Are you thinking of applying for a graduate position at DFC? Have you ever wondered what happens after you click send on that email? Great news! We are offering you an inside look and some tips.
Enabling others to succeed is at the heart of what we do. This not only applies to projects and clients, but most importantly to how we support each other as a team.
In DFC, we would not ask a new colleague to undertake work without discussing first, clarifying any queries, and agreeing the expectations. Why should it be any different with job applications? We want our applicants to succeed. In order to enable you to succeed, we need to be clear with our expectations and recruitment process.
Applying for a graduate position, or any position, should not be like sending your CV into a black box. This article provides an insight into our graduate recruitment process and what we are looking for in each candidate.
Our graduate recruitment process involves colleagues from all grades of the company, ranging from graduates to directors. Currently there are five principal staff members who are taking charge of reviewing CVs, interviewing candidates and making the hiring decision.
These staff members have undertaken training to effectively review CVs and undertake interviews. The training focused on discussing the attributes we look for in a candidate, developing a methodology to review CVs and how to conduct interviews. Reducing unconscious biases was also a key part of the process that we developed.
Good news, we don’t do that “10 second scan and decide” thing! Nor do we employ a fancy AI system to scan for keywords. Each application is reviewed and considered in detail.
Once our business support team receives an application, they will remove all personal identifying information (age, name, gender, nationality etc.). This makes sure that all applications are “blinded”.
After the closing date, the anonymised applications are then sent as a pack to the five colleagues for review. They review each application against the criteria we look for in an outstanding graduate (see below), record their observations and make recommendations.
Still blinded, each application is discussed by the group of five and a consensus reached as to which candidates to invite for interview.
Following the CV review, successful candidates are then invited to an interview. Prior to Covid-19, these interviews took place in person at a DFC office of the candidates choosing. However, given the current climate, interviews will likely be via video call for the foreseeable future. For candidates based overseas, the interview will normally take the form of a video call.
It is worth mentioning that your visa status does not play a part in the application or decision process. DFC has a licence to sponsor Tier 2 work visas and are keen to continue to recruit candidates from diverse backgrounds.
The first interview will be with two colleagues from the group of five. The interview procedure has been structured and developed specifically to explore the characteristics we are looking for and ensure each candidate has the opportunity to answer a similar line of questions. This process is not too rigid but allows us to bring the interview “back on track” if needed.
The second interview will take the form of an assessment, with two different interviewers. The assessment includes a short problem solving or engineering exercise, typical of what a graduate engineer may be asked to undertake within DFC. Bear in mind that the exercise is not a test, but rather a tool to spark discussions and interaction.
The interviews are also great opportunities for you to ask questions and to find out more about DFC. Remember that it is a two-way process – it is important that you also feel we are the right fit for you!
What’s Important to DFC
As we strive for excellence, we unashamedly set a high bar for graduates. Not everyone is a fit. We look for specific attributes that will make you successful at DFC.
You have an interest in fire engineering.
Experience in the industry is not required, but you should demonstrate an interest in becoming a fire engineer. Why do you want to be a fire engineer? What appeals to you? If you don’t have fire engineering experience, what research have you done? What do you know about the fire engineering industry?
Everyone has their motivation to be a fire engineer, we would love to hear yours!
You care which company you work with.
Everyone likes to feel special; we are no different. We want to see that you have a specific interest in DFC as a company. It is OK if you are not yet sure what type of company you want to work at, or if you still want to find out more about DFC, but we expect you to have an understanding about the characteristics of DFC.
It could also show that you have done some research, considered your intended audience and appropriately presented your views – this is a quality we value in our soon-to-be consultants.
You are technically minded.
Fire engineering is a complex technical field and we expect you to have a relevant degree (or be about to graduate). We would consider the eligibility of degrees in fire engineering, other fields of engineering and related STEM fields. We would also review and take into account your grades. Needless to say that we are looking for good grades, but if at a time your grades suffered, it would be helpful for us to know why.
Are you able to handle the technical aspects of the job?
You embrace teamwork.
“No man is an island” – this is particularly true at work. Teamwork can be fun and challenging at the same time, but everything at DFC is accomplished as part of a team.
We look for evidence of teamwork, whether that be at work, school or extracurricular activities. We like to see this on the CV and we also explore it during the interviews. Take a moment to think about difficulties you have faced in the past, how you react to feedback from others and how you give feedback to others.
You have a passion to learn and develop.
We believe our staff should be ambitious and self-motivated, with a passion to learn and develop. We look for passion and pride in your work, study or other achievements. It might be part of your final year project that you found particularly interesting. It could be a hobby you dedicate time to. It might be a work position that you are excelling at.
Being a fire engineer is rewarding and challenging. We want to see that you will have the passion to succeed.
Hopefully this post gives you a clear idea how your application will be treated processed and what we are looking for. We want to enable you to succeed. There is no benefit in keeping this a secret.
We look forward to your application!
- Posted by Matthew Eyre
- On 3rd November 2020