Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    I've got an assessment centre day on the horizon and would love a bit of general advice from people who attended assessment centre days or know about them. I'm aware that "I have to be myself" but have you guys got any tips or tricks. Also I do love personal anecdotes, so let me know - good or bad. Thanks (fingers crossed someone replies to my thread and not in three years time...)
    • Community Assistant
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    I could be here all day:

    Read the instructions carefully in the email comms you receive from the firm. Bring whatever they ask you to bring and warn them if you can't get hold of whatever it is.

    Work out what you will be assessed on (what type of exercises). If you are unsure/can't find that information out, call them and ask. At least you will know what to expect.

    Don't use google to find the address - for instance Google still send you to Pinsents old London office that they haven't been based at for a number of years (my lesson learnt!!).

    Ensure you leave plenty of time to get there.

    Allow sometime to relax before hand - whatever chills you out (reading, sudoko puzzle, good cup of tea), give yourself sometime to do this before you get to their office.

    Read your application form over the night before and think "if I was interviewing me, what would I ask about".

    Stick to what the question is asking you - don't try to over elaborate answers with what you think they want hear when they have asked you something else.

    Never answer with "I don't know". If you are not sure, it's better to have a go at the answer and be wrong rather than not even attempting to answer the question.

    Be friendly and polite to everyone that day. You know those stories about people being rude to someone on their way to an interview and then finding out it's their interviewer? I have experienced this (as an interviewer) and heard of other instances. I've rejected someone purely for being unnecessarily rude to the receptionist too.

    It's better to take time, pause and think, rather than rushing into answering any questions. Your brain will structure what you will say much better if you do.

    Be aware of time - all exercises are designed to be tight on time and for a significant proportion of people who take the assessment to run out of time. Manage your time carefully and prioritise - it's better to create small amounts of great content, than produce lots of average/vague content.

    Use specific detail to back up any thoughts/opinions.

    Make sure you ask questions to people at the appropriate times (end of interviews/networking). Think about whether that person is appropriate to answer that question before asking.

    Never ask for feedback on the day or just after an interview. Never talk about money either (it's not like your salary will be up for negotiation).

    If you are ill, reschedule - there is no point turning up and under performing and then expecting someone to take that into consideration - plus no one wants your illness.

    If there are other people in the assessment centre, don't treat them as competition, treat them as your potential future colleague (even if you are competing for the same job).

    Make sure you wear something you are comfortable in (as long as it is business dress). Don't buy something new if you are not going to be comfortable in it.




    Posted from TSR Mobile
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by J-SP)
    I could be here all day:

    Read the instructions carefully in the email comms you receive from the firm. Bring whatever they ask you to bring and warn them if you can't get hold of whatever it is.

    Work out what you will be assessed on (what type of exercises). If you are unsure/can't find that information out, call them and ask. At least you will know what to expect.

    Don't use google to find the address - for instance Google still send you to Pinsents old London office that they haven't been based at for a number of years (my lesson learnt!!).

    Ensure you leave plenty of time to get there.

    Allow sometime to relax before hand - whatever chills you out (reading, sudoko puzzle, good cup of tea), give yourself sometime to do this before you get to their office.

    Read your application form over the night before and think "if I was interviewing me, what would I ask about".

    Stick to what the question is asking you - don't try to over elaborate answers with what you think they want hear when they have asked you something else.

    Never answer with "I don't know". If you are not sure, it's better to have a go at the answer and be wrong rather than not even attempting to answer the question.

    Be friendly and polite to everyone that day. You know those stories about people being rude to someone on their way to an interview and then finding out it's their interviewer? I have experienced this (as an interviewer) and heard of other instances. I've rejected someone purely for being unnecessarily rude to the receptionist too.

    It's better to take time, pause and think, rather than rushing into answering any questions. Your brain will structure what you will say much better if you do.

    Be aware of time - all exercises are designed to be tight on time and for a significant proportion of people who take the assessment to run out of time. Manage your time carefully and prioritise - it's better to create small amounts of great content, than produce lots of average/vague content.

    Use specific detail to back up any thoughts/opinions.

    Make sure you ask questions to people at the appropriate times (end of interviews/networking). Think about whether that person is appropriate to answer that question before asking.

    Never ask for feedback on the day or just after an interview. Never talk about money either (it's not like your salary will be up for negotiation).

    If you are ill, reschedule - there is no point turning up and under performing and then expecting someone to take that into consideration - plus no one wants your illness.

    If there are other people in the assessment centre, don't treat them as competition, treat them as your potential future colleague (even if you are competing for the same job).

    Make sure you wear something you are comfortable in (as long as it is business dress). Don't buy something new if you are not going to be comfortable in it.




    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Thanks for the clear and to-the-point advice - greatly appreciated!
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    I haven't read J-SP's reply so this might repeat some things but I've been to a few ACs myself and can offer the following advice.

    Check and double check the time, office and anything stated in the email they want you to bring and get all that ready the night before.

