Gransnet forums


Friday night brain teaser... Can anyone help my DD with this job application.

(18 Posts)
glassortwo Fri 08-Jun-12 21:09:57

My DD has been working for a large company for the last 4 yrs while completing a degree part time and now has the opportunity to apply for a Graduate Development position which has the potential of greatly advancing her career.

The application form asks the questions below can anyone help her to ensure she covers all the required points as well as possible.

1. What has attracted you to apply for this opportunity.

2. What do you believe are the 5 key things you could offer as a Graduate Trainee? Please support with brief examples.

3. Please briefly outline an example situation which will demonstrate that you are quick and willing to learn?

4. Please outline briefly a memorable example of either good or bad customer service and why it had such an impact on you.

5. In a few bullet points, please describe what you do to you ensure that you get everything done that you’ve promised to do?

6. Please briefly outline a couple of experiences that you feel you learned a great deal from (good or bad). What were the four key things you learned?

7. We are looking for someone who is good at connecting with different people. How can you demonstrate to us, using brief examples, that this describes you?

8. Please demonstrate to us, by using examples, that you are practical and can understand things that are technical.

9. Do you consider yourself an effective team player? If so, why?

Thank you in anticipation smile

Anne58 Fri 08-Jun-12 21:49:08

Oh heavens, that is not a brain teaser, that it a full evenings homework!

If my brain wasn't so addled from todays interview, and then being asked for input into a bit of a major neighbourhood issue as soon as I got out of the car (don't ask!) I might be better equipped to respond!

glammanana Fri 08-Jun-12 21:52:59

I have never had to do anything like this when I was at work full time but I am sure with the dedication to studying for her degree and working at the same time surely and having the responsibility of a family that questions 3, 5, and 8 are well on the way to being answered,I'll have to pass on the others sorry.Very best of luck to your DD glass

Anagram Fri 08-Jun-12 22:24:34

Yes, agree with phoenix, I'd love to help glass but it's just too hard for my brain after a whole afternoon with two overactive 5-year-olds! confused

Anne58 Fri 08-Jun-12 22:35:02

If the job is with the same company, then Point 1 could cover how much she has enjoyed what she has done so far, how she appreciates the opportunities to advance her knowledge etc etc and would like to continue with them to build on that/give back something etc etc. (Disclaimer, might have misunderstood situation, and tired!)

Anne58 Fri 08-Jun-12 22:37:44

Me again,

I could list loads of examples for point 4, but they would be my experiences, not your daughters!

AlisonMA Sat 09-Jun-12 14:14:31

I think the only help I can suggest is to read all she can on the Internet about the company but after that she has to tailor the answers to her own experiences. They are not questions anyone else can answer. Perhaps if she discusses them with you the pair of you can come up with appropriate answers.

nanaej Sat 09-Jun-12 15:14:05

I would recommend a very careful reading of the questions to make sure that she understands exactly what the company are looking for and answer , as it asks, briefly and to the point. It looks to me that they want very clear and practical examples that she is a reflective, methodical and analytical worker with strong interpersonal skills! Only she can answer the questions as she has had the experiences. Remember what she puts n the form they can ask her to elaborate on so make sure there is more to say about the examples she gives!

JessM Sat 09-Jun-12 15:48:44

These are classic interview questions. They want examples. Real ones, that demonstrate she has the qualities they are looking for. So avoid flattery, trying to second guess etc. Just think of examples from her life
"When I was doing my student team assignment a couple of the other members failed to turn up. I went round to their lodgings and found out that one was having a family problem. I gave him some support and he was able to rejoin the group and make a valuable contribution to our effort. The other one was just sleeping late. I pointed out to her that she was letting everyone down and that we would all share the final mark. She rejoined us and did a great job putting together a great powerpoint. We received a joint 2.1 grade for the assignment."

Not too long, illustrating strengths, keep it real. Nanaje right - they could form the basis for a more in depth probing interview if she gets through this hurdle. Bullet points if they say bullet points.
I expect very competitive and needs several hours work to do this well, I would say.

