Justine Tesoriero, a graduate at Macquarie, gives her thoughts on how you can ensure that you make an impact in the moments that matter most in the graduate and intern recruitment process.
I re-joined Macquarie in the 2018 Graduate Program after completing an internship in the 2016/17 Summer Intern Program. I’m in the human resources program and my first rotation was through the Graduate Recruitment Team. This meant that I got to see first-hand how the process works from the employer’s perspective.
From submitting your application through to the offer stage, in my view there are five key moments in the graduate and intern recruitment process that help a potential employer like Macquarie build an impression of you. Here are my tips for success throughout each of the key moments.
Stage 1: your online application
Macquarie’s online application process involves uploading a cover letter, CV and your latest academic transcript. You will also be asked to select your preferred teams to work with. To help your application stand out:
- Think outside the box - consider a range of roles outside what you think you should do with your degree. During my time here I have learnt that Macquarie values diversity of thought and your degree will equip you with transferable skills that can be applied in non-traditional roles.
- Consult widely - utilise multiple channels (such as your parents, mentor, academics, company website, LinkedIn and careers fairs) to find out more about the organisation and the role.
- Demonstrate your research - show your understanding of the role through your cover letter. Often the candidates who stand out are those who have utilised what they have read and heard to build an application that is tailored to the role they’re applying for. If you are not sure what is involved, Macquarie’s website has details on all of the areas which are recruiting.
Stage 2: your psychometric assessment
Macquarie’s psychometric assessment examines both behavioural preferences and cognitive ability. You will be sent a link via email and be able to complete the assessment online within 48 hours. The behavioural assessment is untimed and will examine preferences and ways of working. The cognitive assessment will assess the areas of numeric, verbal and abstract reasoning. It is best to give yourself 1 – 1.5 hours including practice time. If you are successful in later stages, you will be asked to sit a verification assessment. A verification assessment is a shortened version of the cognitive test taken under supervised conditions to ensure you are responding in a similar way. My tips for the assessment:
- Practice is important - your email invitation will include a link to practice questions which I recommend you do. It’s also helpful to brush up on your basic maths skills e.g. percentage change, reading graphs, ratios.
- If you are not able to complete the assessment in the time frame given, contact the Graduate Recruitment Team to discuss the option of extensions. This may be possible depending on the role and timing.
- Be in the right frame of mind - there is a wealth of evidence linking nutrition and sleep to improved cognitive performance. Eating well and getting enough sleep helps to ensure you’re performing at your best. Complete the test when you feel most productive.
- Relax. Don’t stress about the assessment. Just do your best.
Stage 3: your phone interview
If you’re successful through the first two stages, you’ll receive a phone call from a member of our Graduate Recruitment Team. Make sure you’re ready to answer any questions they have as the phone call won’t be scheduled in advance. The call will go for around 10 minutes and will ask you things like why you want to join Macquarie and the role you’ve applied for, your communication skills and key strengths. My tips for this stage of the process are:
- Set up a professional voicemail message - this is your first impression, make it count. Also make sure you check your voicemail after the application stage. If you receive the call when you’re busy, advise when a better time to call back is.
- Know your CV and cover letter - Don’t memorise these word-for-word, but ensure you can talk about the key points and transferrable skills.
- Practice phone conversations - this can be helpful in getting you familiar with the format. Think about some questions we might ask (e.g. why are you interested in this role? What are some key skills you can bring to the role?) and think about what your responses would be. Get some feedback on your communication skills, keeping in mind to always be professional.
- Do your research - refresh your knowledge of the research you did in the online application stage and be prepared to talk about areas that interest you, as well as skills and experience you’d like to further develop as you start your career.
Stage 4: your interview
The next stage of the process is a face-to-face interview. The number and format of the interviews will vary depending on the business group you have applied for, but will typically include two interviews which will go for 45 minutes each. You will be asked a range of questions that may include biographical questions, behavioural competency questions and technical questions. My tips for this stage of the process are:
- Logistics - prepare your outfit the night before and allow plenty of travel time. This will help you to feel relaxed on the day.
- Research - find out as much as you can about the role. Ask your recruiter plenty of questions and utilise resources like Macquarie’s website. As you can see, research is important in all stages of the process.
- Know your CV - feel confident speaking to your experiences.
- Understand your motivations for applying -this is something your interviewers will likely be interested in, so make sure you can articulate why you are interested in Macquarie and the role.
- Be familiar with the STAR format - the STAR format (situation, task, action, result) helps you to give concise but comprehensive answers. Think of some questions the interviewers may ask and strong examples that you can incorporate into your answers.
- Think of some insightful questions you would like to know the answer to, to ask at the end - the interview is a two-way process and an opportunity for you to consider whether the role is right for you. The interviewers will often be from your prospective team and can provide invaluable insights.
Stage 5: the offer stage
If you are successful in securing a role with Macquarie you will be given a call to notify you of your offer. Following this, you will be emailed a contract that contains all of the necessary details. This is the final stage of the recruitment process. You are not expected to accept the offer over the phone and are typically given five business days from receiving your contract to respond. My tips for this stage of the process are:
- Ask plenty of questions - if you are unsure of anything make sure you ask your recruiter.
- Be open and honest with your recruiter - if you have another offer that you’re considering, be transparent and make sure you understand differences in roles and opportunities
- Trust your instincts - consult widely to see what others think about the offer, but make the final decision yourself (after all, you will be the one doing the job).