As a young adult entering the job market, the prospect of attending an assessment centre or interview can be overwhelming and daunting. It’s understandable! These processes are used by employers to assess a candidate’s suitability for a job, and the stakes can be very high. However, with the right preparation and mindset, attending an assessment centre or interview can be a positive and rewarding experience. In this blog, I’ll share some tips to help you succeed in these situations.
Assessment centres are becoming increasingly common in recruitment processes, especially for apprenticeships and graduate schemes. Essentially, it is a method of evaluating candidates involving a series of activities designed to assess your skills, knowledge and personality. These activities can range from group discussions, case studies and presentations. The purpose of an assessment centre is to provide the employer with a comprehensive understanding of your abilities and suitability to the job.
My advice to conquer assessment centres are:
To be yourself – Employers are not only looking at your skills and abilities, but also your personality. They are wanting candidates who will fit in with the organisations culture and values. By being authentic and true to yourself, the employer can see your personality and character.
Carefully read any instructions – Before starting any task in an assessment centre, read the instructions as it will help you avoid mistakes and ensures that you will complete the task efficiently and effectively.
Stay engaged and focused – Assessment centres can be long and tiring. It can also be super easy to lose focus or motivation. However, it’s important to stay engaged and participate actively in all activities. This will show that you’re enthusiastic and motivated, which are highly desirable qualities for employers.
Work collaboratively – Most assessment centres are designed to test your ability to work collaboratively with others. Make sure you’re a good team player by listening to others opinions and actively contribute to group discussions and tasks. It’s worth noting that you don’t want to be a dictator in these scenarios but you also don’t want to hide away.
Interviews, on the other hand, are a more traditional way of evaluating candidates. I personally find these the most intimidating part of the recruitment process as they are a 1-2-1 with the recruiter and hiring manager. They usually ask you questions relating to your work experience, skills and personal qualities.
My advice to smash your interviews are:
Research the company – By researching the company you’ll be able to answer the questions more efficiently as you can tie in your skills and experience to the company. It also shows to the interviewer that you are genuinely interested in the company and the role.
Prepare answers to common questions – Many interviewers ask similar questions such as, “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” or “Why do you want this job?” Prepare answers to these in advance so you can answer them confidently and articulately.
Dress appropriately – First impressions count! Dress codes will differ based on the industry and company culture, but a good rule of thumb is to dress in smart and professional attire.
Have good body language – Your body language can communicate a lot to an employer, so it’s important to practice good posture and confident body language. By maintaining eye contact, sitting up straight and using open gestures conveys confidence and interest.
Ask questions – Typically an interviewer will ask if you have any questions. By having a few questions about the company and role it will show that you are interested and engaged in the role at the company.
In conclusion, an assessment centre or interview can be a nerve-wracking experience, but with the right preparation and mindset, you can make a lasting impression on your potential employer. Remember to research the company and job, dress appropriately, arrive early, be confident, listen actively, and follow up after the interview. Good luck with your job search!