Following a long period of being rejected by “lesser” ranked graduate schemes, I’ve recently had a swing of luck with 5 highly reputable schemes (including GSK, BT and 2 IBanks).
Most grad scheme competencies are similar, despite any superficial differences they demonstrate on their websites; they want future leaders with analytical, leadership, communication and innovation skills. While my application technique has improved vastly, I still find that answering seemingly identical competency questions with similar answers will result in success with one scheme, and rejection from another.
I think interview technique is a far more reliable indicator of skill. While I consistently fail to succeed at application stage (in part due to my mediocre A-Level results), I’ve been offered a job following every interview I’ve ever attended (6 part time roles, 2 grad schemes).
Could this be a result of bias on the part of the screeners? I’ve found that a large proportion of recruiting is outsourced, in some cases so well that it’s impossible to distignuish if your dealing with HR or an agency. From experience, I believe that agency recruiters apply less weight to the competency questions, and more to academic results. When the organisations HR deal with recruitment, I’ve experienced the opposite.
Any thoughts on this? What are peoples personal experiences? Does anyone have the opposite problem? (great at applications, poor results at interviews).