The assessment centre (or assessment day) is often the final stage of the graduate recruitment process, so well done for getting this far! Use these tips to prepare yourself for the final hurdle – Good Luck!
Assessment centres are designed to give the employer a well-rounded appraisal of candidates’ competencies, likely performance in the work place, motivation to join and ‘fit’ with the company.
Whilst they vary in structure, candidates generally undertake a range of individual and group tasks, where they are evaluated on appropriate skills e.g. communication, teamwork, problem-solving and time management.
Assessment centres are demanding, because you are under constant scrutiny for a long period of time. But they do provide an opportunity to demonstrate a broader range of competencies than in an interview; and if one activity doesn’t go so well, you will always have the chance to shine in another. And remember, you have been invited to the assessment centre because the recruiter thinks you’re good – they want to like you!
Good preparation is the key to success at assessment centres, raising confidence levels and overall performance.
See our interview tips, which also apply to assessment days. See General Tips
Research the company thoroughly. See Do Your Research
Try to find out about their Assessment Centres and the type of tasks
Be clear about the job requirements, so you know what skills/attributes the assessors might be looking for.
Read any Welcome Pack or literature from the employer – It will tell you what to expect (sometimes including example questions) and also whether you need to prepare anything in advance.
Practise psychometric tests, interviews and presentation skills.
Try to relax and let your personality shine through – people are more likely to warm to you.
Engage, SMILE 🙂 , make eye contact. Try to enjoy the experience!
Don’t be put off by the other candidates
Focus on getting across your own best qualities.
Remember you are not necessarily in competition with each other, and you will need to work together to complete group tasks successfully; treat other candidates as allies rather than rivals.
Maintain a professional, polite and friendly manner.
Remain calm and positive in all tasks.
Assessors sometimes collect in everyone’s notes after a task (e.g. to see how you plan/organise etc.)
So be prepared and don’t write stuff you’d rather they didn’t see!
Make sure you understand the brief
Ask for clarification if necessary.
Know what needs to be done and why you’re doing it (what skills/qualities might they be looking for?)
Be on your guard!
Be aware that you are being assessed even during ‘informal‘ social activities like dinner or drinks before/during/after an assessment day – even if you are told otherwise! Even if the occasion IS purely social, people can’t help forming opinions about you.
Definitely don’t drink too much! Not only will it leave a poor impression, it could affect your performance the following day.