Experience a mock assessment centre

If you’re thinking about applying for Graduate schemes it would be a really good idea to get yourself over to a Mock Assessment Centre. It’s a great way to gain insight into what actually happens at an assessment centre, and as more and more employers are beginning to use them, it’s an opportunity that you wouldn’t want to miss.

What is an assessment centre?

An assessment centre is part of the recruitment process in order for an employer to assess your suitability for a particular role. It is comprised of a series of tasks for example: presentations, debates, e-tray exercises, written exercises or the analysis of case studies. It gives employers the opportunity to actually observe you in action and see for themselves the things that you probably spoke about in your interview or on your application form.

What are employers looking for?

Ultimately, what employers want to find out is whether you can actually do the job! It’s one thing to fill out an amazing application form and have a successful interview, but it’s another to be able to actually do the work that will be required of you.

I attended the Mock assessment centre hosted by the QM Careers & Enterprise Centre that was led by a representative from CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants). We were required to look at a case study and then given 25 minutes to make some recommendations on the challenges that a fictional company faced when it came to cutting costs and increasing growth respectively. We then had to present our recommendations to the rest of the group.

Here are a few key points that are useful to remember if you ever find yourself invited to an assessment centre:

–          Research the organisation before attending – make sure you know what kind of skills the employer is looking for.

–          Practice exhibiting your “soft skills” – these include team work, presentation, time management, communication and listening skills, enthusiasm, initiative and strategy.

–          Remember that you don’t have to be an expert or have in-depth knowledge – you just need to show that you can reason logically and justify your decisions.

–          Before attending the assessment centre, recognise your strengths but also think about your weaknesses so you know how to better prepare yourself.

–          Practice!

A great way to practice is to actually attend a Mock Assessment Centre so keep an eye on our events page here to see when our next one is.

Novlet Levy
Careers Information Assistant
QM Careers & Enterprise Centre

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