With virtual recruitment now the norm, how should you prepare for online graduate interviews? Nicole Lange, Accenture’s Graduate Talent Attraction Partner, explains what you can expect from Accenture’s assessment process and how to make the best possible impression in a virtual environment.
When COVID hit, and strict physical distancing measures took place employers had to rapidly adjust their way of assessing grads. Now we’ve had time to adapt and perfect our virtual processes, meaning students can look forward to robust recruitment season ahead! This is what it looks like at Accenture in 2021:
Not much has changed here. Just be sure to cater your CV to the organisation you’re applying for, carefully reading their job descriptions.
- Include your outside interests, recent results and why you’re keen to join us.
- Be sure to capture you’re your skills, including soft skills like time management and collaboration (so long as you have examples to demonstrate how you’ve gained that skill
- CVs in PDF files are preferred. Title the file “YOURNAME_CV” or “YOURNAME_Resume”.
While this part of the process can seem informal, don’t be fooled as it’s our chance to stand out. Make the most of this conversation and demonstrate your enthusiasm for the role and the organisation. Do your research and showcase your ability and personality.
- Prepare ahead of time. As soon as you submit an application you should be thinking about the next steps and preparing.
- Practice your personal elevator pitch. This is a short intro to you – a vital part of your professional tool kit. You’ll soon realise how often you’re called upon to introduce yourself to a group. It’s good to be prepared. Your elevator pitch should give people an insight into who you are as a person. As a grad, yours could cover :
- Your area of study
- The sports, hobbies, volunteering and any other areas you’re passionate about
- What sparked your interest in working for Accenture?
For example: “Hi, I’m Sam Li. I’ve just finished a double degree in IT and commerce. I’m a passionate bush walker in our national parks, so I’m really aware of the different climate change is making to our precious ecosystems. I’m excited that Accenture is helping its clients reach their sustainability goals through digital transformation. I’d love to be part of that process, helping to be the change the world needs.”
Virtual assessment day
A lot of employers will still be managing their grad program recruitment virtually. Virtual Assessment days will mirror an in-person event as much as possible. Think team activities and case studies as well as 1:1 interviews.
- Prepare for a day of online activities. Give yourself the best chance by having everything to hand.
- Workspace – Choose a quiet space in a bright room with a good WiFi connection. Most tools like Zoom and Teams have the option to blur the background behind you. This is a great option if you’re dialing in from home.
- Tools – Assemble everything you need: laptop (don’t use your phone), headset/earphones, pen and paper, water and snacks, a prompt sheet with your elevator pitch and a list of questions you want to ask in your individual interview.
- Attire – Dress as if you’re attending an in-person interview. You should look smart, tidy and well put together. If you’re someone who expresses your personality through clothes, consider if your planned outfit would be appropriate for a meeting with a corporate client.
- Make the most of team activities. What attributes and skills do you want to showcase?
- Natural leaders – Don’t be afraid to take on the leadership role, but be mindful of talking over people. Make sure you listen to your team.
- Quiet achievers – It’s ok to not be the loudest in the group. Employers understand the best teams are diverse ones. Just be sure to still utilise your strengths. Think in advance. Where can you add value? Are you a whiz at PowerPoint or visualisation? Is your skill in strategic thinking or numbers? At the outset, make your capabilities and working style clear: “How about I take the discussion notes and recap at the end?.” With that said it is good to try and push yourself out of your comfort zone.
- It’s ok to not have all the answers. There will be a company representative on hand for help and guidance. Chances are they are there to observe so utilise the opportunity to make a great impression.
It’s highly likely you’ll still sit a 1:1 interview as part of the virtual assessment day.
- Prepare the same way you would for an in-person interview. Read the job description, understand what the company is looking for and prepare examples of how you’ve demonstrated your top skills. Remember the STAR technique!
- Remember: it’s not a one-way street. Have a conversation with your interviewer. Ask questions and be enthusiastic. This is also your chance to validate that the organisation is a good fit for you. Think about what’s important to you – culture, training, volunteering, career progression – and prepare a list of questions.
- Be yourself and have fun!
Are you ready to work at the heart of change?
We believe that positive change happens when we combine technology and human ingenuity. To bring in the most ingenious talent into the equation, we’re looking to hire people like you—passionate, forward thinkers who want to do extraordinary things and make an impact.
Join us and let’s create something incredible.
Applications for our graduate roles are now open:
New Zealand - 22nd Feb to 15th March 2021
Australia - 1st March to 15th March 2021