For many students, the graduate recruitment process is like a rollercoaster ride: There are many unexpected twists, you’re competing with others for that prized spot, there are sudden ups and downs, the journey can seem like a lifetime and for me, there’s a taxing effect on every additional ride you take (I’m scared of heights). To help you come out the other end safe and sound, I’m providing you with my personal safety belt that will hopefully help you on your rollercoaster ride.
Initially when I thought I had figured it all out and who I had to be to get the long-awaited offer, I was swiftly proven wrong. For many companies, especially Capgemini, the recruitment process does not involve looking for just one type of person. In fact, it is the diversity in Capgemini’s people and their ways of working which lays the foundation to their success. So instead of focusing on who you should try to be, my main advice is to focus on what you should do to best prepare yourself. Having taken Capgemini’s rollercoaster, I’ve put together my top 5 tips to ace their recruitment process:
- Study up the company, and the industry
In my opinion, this is the most important tip as it is as much for you as it is for them. Learning about the company and the industry will enable you to identify whether you truly want to work for Capgemini. If the answer is a resounding ‘yes’, then that passion and interest will show through during the process. Having this knowledge will also help you tailor your CV, write your cover letter, tackle every assessment centre activity and ace your interview.
- Treat each stage with equal importance
Don’t assume that the cover letter is less important than the interview. You will only get through to the interview stage if you have done well in the earlier stages. Take the precautional measure of assuming the assessor at each stage knows nothing about you. You wouldn’t want to miss out on the next stage simply because you did not let the assessor know of your recent crowning as the national spelling bee champion! (Disclaimer: this will not necessarily get you through).
- Do the small things
Although I hate to say it, first impressions go a long way, especially if it only involves a 5-minute video interview or a 45-minute assessment centre activity. When you’re at the assessment centre, try your best to smile, talk to as many people (employees AND other applicants), be respectful, make sure your shirt is tucked in, and be on time. Having worked in multiple teams and roles so far, I can truly say that Capgemini’s values of fun and team spirit are integral to their culture. Capgemini does not look for people who can just produce results, instead, Capgemini places unparalleled importance on whether you will be a fun, friendly, trustworthy and respectful team member. Lastly, small things such as replying to emails promptly and in a professional manner will show Capgemini that you do not want to put a foot wrong and consequently care about your application.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions
Assuming you’ve taken up my advice and followed tip number 1, your research about the company/industry should generate a bunch of questions – so try to get them answered! This will show both your genuine curiosity and the fact that you’ve done your background work, which are two very good signs.
In addition, asking questions about the recruitment process will only help minimise the number of unexpected turns and events on your rollercoaster ride. There is no harm in asking when you are likely to hear back, or what you should wear to the final interview. Therefore, to sum it all up, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Unless it’s a question about why following this advice didn’t lead to a graduate role…
- Good luck!
In all honesty, there is always a bit of luck involved. Not every company will get it absolutely correct when it comes to picking 10 graduates out of 1000 students. But treat this as a positive rather than a negative. Do everything you can to best prepare yourself and create your own luck. Whenever there is a small window for a positive impact on your application, then go for it! Good luck everyone and enjoy the ride!
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