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Career Development



Session 1: You and Your Ambitions, identifying opportunities & engaging with social media

  • Evaluate sources of information on relevant career opportunities.

  • Understand the graduate labour market and how to ‘sell yourself’ within it.

  • Develop realistic career plan and self evaluate against it.

  • Understand the importance of your online presence.

  • Complete CV, cover letter and competency based questions to a professional standard.

  • Undertake a range of psychometric tests.

  • Prepare effectively for graduate level interviews and assessment centres.


Session 2: Career Planning and Self-Evaluation

  • Reviewing your draft career plan.

  • What is a person specification?

  • The purpose of the CV.

  • What a CV should look like and what it shouldn’t!

  • A look at CV do’s and dont’s

Session 3: Making Your Application- CVs and Cover Letters

  1. You will engage in a CV ‘shortlisting’ exercise using your draft CV tailored for your target position:​

  • You should have brought with you a copy of your draft CV, and a Person spec/Role Description/Job advert.

  • You will be undertaking a CV ‘shortlisting’ exercise in pairs.


  • The shortlisting exercise will not work without both documents.

  • If you have only bought your CV with no person spec etc you need to go and print a set of documents now.

  2. Purpose and construction of cover letters and speculative applications.

  • You should have brought with you a copy of your draft CV, and a Person spec/Role Description/Job advert.

  • You will be undertaking a CV ‘shortlisting’ exercise in pairs.

Session 4: Making Your Application- Competency Based Applications

  • Introduce each other.

  • Introduce the module (including the assessment).

  • To explore moving from education into employment, what are graduate employers looking for, e.g. knowledge, skill, experience, potential?

  • To consider first steps, next steps, future steps, what are the potential opportunities, placements, internships, volunteering…

  • Graduate application process.

  • Importance of feedback.

  • How to give and receive feedback.


Session 5: Assessment Briefing

This assessment is typically a pre-interview screening session that can help a company learn more information about a job candidate's skills, characteristics and long-term goals. These screenings can be especially beneficial to larger organizations, as they can help a hiring manager determine which candidates may best align with a workplace's value system. There are also different interview questions that target varied areas of expertise and competency.

Some common types of interview assessments:

  • Aptitude tests: These evaluations can show a candidate's potential for growth in a job position and how fast they can develop new capabilities. For example, they might test an individual's ability to process a workplace situation or identify patterns in an arrangement of images.

  • Personality tests: These assessments can help a hiring manager determine whether a candidate has the right character traits to fit a workplace's culture. For instance, if a business is looking for someone who is positive, detail-oriented and malleable, they can ask questions targeting those traits during a candidate's screening session.

  • Cognitive ability tests: These evaluations can help a company determine whether a candidate has the right knowledge and qualifications for a job position. For example, an interviewer might ask a series of questions based on the position's industry or field.

Session 6: You’ve been shortlisted – Psychometric Tests

While the word ‘psychometric’ sounds overly technical, it simply defines ways of ‘measuring’ the mind. The concept has also been around longer than some may realise. Psychometric research has been around since the late 19th Century. One of the first examples was the University of Cambridge's psychometric lab, which studied subjects’ memories, reactions, and attention spans. 

When it comes to hiring, psychometric tests can be used to measure an array of skills and attributes, from critical reasoning, verbal and mathematical ability to emotional intelligence and soft skills such as communication and time management.

Those who are unfamiliar with ‘psychometrics’ may be envisioning some form of Freudian scenario. However, they've likely encountered one of the most common psychometric tests, the Myer Briggs Personality Test. That’s right, one of the most popular personality tests, the one that tells you whether you’re an Inspector, a Campaigner or a Crafter, is a classic example of psychometric tests. This is one of many examples of personality profiling used by recruiters over the years.

Psychometric tests vary in their content, based on whichever test a recruiter or manager may deem to be the best fit for a specific role. That being said, psychometric tests can be broadly classified as one of two categories: aptitude tests and personality tests.

Aptitude tests

Anyone who has taken an IQ test should be familiar with aptitude testing. These tests often use multiple-choice questions and are designed to measure a person’s proficiency in a specific skill or ability. Below are some of the skills that are usually assessed via aptitude tests:

  • Attention to Detail: For example, a candidate may be asked to identify errors in a numerical dataset or proofread a piece of text for spelling, grammar and readability.

  • Situational Judgement: Candidates will be given scenario-based questions based on situations they may encounter in the advertised job role to test their problem-solving abilities.

