How to succeed with your application
We’re keen for you to succeed with your Graduate Programme applications, wherever you apply, so we hope this helps!
It’s vital you conduct sufficient research about the role and the organisation before you complete and return the application form.
This may seem time-consuming, but sending out a high number of generic applications is unlikely to prove successful. You need to take the time to consider why you want a particular role and include evidence that supports your reasoning.
If you’re asked to note your extracurricular activities, be sure to be truthful. For instance, if you played a sport but were not the team captain, that’s absolutely fine – not every role is a leadership position.
If the online application form doesn’t have a spellchecker, copy and paste everything you have written into a document that does, and then print this out to complete final checks. It’s easier to read printed copy than text on a screen. If you can, ask someone else to read through it as well.
You need to take the time to consider why you want a particular role
If you are asked to take an online test, find out how long you will have to complete it. Most organisations use a third party to provide their tests, and they will offer hints, tips and possibly practice tests. Use these as much as possible – it may be a different level or type of test, but it allows you to get used to the concept of online testing, which may initially be unfamiliar. The Atos test offers some practice questions at the start, so you can get used to the format. When you are ready to take the test, make sure you can concentrate and won’t be disturbed. Read each question thoroughly, and be as accurate as possible. If the test is timed, keep an eye on how long you have left. If you can’t practice the test, ask the recruiter what preparation you can do. Always let the recruitment team know if there are any adjustments you need to take the test, and we’ll make sure we can accommodate you.
Read each question thoroughly, and be as accurate as possible
Be prepared to answer questions about your motivations, your competencies and strengths.
It can be useful to prepare in advance, including thinking of some examples of your achievements in your academic course, your working life and your extracurricular activities.
If you can’t understand what the interviewer is asking, don’t be afraid to ask him or her to rephrase it. Consider how your answer may portray your suitability for the role: if it highlights a mistake you made, don’t forget to explain how you remedied the situation and what you learned for the future. Regardless of the role, employers will be looking for someone who can be clearly understood, so try to construct your answers well and speak slowly enough that you can be heard. Don’t forget that every time you speak to a recruiter you are being assessed – but they want you to do well.
Use this time to ask any questions you might have. If your interviewer doesn’t know the answer, ask them to find out and respond to you by phone or email. Some questions you have might be more suitable to ask at a face-to-face stage, so make a note of them and bring them along.
Try and construct your answers well and speak slowly enough that you can be heard
Like many other graduate and intern recruiters, the final stage of our selection process is an assessment centre.
During the day you will complete several exercises, including one-to-one competency-based interviews, an individual case study and a group exercise, which will give you real insight into life on our Graduate Programme. Refer to our hints and tips in the telephone interview section for the interviews, but remember you’ll be speaking with managers from the area of the business that you’ve applied to, so they will be keen to go into more detail about your education, experience and motivations. In other words, be prepared to go into detail.
For the group and case study exercises, you will be given a brief on the day, so the best advice is to take in all the information you’ll be given to ensure you meet the brief. The atmosphere at our assessment centres is welcoming and friendly, although the exercises are challenging and you will need to perform at a very high standard to be made an offer. Always check basic information to ensure you arrive at the correct time and are appropriately dressed. Be aware of how you are presenting yourself at all times: you won’t be penalised for looking nervous as this is a normal reaction, but if you don’t appear to be engaged it’s hard to make a positive impression.
Be prepared to go into detail about your education and motivations
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