Assessment centres are generally the last stage of the graduate recruitment process, so here are our top tips to get you over the final hurdle! The structure may vary, but the day usually involves a range of individual and group tasks designed to give the employer a rounded appraisal of candidates' key competencies (e.g. planning, creativity and teamwork) and 'fit' with the company.
1. Preparation is the key to success
Read any information and instructions from the employer well in advance, as it will let you know what to expect and whether you need to prepare anything e.g. a presentation. Before you go, refresh your memory about the company, role and your job application.
2. Find out about the tasks
Brush up on your presentation skills and find out which exercises the company uses. Some employers post helpful info on their social channels, or check Glassdoor or Google for previous candidates' comments and tips. Visit HelloGrads to understand what various tasks are looking for and how to handle them; then put in some practice to boost your confidence and performance.
3. You are being observed the whole time
Be aware that you're being assessed from the moment you arrive, throughout the tests and even during 'informal' drinks and lunch breaks. On the upside, if you flunk one of the tasks, you will always have the chance to shine in another.
4. Don't just think it, do it!
Being under constant scrutiny means you have to actively demonstrate your skills and attributes. Assessors will note what you say, how you say it and your body language; for example listening skills: sitting in silence tells them nothing, whereas making eye contact, nodding and reflecting back what someone has just said, will prove to the assessors that you are paying attention and listening to others.
5. Be yourself
Try to relax, get involved and enjoy the experience. Remember, you have been invited to the assessment centre because the recruiter thinks you are good! They want to like you and see you do well.
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