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A Guide For Students Applying For A Placement

Tips on how to get the perfect placement...

Securing the perfect placement is not always easy, however many undergraduates fail to get the placement they want because they make very basic mistakes. Below are some tips that should help you win that placement.


  • Never use a standard letter to apply which bears no relationship to the position.
  • Always state why you want to work for this particular company and what you believe you can offer them.
  • Always check for spelling mistakes and poor grammar in your letter - including spelling the name of the company incorrectly. Get someone else to proof read your letter before sending it.

  • Preparing for the initial interview

    The preliminary interview is always conducted by Placement UK. If your original application has been successful, you will be invited to call us for an initial interview. If successful you will only have to do this once, regardless of the number of subsequent applications you make.

  • Before you call, think about why you would like to be considered for the position or what you can bring to the role.
  • Make sure you have read the remuneration details and you are happy with them. Understand that this is a placement/internship - not a holiday job.
  • When you telephone, try to call from a quiet location, where you are not going to be disturbed and can therefore concentrate on the phone conversation.
  • Remember to introduce yourself.
  • Remember the reference code of the placement/s you have applied for.
  • Understand the Essential Requirements of the role and that you can fulfil them.
  • Relax, the preliminary interviews are about how you come across and sound over the phone and to check you meet the basic requirements of the role.

  • Preparing for the interview with the company

    If you are placed on the shortlist, your details (covering letter and CV) will be forwarded to the company. If they decide to interview you, they will send you an email asking you to call them. (If you are presently residing in the UK, they may ask you to attend an interview in person.) In their email, they will tell you the company name (if they do not, email them back to ask for it).

    Research the company -

    Find as many sources as you can - a company website can be invaluable, and you may be able to access annual or quarterly reports, corporate brochures and vision / mission statements. If the company has close alliances with other organisations it is worth finding out about them too.

    Interview with company

  • Never say anything like: "So what do you do here?" It will show that you haven't been bothered to research them.
  • Make sure that you have read your own application again just before the interview. This is especially important if there has been a long time between you writing it and the interview - or if you have submitted applications for other jobs at the same time.
  • Remember, "Attitude is key", to really stand out from the rest. Genuine interest in the company, as well as the job on offer, is vital to getting the placement.

  • If you attend an interview in person or are required to send a photo

  • Always make sure you are appropriately presented for a professional environment. It is important to 'look the part' at interview, so dress to impress. There is no harm in asking about the office dress code when you call to confirm attendance at an interview.
  • Never wear facial piercings.
  • Never have tattoos on show.
  • Don't bare your midriff.

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