I’m not sure how many people have had an experience where they make it to the final stage of the recruitment process only to be told they’d be a better fit for their competitors. But that is exactly how I ended up applying for Accenture. I made it to the final stage of a very small testing company and was told that ‘I am a very analytical individual who would be suited much better at Accenture and could really flourish.’
Deep down, I knew that I am well suited to companies such as Accenture where they have a global presence and they are the leaders in their field, but I didn’t know if I was good enough to apply. Accenture recruit the best and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to put myself through a vigorous application process that many global companies are known for.
Turning rejection into opportunity isn’t always easy. But in my particular case, this company had basically said ‘Apply for Accenture’. I guess this gave me the mini boost I needed and found that the ‘Client Delivery Graduate Programme’ really caught my attention. A grad programme that really suited my degree – Information Management and Business Studies. Having the business mind-set tied in with an interest with all things technology.
Graduate programme sorted, now onto the application. The online application included: uploading my CV and cover letter with some competency questions. Naturally the first step for every job I’ve ever applied for – a day spent constructing and refining answers to a standard I was happy with and then submitted my application. Next came the online test - deductive reasoning. I’ve always found myself to be very comfortable with online tests, but I’d never done deductive reasoning before. Not about to be put off I practiced for a day or two before attempting the real thing and did not find myself to be out of my depth.
Safely through to the next stage – a digital interview. For anyone who has not done it before, digital interviews are a surreal experience, but I can see more and more companies preferring to use this method instead of telephone interviews as it doesn’t require both the interviewer and interviewee to be present and available at the same time. I had done a couple of video interviews before so was not too phased by the experience. Treat it like a real interview and you’ll sail through easily. Preparation is key as with any interview. Practice to your webcam a number of times and you’ll become comfortable when it comes to the digital interview.
I think passing the digital interview was the point at which my attitude changed from “I hope I get this” to “What do I need to do to ensure I get this”. A shift in thinking and confidence. I think in this industry, confidence or “ego” is what sets you apart. The more I read about Accenture and the work they do the more I wanted it and the more I realised that I already had a lot of the skills and knowledge this graduate scheme required. I went from thinking “I hope I have what they are looking for” to, “I need to demonstrate I have all the core competency skills and knowledge they want from a candidate”.
It’s ego that gives you to boldness to say, “I’m here. Now stand back, and see what I can do.”
- Chelsea Berler, 2015.
If I had to describe the mindset of which I went to the assessment centre with I would say – I have nothing to lose. There was a confidence in me that had never been present in any other AC I had been to either for a graduate job, placement or internship. I knew I wanted this and I knew I had to demonstrate and present myself in a way that depicted me as an ideal candidate.
As far as Assessment Centres go, extremely enjoyable usually isn’t a word I’d use to describe them. But Accenture’s one was. Of course there was nerves at first, but they quickly disappeared when I got stuck into the AC activities. I seemed to be in my element. It was a half day that flew past. In addition I really liked the other candidates. We all got offered a position with Accenture and a few of the people in my AC happened to now be very close friends of mine. As I took up the offer its pretty natural to assume that I had a positive experience. And I may be slightly biased in saying it is one of the best experiences I had as I didn’t feel stressed or nervous and felt really comfortable in the interview and group task situations which allowed me to demonstrate my personality and skills in the way that I was assessed.
One of Accenture’s core values is Best People and they look for that throughout the recruitment process. The entire process isn’t designed to exhaust or frustrate you – it is designed so that you can show your potential, skills and knowledge at every stage. My final thoughts of the application process were – I don’t know what I was so worried about and why didn’t I apply sooner!
The entire process from my application to offer was less than one month, the quickest I’ve ever experienced from any company on a global scale such as Accenture’s.