Get a Graduate Job at GVA

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Daniel Williams, Future Talent Lead/Business Partner


Why would you want to get a job in the property industry? In fact, why would you want to be a surveyor or planner? What do surveyors or planners even do? Why do I ask so many questions?

Well, according to the research out there, an overwhelming percentage of students see surveying as inferior to any other role in professional services, whether that’s law or accountancy. It’s seen as less prestigious, less lucrative and less interesting.

The truth is: there’s nothing you can do prior to university to really get stuck into property. There’s no equivalent to an A-level in Law or an Accounting Technician (AAT) qualification). Unless you know someone who works in it, you’re unlikely to get involved in it.

So back to my question: why would you want to be a surveyor or planner? We’re all about creating places and spaces that improve day-to-day life for everyone. Our passion is all about creating a world that works for you. Our purpose is to build a better future for our clients and society as a whole. Here, you’ll be building more than just your career.

We value buildings; we manage them on clients’ behalves; we work with clients on their investment portfolios; we let out office space and we let out retail space. Commercial property is an incredibly broad, technicoloured spectrum.

You could be working on an investment portfolio for a chain of restaurants; you could be letting out office space in the Shard; or you could be working on solutions to make real estate in the UK sustainable and environmentally friendly.

Our trainees are all seen as future leaders of this business and our trainees are all working to change the face of property in the UK.  You could be a part of that.

That all sounds great, but why would I choose GVA?

That’s a great question. Well done, you at the back. 

We’re a heritage company with a vision for what the future of the UK’s real estate looks like. We have 200 years of experience in this industry, but we don’t rest on our laurels – we’re using that wealth of knowledge to put us at the forefront of the future of commercial property.

We also have market-leading pass rates when it comes to becoming a chartered surveyor or planner. For us, the day-to-day work is incredibly important, but our number one priority is to support our trainees to become qualified. 

 I’m hooked. How do I apply?   

Graduate applications can be arduous, and we get that, so we’ve tried to keep our application process as painless as possible.

You can apply on our website. The application consists of three competency-based questions, but we’ve just introduced a CV parsing tool which processes all of the education and work experience bits automatically, meaning you can purely focus on the questions. There’s no special secret on how to ace competency-based questions; all you need to do is provide concise, structured (check out the ‘STARR’ technique) examples.

After that, you’ll be invited to our online test suite. Our numerical, verbal and critical reasoning tests are all time-recorded rather than time-limited. You’ll never be asked to answer as many math questions as you can in 20 minutes when you’re sat at your desk in the office, so our questions allow you to take as long as you need. Every individual works at their own pace. You’ll also be given the chance to practice each test before you sit the real thing.

Our next stage is a short, pre-recorded video interview that takes around 20 minutes to complete, and this is your real chance to shine. As a professional services firm, our people are our product. What we want to see here is your personality: your self-awareness, your integrity and your enthusiasm. We’ve all seen the various stats online about how body language accounts for more than 50% of the initial impression you make on someone. This video interview is all about measuring your personal impact.  It doesn’t matter whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert; we just want to see your passion for the industry shine through. 

Our final stage is…drumroll please…an assessment centre or a final interview. Surprise, surprise. I never saw that coming at all. If you’ve made it this far, we’ve identified that you’re a great fit for the company culture overall. This final stage is all about identifying whether you’re a good fit for the team you’ve applied to. That means this is less about the overall culture of the company, and more about your understanding of the role that you want to make your own.

After that, you’re done and an offer will be on its way to your email inbox.

The key with any recruitment process is that it’s a two-way process. It’s not all about the employer assessing you; you need to get a feel for whether or not you’d like to work there. Once you start seeing that it works both ways, it takes a lot of the pressure off your shoulders.

 The important stuff

  • Programme duration – 2 years
  • Our programmes – Building Surveying, Commercial Surveying and Town Planning
  • Qualification – Chartership with the RICS for surveyors or the RTPI for planners
  • Salary – £22,500 in our regional offices. £25,500 in London
  • Other bonuses – annual salary increase, £1,000 joining bonus, season ticket loans, car allowance once you’re qualified