National Audit Office Ruby Holley

Created on 23 Apr 2024

We recently caught up with Ruby about how she secured an Audit Associate role with the National Audit Office, her top tips for the application process and how Bright Network helped her secure the role.

What stood out to you about the firm you secured your role with?

Leaving university, I was unsure of what I wanted to do in the future, but roles within the public sector attracted me the most. Making a meaningful difference through my work was valuable to me, and the NAO provides this. I had never considered accountancy before but I appreciated that working towards a qualification (ACA) would motivate me and open up more doors for me.

How did you make your application stand out?

I talked about how important working in the public sector was to me, and researched some of the NAO's values and explained how I related to those as well. For my interviews, I read some of the reports on the NAO website to show I had researched the company. I didn't understand them completely but it helped me know what was going on a bit more.

What part of the application process did you find the most challenging?

I found the assessment centre the most challenging because I had never done anything like that before. It was nerve-racking, especially when we had to have a group discussion in front of the assessors because it was weird being watched. But everyone was lovely the whole day and they do make you feel as comfortable as possible.

How did Bright Network help you secure this role?

They helped me by suggesting the role to me. I had not heard of the NAO before but I was able to filter through graduate roles for ones in the public sector and find the NAO. Also, it provided a useful summary on what the NAO was about, which helped me in my application and in my interviews.

What are your top tips for tackling tough interview questions?

If you're not sure what they are asking about, don't be afraid to ask them to explain in a different way. Also, if you don't know an answer straight away, it is good to talk through your thinking, as this is useful to the interviewer too.

Did you get any feedback in the past that helped you with your application?

Previously I had an interview where they said that I needed to improve on my answers to situational questions. I used the STAR technique to help me with this.

What top three tips would you give Bright Network members looking to follow in your footsteps?

  1. Don't worry if you don't recieve a job offer for a while! Everyone moves at different paces.
  2. Ask as many questions as you can about the company at the interview or assessment centre- you want to know if it's a good place for you to work too.
  3. Don't worry if you don't know exactly what you want to do. Don't be afraid to try out new things.
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