Worried about what to expect at assessment centres? Don’t be. They’ve already seen that you’re great on paper so they know that you can talk the talk – now they’re looking to find out if you can actually do the role that you’ve applied for.
Here are my top tips to make sure you make the most of your time to shine:
First, have a final look at the competencies that are going to be measured and pick out specific situations where you’ve used them before – real-life examples are exactly what graduate recruiters are looking for. Make a list of your proudest achievements (make sure they’re relevant to your job role) and refer to them, when applicable, to ensure that the company knows you are self-motivated. Leaving an assessment centre kicking yourself that you didn’t mention ‘x’, ‘y’ or ‘z’ is frustrating and having this list to hand will ensure you don’t forget anything.
Second, and believe me, this will work in your favour – make sure you are fully prepared! If any of your friends have completed assessment centres before, find out what it was like and how they got on. You should also check out the employer’s website for any handy info, paying special attention to online reviews or blogs which can be great sources of advice on what to expect.
You can never be too prepared so make sure you:
Have your suit out ready for the next day – the last thing you need is to rush around worrying about what to wear, or ironing those creases out of your shirt.
Know which route you’re going to use! Google how long it should take you to get there, then factor in traffic delays (especially if it’s an early morning start) and aim to be there 10-15 minutes early. You really don’t want to be the person stumbling in late, flustered from the drive over.
Read through all your paperwork and check the schedule thoroughly before the day. You may be required to prepare something in advance or take essential documents along with you. Having to tell a future employer that you’ve forgotten something isn’t going to look too great.
Third, be sure to note down key points throughout the day. Your employer will usually give you some statistics and other facts about the company during the course of the assessment centre, perhaps during an introductory presentation, or as part of a brief for the next task ahead. This data is key, and noting it down will help you return to these points throughout your assessments and final interviews. Not only does it show your interviewer that you were listening, but it also demonstrates initiative. Win-win.
And finally, remember that you’re not in competition against the other candidates. You’re trying to meet the employer’s high standards, so focus on being yourself rather than competing with others. It’s less about having the loudest voice too, a good leader can often mean ensuring that the quietest person in the room gets their say as well. Last of all, try to relax as much as possible. This is easier said than done but since it’s likely you’ll attend more than one assessment centre, letting nerves overcome you each time will only hinder your performance.
If you believe you have the skillset that the business is looking for, then an assessment centre should be an opportunity to showcase your talent – rather than a stressful day you never want to talk about again! So why not put this advice into practice take a look at our opportunities today?