The online application was straightforward. Personal details, education, work experience and any additional information (achievements, training etc..).
The next stage was a 30-minute telephone interview with a talent acquisition manager (this person was also at the assessment centre). We discussed the main points on my CV and then moved on to competency questions. These were in line with the jobs competencies (leadership, team work, sales, customer service, decision making...) so have some examples prepared!
The next stage was a branch visit. At the start, I was set a task by the branch manager to obtain specific information from all the employees at the branch (time at company, likes/dislikes of the job, hobbies etc...). This was an exercise to measure communication skills and get an idea of my personality. I then sat down with the manager and talked about the interview process and a normal day in the role amongst other things.
As this stage takes place at a working branch, you get to experience day-to-day tasks of the job. I experienced a complaint and went to pick up a customer during my visit.
After this, I completed an interview with the branch manager, which lasted around 40 minutes. There were several competency-based questions for each core competency of the job.
The next stage was the assessment center.
Most difficult question
Be fully prepared for an expansive range of competency based questions which are designed to test both your prior experiences and how closely aligned these are with the core competencies of the position.
Take time to compose your answers as any gaps will be picked up on and scrutinised irrespective of your academic achievements and transferable work experience, knowledge and skills.
Assessment day activities. Make sure you practice them!
Research the company and the industry fully. They don't expect you to know everything but the more you know the easier the process will be.
Be sure to use a range of examples from your past work experiences and use the STAR model (situation, task, action, result) when answering, as this will ensure your answers are concise and you actually answer the question!
Prepare for how to act in the activities during the assessment day. The outcome of activities is not necessarily the most important aspect (although you should meet the objectives!). But rather what role you play within the group, how you justify your actions in the individual activity and how you act in the role-plays.
I've been to a few of these now and I see how some people struggle to perform well in a group activity, as they were uninvolved or too aggressive!
Experiences at the assessment centre
A full day that consisted of; a group exercise, an individual exercise, role-play scenarios and a final interview.
Group exercise- We were all given information of the organisations background along with its core values. Also, we were each given a different business initiative and had to argue why our own should be chosen. We had a budget (meaning only a couple could be chosen) and had 30 minutes to decide which the group would choose, along with reasoning???s to be presented to the finance board (area managers).
Individual exercise- I was given 30 minutes to organise a day in the life of a branch manager. Of course, this was not made straight forward as employees had called in sick, cars were not ready to go out, the correct type of cars were not available for customers etc... I had to address this and draw up a fleet plan, employee duties plan, deal with customers and other issues.
As was explained, there was no one correct way to complete this, but I had to justify my plan.
The assessor was quite thorough and went through my whole plan, ensuring there was no holes in it. Probably the most difficult part of the day for me!
Role plays-2 different scenarios.
1. A customer service scenario, where a customer had not taken out the insurance waiver thus had to pay £500 before they left to cover damages that had incurred while they had the car.
2. A sales scenario, where a customer had booked a basic car with zero extras. I had to encourage sales through upgrading to a higher category car and get the insurance waiver.
The assessor played the part well (must have seen it too many times!) and made both scenarios difficult for me!
Final interview: Again, a competency based interview to measure experiences against competencies of the job role. Lasted around 40 minutes.
How would you rate the pre-attendance information?
How well was the interview organised?
What was your overall impression of the organisation?
overall impression of the organisation:
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Did the interview reflect the overall values / culture of the organisation?
overall values / culture:
Would you recommend this company to a friend?
would recommend company to a friend:
Did you want the role following your interview?
wanted role after interview: