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    I have an upcoming assessment centre with Ocado for a Graduate Finance Analyst position and since it is my first Assessment Centre (AC) I am asking for helpful tips and advice on how to approach it. If there are Ocado graduates out there I would like to hear how you prepared for your AC and therefore succeeded, same goes for other people who have succeeded at them. Below is the important parts of the email I received which includes the elements that make up the AC. And at the bottom is a few questions that I hope you can answer.

    I am delighted to invite you to our assessment centre for the Graduate Finance Analyst role here at Ocado.

    Start Time: 9:45am

    It is expected the assessment centre will finish around 3.00pm

    The assessment centre will include the following:

    • Introduction to the Finance Department
    • Group Exercise
    • Excel Assessment
    • Competency based interview
    • Presentation

    Please prepare a presentation on the following topic:
    "Online grocery is currently a small proportion of the overall food market in the UK. What are the reasons behind this and how do you think Ocado could address some of them?"
    Your presentation should be no longer than 10 minutes (you will be asked to stop at this point) and will be followed by a short Q & A session.

    • I am decent on Microsoft Excel, but I am a bit unsure on how to prepare for the excel assessment, if anyone can reply on what type of questions/tasks are involved that would be great?
    • Similarly what type of interview questions do they ask that are out of the ordinary?
    • What is involved in the group task, and how to succeed at it?
    • How many slides should my presentation be, and how to produce a good presentation
    • If you have any other advice for the assessment centre it would be highly appreciated.

    Thanks for reading.

    I would assume that the excel test would be a relatively simple one. you'd probably be given data, that you'd need to format, create charts and pivot tables, formulas and possibly vlookups but I very much doubt that you'd be asked to use VBA.

    Can I ask how long you were kept waiting after your assessment centre before they let you know if you were successful? I attended a HR assessment centre and was told two weeks but when there was no response I called and they said within that week. It has now been over 5 weeks!

    I've given up hope for the role, but it seems pretty rude to just not tell you or give feedback - especially when the recruiters were grads themselves and must know what it's like!

    I hope yours went well
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