EY Career Advice What makes a successful application

In the application and selection process you need to make sure you stand out from the crowd. Follow these tips to give employers a sense of the real you -- and demonstrate the value you can add to their business.

1. Do your research.

When it comes to the business you want to work with, it’s certainly a case of the more you know, the better.  Employers want to know that you are genuinely interested and have an understanding of their company and industry.

2. Being confident comes from being yourself.  

Interviewers want to see what kind of employee you would be, not just how bright you are, so it’s important to be relaxed and let your personality shine through. You want to be confident yet grounded.  The key is to showcase the best things about you, without feeling like you’re pretending to be something you’re not.

3. Be prepared!

It’s never too early to start planning for an interview or an application.  It might be useful to make a six-month plan, noting key dates for applications, insight days or networking events. 

4. Practise makes perfect.

There is little substitute for talking through your answers with another person and getting their honest feedback.  Many universities offer practise interviews, where you can really hone your interviewing skills.  

5. If possible, do some research into the people who will be interviewing you.

LinkedIn is a great resource for professional profiles, along with the company’s web site. It will also help you with that all important small talk that could help you stand out from the crowd.

6. Know why you are the right person for the job. 

Thinking about your strengths ahead of an interview or application can help you get a clear sense of what you have to offer a company.

7. Know what to expect from group interviews. 

Group interviews can seem intimidating, but they are an excellent opportunity to show how well you operate within a team.  The key is to avoid coming across as too quiet, without of course appearing to dominate a discussion.

8. Talk to people who have been through the process.

They can help you get a clear idea of what to expect, and the strategies they used to secure an offer.

9. Talk to people in the industry.

There’s no substitute for first-hand advice from someone in the know – speak to people who already work at the company you’re applying to or equally the industry that you want to go into, they can provide insights into the skills required for the job, the culture of the company and information on the organisation and sector that could make you stand out.

10. Take your time, and try to relax.

The application and interview process can seem daunting, but by planning ahead you can avoid feeling pressured into turning something in at the last minute. It might feel like others are ahead of the game, but remember that this can be a nerve-wracking process for everybody: you are not alone.

Find out more about EY and their opportunities right here.