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For those of you, who have applied for the F15® Graduate Programme: Congratulations on taking the first step towards a great career! The application time for any company is always filled with uncertainty and fear. A year ago, I was feeling the same sense of dread that you might be feeling now!

Published: January 9, 2017 by Aaleesha Jamal 

I am hoping with my tips, it might make it easier and less uncertain for you! There are a few stages before you can go to the assessment centre. By now, you have gotten past the online application so well done! If you are one of the lucky few that have been selected for the qualitative and quantitative tests, give yourself a pat on the back. The quantitative and qualitative test as well as a Skype interview are steps that you might face during the process. 

Qualitative & Quantitative Tests These are similar to most tests that are found on the market. Do not underestimate test; the questions will be very straightforward but you have a very short window to answer them. I googled online job tests and just practised and timed myself for a few of them so that my mind was prepared to answer this in real time, because no matter how well you can do the content, you will always get nervous under the time pressure, so time yourself for these practise tests. Be in a quiet room and keep plenty of pens, paper and a calculator at your disposal. Make sure you are not disturbed because you only have one shot at this and it is crucial you pass these tests in order to make it to the next level.

Video Skype Interview After an overall look at your test scores and applications, you will then be invited for a Skype interview. For those of you who are internationally situated, just be aware of time differences. I had my interview at 4 am when I was in Canada. I spent a good number of hours doing additional research to the research I already did for my application. Make sure you have a story to tell and that you are consistent. The interviewer will be meeting hundreds if not thousands of people; put yourself in their shoes and think about what it is about yourself that will set you apart from the rest.

My interview focused on my ambitions, personality and motives for joining the F15® Graduate Programme. Remember, that this interview is your first opportunity to give Arla a taste of your personality and what you can bring to the table. Be dressed and prepared as you would at  a normal interview (it is a video Skype call) and make sure you have absolute privacy for an hour. Make sure you have read up on the mission, leadership principles, Good Growth 2020 and keep up to date on the news. In terms of your ambitions, personality and motives: be as clear as possible and have structured answers (I normally answer in three bullet points) and make it as easy as possible for the interviewer to follow your answer. The general mistake I see people making, and one I am quite guilty of making myself, is to assume that the other person is on the same page as me. 9 out of 10 times they are not and you do not want lack of clarity to affect your chances.

And I saved the best advice for last: have fun!! Give yourself a good amount of pep talk beforehand, watch some Robin Sharma videos and bring your A game to this! If you have given this interview your best shot, that is the most you can ask of yourself. Give yourself a pat on the back and just sit back, relax and wait for (hopefully) the invitation to the assessment centre.

Aaleesha Jamal

Position: F15® 2016 Team 
Period: 2016
Location: United Kingdom/Denmark
Department: 1st Rotation: Project Manager for Digital, Leeds, United Kingdom. 2nd Rotation: Project Manager Aarhus, Denmark