Frequently Asked Questions

What qualities do you look for in a graduate? 
There is no specific 'type' of candidate we look for, as roles within our business are becoming more diverse - everyone has something unique to offer Caterpillar and we value individuals. We are, however, seeking people who share our core values of integrity, commitment, teamwork, excellence and sustainability.

How many disciplines and locations can I apply for? 
Please only apply for one discipline. You will be given the option of applying for a second discipline during the application process. If you apply for multiple disciplines you will not be considered for all applications.

Where will I be based? 
Each individual discipline states where the roles are based. Please note that you may be working for one of our other business units. Please see for more information on these business units. We endeavour to hold the assessment centres in the locations you will be working. However on some occasions this may vary.

Do I have to complete the online application form in one go?
No. You will be provided with a unique login and password when you enter the site so that you can complete your application in sections and there is a 'save as draft' option. If you have any issues during the application process please contact the Graduate Recruitment team who will be able to help you -

Can you provide any advice on completing the online application form?
This is the first chance to make a good first impression.

  • Make sure you are honest about academic achievements, as we will check.
  • Be realistic.
  • You have researched the company and the programme you wish to join.
  • Take your time to answer all the questions fully and to the best of your ability.
  • Be yourself-do not use quotations from our website/publications we want to hear about you. 
  • Do not waffle. Give us the most important details.
  • Do not repeat yourself.
  • If a word count is provided use it fully.
  • Make sure your contact details are up-to date and that you are able to check the telephone and email address you provide for messages on a regular basis.
  • If you are applying for more than one programme make sure you make this clear
  • CHECK everything especially spelling and grammar.

What can I expect from a telephone interview?
A telephone interview is an exploratory conversation to allow us to find out more about you.  Be clear about why you want to work for Caterpillar and the business unit you have applied for.  We will want to know more about why you are interested in the role and your qualifications.  There will also be some competency-based questions.  We will also remind about the need to provide us with proof that you are eligible to work in the UK.  We recommend that you have a copy of your application form near you as we may ask you questions about the information provided on it.  If possible give examples that are different from the ones used in your application form.

If I am unsuccessful will I receive any feedback on my application?
Unfortunately due to the high volume of applications we are unable to provide feedback if you are rejected after completing the online application form or telephone interview.  However if you are unsuccessful after any subsequent stage feedback is available on request. You will be given details of how to do this once you have applied. Please ensure you include you Full Name, Assessment Date, Discipline Applied For and Up-To Date Contacts Details so we can get back to you as quickly as possible.

I do not have a valid work permit - can you help me?
We are unable to accept applications from graduates who require a work permit to work in the UK. For further advice on eligibility to work in the UK please visit the Border & Immigration Agency website.

Do you accept applications from overseas or international students? 
Yes we do, based on the provision of evidence of your entitlement to work in the UK. For more information regarding eligibility to work in the UK please visit the UK Border Agency website.

Will my travel expenses be reimbursed if I come to an assessment centre?
We will reimburse any reasonable travel expenses, up to a maximum of £75.00. Please bring all receipts with you on the day as proof of expenditure.

Will you support me if I want to work towards professional qualifications?
Caterpillar is very keen on professional development. As a result, many of our Graduate disciplines offer the opportunity to work towards recognised qualifications.

What can I expect the dress code to be?
This will depend on the department that you work in, ranging from smart casual to polo shirt and trouser. However, we would expect you to dress in smart business wear when attending an assessment centre.

Why are there only graduate schemes available for specific areas - I'm interested in something else? 
If you're interested in other areas of Caterpillar that aren't covered by the graduate scheme, you'll find opportunities to apply for roles, through work placements or direct appointments on our website. You can see all current vacancies at

I've never been to an assessment centre before, what should I expect?
The assessment centre day isn't just our opportunity to assess your potential. It's for you to see if you'd like to work here. You'll have a chance to chat to current graduates and managers and to watch a presentation from the business area you've applied for.
The day includes:

  • Group discussion exercise
  • Individual interview (competency based and or technical/biographical) 
  • Programme/business specific presentation
  • Site tour and some lunch together. We invite recent graduates and managers from the business areas along for you to network with.

What is a group discussion exercise?

Group exercises help us to understand how you interact with others and whether you perform well in a team. It's important you do contribute to make sure you provide us with something to assess you against. The exercise is designed to gauge your ability to be assertive and proactive without being domineering, to listen as well as contribute and to focus on the task in hand.

What is a Competency based interview?
These are the questions you can prepare the most for. We want to hear specific examples of when you've demonstrated a certain competency. Do...

  • Reflect on your experience and think of examples in advance.
  • Give varied examples from work, social and extracurricular activities.
  • Use the STAR technique: explain the situation, the task involved, the actions that you took and the results you obtained.
  • Focus on what you achieved, not just what happened when you were part of a group.

When I finish the graduate programme will I be guaranteed a job at Caterpillar?
When you join our graduate programme you are hired as a permanent employee.  When you complete the graduate programme you will be offered a role in one of the departments you worked in during your programme.  The role you are assigned will be decided based on your preferences, the preferences of the managers you worked with and needs of the individual departments.  As you will be a permanent employee you will be subject to the same contractual conditions as all other permanent employees and your performance will be reviewed at regular intervals throughout your time with us.

What type of job will I have once I finish the graduate programme?
Our programmes are designed to help you reach our requirements and your own aspirations. Your goals may change, so we formally track your progress against a personal development plan.

Where will I be based?
Each individual discipline states where the roles are based. Please note that you may be working for one of our other business units below:

Perkins Engines - Peterborough/Stafford/Irlam

Cat Marine Power Systems - Wimbourne

Cat Remanufacturing - Shrewsbury

Cat Financial Service Division

Turner Powertrain Systems

We endeavour to hold the assessment centres in the locations you will be working, However on some occasions this may vary.