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From the first interview, don’t be afraid to show your authentic self

March 28, 2023

Bree White is the Early Careers Operations and Recruitment Lead for Accenture ANZ, focused on hiring roles from new graduates up to three years of work experience. She shares her insights on how to put your best self forward during the recruitment process.

What does Accenture mean by Early Careers?
For Early Careers, we’re focused on roles that are entry level up to three years of work experience. This can be people in their final year of university looking at our graduate program, or people one to two years into their career looking for a new role. But it’s also hiring career changers with transferrable skills, for example teachers moving to consulting, or people with professional experience that have retrained to change careers. We hire across all the Accenture service groups, with roles in Technology, Operations, Strategy and Consulting, and Song.

What can I expect from the recruitment process?
First up, we want to assure you that our recruiters are friendly! We want to understand you better and we know how to ask questions to help you highlight things about yourself. For Early Careers, it’s not only about your skills and past experience, it’s about getting to know you as a person and what makes you, you! We certainly don’t expect you to know everything yet. Some of my most memorable phone screens are those when people tell me about their side hustles or passions outside of work and university (like the candidate who was doing social media posts for fun about a notable Game of Thrones actor. The star recognised their work and asked them to do it for them officially – talk about ‘excellent communication skills!').

We’re also really committed to providing you with open and transparent communication throughout the process. You’ll be given constant updates on the progress of your application.

In addition, we are respectful of – and encourage – everyone’s individuality. For example, at the assessment days, everyone will introduce themselves using their pronouns. It’s important to emphasise that we’re not looking for culture fit, we’re looking for culture add, and you don’t need to change to be the way you think Accenture wants you to be. With over 700,000 people globally, we’re not all the same and we celebrate that.

I’ve seen Accenture talking about bringing your authentic self to work. What does that mean in practice?
I know it sounds like a cool pitch for Gen Z, but Accenture really is a place where you can feel free to be yourself. It’s not a sterile work environment where everyone is wearing suits. From the first moment you walk through the doors, you can immediately tell how culturally diverse it is.  You’ll see that we have so many different celebrations, like events for Diwali, Hannukah and Christmas, and you’ll quickly see the diversity of skills, education and work experience that our people bring.

We want you to be able to live and work in a way that’s true to you. We don’t want you to censor yourself – you’ve been hired for a reason, so bring your ideas, opinions and personality to the table. This encourages others to do the same and helps to ignite discussion. When you start your career at Accenture, we want you to stay true to yourself.

In addition, don’t hide if you’re struggling or need help – both in the application process and once you’re hired. In the early stages of your career, we don’t expect you to know everything, so questions are normal and encouraged. Be vulnerable and ask for help, because it will ultimately get you to where you need to be faster.

Finally, don’t underestimate the power of humour. Being lighthearted is as important as being professional, and having a good time at work shows you genuinely care about creating a positive atmosphere.

How can I best prepare?
I’d strongly encourage candidates to go to the Accenture website and look at the case studies that interest you. If you’re interested in sustainability, review our projects in that space. If you’re passionate about inclusion, read about our inclusion and diversity programs. Focus on the things that are important to you, your morals and your values, as that will highlight the true reasons why you applied to Accenture and will allow you to speak to us in a more genuine way.

Furthermore, don’t be afraid to put some personality into your application as well. There’s a lot of freedom in what format you use for your application and if you’re stuck, there’s lots of free templates you can find on Word or online – just be sure to not over-complicate it! One or two pages is best. Make it easy to read with experience and education in chronological order of most recent to oldest. Share your interests, hobbies and passions, not just your academic success and work experience. It all helps us to get a sense of what you’d be like to work with and also helps you find the place at Accenture where you can best shine.

Also, if you need any accommodations, please let us know. For example, Accenture is working towards becoming a disability confident recruiter and we have an 8.7% disability recruitment target – you don’t need to disclose why you need any specific requests either. We’d love to hear from people from a range of backgrounds and different lived experiences.

If you want to get notified once our applications open,  register your interest here.

          WRITTEN BY

          Bree White

          Early Careers Operations and Recruitment Lead