Top ten tips for the application process
We have been speaking to our current graduates and apprentices who have come up with their top ten tips for successfully navigating the different stages of the application process.
When applying to our schemes, there are a few different stages that you will have to go through in regards to the application process. These include the initial application, two interviews and an assessment centre. With lots of people applying to the scheme, our current graduates and apprentices have come together to create lists of their top ten tips for the different stages of the application process, in order to give you an insight on how to stand out and succeed during this process.
Throughout the application process, you will be required to undertake two interviews; a live video interview online and a face-to-face interview at the assessment centre. Here are the top 10 tips that our apprentices have come up with:
- Make sure to take your time when answering questions – It is important to prioritise the quality and structure of your response over an immediate answer. Remember that the interviewers will be happy to give you a minute to think of your answer before responding
- Briefly read up on Lloyd’s before the interview – who we are, what we do and any recent news in the market. Having an overview of Lloyd’s is essential as you may be asked questions relating to your interest in Lloyd’s, and a strong answer here will demonstrate your interest in the apprenticeship.
- Revise your CV and make sure that you know what is on it as you may be asked questions relating to this.
- The interview may be competency based, so come prepared! It is a good idea to review some example competency questions beforehand and think of experiences that you have had in the past that may demonstrate a specific competency (e.g. in your part time job or education). The competencies that we measure for apprentices at Lloyd’s are listed here and the competencies that we measure for graduates are listed here.
- When answering competency questions, structure your answers in the STAR (Situation, Task, Approach, and Response) approach to ensure that you fully explain how your situation demonstrates a competency.
- Always shake the hands of the interviewers with a firm grip. It is a good idea to practice this with friends or family members before the interview.
- Maintain eye contact during the interview as this will help to make you appear professional and confident; it also helps to make a lasting impression. A trick to maintaining eye contact is to look at a point on the face which is near the eye, like the bridge of the nose or an eyebrow
- A smile can go a long way in an interview as it shows the interviewer that you’re happy to be there, and that you are confident in the material that you’re about to deliver.
- Practice answering questions in an interview format with a friend or family member before the interviews. This will allow you to feel a lot more comfortable and natural in thinking on the spot and giving a structured response before you come face-to-face with the interviewer.
- Make sure to ask questions at the end – prepare these before the interview as it shows that you are interested and have done your research.
The assessment day is set out with three different activities designed to test different skills and competencies. Here are the top 10 tips from our apprentices to help you succeed on the assessment day:
- The challenge with the group activity is that you want to make yourself stand out, but appearing too dominant or self-centred shows you lack team working skills. To get around this, speak whenever the opportunity presents itself, ask other participants for their opinion on your input, and bring others in to the conversation.
- Try to remain calm and relaxed throughout the day. Letting your nerves get the best of you may not allow you to perform to your best possible standard. A tip to get around this is to count to 10, as this can help your mind focus less on stressful thoughts, and remember that everyone else is in the same situation as you.
- Make sure to try your best in every aspect of the day – as long as you’ve done that you can go home feeling proud of yourself!
- Assessment centres are meant to be difficult. If something doesn’t go your way then try to make up for it in the other assessments.
- Turn up in smart work attire – remember that you are here to impress your potential employers.
- Remember to always be polite to everyone you meet on the day – you are being assessed from the second you in the door to the second you walk out. Lloyd’s wants to see cooperation, not confrontation.
- Remember that it is important to utilise your time in the assessment day properly, so don’t do anything half-heartedly. Make sure you are giving a good impression and that you are in a professional mind-set from when you leave your door in the morning.
- Use lots of eye contact throughout the day, especially when you first meet someone, to appear more confident. See our Interview tips for a trick to maintaining eye contact .
- Don’t be competitive as this is not what employers want to see. Instead make sure that you are collaborating with everyone effectively. Lloyd’s are looking for team workers who are flexible and adaptable – not competitors.
- Be yourself and show off your personality when answering questions in the interview and the group activity. This will help to highlight your natural strengths and ability to work well in a team, even in a difficult situation. Lloyd’s are looking for what you as an individual can bring to the work place.
Our apprentices have decided their top 10 tips regarding any other stage of the application process, including sending off the initial application and online tests.
- Make sure you give yourself a quiet work area when it comes to the online tests so you cannot be distracted. Also, make sure to not rush these tests as they are crucial in getting to the next stage of the application process.
- Check your application for spelling and grammar mistakes and have someone else review it before you send it off. This is your first impression to Lloyd’s and first impressions count!
- Make your CV a maximum of two A4 sides long - if your CV is too long, the employer may not read it all. A tip for this is to make sure that your CV clearly highlights anything that is relevant to Lloyd’s and what we are looking for. Anything else may be making your CV unnecessarily busy.
- Create a LinkedIn profile where you can upload qualifications, skills and experiences. Employers may search for your profile to find out more about you, so make sure it’s professional, informative and up to date.
- When writing a cover letter, think of the person reading it. Cut sections into shorter paragraphs and develop the details of your answer to make it more structured and understandable – and remember to tailor each one depending on the job you’re applying to.
- Make sure to complete, review and submit your application in time for the closing date. Rushing completion the night before a deadline is a common mistake.
- Think about your contact method. If you are providing an email address then make sure it is suitable, like your name, rather than a novelty email address. Also, consider leaving an appropriate message on your voicemail and make sure to check it regularly.
- You’ve got to be passionate – if you’re not passionate about the role then you have a smaller chance of getting it. This isn’t about repeating how passionate you are about the role in your cover letter and CV, it’s about explaining why it excites you and why it will help you to grow and develop.
- Try and gain some work experience that you can put down on your CV. This can prove very valuable when applying for jobs as it gives you the opportunity to develop employability skills that recruiters look for.
- Before you apply, do your research on the organisation, the insurance market and the job role that you are applying to. You can find information about Lloyd’s in our About Us section. It will also be useful to have a brief read up of Insurance news and press releases.