Succeeding Assessment Centres
The Assessment Centre is often the final stage before you could land your dream job. As exciting as that seems, it also instils a lot of nerves in a lot of people. It is a day of making a good impression, literally looking your 20+ opponents in the eyes and having your potential new employer surveillance you from start to finish. It is an exhausting day – but executed correctly and it can also a very rewarding one.
How does one go about this though?
The magnificent talent of our MyKindaFuture Recruitment Team have handed over their very best advice they give to candidates before they attend the Scary Day. But, read on and you’ll kill it!
- Always take the final opportunities to ask last-minute questions. “Do I need to bring anything with me?” “Is there anything I need to prepare before attending?” Some employers specifically say there is nothing to do to prepare, but always check.
- Anything you do need to prepare, make sure this is done a couple of days before. Leaving it until last minute will only stress you, and you need to make sure you are familiar with any presentations/talks much sooner than 24 hours before the day.
- Sort your travel out and make sure you are familiar with your journey. Print train tickets, work backwards and know the time you have to leave your house, and so on. Nothing tips us over the edge like a last-minute glitch in the travel plans.
- Take a look at Wikijobs, which offer insight from other students on their experiences of various assessment centres. This will help you gage what to expect, but similarly take these with a pinch of salt and go into your assessment day with an open mind as they are not always accurate.
- Utilise the night before! Check your travel itinerary, have one last quick glance over any notes/presentations you were required to prepare, find what you will be wearing, get a good night’s sleep, set your alarm, etc.
- Dress appropriately. Follow the given dress code and you’ll have no worries; usually this is business dress. Make sure your clothes are clean and smelling nice!
- Be polite to everyone you meet on the day, from the receptionist to the caterers, to the other candidates and your interviewers. Your attitude is being observed for the majority of the day, and you never know who will be assessing you.
- Engage in conversation with your assessors. During networking or break sessions, take the opportunity to find out more about the company, or simply engage in chat – this shows willing and initiative and will make you stand out from the crowd.
- Try and weave your personality in at appropriate times of the day. Although the objective of the day is to prove your capabilities and knowledge of the role and company, it is always good to tell the assessors something about yourself they wouldn’t otherwise know. This could include a fun fact or a hobby or interest that you can mention to make the conversation more natural and make yourself stand out more.
- Try to relax and be yourself. A lot of the time when you’re nervous you can be quite rigid in your body language and conversation. Remember you are all in the same boat and the assessors want to see you reach your potential.
- Make sure you have a contact name and number in case of emergencies. Even the most prepared of us can’t always prevent a delayed or cancelled train or a ripped hemline – by having someone you can call in these events you can keep the employer informed that you are running late and aren’t just a no-show.
Good luck, folks!