals – join us!"

Army logo

The Army is recruiting now

"With hundreds of roles available, there’s more than one way to be the best."

Bianca Miller, runner-up on The Apprentice

Handle your digital footprint

What would an employer find out about you on Google? Find out how to take control.

Quick links:

Unanswered career sector and employment threads

Groups associated with this forum:

View associated groups

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.