    Wear something smart and office appropriate but make sure youre comfortable. An extreme example I was once given my a recruiter was a girl in a very lovely but rather tight skirt who couldn't really move in it and seemed very self conscious of her movements all day.

    Give yourself plenty of time to get there and account for getting lost.

    Check the firms address on their website of you're planning on using something like Google maps to get there. I once walked 15 minutes in the wrong direction before realising my mistake. I ended up running to the office. In snow. I just made it on time and felt very flustered.

    If there's something you're worried about on your applicant such as module grades or gaps in employment, make sure you're prepared to answer questions about that in a way that shows the firm its not something they should worry about.

    Be nice to any reception staff. At my most recent interview, I was able to chat with the receptionist about the great British bake off and Christmas markets before I went in to interview and it really helped to calm me down beforehand.

    Make sure you know the firm well and what type of work they do. There's no point about enthusing criminal law for example, only then to be told that's not an area they offer.

    Have a read of some of the firms most recent cases in areas you're interested in. Some positive feedback I received from a firm once was that I talked about mesothelioma in a group task and that was an area the firm specialised in.

    Have a few recent news stories in mind to talk about in case you're asked.

    If they ask you about a news story you're not familiar with, don't pretend you know. Tell them you're not familiar with it and they'll probably explain it to you then ask whatever question they had planned.

    If it's bad news, always accept feedback and try to learn from it and apply it to your next AC.

    Good luck!
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Hann95)
    I haven't read J-SP's reply so this might repeat some things but I've been to a few ACs myself and can offer the following advice.

    Check and double check the time, office and anything stated in the email they want you to bring and get all that ready the night before.

    Wear something smart and office appropriate but make sure youre comfortable. An extreme example I was once given my a recruiter was a girl in a very lovely but rather tight skirt who couldn't really move in it and seemed very self conscious of her movements all day.

    Give yourself plenty of time to get there and account for getting lost.

    Check the firms address on their website of you're planning on using something like Google maps to get there. I once walked 15 minutes in the wrong direction before realising my mistake. I ended up running to the office. In snow. I just made it on time and felt very flustered.

    If there's something you're worried about on your applicant such as module grades or gaps in employment, make sure you're prepared to answer questions about that in a way that shows the firm its not something they should worry about.

    Be nice to any reception staff. At my most recent interview, I was able to chat with the receptionist about the great British bake off and Christmas markets before I went in to interview and it really helped to calm me down beforehand.

    Make sure you know the firm well and what type of work they do. There's no point about enthusing criminal law for example, only then to be told that's not an area they offer.

    Have a read of some of the firms most recent cases in areas you're interested in. Some positive feedback I received from a firm once was that I talked about mesothelioma in a group task and that was an area the firm specialised in.

    Have a few recent news stories in mind to talk about in case you're asked.

    If they ask you about a news story you're not familiar with, don't pretend you know. Tell them you're not familiar with it and they'll probably explain it to you then ask whatever question they had planned.

    If it's bad news, always accept feedback and try to learn from it and apply it to your next AC.

    Good luck!
    Thank you for the advice - it's really helpful! I particularly found the advice on if there were any gaps I was worried about in my application and how to deal with them in an interview. Also I'll definitely take note about comfortable as well as professional clothing!
    Offline

    11
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Hann95)
    I haven't read J-SP's reply so this might repeat some things but I've been to a few ACs myself and can offer the following advice.

    Check and double check the time, office and anything stated in the email they want you to bring and get all that ready the night before.

    Wear something smart and office appropriate but make sure youre comfortable. An extreme example I was once given my a recruiter was a girl in a very lovely but rather tight skirt who couldn't really move in it and seemed very self conscious of her movements all day.

    Give yourself plenty of time to get there and account for getting lost.

    Check the firms address on their website of you're planning on using something like Google maps to get there. I once walked 15 minutes in the wrong direction before realising my mistake. I ended up running to the office. In snow. I just made it on time and felt very flustered.

    If there's something you're worried about on your applicant such as module grades or gaps in employment, make sure you're prepared to answer questions about that in a way that shows the firm its not something they should worry about.

    Be nice to any reception staff. At my most recent interview, I was able to chat with the receptionist about the great British bake off and Christmas markets before I went in to interview and it really helped to calm me down beforehand.

    Make sure you know the firm well and what type of work they do. There's no point about enthusing criminal law for example, only then to be told that's not an area they offer.

    Have a read of some of the firms most recent cases in areas you're interested in. Some positive feedback I received from a firm once was that I talked about mesothelioma in a group task and that was an area the firm specialised in.

    Have a few recent news stories in mind to talk about in case you're asked.

    If they ask you about a news story you're not familiar with, don't pretend you know. Tell them you're not familiar with it and they'll probably explain it to you then ask whatever question they had planned.

    If it's bad news, always accept feedback and try to learn from it and apply it to your next AC.

    Good luck!
    The last part is very helpful, thank you for sharing!
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Did TEF Bronze Award affect your UCAS choices?
    Useful resources
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.