Hi all! When I was applying for grad schemes, something I found really helpful were step-by-step write ups of the full application process by people who’d been through it. So that’s exactly what I want to give here!
Online Application Form
A bit longer than some, their application form has a few long questions. Mostly, it’s the usual: employment, education and so on. Important to note is that, unlike some other firms, they open their grad schemes up to people with 2.2 degrees (rather than the usual 2.1 barrier).
You’ll be asked about your extracurricular activities and your motivations, so have some good examples and personal sales pitches ready to go.
Online Ability Tests
Just two online assessments to complete here: numerical reasoning and critical reasoning. These are standard SHL-style tests. On BDO’s website, they recommend you practice using the site https://www.jobmi.com/home.
The numerical reasoning test has 21 questions to do in 21 minutes. As with most tests of this kind, you’ll be shown graphs and tables and data and asked questions based on it, answered in multiple choice format.
The critical reasoning test has you answer 30 questions in just 15 minutes. It’s all about reading the material they give you quickly, making sure you know the crucial information and answering questions based on that.
I always find video interviews a bit bizarre, so they’re definitely worth practice just to get used to them. Basically, you record yourself answering questions on the screen for around 30 minutes. There’s no interviewer, so it’s a one-way conversation essentially, which is why it feels so odd.
Apart from practice, the best way to handle this bit is to just bear in mind their company’s core values, which is essentially what they’re going to be looking for during your interview. These are:
• Honesty & integrity
• Mutual support & respect
• Professional and personal client relationship
• Empowerment and personal responsibility
Try to give examples of where you’ve demonstrated these values in the past, and you should be golden.
The final part of the process, but it packs a lot in.
First up, we were split into groups for a group exercise. For me, this involved essentially a team meeting in which we were given a brief and asked to assess the situation described and come up with conclusions and recommendations. The important thing to try and get right is the balance between contributing well and making your impact known, while not being too overbearing.
Then we had to deliver solo presentations. For these, we were given a topic a few days before arriving, so you can prepare it entirely before you come. That’s important – prepare it well and on the day all you have to worry about it delivering it.
Lunch came afterwards, which actually turned out to be a great chance to have a chat with some of the current grad schemers and find out what working there is really like.
After lunch came the big one – the final interview. I was super nervous before this, but they do make an effort to calm things down, giving you ample time to gather yourself and make mistakes and so on. So, not like The Apprentice interviews…
But do make sure you know your stuff. There will be some technical questions to answer in the interview, as well as the usual sort like your career motivations, examples of you demonstrating various traits in the past, what interests you about this field and so on and so on. Nothing super out of the ordinary, so do some solid preparation and it’ll all go fine.
I heard back within a week after that, which is pretty quick. Expect to hear within around three weeks I’d say. And, if you’re not successful, do ask for feedback! They encourage it and it is really helpful.
Cheers, and please leave your experiences below!