After hearing about the role through Bright Network, QMUL graduate Mohammed landed a role at the Post Office. We caught up with Mohammed who was happy enough to answer our questions about his experience applying for the role.
Why did you choose this firm and this role?
I think the great thing about attending different assessment centres for different companies is that you get a feel of how each company operates and whether or not you identify with its culture. For me, the Post Office represented an organisation that was rapidly modernising to not just meet the needs of its current customer base, but also open its services to meet the needs of its future customers. The prospect of contributing to that challenge really drew me in. Another part of the Post Office which really attracted me was the high value placed on fulfilling a social purpose; the post Office is integral to every community in the United Kingdom and it is no coincidence that 97% of the UK's population lives within a mile of a Post Office. Its presence in the most remote parts of the country ensure that despite its rapid modernisation, the Post Office remains accessible to everyone.
What was the toughest part of the application process? And your favourite part?
Funnily enough, the assessment centre was both the most challenging and enjoyable part of the application process. At no other stage in the application process are you going to receive a deep level of insight into the types of challenges you'll encounter or the expectations you'll have if you receive an offer. As such, the assessment centre had a variety of tasks ranging from individual to group work, all of which allowed me to express my views and thoughts. I felt that the individual tasks, i.e. interviews, would be the most difficult as you can never know what to expect, but at the same time it’s exciting; the company wants to know about you and so all your previous experiences essentially boil down into this brief hour. Time to shine!
Were you surprised by anything in the process?
How quick the application process was! I had completed and passed the application process, finished the telephone interview and was invited to the assessment centre within two weeks! Felt like I could really commit to the program because the Post Office ensured I was put through the stages quickly and efficiently.
What three top tips would you give your fellow Bright Network members?
1. Research! Research! Research! Having an in-depth understanding of an organisation you want to work for is always a positive.
2. Mind map all your strengths (with examples) and weaknesses (and how you plan to or are already addressing them). You’ll be surprised by how much you have to think about it. Remember, interviewers will want to know these answers too, and the strength/weakness examples can really relate to other interview questions too.
3. Be yourself (so cliché, but with good reason). Who you identify as should always be considered when looking for a job. Don’t work for a salary, work to make a difference and elevate those around you. The money will come when you genuinely display that you want to work for an organisation – so, be you and the rest will take care of itself.
What's your lucky charm or pre-interview ritual?
Speak to someone you trust and can confide in before you enter the building of any organisation. Their words of confidence will always give you that extra boost.