Tips & Tricks on How to Apply

Once you have been nominated to the GEST programme (nomination form here) by the supervisor, instructor or employer in your organisation, you might be asked to send in a more elaborate application as the next step in the selection process for the programme. In turn, if your application is successful, you might be invited to a screening interview. Below we have compiled a handy list of tips and tricks for writing a good application and how to prepare for a good screening interview.

Writing a good application

  1. The work you put into your application tells us about your personality and work ethic. Write a genuine and original application that shows that you have taken time to familiarize yourself with the GEST programme and how it will benefit you and your organization, institution and/or community. Make sure to do your absolute best and re-read your answers before sending the application.
  2. The cover letter is the most important part of the application. The cover letter should present a clear argument for why you are an ideal candidate for the GEST programme. As an applicant, you want to stand out. Read about the content of the programme, do your research on what the programme has to offer, and share in your cover letter what you expect to learn from your time with the programme, and how this will benefit gender equality in your home country, local community or institution in specific terms. In other words, tell us what you expect, and what we can expect.
  3. Avoid unnecessary use of formulaic and “standardized” language. Every year the programme receives dozens of cover letters from applicants who try to speak the language of development, equality, SDGs, gender, etc, i.e. discourses rich in jargon, without demonstrating a comprehensive understanding of the subjects. This results in many of the cover letters sounding the same and leaving the reader with more questions than answers.
  4. Make sure your self-assessment of your language skills is reflected in the application.

Preparing for the screening interview

  1. Punctuality is essential. Being late to your interview can eliminate you from the competitive selection process. Make sure your internet connection is as good as possible and find a quiet place, preferably with privacy. Check that your audio and video is working properly before starting the interview.
  2. Give your Final Applied Project due consideration. Being able to argue not just for the relevance of your final project idea, but for its viability and chance of success within your organisation and home country, is going to be important for your interview.
  3. Keep your answers concise and to the point and avoid repeating yourself too much. Expect to be interrupted and asked for clarifications in your answers.
  4. In case of a difficult internet connection, do not hesitate to summarize the parts you understood from the question asked and confirm with the interviewers that you understood the question correctly before answering.
  5. If you have questions about the programme itself which you have not found on the GEST website, do not hesitate to take the opportunity in the interview to ask these questions.