Welcome to our Tips for Success guide. The fact that you’re here shows that you want to give yourself the best possible chance of success when applying to our jobs – well done you!
Job applications and interviews can be a nerve-wracking experience, but with a bit of preparation, you will give yourself the best chance of making a great first impression and stand out from the crowd.
To help you feel confident starting your application, we have compiled some top tips, useful guidance and an overview of our process so you know what to expect. All you need to know can be found within this page.
To apply for one of our positions you will need to use our jobs portal, navigate to the job you are interested in and click on the apply online button. Here you will be asked to create an account (if you haven’t already created one before). Once your account is created, you’ll go into a portal which is an electronic application portal.
You will need to input all of you personal details such as employment history, skills and qualifications. Some of our applications allow you to upload a CV and Cover Letter but some may be a more in depth application form, the system will walk you through this so you know what you need to provide.
CV & Cover Letter
Generally there’s been some stigma around people not reading cover letters. This isn’t the Calico way! We really value the effort of a good quality cover letter and make time to fully consider this as part of the application. A cover letter can tell a hiring manager more about you in the first few sentences than a CV ever could. Use this to give an overview of yourself, your personal and professional
attributes and what you could contribute to the role. Mention the role you’re applying for, and anything you would really like the hiring manager to know about you that they may not learn from reading your CV.
CVs should be no more than 2 pages long and should include a personal statement, a list of qualifications and your job history. It’s best to only record your relevant job history to help the reader get to the skills and experience that matters. If you’ve been in employment for a while, you don’t need to record the paper round you had at 16… but hey, if you learnt some relevant skills keep it in!
Preparing for Interview Questions
At an interview for Calico, you will usually be asked competency based questions. These ask you to ‘tell us about a time when’…. they are questions that help us understand whether you have past experiences that are relevant to the role you’re applying for. Structuring your answers according to the STAR method is a great way to answer competency questions, it helps you talk about your experience in a clear and logical way.
You will also be asked questions that help us understand your values, either directly or as part of a competency question. This is because Calico is a values-led employer which means we have a set of core beliefs that guide us as we work. It is important to us that we hire people who align with our values so that we are all on the same page about how we work.
Finally, Calico is one of the most inclusive employers in the UK! We know because we consistently win awards. And it’s because we are committed to equality, diversity and inclusion to support a positive and vibrant workplace culture. Because this is important to us, we may ask you to share your thoughts on this subject. We know from experience this question catches people off guard so it’s worth preparing your thoughts. It’s not a trick question we promise!
Without further ado, here is the STAR technique we mentioned earlier:
S – Situation
T – Task
A – Action
R – Result
If you’re asked a question like ‘tell me a time when you have gone above and beyond for a customer’, use the above model to structure your answer so that you talk about the situation (the lead up), the task (what you were required to do), the action (what you actually did) and the result (what was the outcome and what did you learn).
Imagine you’re explaining to your friend, who has no idea who you work for or what you do, give as much detail as possible.
If you are successful after interview, you will be informed by telephone by the hiring manager and next steps will be outlined to you if you accept the offer. You will receive a written offer and will be given a provisional start date – this is only indicative (unless otherwise confirmed as unconditional) as we need to run some pre-employment checks to verify your suitability for employment.
We use a third party company who will contact you directly (usually by email) to complete the screening and you may be required to have a DBS check if your role requires one. You will also be required to meet with the hiring manager to verify ID documents in person before we can get these checks underway.
Your new line manager will keep in contact with you during this process and to confirm day one arrangements.
If you are unsuccessful after an interview, you will be contacted by the hiring manager who will be able to provide feedback which we hope will support your future job search.
So that’s it, you’re all set! We hope this has helped, and good luck!