If you apply for a graduate job then chances are you will need to attend an assessment centre. To get it right make sure that you plan ahead: do your research, pick your outfit and decide how you are going to get there. On the day listen carefully, get involved and make sure everyone there knows your name.
For many companies assessment centres are the last stage of the recruitment process and Enterprise is no exception. In fact, reaching this stage is an achievement in itself. Before that you would have had to have completed three steps in our interview process, including a comprehensive interview with one of our skilled recruiters.
However you only have a toe in the door and suddenly you are surrounded by a number of other candidates and assessors! Assessment centres are a very different experience to a job interview . Gone is the one-to-one experience, and instead you are looking to be noticed amongst a crowd. But you have to find a balance. Don’t dominate or shout others down. You are there to listen and interact. An Enterprise assessment centre is carefully designed to assess whether you possess six key competencies: customer service, sales, leadership, work ethic, flexibility and communication. You will be given ample opportunity throughout the day to prove you have all six.
Here are a few key tips that will go a long way in ensuring you make the most of an Enterprise assessment centre:
Get there: even before the day make sure that you get your planning right: what route will you choose? How you will get to the assessment centre? Look the part: get some advice on the attire you have chosen. Think of some questions that you will undoubtedly get the chance to ask during the day.
Network: once you have arrived (on time!), say hello to everyone you meet. Interact from the moment you get through that door. You never know, it could be an assessor you are sharing a conversation with at the coffee machine!
Behave: mind how you behave at an assessment centre – positive body language, firm handshakes and a big smile (even if nervous) will get you off to a confident start. These characteristics are noticed by all, and we haven’t even started yet!
Listen: once the day gets underway, listen to every detail. Activities and scenarios will be read out and there will be details that can easily be missed. Take notes and if unsure, ask. The most common mistakes candidates make are usually due to not reading or listening carefully. So easy to do but so easy to avoid.
The scenarios we use are based on experiences that you will encounter in one of our branch. By this stage you will have completed a branch interview and taken time to really research us as a company – maybe you browsed our website and blog content and got a feel for our values and ethos, or even followed us on Twitter or Facebook. This will help enormously. Remember, if one aspect of the day does not go to plan, put it behind you and impress during the next scenario.
More than anything though, make sure you are “part” of the assessment centre. When you leave at the end of the day everybody should know your name – both assessors and other candidates. They will know your name because you involved yourself. You asked questions, you interacted during the breaks, you made an effort with the other candidates, and of course you gave every activity 100% effort.
We are not expecting that you know everything about Enterprise. We are expecting you to turn up and simply be you. Never try and be something you are not, a good assessor will see through this. Ultimately, on your journey home you should be thinking “I could not have given it any more”.