  • Verbal Reasoning: These assessments use words and language to evaluate a candidate’s problem-solving skills. This usually involves asking questions based on a written passage.

  • Inductive Reasoning: Also known as ‘abstract reasoning’, testing this skill usually involves a candidate being presented with a dataset so they can attempt to identify trends and patterns.

  • Deductive Reasoning: Deductive reasoning tests are designed to measure a person’s capacity for logical decision-making, based purely on the information provided to them in the test.

  • Diagrammatic Reasoning: Diagrammatic reasoning tests use visual methods such as charts and diagrams to measure logic and problem-solving. A common example is asking candidates to place diagrams in sequences or assign them to certain groups based on perceived similarities.

  • Spatial Reasoning: These are similar to diagrammatic reasoning tests, in that they assess logic using visual cues. However, spatial reasoning tests use a variety of 2D and 3D shapes, asking candidates to spot patterns and visualise their movement or rotation.

Personality tests

Managers may use personality tests in recruitment because they feel that a person’s CV, as well as the way they present themselves in interviews, is not indicative of their ‘true’ character. These tests seek to gain a deeper insight into whether a candidate has the right attributes to not only flourish in the advertised role but also to gel with a range of personality types (which is what we often mean when we talk about “culture fit”). Theoretically speaking, a personality assessment could help answer a range of key questions:

  • What would motivate this candidate to succeed in this role (e.g. praise, financial incentives or opportunities for promotion?)

  • What factors influence their decision-making process?

  • How receptive are they to constructive criticism or feedback?

Session 7: You’ve been shortlisted – Preparing for interviews and assessment centres


There are many different types of interview undertaken by recruiters, including face-to-face, telephone and more recently, video. Interviews typically last for between 45 minutes and 1 hour and may involve one or more interviewers representing the recruiting organisation. Interviews may form part of a longer assessment centre and are designed to help the employer understand you, your values and your experiences in greater depth.

Assessment centres

These are common practice amongst graduate recruiters and consist of a variety of activities spread over a longer timeframe, from half a day to a couple of days. Activities generally include a combination of individual and group tasks and each one is designed to assess a particular set of skills relevant to the role you have applied for.

Session 8: Practising Interview Questions

Wouldn’t it be great if you knew exactly what questions a hiring manager would be asking you in your next job interview?


We can’t read minds, unfortunately, but we’ll give you the next best thing: a list of 50 of the most commonly asked interview questions, along with advice for answering them all.


While we don’t recommend having a canned response for every interview question (in fact, please don’t), we do recommend spending some time getting comfortable with what you might be asked, what hiring managers are really looking for in your responses, and what it takes to show that you’re the right person for the job.


We will introduce you to a list of 50+ interview questions with typical answers to help you with interviews.

Session 9: The Assessment Centre

Essential Elements of Assessment Centres:

  • Predefined competencies (skills) against which you will be assessed.

  • Realistic simulation of the skills required for the role.

  • Fair and unbiased assessment. For example pooling of data from different assessors.

  • Standardised recording of behaviour, for example score sheets and video.


Research the company's competitors and how the company sits within the marketplace. What services does the company provide that others don't? Also something you should be doing before assessment centres and interviews anyway, is familiarise yourself with your CV and make sure you can talk about things it says you have done.

Session 10: The Interview

To help make sure you’re prepared:

  • Read the job description and person specification carefully. Be clear on the skills and qualities the employer is looking for.

  • Check the company website to find out more about its products or services and their plans for the future.

  • Go over your CV or application form and think about things the employer may ask you about.

  • Prepare some examples that show you have the right skills, personal qualities and experience (use the STAR method - What STAR stands for - S = situation - the situation you had to deal with, T = task - the task you were given to do, A = action - the action you took, R = result - what happened as a result of your action and what you learned from the experience).

  • Practise your timings on presentations and keep a back-up copy.

  • Ask someone you trust to help you practise answering questions.

  • Think of 2 or 3 questions of your own that you can ask at the end of your interview, to show you’re enthusiastic about the job.

  • Pick out something suitable and comfortable to wear.

  • Check what time you need to arrive and the name of the person you need to see.

  • Make sure that you know how to get to where the interview is being held, work out your public transport route or where you can park, plan to arrive 5 to 10 minutes before the interview starts.

  • Make sure you know who to call in case you’re late for any reason.

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