This piece was written by Sherry Zhang, who studies MSc Management Consulting at Leeds University Business School.
Last year, I attended an assessment day at one of the ‘The Big Four’ (the four largest professional services companies offering audit, assurance, taxation, consulting, advisory, actuarial, corporate finance and legal services). The single most important thing I learnt from this experience is that if you want to perform well at an assessment centre, good preparation is necessary.
Here is an account of my experience and some more tips to share with you:
What is an Assessment Centre?
It refers to a combination of tasks and activities that test if you are the right person for the advertised role. It provides an opportunity to showcase relevant skills through exercises such as a group discussion; written assignment; presentation and face-to-face interview. Employers’ generally have a set of competencies and a benchmark to assess your performance against.
This piece was written for Class of 2018 Month by Lisa Carr, a Careers Consultant at the University of Leeds Careers Centre.
According to the Institute of Student Employers, over half of employers now use video interviews as part of their graduate selection process. Most video interviews are pre-recorded and are shorter than live face-to-face or telephone interviews, with employers often scrolling through and deciding in the first couple of minutes whether to watch any further. So it pays to be prepared – that first impression is crucial.
Here’s how to give yourself the best chance.
Set the scene
Recruiters make quick judgements based on visual cues. A strong impression is also formed by the room you are in. What does the room say about you? Choose a neutral canvas and remove clutter and distractions (such as empty beer cans!). If books or pictures are on display, make sure they look professional. Ensure your desk and chair give you a good posture and that your room is well lit – avoid sitting in front of the window as this can cast a shadow. You’ll also want to make sure your housemates know not to disturb you. If in doubt, you can always book a room at the Careers Centre if you want a quiet, professional-looking setting for your interview.
This piece was written for Class of 2018 Month by Pablo Costa, a Careers Adviser at the University of Leeds Careers Centre.
As a former recruiter, I was pretty sure an interview candidate would know what skills we would talk about during an interview. After all, we highlighted them on the advert. But I wanted to see the motivation that they had for joining the organisation in the first place. Why?
Well, many recruiters worry that candidates have just applied because they think “the more I apply to, the more chance I have, right?” So how can you show motivation in an interview using research?
A really easy way is to follow the company via social media. Most organisations have LinkedIn/Twitter/Facebook accounts, and you can follow them for the most recent updates. You can research the organisation’s website, but what information should you gather? A good idea would be to fully understand who they are, their sector, and any recent news, but for more in-depth points to cover in your research, read on!
This June is Class of 2018 Month, but what does that mean, exactly? Well, aside from a massive four-week programme of digital content designed to help you get to grips with your plans for the future, we’re encouraging all finalists to get in touch and question your future!
Each week we’ll be hosting a themed week of digital content, following the rough stages of finding, applying for, and landing an opportunity such as a job or research position. Your questions don’t have to be on the weekly topic, but we’d encourage it if possible! At the end of each week, we’ll answer all your questions in our Friday blog post, along with a summary of anything interesting that’s popped up during the week. We’re encouraging everyone to get involved if possible to make a great body of frequently-asked questions to help both current and future students.
As such, we’re offering some incentive for your time and effort – all students who ask a question will be automatically entered into our Class of 2018 raffle, where you could win a magnum of Moët & Chandon or a Hotel Chocolat selection. This raffle will be drawn at the end of Class of 2018 Month, and you must be able to come in to the Career Centre to collect your prize.*