Graduate Schemes


A graduate scheme can often be applied to within three years from graduating, and can be available in multiple professional areas. There are often several application rounds to this process, and it is worth looking into them as early as your second year.

Application Stage:


Schemes’ application process can open as early as August/September time and some of the more competitive can close around early November, it is worth keeping your eyes peeled and be as organised as possible. The application will most likely require a CV and a cover letter, and it is a good idea to tailor these to each scheme you apply for. For tips on structuring these in effective way please visit the career development site.
In addition there may be application questions tailored particularly to the role you will be applying for, if this is the case then it may be a good idea to save the application and draft out the answers until you are satisfied with them before submitting your application.


Psychometric Tests:


Some schemes might require you to complete a psychometric test prior to any interviews. These could include, but are not exclusive to, numeracy, job situational and personality tests. Try not to worry too much about these tests, recruiters are not trying to trick you. The best way for you to prepare for these are to take practise tests beforehand to get yourself used to the format - these can be found here.


Video Interview:


This part of the process daunts many people but there can be positives, compared with a traditional interview. A video interview is pre-recorded, often uploaded through a portal supplied by the company.
Here are some tips to ease the process:
  • Wear what you would have done to a regular ‘in person’ interview, it will help you be in the right mind set
  • Write out potential answers to situational questions, they will feature on the majority of video interviews and it’s better to have one naturally come to mind rather than make up an answer on the spot
  • Have a piece of paper handy to write down notes. The interview panel often give you 30-60secs before the recording has started after they ask you a question, it is worthwhile making use of this period
  • Record it in a quiet room with no threat of interruptions and the blanker the background the better

Practice your skills here

Assessment Centre:


This is fairly unique to graduate schemes, not many job roles in comparison will have an assessment centre as a part of the application process. They come in all shapes and sizes depending on the company and the scheme. However, they are not something to be scared of, simply something to make yourself aware about before attending.
For assessment centre tips and preparation tools, please visit the career development website.
Otherwise you could also search sites such as the student room to see if applicants of previous years have spoken about their experiences, it may not be exactly the same but it will give you a rough idea of what to expect.


Face-to-Face Interview:


Sometimes this will be a part of the assessment centre, and with others, this will be an additional final stage of the process. The scheme will often have an application progress map on their website, so have a look to see what may be expected of you. Make sure you feel confident and well presented in your outfit and demeanour when attending these interviews. The best you can prepare yourself is by being relaxed before you go in, so leave yourself plenty of time when planning travel, for example, if it is first thing in the morning and a long commute away from Leicester then consider staying somewhere the night before.
Check out the Career Development interview tips here.

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