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How to succeed at an assessment day

Published: Tuesday, 24 April 2012   Category: All Graduate Jobs News | All Graduate job news

Applying for a graduate job can involve a number of interview stages, including time spent at an assessment centre. This can be particularly challenging for graduates as they may have to work through scenarios in a group. As a result, it can often be difficult to ensure you strike the right balance between showing off your leadership and team working skills.

Assessment centre days may be a combination of an information day and a chance to draw out both your strengths and weaknesses through a variety of tests.

There are a number of things you can do to ensure you present yourself well on this day and, in turn, maximise your chances of securing your perfect graduate job.

Get an overview of what the day involves

Many companies are willing to send you a brief breakdown of the day’s activities so you have some idea of what to expect. The day normally starts with a group introduction and a presentation of the company’s work. Candidates are normally interviewed individually at some stage before taking a variety of online tests. The group will normally come back together, break off into smaller groups and work through a variety of case studies. The solutions to these corporate problems will then need to be feed back to the group.

It’s all in the preparation

Research the company thoroughly via their website, industry awards and by looking at their coverage in business-to-business publications. Look at the company’s mission statement/values and underline keywords that may translate into key traits they are looking for from potential employees.

Prepare a list of questions you want to ask to show that you are proactive and to demonstrate your commitment to securing a role with the organisation.

Arrive in good time for the start of the day and spend time getting to know your fellow candidates as you will need their support in group role-play sessions.

Remember you are being observed at all stages of the day

Although it can be tempting to put on airs and graces when you are trying to land your ideal position, it’s important that you are as natural as possible. However, you should take the time to listen to all instructions, pace yourself through activities and try to demonstrate some of the following traits:

-Communication

-Leadership

-Time management

-Motivation and enthusiasm

Have you ever been involved with an assessment day? Did it eventually lead to obtaining a graduate position?

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