The graduate recruitment culling process

We’ve already looked at the graduate recruitment process multiple times. It’s time to put it into real perspective, right now!

Caution: this post might be sobering, but contains info that’s really good to know! Read on only if you know you won’t lose all hope.

Although we’ve outlined around 10 steps for the process, from a company’s perspective, they are generally grouped together into 4 main culling phases: 1) Online form/testing, 2) Phone/video interview, 3) Assessment centre and 4) Face-to-face interview. After each respective stage, the % of total applications diminishes from 100 to 40, then to 20, to 10, and finally to 5.


Yep, you read correctly. After the initial online form/online testing phase, the number of total applicants gets reduced down to 40%. Then the phone/video interviews cut that 40% down to 20%, and so on, and so forth.



So here are some quick tips about the 4 main culling processes. Make sure you check out our infographics/blogs for more detailed info!

  1. Online form/testing:
    • This first hurdle is all about you satisfying the eligibility criteria and having no spelling errors!
    • Make sure you practice for the online tests and know what kinds of questions may be asked.
  2. Phone/video interview:
    • Comes down to whether you can communicate properly. Half of those who do these interviews fail simply because they are too nervous and can’t think and express their view. If you are a reasonably smart and social person, you’ll be absolutely fine. If you’re not, do some mock-interviews!
    • This interview is generally behavioural, so think of situations beforehand, and use STAR!
  3. Assessment centre:
    • This is the main barrier. Assessment centres differ across companies, but some general tips are stay calm, be friendly and take initiative.
    • Depending on your industry, you may also be asked to do some technical assessments, so brush up on some basics beforehand!
  4. Face-to-face interview:
    • This last phase should be more casual as the company is trying to determine whether you fit their culture.
    • Don’t be afraid to ask any last minute questions about graduate program details! It shows that you’re really thinking about your potential role and eagerness!


Why else is this information important?

Knowing the culling process doesn’t just teach you how to overcome each stage. It also shows how much continuous effort you need to put into an application. As the stages get progressively harder, you really need to be more proactive and spend more time on enhancing your performance.

Imagine how much more effort you would need if you were pretending to be someone you’re not, especially during the interview and assessment stages (which is pretty much 80% of the process!). The bottom line is, don’t try to be someone you’re not, because honestly, if a company accepts you only because you’re withholding some other traits, you shouldn’t be working for them. It’s all about finding the right job, for you!



To be honest, although this information may be depressing, it can also be encouraging at the same time! Reaching an assessment centre effectively means you are part of 10% of all the graduates who applied for the job. If you are able to be optimistic and look on the bright side of things, we’ve done our job. Go out there and be the top 5%!

How do you feel about the harsh culling process?

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