Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

The graduate recruitment day

Many companies will talk to you when they visit your universities, or will look at your job applications and ask you along to a graduate recruitment day, but don’t be fooled. It might sound fun but it is as much a part of the recruitment process as a formal interview, and indeed, a graduate recruitment day usually includes an interview. So go prepared.

A graduate recruitment day is a good way for companies to compare the students they think will work well with them, decide what jobs they are best-suited for and even what sectors.
A typical day is likely to include a meet-and-greet coffee and some presentations from the recruiting company to put you at your ease. You might then be divided into groups to undertake some tasks or games with observers looking on to see how you perform. You don’t have to be the one in charge, or the one with the loudest voice to be noticed. The observers are looking for different types of people – thinkers, doers, extraverts and introverts, so don’t be intimidated.

There will be a chance to ask questions of senior directors from the business during the day so take advantage of this and remember that they are doing the same to get a feel for you and your personality.

As previously stated, be prepared for a one-to-one interview on the day – do your research and read the tips in our Interview section opposite. To help you some more Lisa Tyler, recruitment manager for leading consultant WSP, has the following advice. "Be prepared," she says. "Research the company and turn up for the event in plenty of time.

"Dress smartly – first impressions are important. If you look professional you will be perceived as professional. And if you are unsure of the dress code be sure to ask.

"Get involved in group activities and be sociable during breaks. Talk to people, share your thoughts – how can a company know if you are suitable for their organisation if you don’t speak?

"Relax and enjoy the event. People perform best when they are relaxed and are enjoying the experience rather than worrying. "And listen to the organisation’s representatives and to your fellow recruitment day attendees. You can learn a lot from listening to what other people say.

"If you are successful as a result of a recruitment day you will need to make a decision about whether this organisation is right for you and your career. The more information you can get, the better informed you will be to make the right decision for your future."

HOLIDAY WORK – THE BENEFITS
If you are planning three months at the beach next summer, think again.

For you, the holidays might be a chance to recuperate after a hard year, but for potential employers it’s the chance to check you out before offering you a job when you leave university.

When they employ graduates, companies in the construction sector want people with some experience of working in the industry. A lot of people come out of engineering degrees without really knowing what engineering is like at ground level and graduates don’t have much time to settle in when they start work, so it is important to get hands-on engineering experience.

Most major consultants and contractors look at first and second-year students as potential employees. They offer work placements in the summer holidays so that they can assess your technical ability and people skills. If they like you, they may offer you sponsorship for the remainder of your course, and a job at the end of it. This is not altruism on their part.

The competition for good graduate engineers means it is in employers’ interest to recruit as early as possible. As a result, if you want a summer placement you have every likelihood of finding one.

Work placements are an ideal opportunity to find out more about the industry, how it works and what the different companies do. Although the companies would like to snap you up in your first year, they also recognise that it is important for you to find out which area will suit you best.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.

Related Jobs