About a week later I was contacted to say I had been selected to attend an assessment centre at their offices. This lasted from 8:45am - 5pm, involving numerical and verbal reasoning tests, a group exercise, a brainstorming task, individual interviews and finally a presentation.
Most difficult question
Experiences at the assessment centre
Next, we were split into groups for a group exercise. We were each given seperate pieces of paper with 5 statements to describe a fictional company. The aim was to find out as much information about the company as we could without being allowed to write anything down. I'm assuming this was to test our communication skills.
After, we were moved to a conference room to take part in a brainstorming task. We were shown a real brief that the company had received from a client a few years earlier and had to brainstorm various aspects of how we could approach the research project. Everyone was encouraged to put forward their own points whilst one of the assessors tried to lead the general flow of the brainstorm.
After this, we were separated off for individual interviews. Mine was with two members of staff from the department I was applying for. The interview was quite informal, however it lasted 45 mins. Generally they stuck to competency based questions, e.g. about teamwork, creativity, willingness to go 'above and beyond' for clients, organisational skills etc. There was also a few knowledge based questions regarding research techniques.
We then had lunch where we got to meet with a lot of employees, including previous graduates who had been accepted on to the scheme. After lunch we were given an hour and a half to analyse a data set we had been given and create a 10-15 minute presentation. The data set referred to research carried out in several areas about community opinion on local facilities and issues such as parks, police, roads, transport. The presentation aim was to inform the local council of the main outcomes of the research and to give recommendations on future action. We were given the option of using laptops so you could either create a Powerpoint or just stick to a verbal presentation from handwritten notes.
- Group / Panel
- Senior Management
- Verbal reasoning
- Assessment centre
- Group exercise
- Background check
- Competency based questions