School or college leavers hints and tips

What to expect when you apply

Our school and college leaver 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 school or college leaver roles.

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 X. We encourage you to make contact with us and find out more about what it's like to work at Audit Scotland as a 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 trainee. Wherever possible, you should be able to demonstrate and highlight how you match our requirements.

Completing our 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 education and any work experience or extracurricular activities and use this stage as an opportunity to sell yourself and explain why you think you would make a great trainee with us. Impress us by doing your research.

Our application form also includes two competency-based questions designed to assess you against specific skills required for the role and so we'll be looking for real-life examples of when you've demonstrated them. Examples could be from your studies, previous employment, extracurricular activities or any work experience you've undertaken.

Reasonable adjustments

As a Disability Confident employer, we are committed to providing inclusive and accessible recruitment where everyone is supported to perform at their best. Please let us know of any reasonable adjustments you may need throughout each stage of the recruitment process by emailing careers@audit-scotland.gov.uk. You only need to share what you are comfortable with so that we can help put the right support in place for you.

Online tests

Following the closing date, you'll be invited to complete two psychometric tests; an online numerical and verbal 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 www.shldirect.com. Make sure you read the questions carefully and work as quickly and accurately as possible. You'll have a week to complete the test and the test will be issued by our recruitment partners, Veredus.

In-tray exercise

Those who successfully complete the on-line application form and online assessments and have met our initial criteria, will be invited to complete an in-tray exercise. The in-tray exercise will be online and is designed to give you the chance to demonstrate your skills and the competencies required for the role. Further details about the in-tray exercise will be provided at the time.

Interview Stage

We recommend that you start preparing for your interview well in advance. You should 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. Competency-based questions require you to provide real-life examples and we would recommend researching this style of question. You might find it helpful to use the STAR method to structure your answers:
    1. S – Describe the situation and when it took place
    2. T – Describe the task and what needed to be done
    3. A – Explain the action you took
    4. R – What was the result of your actions?
  • 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?

Offer stage

You will be notified shortly after the interview whether you have been successful. All offers are conditional on a number of pre-employment checks.