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How can I improve my MLA application?

We've compiled a list of tips and advice for students who want pointers on how they can improve their application or prepare for their interviews. We're incredibly sorry if you are here because you were unable to secure a space on the MLA this cohort.

How can I improve my application form?

Below we have compiled some general tips that can help your application stand out!

  • Check you are eligible: It's always disappointing to spend a lot of time on an application to find out that you're ineligible due to factors that vary from company to company (such as type/length of experience, location, nationality, pre-employment checks or security clearances). Please make sure to read the listing carefully so you can make an informed choice, as we may not be able to alter your application further down the line.
  • Provide thoughtful answers: Make sure to express your interest in the MLA and the opportunity you are applying for with passion, interest and personality. We want to know what you hope to gain from upskilling with us rather than telling us about your specific work experience or education.
  • Do your research: It's important for us to know why this company is the perfect fit for you. Make sure you highlight what you've learned about the company that is specific to that organisation, and what exciting projects they are working on that you'd love to get involved in. Focus more on what you can bring to the company than what the company can do for you!
  • Avoid using AI - we can tell: Do not use AI to fill out any forms as our sifting team will notice the similarities in the responses. We want to hear from you directly.
  • Check, check, check: Make sure to check for any spelling errors - maybe ask a friend or relative to look over your application for you.
  • Fill in the gaps: If you are missing some necessary skills/experience for this opportunity, we suggest you complete a MOOC sprint to fill in the gaps and build on your foundation skills. We suggest upskilling in the principles of Git and Github, Agile and Scrum, and Testing and Debugging. Please find our live and on-demand  MOOC sprints here.
  • Updated CV: Make sure your CV is up-to-date, has all your relevant experience,  and is professionally presented as some companies require them alongside your application form.

How do I prepare for a virtual interview?

Here are some general tips for both the initial video interview and the company interview. Jump past these tips to see more information on each separate stage.

  • Let your personality shine: Don’t be afraid to stand out with what makes you unique. Some of the most memorable answers will be more impactful than the polished ones (but not oversharing too much with the personal details if unnecessary).
  • Virtual best: Make sure you are engaging directly with the webcam/interviewer and avoid reading answers from a script (having some notes with prompts to the side can help - but keep it subtle). Ensure your background and interview space is distraction-free and your video and audio are working well. Treat the virtual interview as you would an in person interview in terms of how you dress and present yourself.
  • Take advantage of our free coaching sessions: our coaching sessions are designed to get you prepped for the Company Interview stage with role-playing examples and constructive feedback for responses.
  • Know the company you are interviewing for inside-out: Research, research, research! This is true of both the initial and company interview. You want your passion for tech and the reasons why you want to work for your chosen company to come through - make sure you research their current activity, values, and mission and have a good understanding of their business.
  • Mix it up: We would love to hear different examples to the ones you gave on your application form so that we can form a better understanding of your strengths and skills.
  • Have questions prepped and practice: Research what questions you may be asked and have some answers prepped. This includes things like ‘strengths and weaknesses, ‘what would your friends say about you', ‘top three qualities’ as some of the most common questions asked. In addition, don’t forget to look at the types of role-specific questions.
  • The STAR method: STAR is “Situation, Task, Action and Result” - this will help you to keep your answers succinct and on point, with situational/behaviour questions you may be asked. For more information on this technique please click here.

Initial video interview

The initial video interview is an opportunity for our internal team to get to know you and is not shared with our clients. It is completed alone in front of a webcam and recorded for review. We expect students to treat this like a classic interview, even though the format is unusual. The team is aware this may be some students’ first time completing a virtual interview. We encourage students to re-record their video interview each time they apply to a following cohort if they have been unsuccessful in gaining a space previously.

Company interview

The company interview stage is when you attend a virtual or in-person meeting with your potential sponsoring company. The interview dates vary from company to company so it's always best to check the form when you are applying to make sure you can attend these dates. As with the initial video interview, we expect students to treat this like a classic job interview and follow the tips above to make sure they are presentable, knowledgeable about the company and able to check their set-up beforehand to make sure they are free from technical disruptions (if online).

FYI: We will always email you from a @codefirstgirls.com email address. Please report and block any spam emails. 

We normally email from mla@codefirstgirls.com unless you have reached the final stage of MLA applications, you may be contacted from employee-specific email addresses.