This article was written by the Great British Mag content team on 7 April 2021.
Multinational companies are really attractive to university graduates looking to start their career with a bang. They promise valuable experience and great insight as to how successful, internationally recognised brands operate. If you have your sights set on bagging a job at a multinational after graduation, keep reading to find out how to increase your chances.
What is a multinational?
A multinational is a business that has bases in more than one country. This often means that you’ll have opportunities to live in different regions across the world while working for one company.
Some examples of multinational corporations include Apple, Coca-Cola, Sony and Nestle.
What are the benefits of working for a multinational?
Multinationals are popular among recent graduates looking to take their first step onto the career ladder. There are lots of reasons for this.
First of all, these large corporations promise real potential when it comes to career growth. The larger and more diverse the company, the more careers are available there and the more routes you have for progression – you could easily spend all your working years advancing through one multinational company. They’re known to offer good training opportunities too, helping you to climb that ladder even further.
Of course, having bases in multiple countries means that there will also be jobs available overseas – transferring to another branch of the business is an affordable and easy way to live and work in a new country. It also means you’ll have a diverse, multicultural group of colleagues.
Then, of course, there’s the kudos that comes with having an internationally respected brand on your CV, and the experience and knowledge that goes with it. If you were to look for other jobs in the future, your time with a multinational could be a huge draw for hiring managers.
How can I find job vacancies at multinationals?
If you’re still at uni, keep your eyes open for any career fairs or employer events. Large companies often advertise themselves and their career opportunities to graduates this way. Attending these kinds of events also means you can chat to representatives from multinational companies to find out what kind of people they’re looking for, what opportunities are available, what the company culture is like and what the entry requirements are (which are often tough!).
Multinationals often advertise jobs on their websites, so do some research to shortlist a few you’re particularly interested in working for and check their sites regularly for any relevant openings.
Online job boards are also great for looking for international opportunities – it’s not just UK-wide vacancies they advertise.
How can I make my job application stand out to a multinational?
As these companies are so popular among job-seekers, competition is fierce. Right from the off, you need to make sure you’re presenting yourself as a standout candidate. This means taking the time to create a killer application by:
Tailoring your CV
Reworking your CV for each application is a must. Take the time to rethink it from the perspective of each company you are sending it to. This means highlighting relevant experience and skills, as well as making sure your interest in the industry is made clear by pointing out any work placements or uni projects that align with it.
Making your covering letter shine
Your covering letter is your chance to show your personality and go into more detail about why you want to work for a particular company and what you could bring to the team. Be sure to make your ambition clear, as well as your willingness to be flexible about the location you work from. This is also a great opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge of the organisation and show them that you’ve really done your research.
Giving yourself time to nail the application form
Lots of application processes for multinationals will involve filling out an online application form. As well as asking you about previous experience and qualifications, it might also ask you things like, ‘Why do you want to work for this company?’ and ‘What makes you the best candidate for the role?’. Your answers should be well thought through and polished in terms of spelling and grammar.
So, it’s important to start the application process early to allow yourself time to really nail your responses. You don’t want to run out of time or have to send off a rushed or incomplete form because you left it too close to the deadline.
Showing them you’re in it for the long term
A lot of the same principles apply to multinationals as to any other companies when it comes to getting hired by them. But where multinationals are slightly different is in the way they often recruit with a focus on keeping new employees at the company for the long term. As they often invest so much in the training and development of their workforce, it makes sense that they’re after people who want to stick around.
So, make sure you have a career plan in mind that you could follow at the company you’re applying for – and tell them about your ambitions in your application. It’s also important to ensure you’ve thoroughly researched the company so that you understand its goals and values, and can demonstrate how they align with your own.
What kind of assessments should I be prepared for?
Multinationals often have rigorous recruitment processes, which means if your application is shortlisted there may still be a handful of stages – or more – to make it through before that job is in reach. Each company has its own hiring process, but the stages may include:
Many multinationals ask candidates to sit tests or complete assessments. This might be an online test that you complete at home, or it could be a face-to-face assessment that you need to visit their offices for. Perhaps there will even be other candidates there for group assessment days – so it’s important you prepare.
Some tests might be focused on your knowledge of a specific subject, while others will be more concerned with your problem-solving skills, communication abilities and how you work as part of a team.
Of course, interviews are a key part of any hiring process and there will likely be more than just one to prepare for if you’re going after a job with a multinational.
Often, the first stage is a telephone interview or video interview. This step is to narrow the pool of people who are invited to in-person interviews by getting a feel for your suitability for the company and the role.
Then, you might be invited to one or more in-person interviews, perhaps just with one or two hiring managers. There could also be a test or assessment at this stage, so ensure you get a full brief and prepare properly.
It’s likely that if you are successful in your interviews, you’ll be asked to meet with more members of the company’s management and HR teams, perhaps at a panel interview. Remember, while it’s really positive to have made it this far, you’re still competing with others and securing the job is certainly not a guarantee.
Sitting in front of a panel and answering questions from multiple people can feel intimidating, so it’s important to go into it feeling properly prepared. As well as considering what new questions you might be asked, think about questions that you struggled with in previous interview stages and formulate answers in advance in case they come up again.