CV and covering letters
- Insert a career objective at the top of your CV. This is a short statement that describes what you want to achieve in your career and what motivates you.
- Remember your CV is the first tool that will help you to sell yourself for the job. Make sure you change the content to relate to the skills and experience required for the role. This will also provide you with positive ideas that you could discuss further if you are invited for an interview.
- Focus on what you can bring your prospective employer today - but don't forget the past. Make sure that you do not have unexplained gaps in your employment history.
- Be honest and positive about your achievements.
- Keep your CV as simple and easy to read as possible. Creating sections and using an easy to read, familiar typeface like Arial helps to make it clear and concise.
- Try to keep your CV around two pages long. Anything longer is off-putting but anything shorter and you may be under-selling yourself. Also keep sentences short - long sentences make it hard to read for interviewers.
You are more likely to have a successful interview if you are feeling confident, have a positive attitude, and have good knowledge of the job role and the company you are applying to.
- Research the organisation. A good place to start is the about Bupa section of the website.
- Understand the job role: what skills and experience is the interviewer looking for?
- Know your CV inside-out.
- Prepare some questions to ask the interviewer - it shows your interest.
- Check the directions to where your interview is being held and plan how you will get there.
At the interview
- Ensure you arrive slightly early - remember you are trying to show you are enthusiastic and reliable.
- Pay close attention to your appearance, as first impressions can count.
- Any interview is a two-way process. So concentrate on selling your potential and the experience you can bring to the role but also find out whether the job is right for you.
- Make the most of your answers. Back them up with examples from your previous roles or from the research you have done into the job and the organisation.
- Be thorough and clear with your answers and try not to waffle.
- Don't be negative about past employers. Try to focus on what you have learned from past experiences.
- Be aware of your body language. For example, make sure you look at and talk to everybody if there is more than one interviewer. Maintain good eye contact. Don't fold your arms during the interview - it is negative and gives the impression that you're not interested.
- Make the most of your research. Try to use what you have learned in your answers and/or to ask questions.
Congratulations if you have got an interview, but what can you expect?
There are many types of interview that could be used as part of a selection process and the recruitment team will tell you which type you are required to attend.
Here is a selection of the different types of interview that you may undergo if you apply for a role with Bupa.
Telephone interviews are a convenient way for the interviewer and candidate to assess whether the role is right for them at an early stage. This type of interview is particularly popular for job roles where there may be a large number or candidates or when the verbal communication skills form an integral part of the job.
If you are invited for a telephone interview you should expect to receive a call from an interviewer at a time and date which has been agreed in advance. The interviewer will have a list of questions and will make notes on your answers.
This is the best way of finding out how a person may behave in the future. It involves looking at their behaviour to a similar situation in the past. In an interview you may be asked to explain a time when you have had to persuade colleagues about an idea, or when you have worked well as part of a team.
Some parts of the biographical interview (see below) may be included in a behavioural interview.
This type of interview is designed to assess the level of knowledge or skill of a person who has applied for a technical or specialist role. The assessment may be designed to show whether the candidate has the required skills and, if so, how in-depth or broad it is.
Some elements of the biographical interview detailed below may be included in a technical interview.
This is where you are taken through your CV and asked questions that help the interviewer to understand your skills and past experience.
Assessment centres usually involve a collection of activities aimed to find out whether you have the skills that are required for certain positions, such as:
- management skills
- presentation skills
- customer service skills
- ability to work in a team
- ability to work under pressure
- ability to take the initiative and influence others
- communication style: manners, confidence, listening skills, individuality and more
The specific activities will be relevant to the type of role to which you are applying. However, typical activities involved in an assessment centre may include:
These exercises usually involve being given a problem to solve as a team to find out how you work with others or how you show your skills in leading a group of people. For example, you may have to work out how to transfer a ball across the floor without touching the ground using specified equipment and working to a set of rules.
You may be asked to read a set of papers and make a recommendation in a short report to show how you analyse and interpret information.
These discussions usually do not have a leader and are on a set topic. The assessors will be looking for your contribution to the discussion, as well as your verbal communication and the way you interact with the other members of the team.
Role plays usually involve candidates and assessors acting out a scene designed to show how you may react in a given situation. For example, you may be the manager of a shop where a customer is complaining.
The presentation may be on a subject of your choice or one set by the interviewers. You may be asked to prepare the presentation in advance and speak on the day, or you may have to do both during an allotted amount of time.
These are business simulations designed to show how you prioritise your workload and your reasoning behind your decision-making process. Your in-tray may include email requests, telephone messages, reports and general correspondence.
If your interview or assessment has been successful you should expect to receive a formal offer of employment. This will always be made in a letter, although you may receive an informal offer in advance by telephone or email.
As well as asking you to agree to the terms and conditions of employment, the offer pack may also include:
- details of the pay and benefits that are being offered to you
- request for further details that have not been collected to date such as bank account information
- an occupational health questionnaire or link to an online survey
- an additional questionnaire that may have to be completed if you are applying for a role which requires a large amount of personal and professional information, such as relating to your finances and previous work experience
Psychometric tests can take the form of ability tests or personality questionnaires. The ability tests aim to measure a person's aptitude in a specific skill area and can include verbal tests, numerical tests and logical ability tests. Personality questionnaires can measure a person's preference through analysing a range of personality traits. These can include analysing interpersonal style, thinking style, feelings and emotions, team roles and leadership style. A qualified test user will advise on the most appropriate ability test or personality questionnaire to be used as part of a selection process. Many of these tests are now completed online and you will be informed in advance if you will be expected to take a test or complete a personality questionnaire.
The reference process that will apply to the job role to which you are applying can vary greatly. Bupa is a regulated business and our roles are subject to a range of rules set by different regulatory bodies. If you are successful the recruitment team may send you a link by email so you can complete your referee details online. You can find instructions on how to use this facility in the About managing your application section of the website.