[INFOGRAPHIC] Assessment Centre Experience!
So many students absolutely dread the assessment centre stage! At TGA Graduate, we think its a great opportunity to have some fun whilst showing off exactly what you can do, so as above, our tips are to be yourself and enjoy the moment!
Today we have a recount by a recent graduate who participated in an assessment centre for a bank. Although we acknowledge not all assessment centres are the same, some of the tips are quite general and can apply to your circumstances, so do have a read of the graduate’s experiences below!
Rocked up to the interview on the day in my new suit, feeling extremely nervous. Met the rest of the 8 people who were interviewing. Everyone made small talk and agreed how awkward the video interview stage felt. We cracked up at how most of us wore suit tops and pyjama bottoms since the video camera only picked up half your attire. Guess everyone liked to be comfortable.
And then it was game on. There were five parts to the assessment centre:
1. It started with a presentation from the bank about their company, culture, and the benefits of working with them.
Tip: pay attention and definitely take notes! This will come in useful if you forgot to read up enough about the company and during the rest of the day as you can refer to what they’ve presented when crafting your answers. This can demonstrate your ability to learn and apply knowledge.
2. Individual interview with managers: each interviewee had a timeslot assigned to them where they would interview individually with managers. This was a behavioural interview where they asked the regular “Tell me about how you demonstrated working as a team” etc.
Tip: the interviewers are not out to give you a hard time, they sincerely want to get to know how you think, so be yourself and don’t lie! Answer using the STAR approach and don’t be shy to ask for a minute to craft your answer before responding if you can’t think of one on the spot.
3. Individual presentation: we were next given a case problem which in summary is a one pager of what the background is and what is the problem you need to solve. You had some time to think of an answer and pen and paper to note it down. We then had to present it to a manager who graded you based on your communication skills, soundness of argument and ability to answer questions.
Tip: there is not enough time to write out the entire presentation script. Try answering the question in a structured manner (process flow diagram) and write key dot points to remember during the presentation. Be calm, smile, speak confidently.
4. Group assessment: the penultimate step. Similar to the individual presentation, we were presented with a case problem. The difference here was that we now needed to think of a presentation as a group (this tests your teamwork skills!). We were given about fifteen minutes to have a group meeting and write our presentation ideas on a board, decide who presented what and present it to a board of panelists. Based on your presentation content, the panelists would ask the team a range of questions and note down how you responded.
Tip: the group assessment is the best way for interviewers to know what your possible working style is like when you join their team. Be yourself and take some initiative (but don’t be that guy that doesn’t let anyone get a single word in). Small things like taking the initiative to assign roles (e.g. timekeeper, notetaker, person who runs the discussion) politely, of course, shows you in a good light. Don’t discount others suggestions to push through your own idea. If someone has a better suggestion, acknowledge it and adopt it. If someone came up with a less viable suggestion, thank them for it and point out a possible improvement to his/her idea to make it better.
5. Last section of the day: by now, everyone was crazy tired. This is a informal networking session where past graduates came to answer any burning questions you may have about the company.
Tip: if you have any questions at all that may influence whether you work at a company that you either forgot to ask throughout the day or was too shy to ask, now is the best time to ask, make sure that by the time you leave, you are 100% clear on whether this is the right company for you.
As a parting note, regardless of where you apply for, be yourself, ask questions and just have fun! After all, it’s not just about landing any job, it’s about landing the right one for you!
We hope this was useful! Let us know if you enjoyed this experiences-from-a-recent-graduate type post and whether you knew these tips already! Please also check out http://www.undercovergradrecruiter.com/the-assessment-centre-guide-to-success/ for some other great tips by our friends at undercovergradrecruiter!