Nistaar Virk, a senior analyst 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 joined Macquarie as a graduate in the Risk M
anagement Group back in 2015. I still
remember the intense process of applying for graduate roles and attending careers
fairs and company events in order to understand more about the opportunities
available and what would suit me best.
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. I wanted to share some tips for
success throughout each of the stages.
Stage 1: your online application
Think outside the box - consider a range of roles outside of 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
Consult widely - utilise multiple channels (such as your parents,
mentor, academics, company website, LinkedIn and career events) to
find out more about the organisation and the role.
Use your CV to show Macquarie why you are a suitable candidate for
the role. Make sure you include any particular skills you have, and
extra-curricular or personal achievements you have accomplished;
they show your individuality and personality as well as key
competencies such as tenacity, achievement drive and team work .
Stage 2: your psychometric 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 and ratios; you’ll need them during the assessment!
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. If you’ve practiced and
prepared that’s the best you can do.
Stage 3: your video interview
Dress professionally, you’re on camera! Plus, it will get you into the
right frame of mind.
Practice with a friend - this can be helpful in getting you familiar with
the format. Think about some questions you might be asked (e.g.
why are you interested in this role? What key skills do you think we
are looking for, and what can 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.
Ensure you are comfortable and won’t be distracted during the
Stage 4: your interview
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 and show your
interviewers you understand what you would be doing as an analyst
in their team. 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 about your experiences.
Understand your motivations for applying - this is something your
interviewers will be interested in, so make sure you can articulate why
you are interested in Macquarie and the role. Showing your passion
and interest will help you to stand out.
You’ll be asked competency-based questions, and when answering
them use the STAR format (situation, task, action, result) as it 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.
Try and relax. Often the interviewer wants to test the way you think
and hear your point of view; having a conversation that flows easily
will make the process more enjoyable!
Think of some insightful questions you would like to ask. 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
You'll be called by your recruiter who will provide feedback and let
you know if you have an offer, before you receive the offer
documentation by email. On the call, make sure you ask questions or
clarify anything you're not sure of.
Be open and honest - if you have another offer that you're
considering, be transparent and make sure you understand
differences in roles and opportunities. Your recruiter might be able to
answer some questions or put you in touch with someone in the team
that can help you make up your mind.
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).