AlisonMA Sat 09-Jun-12 16:04:25

If this is the sort of thing they have put on the application form then she should be prepared for a lengthy interview which may well include psychometric testing, group tasks, a presentation and other forms of assessment.

I suspect the application form is only the first stab at weeding out and then an assessement day before selecting a short list for interview.

FlicketyB Sat 09-Jun-12 16:34:05

A company that puts all these particular questions on an interview form clearly have no HR department or a monumentally incompetent one.

Normally these types of questions are accompanied by a list of key competences required for the position and the questions would be tightly tied to these competences within the parameters of the skills the job requires.

However here are some tips

Q1 Career advancement; she should make a reference to her studies for her Open University degree. Doing an OU degree requires determination, sacrifice (of time, socialising, cost). Interest in the work on offer. How much she enjoys her current job and her desire to make progress.

Q2 The qualities that made her decide to do, then stick to her studies to complete her OU course apply here as well. Determination, application, time management (to get modules finished in time) attention to detail (making her assignments match all the nit picking criteria required for OU course submissions

Q3 Flog that OU degree again

Q4 Most people have experienced good or bad service at sometime so this should be relatively easy. Choose the occasion and analyse action by action why the service was so good/bad

Q5 This is all about time management. Once again trot out the OU degree, planning and submitting course work, how you fitted this in with work commitments. Does she have domestic responsibilities. This question is all about whether you can manage your time and prioritise activities and not promise more than you can deliver.

Q6 Out comes the OU degree again. Your daughter must have had a few problems along the way. Describe how you dealt with them and then extract qualities from them. Here is a real example from my daughter. She had a bad road accident and was in hospital and had multiple operations and returned home very unwell. She informed the OU within a couple of days to arrange extensions to her submission dates. She arranged for me to bring her laptop and course work into hospital and she worked on her coursework in tiny bites.
The lessons learnt: Accidents happen but if you are up to date with your work and let people know of any difficulties immediately problems can e dealt with. Sometimes even though life is difficult you have to grit your teeth and keep going. All these are things an employer will be looking for

Q7 Does your work bring you in to contact with different people? How about any social or volunteering activities. Do you chat to someone on the bus/train/walk to work who comes from a different background to yours? Think of any area in your life where you meet people and then analyse it to see if you can get an answer to this question.

Q8 Think of a piece of modern technology; 3G phone, ipad, learning to drive and explain how quickly you learnt to operate it.

Q9 You are probably a member of a team at work, your work colleagues would count as a team. What do you do to make sure that you help your department/section do its work effectively. And why? possible answers are being aware of other peoples deadlines,or knowing when someone could need a bit of help or support

Hope that helps, but I would still sack the person who put all these questions on the application form.

glassortwo Sat 09-Jun-12 20:17:39

Thank you all for your help she had finished the application but had not emailed it so has read through all of your tips and has taken any pointers from them that she felt needed padded out.

She thanks you all and sends winewinewinewinewinewinewinewinewine

These questions were only a small section of the application form shock

glammanana Sat 09-Jun-12 23:10:33

God bless her if she has to fill in more than that glass no wonder so many of our graduates can't get employment the application would frighten you witless.grin

glassortwo Fri 20-Jul-12 11:17:36

My DD has been invited to give a presentation at lunch time for a position on the Graduate Development Programme so fingers crossed, but its only the first stage in selection.

Butternut Fri 20-Jul-12 11:41:20

Fingers crossed indeed glass! sunshine

JessM Fri 20-Jul-12 12:18:00

She has done well to get through the first screening

Anagram Fri 20-Jul-12 13:08:55

glass, she did well to complete the application! To get to the first stage is an even bigger achievement - she must be a hard worker. (Like you, of course wink)

AlisonMA Fri 20-Jul-12 13:46:58

glass best of luck to her. Please let us know how it goes. I've run many of these and I know how stressful they can be.