For anyone who has just left university, or can cast their mind back in sympathy, it’s true that most graduate application processes can be quite overwhelming. Often, these consist of endless online tests, video interviews and virtual assessments, without ever meeting someone from the company. Speaking from experience, two months into my internship at Elixirr, this is where The Challenger Consultancy immediately stands out. Unlike many other firms, from the outset they place a great emphasis on getting to know you as an individual. The application process is designed to be interactive and engaging, ensuring that you have a chance to showcase your skills and personality from the start. So, here’s what to expect from the application process and the internship overall.

The application process

First things first, after submitting an online form on the careers page, if successful, you are invited to interview with a member of the Elixirr HR team. By placing emphasis on this personal connection, Elixirr sets itself apart from other firms, seeking to understand that each candidate is more than just a list of achievements on paper.  

Elixirr sets itself apart from other firms, seeking to understand that each candidate is more than just a list of achievements on paper. 

Once you’ve made it through this initial stage, you’ll be invited to participate in an assessment centre at the Elixirr offices. For me, that was the HQ in London. This is where the Elixirr way truly shines through. The assessment centre isn’t just a series of tests; it immerses you into life at Elixirr, emphasising competency as well as your ability to connect and engage with your peers and the team. You’ll have the chance to interact with analysts who are currently working at Elixirr, providing you with the opportunity to ask them any questions you may have about the company, their work experience and more. By creating connections you gain valuable insights into what life is like working at Elixirr and can “try before you buy”.  

The day is structured around three tasks: two group case studies and a presentation. During the case studies you work closely with a team of applicants to tackle industry-relevant challenges head-on. Together, you brainstorm ideas, analyse data and strategise innovative solutions. The collaborative nature of these case studies not only showcases your individual capabilities but also highlights your ability to work effectively in a team. What’s more, they are a true reflection of the everyday work at Elixirr. Once your group has formed a solution (or when time runs out!) you then present your findings back to the Elixirr team. Here, you can showcase your ability to confidently articulate your team’s thought process, methodology and recommendations. As you deliver this presentation, the Elixirr team will ask you probing questions to gauge your understanding and problem-solving abilities. The assessment centre for analysts is much the same.

Meeting the team

Your final round interview consists of an HR interview, an interview with a partner and a coffee chat with some of the analysts. Both the HR interview and the partner interview delve deeper into different aspects of your fit with Elixirr. The main purpose of these interviews is to see if they can envision you as part of their team, as much as you can envision yourself joining Elixirr. This involves ascertaining if you have the right skills, experiences, competencies and whether your aspirations align with Elixirr’s culture. The coffee chat is more informal and provides an opportunity for you to ask questions by chatting to current analysts. Meeting members of the team cross-grade really helps you understand the flat hierarchy culture at Elixirr and of course helps ensure you know some friendly faces on your first day.

Top tips for your application

  • This might sound like the biggest cliché in the book, but my top tip would be to be yourself during the process. Whilst there are various parts that you can prepare for, the interviews and assessment centre are designed to assess your fit with Elixirr holistically and for you to figure out if Elixirr is a fit for you. 
  • Know your stuff – Elixirr is a unique business with an innovative approach to consulting. Make sure you understand how Elixirr is different and why this aligns with your interest in joining the firm. 
  • Connect with people! LinkedIn is a powerful tool and if you connect with others at Elixirr or join our virtual Q&A, OpenDoor, they are more than happy to answer specific questions, provide insights into their work and the company in general. 

The internship itself

The stereotypical work of an intern tends to revolve around coffee runs, paper-pushing and diary organising – yet at Elixirr, it is the total opposite. Despite having the title of an intern, from day 1 you are treated as an analyst, meaning you are trusted with real responsibility early on.

Despite having the title of an intern, from day 1 you are treated as an analyst, meaning you are trusted with real responsibility early on.

My first week at Elixirr was spent on ‘the bench’ which was a great opportunity to help out on a variety of different projects and gain an insight into the type of work Elixirr does. As well as this, I was able to connect with people across the company and try my best to complete their ’30 coffees in 30 days’ challenge – an initiative set up to ensure new joiners feel welcomed and integrated from early on. Safe to say it was a caffeine-fuelled first month…

Following my time on the bench I started support on a 4–week financial services project, working directly with a manager and a partner to help our client with their organisational design. I was assigned key project tasks within the first couple of days and encouraged to take autonomy over my tasks, trusted to deliver them to a high standard. It can feel very overwhelming learning how to ‘consult’ alongside learning knowledge specific to your project, but this steep learning curve represents the trust that Elixirr places in their employees and is reflected in the general consensus that you’ve been hired because you’re capable and they trust you to show that. The team were supportive throughout – plus, being based out of the London office, the hot-desk set up meant that I could be sat next to anyone, whether an analyst or partner, there was always someone around to help me out. Now that I’m on a new project, with a new client in a completely different sector, I’ve realised how much you learn in such a short period of time at Elixirr. 

Alongside project work there are so many opportunities to throw yourself into the wider Elixirr culture. Over summer we’ve had various events going on such as a weekly rounders league, a charity sports day and, of course, weekly pub trips for those who want to join.

I’ve enjoyed my time as an intern at Elixirr so much that I’ve decided to stay on as an analyst, a position I rolled straight into a month ago. For more on the analyst role specifically, check out our ‘Life as an Analyst’ video series.

Sound like the firm for you?

Apply today