What employers want – Tips from the BU Get that Job event


The annual ‘Get that Job’ Day took place recently at Bournemouth University where employers came onto Talbot campus to talk about what they are looking for in the Job Application Process,  to help students and graduates stand out from the crowd in a competitive jobs market.

Employers were from IBM, Matchtech Recruitment Agency and Dorset Growth Hub.

As the BU Careers & Employability Team attended the event, we thought it would be useful to share some tips that we picked up from the presentations we attended.


Behavioural  Interviews by Paul Hanrahan from Enterprise

Key skills/attributes they are looking for in a CV/Interview:-

  • Flexibility
  • Communication
  • Work Ethic

Asking Questions at the end of an interview

  • Between  3-5 is appropriate
  • Keep questions positive
  • Keep questions focused on the future
  • If going for Sales roles and salary is not stipulated on the company website, then it is acceptable to ask about the salary and benefits
  • Ask the interviewer about their career/achievements, motivations/career inspirations as employers like to talk about themselves!


IBM Assessment Centre Masterclass by BU Placement Students

What they are looking to assess for:-

  • Problem solving
  • Adaptability
  • Teamwork
  • Client focused
  • Leadership
  • Passion for the business


Group Activities

  • These either involve logical problem solving or are discussion based – either way it is important that candidates avoid taking the lead and try and bring everyone into the discussion – they are looking for empathy and understanding of others
  • Discussions need to stay on track in times of time, so taking a watch off and putting it in the centre of the table shows assessors that you are taking the discussion seriously
  • If a group is unable to reach a consensus decision then it is perfectly fine for the group to cast a vote as this shows leadership qualities and a commitment to wanting to reach a conclusion


Written Test

  • This will be a combination of numerical and verbal reasoning questions (practice tests are available via MyCareerHub


Further tips

  • Candidates need to be aware of how they could be perceived by an interviewer in an assessment centre setting,  so they should be thinking about their personal brand/body language/presentation  and ask themselves the question ‘ What key message/s would I want to promote to an employer about myself to leave the best impression’.
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