Surviving the Graduate Recruitment Process

By Eva Chan, UNSW Careers and Employment

The Graduate Recruitment Process can be a stressful and unfamiliar experience for many students. Careers and Employment offer a range of services and resources to help you succeed, from completing the online application, preparing your resume and cover letter, completing psychometric assessments online and handling interview questions. We recommend you start early, research the organisations you would like to apply for and be prepared!

We spoke to Sophie Brown, Recruitment Coordinator about the recruitment process at Procter & Gamble.

When do you normally recruit university graduates?
Procter & Gamble recruits from all faculties and disciplines during the graduate recruitment season which starts in March. Our offers are made in late May / early June.

Can you outline the recruitment process for the P&G graduate program?
Our recruitment process starts with students completing an application & brief assessment online. The next step for those going forward is the problem-solving test to be taken in our office. It involves questions on literacy and numerical reasoning. Successful candidates will then be asked to complete a supplementary data sheet prior to being interviewed

How can students perform well on the online assessment and problem-solving tests?
The Problem Solving Test is a challenge to complete in the allotted time. Complete the sections you find easiest first. Proctor and Gamble now have a reasoning assessment measuring your figural reasoning ability. UNSW Careers and Employment have sample questions you can practice here.

How should students prepare for an interview?
Interviews are opportunities for us to learn more about the students and for the students to learn more about us. Our interviews are behavioural based in which we ask students to provide examples about a time when they have drawn on specific skills. We ask them to elaborate on what they did and how they have resolved the problem. We believe students' past behaviour predict their future performance. So, if you are invited to an interview, prepare by thinking about your experiences.

What makes a student stand out from the rest of the applicants?
A student who stands out from the rest of the applicants is usually a well-rounded individual with a diverse range of experience and has demonstrated their ability to lead a group of individuals, deal with conflict effectively, and build collaborative relationships.

If you are in your final year of study, this is the time to research and start applying. Graduate programs are typically offered around February in your final year of study and some close as early as the end of March. See Graduate Opportunities for a list of organisations recruiting Science students and their closing dates.

If you are not yet in your final year, you should work on building on your skills and experience. You will be asked to demonstrate your skills based on your past experience when you apply for jobs. You will need to elaborate on a range of examples from your work experience, your extracurricular involvement and your university study. This is something that cannot be made up the night before your interview.

So, get involved, gain some work experience and develop your skills!