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Assessment centres


Assessment centres are an important part of graduate recruitment. Employers and graduates examine what to expect during the day, what the employers are looking for and provide advice on how to succeed throughout the centre.

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  • GE = Greg Edwards, Corporate eCommerce, Deutsche Bank
  • MP = Melissa Potente, Graduate, UEL
  • AP = Anand Patel, Resourcing Support Manager, Tube Lines
  • GP = Glenda Pringle, Student, UEL

GE: The best way to succeed in an assessment centre is to be rested, is to be focused, and to practice the modules in advance of the day.

MP: Having undertaken a mock assessment centre at UEL, when I came to do an actual assessment centre, I was totally prepared for what was expected of me. I knew how tough it was going to be so I was able to concentrate on what I needed to do and not panic.

AP: My top tips for succeeding in an assessment centre are to be confident in yourself, you’ve made it to that stage of the assessment process so clearly they have seen something in you that they like, but be prepared for the writing exercise you’ll have and be prepared to talk to people as you’ll meet a lot of different people.

GE: The most important thing to avoid in an assessment centre is losing the plot, you have to remain resilient and composed throughout the day.

AP: You get told to try and relax in an assessment centre but realistically you’re being assessed all day even when you’re on gaps during lunch or whatever, you’re still going to be meeting people and they are still going to be making judgements on you so try not to relax too much.

MP: In group activities make sure you get your voice heard, make sure all of your points are relevant, but allow other people in the group to talk which shows you have good teamwork and are able to support a good working atmosphere.

GE: Again you’re looking at someone to be original. There’s no point in trying to be the leader and then having nothing to contribute to the team, leading in itself is not the task at hand. The task at hand is helping the group overall, contribute and get to the end goal. So I think students have to be very wary of how they position themselves within the team and make sure they’re seen as adding value.

MP: In psychometric tests be honest, it's there to match your skills with that job, so if you haven’t got the skills you probably don't want to undertake that job anyway. In presentations always introduce yourself, introduce what you’re going to talk about, don’t try to cram everything in. Make your slides short and succinct and always leave some time for questions at the end.

GP: One opportunity that helped me with UEL is when I went for a Merrill Lynch assessment centre. It was really, really good. First, we did a group exercise in which we had to get together and communicate effectively to solve a problem that was set by UEL. Secondly, we had to present. It was an individual presentation that we had to do on a company that we chose and talk about how they can improve, whether financially or within an area of marketing or whichever way we chose best.

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