28. June 2018 Lukáš Mácha

Securing Placement

It is very popular amongst students in Great Britain to take break from University half-way through their studies and try to get themselves on either 3,6, 12 or up to 15 months placements. This is simply a work experience, great opportunity to get an insight of how real businesses work and what the pace of development is in today’s global company. Stress, tight schedules or just the application process is a great experience and trial for when it comes to applying for graduate jobs.

I would like to devote this blog to anyone who is considering doing a placement or just wondering what is, in my opinion, the main difference between studying in the UK, getting all the incredible experience and knowledge straight from the business. For those, here some hints and tips on what to expect in the first stages of application process i.e. online ability tests incl. numerical reasoning tests, abstract tests, situational judgment tests and/or interviews.
Let’s assume that the initial application has been sent, brilliant CV and Cover Letter included, and the candidate was successful at this point. What comes next (in 95% cases), are the aforementioned online tests that are to assess the candidate and his/her ability to work on sometimes less, sometimes more complicated examples. One, that comes almost every time is Situational Judgment Test. Here the candidate faces number of situations he eventually could find himself in and need to decide from multiple choices what solution is the best for the business. Depending on employer, this test is accompanied by other online tests or is sent separately before the employer even reaches out to the candidate. 
When it comes to numerical reasoning tests or abstract thinking tests, candidate has a limited time to read through, understand and solve either numerical or abstract questions. The numerical ones are mostly based on data analysis, graphs, tables, currency transfers or interest calculations. Abstract tests are mostly just filling up gaps with shapes from multi-choices answers that logically fit into the group. Once the candidate receives these online tests, he has only a limited amount of time to finish them (the company usually asks to finish these within 1 or 2 weeks) otherwise he is no longer considered for the role applied.
Assuming the candidate has received positive feedback, he is then invited to so called Assessment Centre. An entire day devoted to a face to face interview, usually with hiring manager or senior manager relevant to the position applied for, group exercise and individual, timed exercise based on prioritising various tasks according to their urgency.
Having done all of that above and being successful in securing the dream Placement, here comes the sweet reward. All the extra time spent on research, preparation or travel pays off after signing a contract with the company applied for. To back my reasoning and credibility for talking about such things, I can proudly say that I have secured Manufacturing Engineering Placement in Department of Manufacturing Product Integration in role of Pilot Operations Build Engineer for a company formed by two most iconic British car brands Jaguar Land Rover.   
Any of that would not be possible without the support of my family, friends but mainly The Kellner Family Foundation. Big Thank you, for letting me live my dreams! If anybody would like to ask me a question about securing placement or anything else regarding the application process, please, do not hesitate to contact me using my e-mail address. Catch you guys in the next one. 

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