UK: Choosing What To Apply For…

Last Updated: 19 June 2013
Article by Deloitte LLP

Most Read Contributor in UK, August 2017

It's funny, but it seems like applying for this job happened a long time ago now, even though it's just over a year. I had made a decision to leave my previous job as I felt it wasn't the right career for me, and found myself sat on my sofa wondering what direction to go in next.

Having already worked in one job I didn't enjoy, I was keen not to make the same mistake again. After visiting my university careers fair I had whittled a stack of potential employees down to a few I really wanted to work for, with Deloitte looking like an excellent option. But did they have a role for me?

I wanted a job with some variety, the option to learn new skills, a job that would move with advances in technology and a job in which I would work with people, not just machines -  Enterprise Risk Services seemed like the perfect fit!

I did spend a lot of time deciding which service line was right for me; reading through the recruitment website for hours on end, writing lists of what I wanted from a job, and then, having picked a service line, reading through the available job descriptions to see if it sounded like it belonged to a role that would keep me interested and motivated for the next 40 or so years. Security and Resilience certainly did that.

THE APPLICATION PROCESS

Stage 1 – The Application Form

It's easy when applying for jobs to want to rush through the application form and fill it in as fast as you can, particularly if you are busy with University deadlines, work and real life in general. Resist the temptation! Spelling, grammar and the way you phrase things do matter, so copy and paste the questions into Word, think about your answers and then paste them back when you are happy with them. When you've drafted your answers proof read them, and check you are answering the question you are being asked. Then, when you are happy, press submit. Don't agonise over it for days on end, you'll never get the job if you don't get around to applying for it!

Stage 2 – The Numerical Tests

There are lots of practice questions available for this on the internet and it's well worth having a look at some of these to get an idea of the sort of thing you will be asked.

This may sound really obvious but make sure you have everything you need; paper and pen, calculator etc. before you start. Sit somewhere you can concentrate and won't be interrupted and put your phone on silent – you don't want to be interrupted half way through by a phone call.

Don't panic if you can't answer a question – move along to something you can! You don't need 100% to pass the stage.

Stage 3 – The E-Tray

Despite this being a 'test' I found that I really enjoyed this, although I had a bit of a traumatic start. I took my e-tray in the Manchester office and woke up on the day to a foot of snow in Sheffield. I discovered the road I had intended to take over the tops had been closed between the time I left home and the time I reached it and so I phoned the office to say I would be late and was surprised that she sounded a little bit confused. With a little help form sat-nav I arrived, in the nick of time, to discover there was no snow at all in Manchester!

The e-tray itself was straightforward, the hints and tips on the website and given at the start were really helpful and I found it fun to sit and decide what email response to send back to clients. The hardest part was writing an email summarising some information given but if you took a couple of minutes to plan out how you were going to answer it wasn't too bad.

Stage 4 – First Interview

For the first interview it's important that you have researched the role that you have applied for, and understand what is involved especially with regards to the training/qualifications you may be expected to do.

It's also important to look through the list of competencies and make sure that you have a couple of examples for each one! Try and get as wide a range of examples as possible from different aspects of your life; university, sports clubs, jobs, whatever it may be.

 Also familiarise yourself with some relevant news stories particularly if they are relevant to the area you have applied to – I found the BBC technology news pages invaluable!

 Once you've done the preparation, try and relax and enjoy the conversation – and don't be afraid to show your personality!

Stage 5 – Partner Interview

For the partner interview you will be asked to prepare a five minute presentation. Don't leave it until the last moment, five minutes goes by in a flash so you want to make sure that you can cover all your important points in the time limit. I practiced with my family and asked them grill me once I'd finished so that I could try to answer their questions. I also tried to think of other questions that might be asked and made sure I'd thought of some answers.

Finally remember and review your competencies from the previous interview as the second half of the interview will once again be competency based! Finally, as always –don't panic!

Good luck!

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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