Tips and hints on what to expect if you apply

What to expect when you apply

Our graduate trainee recruitment and selection process has been carefully designed to give you as much opportunity as possible to show your skills and qualities relevant to our graduate trainee role.  The steps involved help us build a clearer picture of your capabilities and strengths.

To give you an idea of what’s involved, we’ve put together some helpful hints and tips for you.

Before you apply

Do your homework and research what Audit Scotland does and the impact our work has on Scottish public services.  Think carefully about whether our organisation and our values are right for you and whether a career in audit is something you are interested in. Many of our Audit Scotland colleagues are active on various social media channels such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.  We encourage you to make contact with us and find out more about what it’s like to work at Audit Scotland as a graduate trainee.

At each stage in the recruitment process, we'll be looking for you to show awareness and evidence of the skills and qualities you need to succeed as a graduate trainee. Wherever possible, you should be able to demonstrate and highlight how you match our requirements.

Completing your application form

Our application process is straightforward and all online, so you can complete it at a time that works best for you.  Remember that first impressions count, so make sure you read the instructions carefully as you go through each of the steps.  Include accurate details of your academic and employment history and use this stage as an opportunity to sell yourself and explain why you think you would make a great trainee with us.

Online tests

As you’d expect, working with numbers is an important requirement for this role, so it’s likely that you’ll be asked to complete an online numerical test.  Don’t be put off – ensure you take the time to prepare and complete some practice tests before you start.  You can practice tests before you sit the real one on  Make sure you read the questions carefully and work as quickly and accurately as possible.

Assessment centre

The assessment centre stage is designed to give you the chance to demonstrate your skills and to find out as much about Audit Scotland and our trainee scheme as you can.  This stage is as much about us assessing you as it is about you assessing that this is the right career choice for you.

All the details about the day will be given in advance.  All materials such as pens, paper etc will be provided for you.  There’ll be other participants attending at the same time, but remember you’re not in competition with them but judged on your own individual merits.

Possible exercises could include a group exercise and/or a written exercise.

Interview stage

We recommend that you start preparing for your interview well in advance. You need to think about the topics which might be discussed and how your experiences and skills relate to these. Some things to reflect on prior to interview are:

  • things you’ve done that can help you demonstrate relevant skills and qualities
  • competency-based questions you're likely to be asked and what your response would be
  • preparation for any presentation you may have been asked to do on the day of the interview
  • questions you want to ask.

Remember, we're not expecting you to be perfect but preparing for some of these questions will certainly help you to feel confident that you've given it your best shot.

At the interview

  • Prepare what you're going to wear beforehand if in doubt, dress conservatively.
  • Don’t be late aim to get there in good time. If you're delayed, try to call ahead to warn us  you may want to bring a copy of your interview invitation along with directions.
  • Listen carefully to what the interviewers are asking you.
  • Take time to think about the question and your answer.
  • Express yourself clearly, concisely and be specific.
  • Use examples to demonstrate your skills – what did you do? What impact did it have? What did you learn?