My First Assessment Centre +Tips
I have applied to various placement schemes in the past couple of months and I never thought it would be that hard to actually secure a place at a company for an industrial placement year. From over 30 companies, I would say that around 10 have replied and only had one phone interview, 5 online tests (most of them were numerical, yay me, said the Linguistics student), and one assessment centre. I will only talk to you about the latter as I feel it would maybe help and prepare some of you who have 4 years of study in their degree and are already abroad students, hence do not want to apply for the Erasmus scheme in their third year of studies.
For the company that invited me to their Assessment Centre I applied in December, then they contacted me (around February) and gave me a link for the numerical tests they provided online, then contacted me again to tell me I passed the tests and the next step would be the Assessment Centre, which came almost 2 months later.
If you do get the chance to be invited tp an Assessment Centre, then I strongly encourage you to do so. Not only will it improve your confidence, but also give you a sense of accomplishment, a boost of energy and morale in terms of the skills you have honed during your high school and university years. Another bonus would be free travelling! Usually, all the costs are covered by the company, or reimbursed after the assessment centre. I am a vivid traveller at heart and the place I got to visit was Portsmouth, in the south of the UK. The city reminded me of my hometown, Constanta. Constanta was less than a week away and I felt so homesick there.
I will leave you here details about how my assessment centre went, as well as giving you some tips on how to prepare for presentations, business interviews, group tasks and numerical, verbal, logical tests online.
1. The dress code is business formal, thus you should wear office trousers, a shirt, an office jacket and some rather formal boots or shoe in general. You should not exaggerate on makeup or hair and overall have a rather clean, sleek look.
2.If you have a pre-prepared presentation to do, then do your research and go through all the requirements and questions that you need to answer. Be cautious, eloquent and enthusiastic with your writing.
3. If your company is a tech company, know all the products they have ever created beforehand. For example, in the discussion part of the group exercises at the Assessment Centre, we had to talk about 10 products the company had ever created and had chosen the top 5 most important in our opinion.
4. There will be a logical group exercise and I am sure you can find online many similar exercises to prepare for this part of the AC.
5. In the business interview part, even if it can be quite relaxed and informal, be as open as you can, as enthusiastic and keen to learn from the company culture. Show that you are eager to succeed and tp deliver high performance.
6. Even if you get rejected and do not get a position for the placement there, take it as a valuable experience, as personal development. Each company is looking for particular candidates and if you do not represent what they are looking for, I am sure there are other companies that will appreciate you and the skills you have to offer.
I will leave you here a couple of other pictures from the breathtaking picturesque city of Portsmouth: