My first interaction with spring project was a previous CV which admittedly I fired off after work and in a rush. Their response was prompt and along the "Distinctly below average"
So when I saw a new opening through these guys I rolled up my sleeves and answered their personal statement questions with wit, humour and most importantly my personality. This was welcomed and I received an interview request the next day.
The first stage took place mid week and was given 3 hours to complete. A large group of 30 nervous looking hopefuls sat in a circle and were asked various questions which were met with answers and long periods of silence, then more answers and more silence. This is where you could already see some people drop off the interviewers wish list. It is sometimes better to say nothing at all rather than an answer without too much thought behind it. I offered a few sentences (and got in early with them so to not give anyone else the chance to say what I was think and leave me with nothing). The UnRecruitment process differs in many ways but I was most perplexed by the fact that you decide whether or not you come along to the second stage... So one day over, no one on one contact and I could immediately say I had secured a second stage!
The next day was on a wednesday (The 1st stage took place on the previous Friday). Having been given the chance to decide your fate for the second stage I had presumed every face would be back for more... Thsi was not the case and out of a total of 60 people only 40+ returned.
This stage of the interview could be linked with the apprentice. Lots of people, very confident in themselves and eventually shooting themselves in the foot with this over confidence.
Most difficult question
- Unless you are a developer or the company says not to: Suit Up
- Do as much research on the company as you can but never quote back to them what is on their website
- Speak using I (it is so easy to speak saying YOU all the time, when you use I you own what you say and therefore sound like you stand behind what you say...Listen to people in a group interview. They will all sound like this "Its easy in life when you say you are organised but are not, you have to do things to prove it")
- Dont be yourself too much: It is good to have some of your personality in the mix but you have to play the game, be what they want in the core and you on the outside. Once you are in the company you can yourself as much as you like.
- If there is an assessment, do what you can to play a big part in it, you can take a back seat only if you feel you have made an impression previously and made connections with the interviewers. If you have done the research prior to the interview you can take the lead without the fear of shooting yourself in the foot.
- Dont be too early, arrive at the stage or a coffee shop round the corner an hour before by all means but register you are there with reception 5 mins prior to the actual interview time.
- Only put relevant things on your CV, 2 months bar work is not really CV worthy.
- Be calm, if you have done your research you will be confident in what you are saying.
It is the toughest job market ever. If like myself you have graduated with a standard 2:1 degree, did nothing but have fun at uni and have did not do a sandwich year then you have to do everything in your power to make yourself look good. Do yourself a favour and work hard at applying for jobs, take time in every job application, tailor your CV to the job specification and most of all: DO NOT GIVE UP, APPLY AGAIN AND GO THROUGH THE MOTIONS.
Experiences at the assessment centre
I was able to take the lead in this section as I had been a little keen and over the weekend I had researched this exact presentation so could bring plenty of ideas to the table. I did not know we were doing this presentation and had simply sent my research to the interviewer the night before to make me stand out amongst the crowd. It worked!
- Group / Panel
- Senior Management
- Verbal reasoning
- Assessment centre
- Group exercise
- Background check
- Competency based questions