How to answer JLL’s application question on showing courage, trust and agility

The JLL graduate application form is a lot simpler than many other firms’ forms. You include some basic personal details, attach your CV and answer two questions. The second question, ‘JLL believe courage, trust and agility are differentiators in our business. In 2,500 words (approximately 500 words), give us examples of when you have been able to demonstrate these and what you have learned from these experiences’ is about showing them you have the qualities they look for a graduate surveyor, consultant or manager.

How to approach the JLL courage, trust and agility question

This question is assessing:

  • your personal qualities: do you have the qualities JLL is looking for in its employees?
  • your analytical skills: are you able to identify real-life of examples and show how these demonstrate the qualities?
  • your ability to reflect on your experiences and better yourself because of them
  • your communication skills: can you come up the examples and still stick within the limited word count? There’s no room to waffle

This question can be answered one of two ways:

  • take each personal quality and come up with an example for each or
  • choose a few examples where you demonstrated a combination of the qualities and write about them

If you decide to use separate examples for each, you will have to write succinctly to keep within the word count. If you decide to use a ‘combination’ example, remember to explicitly state how that example demonstrates courage, trust and agility.

Use the STAR technique for your examples: describe the Situation, the Tasks you had to complete, the Actions you took and the Results of these actions. Be aware that you might need to give some context – a society’s name or an award may seem self-explanatory to you, but JLL recruiters may not understand its significance.

Remember that JLL is interested in how you demonstrated those values, not how your team demonstrated them. Even if giving an example of something you did in a team, focus on how you acted courageously, trustworthily and agilely.

What examples of courage is JLL looking for?

Firstly, JLL is looking for you to talk about a time when you acted courageously. Good examples will be of situations where you stepped out of your comfort zone or stood up for something you believed in. Have you ever travelled alone? Have you ever taken part in a bungee jump for charity even though you’re scared of heights? Have you ever given a speech to an audience when you were transfixed by nerves? Or stood up for someone when you felt they were being unfairly treated? Any example you use should show why what you did was courageous for you.

What examples of being trusted is JLL looking for?

JLL seeks a time when you proved yourself worthy of trust because it is vital for their employees to give ethical advice to, and be trusted by, clients – in fact, the APC includes a module on ethical behaviour.

For this part of the question you can write about any positions of trust you have held through employment or through any university societies or clubs you have been part of: for example, you may have been trusted to handle cash, open up/lock up, train new members of staff or take on extra responsibility. Other examples could be babysitting or any voluntary work where you were working with vulnerable people. Remember to say how the trust in you was justified.

What examples of being agile is JLL looking for?

Agility, in this sense, means showing that you can think on your feet and adapt to new situations, information or changes of circumstance. This is an important quality for JLL recruiters as they want to know that their employees can think fast and adapt to changing and sometimes difficult circumstances. For example, you may be working on a planning application and then discover that the site has an environmental protection order in place and you will have to adapt accordingly.

There are a number of ways you can demonstrate this, picking examples either from work experience or from your time at university. For example, have you ever had a project go wrong and you had to use quick thinking to fix it? Have you ever worked in a bar and ran out of a certain drink? How did you deal with the situation? Make sure you show in your example that you planned ahead for different situations and that your plans made the situation easier to handle.

How to tell JLL what you learned

The question was reworded this year to include this aspect, so JLL clearly wants evidence of applicants’ ability to self-reflect. If you use the aforementioned STAR technique, you should address the ‘what did you learn from these experiences’ part of the question when you describe your Results. You could think about whether you developed any of the other skills and qualities JLL is looking for (on its TARGETjobs employer hub JLL states that ‘relationship building and strong communication skills are integral to our success’, for example), but it is also the time to tell recruiters what your courage/trust/agility experience taught you about yourself that could help you in your future career. Perhaps you learned that you are willing to stand up and give your point of view, even if it’s contrary to what the majority around you think; or, that you learned it takes you a little while to get used to being in a new place, but that you can adapt and build new relationships when you make special effort.

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