Application processes should never be underestimated and in the Careers Service, we are always urging students to research, prepare and practice their applications and selection tests. The below feedback comes from a trusted employer partner on the results of their graduate recruitment for 2019.
“I thought you would be interested in some feedback on the applicants that we had from Bath in this year’s recruitment campaign.
For background, our recruitment process changed this year (we removed the phone interview stage), and it only has 3 phases:
- Phase 0 – Online testing (note that we do not see applications where students fail this test)
- Phase 1 - CV screening, online application questions (written & video form).
- Phase 2 - Face to face interview
We had 18 applications from Bath this year who passed the online testing.
Across all university applicants 92% failed screening, 6% failed the face to face interview and 2% passed the assessments. It appears like a lot of students fail the screening stage, this is because we used the video interview within phase 1 to screen out more students at this stage than previous years. This is because we removed the phone interview (which would have made up phase 2) and we had a significant number of applicants.
I would also like to share some general comments from our assessment team on why candidates failed this year, although these aren’t specific to Bath students:
- The online numerical test. It is still quite shocking that so many people with analytical backgrounds are not passing the maths test, which is the same test and pass mark for all of the grad schemes.
- We have many applications and few interview slots. We get a lot of exceptional applications, so if any aspect of an application is poor (i.e. short/incomplete answers) it is very likely to be rejected.
Here are some frequent examples of why we reject applications:
- The candidate doesn’t meet the entry criteria. It is surprising how many applicants we get who tick to confirm they meet the entry criteria (eg at least a 2:1 in a degree with a significant analytics / stats content) and when you read their CV this isn’t the case. We will reject any application that doesn’t meet the entry criteria without reading it.
- Very short / incomplete answers. A lot of candidates completed their applications right at the deadline, the vast majority (over 90%) of these applications were rushed and had short answers for at least 1 of the 3 questions. It is very difficult to score well against our indicators if there is no content.
- Not answering the whole of the question. As above, missing a big section out makes it difficult to score well against our indicators.”
When you are preparing to make an application:
- ensure you have done your research (do you meet the entry criteria? Are you demonstrating a genuine interest in the role and employer?)
- give yourself enough time (rushing can cause silly mistakes which might have serious consequences)
- keep up-to-date with what employers are advertising and when their closing dates are. (organise regular time slots into your week to check up on job listings. That way you reduce the chances of only seeing your dream position hours before the closing date!)
- double-check to ensure you have answered every question/completed every section (attention to detail is a key employability skill)
- if the selection process calls for numerical, reasoning, psychometric (or any other kind of) test – make the most of the Careers Service resources and PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!
Go to MyFuture and search the resources tab for the practice tests you need or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for help.