About the Author
It seemed like a lifetime ago when I was a hopeful job-seeker, but I still remember how I felt working on the endless applications and attending the countless interviews. Job seeking in general can be difficult, frustrating and disappointing. And it’s important to remember that landing a job takes time, persistence and sometimes comes down to timing and luck. What I like about the Accenture Graduate Program, is that it isn’t really a graduate position, after induction you are welcomed into a real client project, with the same expectations as anyone else in the Company. Don’t get me wrong, people are understanding and supportive, but they want you to grow and achieve!
I joined the 2016 Accenture Graduate Melbourne cohort, having applied for the position March 2015. Below I’ll describe the process I undertook when applying for a graduate position at Accenture.
There are several gates you have to proceed through before you can reach the end of the rainbow, these are:
Submission of Online Application
Online Aptitude Tests
1. Submission of Online Application ~ Mar, 2015
The submission of the online application is pretty standard across most of the graduate application pathways. It collects your basic details and other important information. Most applications require you to answer a pre-set number of questions, make sure to answer the question in a structured manner (e.g. STAR) where applicable, and abide by any constraints.
Tip: Always submit a Cover Letter when given the option – it’s another way for the recruitment team to get to know you.
2. Online Aptitude Tests ~ Mar, 2015
The online assessments are typically administered by a third-party. They generally fall into three categories: Psychometric tests, Numerical and Logic and Reasoning. I had to complete the 3 tests that were sent out one-at-a-time over a period of about 1.5 weeks. As I was applying for a number of graduate positions at the time, I blocked out some time every two days and did them in bulk.
Tip: For graduate assessments, there are vast resources available online that are mostly free to familiarise yourself with the style of questions, and how to tackle them. Practice is recommended if you’re not familiar or confident in performing these types of tests.
3. Digital Interview ~ Mar, 2015
Some people struggle with the notion of digital interviews, and I understand why. If you’re like me, receiving those immediate feedback cues when you talk to someone face-to-face is important. However, it’s becoming an increasingly common practice and used as a way to screen the large number of applications that organisations receive, so again practice makes perfect. Prepare for a digital interview like you would any interview. Have your elevator pitch ready, and prepare answers to commonly asked questions or more smartly, know what your skills are, what you can offer, and why you want to work there. This way, regardless of what questions they throw at you, you already have answers that you can tailor specifically to the question. Give yourself plenty of time to compete the digital interview, and complete it at a time when you are most refreshed and awake – for me then that was at 11pm!
Tip: Presentation is still key. Video call a friend on the device you are going to use and have them review how you are positioned in the frame and what they can see in the background. Look at the camera and not yourself to mimic eye contact with the reviewer.
4. Business Interview (The Behavioural Interview) ~ Jun, 2015
Congratulations! You’ve made it through what I consider the most difficult part, and now you’ve been invited for an initial interview. The first thing you probably noted was the time lapse between online assessments to an actual interview (yes it can be a lengthy process, I actually followed up the recruitment team to check they hadn’t forgotten me). They called this a Business Interview, however it’s really a Behavioural Interview. Past behaviour is still the best predictor of future behaviour so practice on your STAR technique, and know some excellent examples and qualities that you can draw and tailor when asked “Tell me about a time when…”
The interview was conducted by a Senior Consultant at the Accenture Head Office on Lonsdale Street. The actual interview was quite casual and friendly, with opportunity for me to learn more about the Company, and my interviewer’s role in Accenture.
Tip: Prepare, prepare and prepare. Then relax and take it as an opportunity to learn more.
5. Final Interview ~ Jul, 2015
If you’ve made it to the Final Interview you’re at the home stretch. What you really should be aiming for is to connect to your interview on a much deeper level than previously. What they are considering are questions such as “Can I see myself working with this person?”, “Would this person fit into my team or the cultural of this company?” Their questions will address who you are, what motivates you, and what you are interested in achieving. Here they are assessing your suitability in the role and within the organisation.
My interview was with a Senior Manager at the time. The conversation was again quite casual with the focus on my past achievements and how they aligned with what I wanted to do.
Tip: They want to get to know you and see how you fit in at the organisation. Be yourself and show them that you are more than just work.
After the final interview, I was lucky to receive immediate feedback from the individual on the recruitment team over coffee who formally offered me a position.
As I’ve learned, the application process can be a long and disheartening process. However take it as a challenge; you will learn more about yourself! And also take it as an opportunity to connect with new and interesting people. I wish you all the best in your applications :)
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