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Our ‘Trainee-in-waiting’ series has proved popular in previous years so we bring it back to you. Starting today, we introduce some of the new NAO trainee intake who will be joining us in September. First up is Tufail Kalam, answering a host of questions around the NAO’s recruitment process.  Tufail, why did you apply to the NAO? […]

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Trainee-in-waiting: Tufail Kalam

Posted on August 19, 2016 by

start-maleOur ‘Trainee-in-waiting’ series has proved popular in previous years so we bring it back to you. Starting today, we introduce some of the new NAO trainee intake who will be joining us in September. First up is Tufail Kalam, answering a host of questions around the NAO’s recruitment process. 

Tufail, why did you apply to the NAO?

Initially, I was attracted to the position from the excellent experience a close uni friend of mine had on his internship at the NAO. After speaking to him and carrying out further research, the reputation of the NAO and the unique opportunity to impact on our nation made me apply. One of the other main draws for me are the excellent exam pass rates.

tufail-kalamHow did you find the NAO’s recruitment process (compared to others)?

The recruitment process was not long-winded as many of the other recruitment processes that I have been through. There was an online application, then psychometric tests, followed by a telephone interview then assessment centre. At the assessment centre there was a group exercise, an individual presentation and a final interview. We also had the opportunity to meet some of the current people on the graduate scheme which was great as we were able to ask questions and get a better idea of what we would be able to expect once we start. The staff were extremely friendly and very approachable with any questions that I had. This helped to really calm my nerves on the day!

What do you wish you knew about us before you applied?

I arrived for the assessment centre expecting everything to be really serious and daunting just because of the size of the organisation. However, the greeting from the staff was really friendly and this helped to boost my confidence. I was worried about my interview with one of the directors but he was so welcoming and came across very approachable. I wish I knew beforehand just how pleasant everyone is. I was told this by my friend beforehand but I still didn’t expect everyone to be so easy to talk to!

Any tips for next year’s applicants?

First and foremost, it is important to understand the competencies that the NAO look for and have examples ready. Research what the NAO does and read a couple of value for money (VFM) reports as this will help you to show the interviewer that you are passionate about working at the NAO. Apply early and remember, everyone applying to the graduate scheme is on a similar boat to yourself. The staff are really helpful so don’t be afraid to ask questions.

What are you looking forward to when joining us in September?

I can’t wait to meet the rest of the cohort! My cluster is Delivering Major Programmes and I am really looking forward to meeting the team. I am excited about attending college with the rest of the unit and building on my knowledge to help me in my career at the NAO.


Would you like to join Tufail next year?

We will soon be accepting applications for our 2017 graduate training scheme.

Sign up for our email alerts and be the first to know when the scheme opens.


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