So, you’re applying for a job and there’s a question and answer section? This is a common way of sorting people out, and has proved to be a tricky obstacle to manoeuvre if you’re not aware of the pitfalls it can offer. So here’s a handy AllAboutCareers guide to getting through the application in style.
What are you applying for?
One of the most common mistakes in filling in application forms is that candidates lose sight of the requirements of the role that they’re applying for. If it’s a marketing role, you need to tailor your answers to show your skills in a marketing sense, and use the questions to demonstrate your abilities and experience.
Look at the job advert and note down the things you think would be key skills in doing such a role – then base your answers around these skills and you’ll be right on track.
What do the questions say?
The application itself will give you a good idea about what they’re looking for – bear in mind that these questions have been specifically created to allow them to pick the best candidates and fine-tune their selections, so it would be mad to ignore them!
Make sure you read every bit of every question, break them down and think about what they’re trying to glean from the answers you’re giving. If you play to your strengths and work them into what the company are looking for, you’ll have no problems!
Bespoke is beautiful!
Don’t even think about copying your answers from another application or straight from your CV or cover letter, because that’s a trick that will get picked up straight away – make sure you are writing these answers specifically for the company you are applying for!
Your answers should be concise without cutting anything out, specific without being boring and highlight the best bits about you so they can’t help but want to meet you for interview!
For a few words that no application is complete without, check out our application buzz words article!
Basics are brilliant!
In all the complexities of answering the ‘essay’ questions, you need to remember that doing the basics well is a key component of the test.
Data answers like your A-Level scores need to be checked and given the same attention to detail as anything else – not presenting these things correctly can be a fatal mistake!
The Big Kahunas
So you’ve got all the basics down and now you’re into the big hitters. The best advice we can give is to make everything relevant and back every skill or talent up with examples of how you’ve displayed this in a role in the past, whether that is during work experience, at school or at University.
By doing so you alleviate any danger of coming across as all talk and no substance, which is very reassuring to anyone who’s looking for new employees, as well as showing that you’re committed to things that you are a part of!
You want to show that you are unique and have a genuine passion for what you’re applying for, as well as for the company itself – if you can do this successfully then how could anyone refuse you?