After an initial telephone interview which covered basic questions to see if I was a fit for the firm, and vice versa; I had a final interview in the offices.
The format was:
1) a presentation from a member of senior management - this contained information about the firm as a whole, and the department I was applying for. There was ample opportunity for questions along throughout.
2) a prepared 20 minute presentation from myself. The options were:
- a subject that interests you: including a brief description of the subject, how you are involved in that subject and what involvement in the subject shows about you that you think is relevant to working at the firm.
- an experience in which you were part of a team set a challenging target: describing the role you played in the team, obstacles that were encountered, how they were overcome, how you would have done things differently in hindsight and what you feel you gained from the experience.
- an experience where you have had to sell an idea or concept to other people: describing the idea, who you had to persuade, the approach you took, how the other people reacted and what you feel you gained from the experience.
This was followed by questions from the panel about my presentation.
3) a case study. A small set of data was uploaded to my laptop and I had 1 hour by myself to analyse and interpret it in any way I saw fit. After the hour I had to present my findings back to the panel and answer questions about it. The panel did give some helpful hints as to things I may have missed out in my analyzes.
4) the final stage was a competency based interview with the panel. This involved going through my CV; questioning skills which I had gained from previous jobs and giving examples of such.
I was also asked what I thought the hardest and easiest bit would be in starting the role, if I was offered it.
I had been given a sample list of competency questions prior to my interview, and as such, the questions asked did not deviate majorly from this list.
Most difficult question
What I would find most difficult about starting the role and why? - this was difficult to answer as you had to identify a weak spot in yourself, let the panel know it, and turn it into a strong point at the same time. I combated this by acknowledging this weak point and describing how I would deal with it.
Focus on gaining knowledge of the company as a whole in preparation for your interview and not just of the department and role you are applying for.
I found it useful that during the presentation from senior management, I was able to ask questions on points they made, following what I had read myself before. This made their presentation more of a discussion, which was great.
Experiences at the assessment centre
as in the interview process above.
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:
What was your overall impression of the selection process?
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: