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September 21, 2022, by Leah Sharpe

Top Tips to Get Through an Application Process – Employer Insights

By Matt Vincent, Business Development Manager, Careers and Employability Service

We have relationships with a wide range of employers, across various sectors and locations. We regularly catch up with these organisations to understand what opportunities are available for UoN students and how we can support you to get through the application process.

We’ve asked some of our employer partners what mistakes to avoid when submitting applications:


Demi McIntyre-Yates, Student Recruitment Officer

1. Apply early

KPMG recruits on a rolling basis, and some routes fill faster than others, so apply as early as possible.

2. Check and check again

Give sufficient time and attention to ensure the information you provide is accurate, as we will use it to decide whether to take your application further.

3. Practice

Before you complete your online assessment, have a practice to familiarise yourself so you know what to expect.

4. Be you

When it comes to your Virtual Launch Pad – be yourself!

5. Research our business

We will assess you against the strengths that we know are key to a successful career at KPMG. Spend time learning about each of the strengths and consider how they align to your own, before submitting your application.


1. Application / CV

Tailor your CV to the role that you’re applying for. If you send us a generic CV, it’s difficult to see why you’d be a good candidate for a specific role. Include any transferable skills you have which will enable you to be successful. We understand that graduates may not have lots of work experience, but throughout your education, you will have learnt some useful transferable skills, such as customer service skills from working part-time.

2. Telephone interview

Be polite, interested and use this as an opportunity to promote yourself and why you’d be a good match for the company. If you’ve done some research before you applied and included it in your CV, you can bring it to the forefront during this short call.

3. Online test and video interview

Complete these by the deadline that you’ve been given in your invitation. Use the practice portal to get familiar with the way online tests work before you dive straight in. For the video interview, treat it like a face-to-face interview, dress appropriately, speak clearly and if you’re asked for a specific example, use the STAR model to help you answer.

4. Assessment centres

If it’s a virtual assessment centre, you will be involved in a group activity. It’s tempting to think that you must be the ‘leader’ in the group. It’s great if someone takes the lead, but it’s more important that you are fully engaged in the activity, putting forward your ideas, asking questions and trying to include others who may not be getting as involved. Part of the session will also be an interview so think about some examples that you can give for competency-based questions.

Top tips from Cath Hope, Emerging Talent Lead UK&I:

1. Be yourself

2. Prepare well

3. Check your technology works – microphone, camera, Wi-Fi etc

4. Dress appropriately (even though it’s virtual, you still want to make a great impression)

5. Don’t talk over people, lose interest or get distracted at the assessment centre

6. It’s natural to be nervous and the assessors will expect you to show some nerves

Applications for internships, placements and graduate roles are already opening for summer 2023. Check out any available opportunities on MyCareer.

Book an appointment to speak to one of our team if you would like support with applications, interviews or are unsure where to start.

Posted in Employer Insights