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Early Talent:
Development & Application

Find out more about what to expect from the application and selection process, hints and tips for writing your CV and attending an interview and read some of the most commonly asked questions about the recruitment process.

Selection process & application

In the UK, applications open in the Autumn – with the programme commencing the following September. The assessment and selection process begins in January, so we recommend you apply early to be considered. Applications are submitted online via our website/recruitment portal.

  • Step 1

    Apply online

    Complete the online application form and upload a copy of your CV and covering letter.

  • Step 2

    Cv Screening

    Your application will be reviewed against the requirements for the role you have applied for.

  • Step 3

    Online testing

    You will be invited to complete a series of psychometric tests tailored to the role you have applied for.

  • Step 4

    Video interview

    Upon successful completion of online tests, you will be invited to a video interview.

  • Step 5

    Assessment Centre

    If successful at video interview, you will be invited to attend an assessment centre at one of our central offices in Dartford, Manchester or our Centre of Excellence for Modern Construction in Worksop. *The safety of our people, and of our candidates is our priority and in the current climate, we may alter the format of our assessment centre; either replacing it with a virtual event or where it is safe to do so, and in line with government and health authority guidance, host a socially distanced, covid-secure day.

  • Step 6


    If you are successful at the assessment centre, you will receive a written, formal offer of employment.

  • Step 7


    All offers are subject to successful candidates completing the necessary onboarding paperwork and completing a health & safety touchscreen test (CSCS).

Hints & tips

A successful application begins with an exciting CV and ends with an engaging interview. Here we provide some quick tips for job applicants to help you make the most of your strengths and ensure you stand out from the competition.

Your CV

The CV is your first opportunity to make an impression on a potential employer. So it is important that it provides the best possible showcase for your achievements.

CV writing tips

Your CV should be easy to read: use clear fonts, bullet points and concise language.

  • If you are still studying start with your education and any relevant qualifications or training, detail what the subjects are and any predicted/achieved grades
  • If you have worked summarise your employment history with the most recent position you have held, using action verbs for the greatest impact
  • Highlight your individual achievements - not just those where you have excelled as part of a team
  • Always provide contact details, both mobile and email address
  • Spell-check your CV and ask someone to proof read it for you.
Your interview

What can you expect in the interview? How can you best prepare to make a good impression? We offer you a number of hints and tips to give you confidence on the big day, and take control of your own destiny.

  • Learn as much as you can about Laing O’Rourke: who we are, our services, and our vision for the years ahead. Make sure you can articulate how your strengths and career goals are aligned with ours, and why you think you’ll succeed in our organisation.
  • Prepare a list of questions for your interviewer(s): so you can assess whether Laing O’Rourke is the right place to launch your career. Ask us about our organisation, our projects, the opportunities we can offer you and what you can expect from us. Remember the recruitment process is two-way so this is your time to decide if we are the right employer for you.
  • Try to relax and remember that we're interested in the real you: Our interviewers are trained to get the best from you. We know interviews can be stressful, but we want you to enjoy it. Listen carefully to each question and take time to think about your best answer. Think about your strengths and weaknesses, achievements and aspirations - and be ready to discuss them.
  • Talk to us: we're friendly and always happy to answer your questions. Come along to one of our events on campus or in our offices, and ask our current school leavers or graduates what it's really like to work at Laing O’Rourke.
  • Get expert advice: your careers service can provide advice and guidance to help you complete your application form and even run you through practice interviews. Parents, family and friends can be a really useful source of information too.
On the day
  • Dress appropriately for the environment.
  • Maintain eye contact, confidence and energy levels throughout.
  • If you can reflect on your development so far, talk about what you have learnt and explain if there is anything you would have done differently, this will be viewed in a positive light.
  • Listen carefully to questions and think about your answers. If you don’t understand a question, ask your interviewer to explain it.
  • Keep your answers concise and relevant.
  • Refer to specific examples where you can demonstrate your knowledge and experience.

Frequently asked questions

Am I allowed to apply for more than one role at a time?

We want you to select the role you are most interested in, so we limit candidate applications to one application only. Graduates need to be geographically mobile due to the nature of our work and our projects.

What are your minimum academic requirements?

To be eligible for the graduate development programme you must currently be studying for an honours degree, ideally in a STEM subject, and be on track for a 2:1 or higher.

When will I know if my application has been successful?

You will know if you are through to the next stage within 30 days of submitting your CV.

Can I update my CV on your system?

Yes, you can log into your account via to edit or upload new information.

I have entered the wrong contact details on your system how do I change them?

You can log into your account via to edit your information.

Do you show preference to internal applicants?

Laing O'Rourke recognises the importance of promoting within and giving opportunity to employees. It is in our best interest to recruit outstanding talent and the candidate, whether internal or external who is most suited will be offered a position.

Who do I contact if I have a question about a vacancy?

Please email your query to [email protected], stating the 'graduate development programme' in the subject line.

Who will contact me about my application?

To speed up the process, we aim to contact you via email in the first instance. Your application will be dealt with by the early talent team.

When will my references be checked?

All offers of employment are subject to references. You will be sent an email to your personal account and you will be asked to complete a reference questionnaire.

Can I speak to someone about your recruiting process and the graduate development programme?

If you have any questions about your individual application, or would like to speak to one of our recruiters, then please email us at [email protected]

Can I apply for positions in the UK if I need a work permit?

We welcome applications from all candidates. However, there are restrictions if you are not resident in the UK. You will need to ensure you have full eligibility to work in the UK before making an application. If you are unsure of your eligibility to work in the UK, please visit for more information.

Can I apply for deferred entry?

We understand that not everyone is ready to start their career the day after graduation. If we offer you a job, we'll be happy to talk to you about your circumstances and each request will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

I have a disability, should I declare it?

At the application stage, we ask candidates to indicate if they consider themselves to have a disability so we can ensure adjustments are made to support you during the recruitment process. Any conversations we have with you regarding your disability will be treated with confidentiality. For further information we also recommend that you visit

I wasn't invited to the next stage of the recruitment process - can I get feedback on my application?

We encourage all applicants to request feedback if their application is unsuccessful following a video interview or assessment centre. We believe feedback is an important part of the recruitment process and will help you in your further search for a suitable role. If your application doesn't proceed following your video interview or assessment centre, we will give you personal feedback over the phone. When we inform you of the outcome, we will provide details of how to organise this feedback.

What are the typical hours in a working week?

There's no typical week at Laing O'Rourke. Your contractual hours of 40 hours per week will vary according to the work or project in which you're involved, and you will need to be flexible. The majority of our projects operate Monday to Friday; however, there may be some weekend work, particularly during busy periods. We encourage teams at all levels to work flexibly and to discuss and negotiate how to meet the demands of each project. By communicating regularly with your team and supervisor, you'll be able to understand their expectations and plan your time effectively.

What do people wear at Laing O'Rourke?

Our office dress policy is business attire/wear. However, when on site you will need to dress appropriately for the project (wearing trousers and suitable shoes) and taking the weather into account. A large amount of your time could be spent outdoors. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is provided and will be supplied to you when you join us. Before you start working with us, we will match you up with a buddy who will help you get started before your first day and during your first few weeks. They can help you with any other questions similar to this.

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