The application processes for trainee programs at big international companies are often structured in a similar way. In order to give you a better insight into the individual steps of the application process, I will share my own experience with you, when I applied for Scania’s Graduate Trainee Program in 2014.

First, I had to create a profile on Scania’s career website where I uploaded my CV, letter of motivation, and supporting documents (degree certificate etc.). Directly after I had sent in my application, I received an e-mail from Scania, which confirmed the submission of my application.

One week later, I was invited to perform two online tests: the Adjustable Competence Evaluation (ACE), a test which investigates one’s ability for complex reasoning, as well as the Master Person Analysis (MPA), a personality test which looks at one’s behavioural preferences, individually and in relation to others. After I had performed the tests, I received a summary of the results, and I was very surprised that a computer test was able to grasp my personality so perfectly.

Not even a week later, a woman from Scania’s HR department called me and invited me to the first interview round. Since I was living in Germany at that time, she suggested that the first interview was done via Skype. I was quite nervous since this was my first job interview in Swedish, but the recruiter made me feel comfortable and the interview atmosphere was very welcoming. It felt more like having a conversation than being bombarded with questions. It became obvious to me that it was important for Scania to get to know me as a person, and therefore, the discussion of the personality test results played an essential part during the interview.

It took about one week again, until I received an e-mail from the recruiter, in which she asked me to name a contact person, with whom she could talk about me. I gave her the contact details of my supervisor during my internship at the German-Swedish Chamber of Commerce. Only two days later, I received a phone call that I had made it to the second interview round, an assessment center at Scania in Södertälje.

The assessment center took place ten days later and was scheduled for two days. There were four trainee positions available within Sales and Marketing and eight applicants were invited to the assessment center. Thus, four of the applicants took part on the first day and the other four participated on the second day. I was the only non-Swede in my group, therefore, the assessment center was held in Swedish.

The assessment center started with a health check and drug test at Scania’s medical center. Afterwards, we met the four managers for the four trainee positions and had to solve a case study in the group. Then we had lunch at one of Scania’s cafeterias with some former Sales and Marketing trainees. After lunch we had five individual interviews, with the four managers and the HR department. In the interviews, the managers also presented their departments and described the tasks of the trainee positions.

Three days later, one of the managers called me and offered me the trainee position within the Marketing Communications department, and I accepted the offer right away.

I would like to encourage you all to apply for a trainee program, even if you might think that you do not fulfil all of the requirements. Do not miss this opportunity!