Start lineIn our new ‘Trainee-in-waiting’ series the NAO graduate blog introduces some of the graduates who have made it through the recent recruitment process and will be joining our graduate scheme in September. The first ‘trainee-in-waiting’ to answer our questions around the application process is Manpreet Singh.

Manpreet, why did you apply to the NAO?

The NAO acts as a buffer between Parliament and the public. I, personally, have a strong interest in working in the public sector domain due to the sheer impact a decision can have socially and economically – it really is ‘Big Hitting’. The ACA is a highly respected qualification and the NAO offers an excellent training programme with generous study leave.

How did you find the NAO’s recruitment process (compared to others)?

The application itself was more challenging compared to others but rewarding. I didn’t feel as though I was simply listing out grades – the competency questions really made me think about how I would fit into the NAO and more importantly reassured me that this would be the perfect place for me. I found the NAO recruitment staff to be very flexible and accommodating to any questions or queries. I was even able to make a last minute change and have my first round interview in the Newcastle office.

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

A common misconception is that the NAO only operates within the UK but I later found that there are opportunities to work abroad. The NAO works closely with the United Nations and other international bodies. It provides a great opportunity to learn about how different countries and the way cultures have shaped the auditing process. It also reaffirms the status of the NAO as a leading figure in auditing.

Any tips for next year’s applicants?

If you are reading this blog then you have already stumbled upon my top tip! I found reading the blogs extremely helpful in getting a real insight into working for the NAO. There are some great pieces on the interview process and working life. The hashtags at the bottom of the blogs were also great as they allowed me to come across other articles such as the work the NAO do with the United Nations.

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

The Public sector, being so rich in variety, offers something for everyone. Without a doubt, I look forward to joining a Value for Money project! Having read some of the Value for Money (VFM) reports such as ‘Managing the Prison Estate’ and ‘Managing the Expansion of the Academies Programme’, my interest was reinforced.

Also, not to forget… I certainly am looking forward to meeting my new colleagues!

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