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5 insider tips for Mainfreight graduate program applications

Global supply chain logistics is big business, and with offices in 24 countries, Mainfreight is a major player. Here are 5 insider tips for Mainfreight graduate program applications. this article

Know the company, and why you want to work at Mainfreight

Before you even start preparing an application with Mainfreight, it’s strongly encouraged that you do as much research on the company as possible. While it’s exciting to be looking for opportunities, it’s important to remember that not everybody is a good match for every graduate job out there. 

Mainfreight, in particular, are very interested in why you want to work with them, so you need to understand the position, the career pathways, how the graduate program works, and where the opportunity can take you. You’ll have a difficult time during interviews if you can’t articulate your motivation for applying, because Mainfreight will ask plenty of questions. Graduates we surveyed have told us they needed to answer questions like ‘Why Mainfreight?’ and ‘What draws you to this industry?’. 

Doing your research beforehand and carefully considering if Mainfreight is a good fit for you will make it much easier to relax, be yourself, and answer questions with real enthusiasm during the interview process. A Mainfreight graduate in Melbourne had the following advice for graduate program applicants: ‘Really do your research about Mainfreight so you can understand why it stands out from the rest.’

Understand the Mainfreight application process

One thing that will please many applicants is the Mainfreight graduate application process doesn’t involve assessment centres. Instead, they’re very focussed on dealing with you one-on-one and learning as much as they can about who you are.

As with most graduate programs, you first complete an online application. You’ll need to submit your resume as well as a cover letter. Again, this is where a little research can help - don’t use a generic cover letter - include something about why you’re excited to apply with Mainfreight.

You’ll receive a confirmation email, and not long after, a further email confirming whether or not you’ve progressed to the next stage. If you’re successful, this email will also schedule a phone interview, so make sure you’re checking junk email folders to be 100% sure you don’t miss any communication.

After the phone interview, there’s a further interview either in person or via Skype. The last step is a final interview with a manager, who is the one who makes the final decision and job offer. If you want further advice on what sort of questions to be ready for, you can find some great advice from previous graduates here

Be prepared for a range of different opportunities

Mainfreight themselves give the following advice to graduates: “We don’t run a cookie-cutter grad program. Your career progress is based on your skills, hard work and ability to learn, rather than rotations or ‘time in the job’.  We operate a ‘promote from within culture’ which means your talents will get noticed.”

You can take a couple of key points away from this. Firstly, a career with Mainfreight is what you make it. You’ll need to work hard and develop your skills and if you do that there’s no shortage of career opportunities. Secondly, you have more control over your grad experience than with other graduate programs where you’re rotated through the business regardless of your interest in some areas.

Although Mainfreight’s ‘promote from within’ policy is brilliant for graduates eager to further their career, it does mean that nothing gets handed to you. 

This is important to recognise before you apply. Graduates usually start in a warehouse environment and learn the business from the ground up. So, if you’re not keen on learning all there is to know about Mainfreight’s operations, it may not be the right fit for you.

Be yourself during interviews

Mainfreight graduates we spoke to painted a picture of a company who really wants to know more about you as a person. This is how the company gets an idea of how well you’ll fit into their culture and operations. 

When asked what advice he would give to future Mainfreight applicants, a recent Brisbane graduate said, ‘Present your character. Knowledge is 1% of the interview and the other 99% is the type of person you are. We're looking for people that fit our culture and have a genuine willingness to learn.’

A past graduate said, ‘We talked about the fact that I play soccer, and it was like, ‘This is a job interview and I’m talking about something I’m passionate about’. To me, that was really refreshing.’

Mainfreight has a culture focused on people, so be sure to bring your whole self to the interview and show them exactly who you are.

Show an interest in training and learning

Like any job, a graduate position with Mainfreight requires a lot of learning. However, it’s a good idea to think of it as applying for a career, not just a job. With such a strong focus on promoting people from within and providing opportunities for career expansion, Mainfreight wants to know that you love learning and developing new skills.

When asked about Mainfreight’s training programs, a graduate from Brisbane said, ‘The training in largely run through our internal training team. We also have a wide range of external courses put on for our professional development. This year alone I have done advanced excel training, public speaking and a number of internal learning sessions, including a presentation from one of our board directors.’

While there’s plenty of training and development opportunities available, your career with Mainfreight depends heavily on the effort you put in, which is why you’re going to want to show your interviewers that you’re the dynamic type of person they’re looking for.

We hope this article has given you some helpful tips if you’re applying for a graduate position with Mainfreight. For more help on how to apply, you can find all of the info you need on Mainfreight’s profile page here. Also, make sure you regularly check our jobs page to find out about all the available positions with Mainfreight.