Updated 24 November 2022
Every single year, thousands of students embark on the journey of applying for graduate programs or entry-level roles at their dream companies. In this very competitive landscape, it is super important that you not only understand the process but also prepare as early as possible. Whilst every company is a little different, many of the large graduate programs follow a similar high-level process.
We've simplified the different stages of the graduate recruitment process below so you can ace your application when the time comes.
From a student's perspective, there are so many different options when it comes to choosing a company you want to apply or work for. The research stage is extremely valuable because it can help you understand which companies are better aligned with your passions, skills and personality.
Spending the time to research early will benefit you down the track - providing you great talking points for your cover letter or your interviews. Find out more about how to choose the right graduate program for you here. We also suggest keeping an eye out here on GradConnection to see when your dream employers open applications for their graduate opportunities so you can submit a well-considered application.
2. Online Application
Most employers begin their recruitment process with an application form on their website (or via their GradConnection employer page). You’re generally required to submit a resume, cover letter, academic transcript, and proof of residency or citizenship. This information is used to determine your eligibility for their program and / or roles, sometimes by using Application Tracking Systems (ATS).
3. Psychometric Assessment
Eligible applicants might then be invited to complete an online aptitude or psychometric assessment. Tests will most likely be multiple choice or gamified scenarios and are used to predict future performance. Some employers also include values testing to ensure long-term engagement and satisfaction.
Most assessment providers will direct you to a page explaining their tests to help you better prepare before you begin. Always familiarise yourself with their testing process! The more comfortable you are, the better you will perform.
4. Video & Phone Interviews
After applications, there’s always an interview of some sort - first round interviews are often a phone interview or a digitally recorded video interview.
A phone interview is a great way for recruiters to get to know you a bit more than what they know from your online application. The point of the call is to usually confirm their decision to progress you to the next stage or to find out a little bit about you and your motivations, so make sure you have an elevator pitch ready!
Pre-Recorded Video Interviews:
Digitally recorded interviews are much more common in recruitment processes and are quite difficult to adjust to. Whilst it can be strange to be by yourself and talking into your webcam, it is a good chance to show more of your personality and who you are. If you want to excel, make sure you are well prepared and do some practice beforehand!
Check out our ultimate guide to preparing for interviews.
5. Assessment Centres and Final Interviews
Assessment centres are used by large companies as the final stage of their application process and will involve two key components:
- Group Interview - This tests how well you work in a group environment and with people you haven't worked with before. Managers and recruiters are in charge of assessing candidates.
- Individual Interview - The final individual interviews can be with the manager you will be working with or even a partner from the division you've applied for.
See our ultimate guide to preparing for assessment centres here.
This is the period where recruiters and hiring managers get together to review applications and assess performance against the requirements of each role. If you’re one of the stand-out candidates, expect to receive a call with an official job offer! The final stage in a recruitment process is signing your employment contract.
There’s nothing worse than being over-prepared – said no one ever! The more familiar you get with this process, the more success you'll have with your applications, and the best thing you can do to boost your chance of success is to do your research and practice where possible. If you want the ultimate opportunity to do this, keep an eye out for our annual Top100 Future Leaders Competition, where we put university students to the test (literally), by taking you through a full mock graduate recruitment process - applications open in August!
If you’re ‘passed it’ and already looking for your graduate role, see open opportunities you can apply for here!