5 tips to ace an experience day
Whether you’re thinking of applying or you’re already in the process, one of the final steps before getting hired is going through an experience day. This day is an opportunity to show us who you really are and for us to get to know each other better. You’ll receive more information before the experience day, but in the meantime, the Spilling the Beans team has put together our top 5 tips to ace your experience day.
1. “Fail to prepare, prepare to fail”
Do your research. Do you know what to expect on the experience day? Don’t worry, you will receive guidance in the form of a phone call of what to expect, but also try and be proactive by reaching out to someone that has been through a similar experience already in your office. You can look on LinkedIn for people that work in that office. If you do reach out, then Grant Thornton will do everything possible to help make it happen. Use the resources at your disposal such as articles on our purpose or our sustainability agenda, so you can speak to that on the day. There is a vast amount of resource at your disposal, using other Spilling the Beans blogs and the “I’ve applied” yammer posts. You need to know what is happening in the world, so read some articles on the Financial Times or other news media. Technical know-how is not necessary, but an awareness of what is going on is really important.
2.“Keep calm and be on time”
Do you know how you’re getting there on the day? Plan your route. There is nothing more nerve wracking than a bit of traffic, replacement bus service, road works or getting lost on the day resulting in you arriving late to your experience day. Plan ahead. You want to give yourself some buffer time in case something happens out of your control. If you do arrive early, in most cases our offices have a nearby coffee shop. Set yourself up there for some last-minute wind-down and prep before it’s time to go. If you are using public transport, look up the timetables, there are bus timetables available on the internet that you can use to plan your route. If you are driving, take the initiative to ask about parking availability and where you can park on the day. Not all our offices have car parks, so definitely worth checking. Lastly, don’t arrive with an empty stomach, trust me, a grumbling stomach is not what you want.
3. “Be yourself, everyone else is taken”
At Grant Thornton we are not looking for the best academic grades, we are looking for personalities. Yes, researching news articles on Financial Times and the Economist is good. But you are a person behind all the research and we want to see that. Let your personality shine, so we can see whether you are a good fit for Grant Thornton but also we can see whether we will be a good fit for you.
4.“Teamwork makes the dream work”
On your experience day, there will be a group exercise which is an important part of the assessment. We want to see how you work in a team. Have the courage to speak up and the patience to listen to others. If you know that someone hasn’t spoken yet, think of a way to get them into the conversation. Everyone’s opinion is important. An environment where everyone has a chance to speak and be heard without judgement is where we see the best teamwork.
5. “Everything will be alright in the end - if it’s not alright it is not the end”
We want you to have the best experience! Have a good day. Yes, it’s part of the application process but try not to stress too much. Your stress will mask who you are, and we want to see that come through. Even if you are not successful here, it does not mean you won’t be successful somewhere else. Use this as an experience to build on, for you to improve upon, you will get feedback that you can work with.
So take a deep breath. Relax. And we look forward to seeing you at your experience day. :)