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    • Thread Starter

    Hey all!
    I’m going to an assessment day next Thursday and I’m just wondering on how best to prepare for the tasks?

    I had the assessment day for NCS Senior Mentor in Manchester yesterday. The day ran from 12-4pm and every minute of that was filled with tasks, so prepare yourself for an intense afternoon. Take water and snacks, and maybe paracetamol if you're prone to headaches as it's quite a tense atmosphere.

    When I arrived there were about 8 other nervous looking young people (average age was like 20-26yrs). We were asked to wait in a 'holding room', then asked to sign in and show our passports as ID. By the time we started there was about 20 of us in total, as they signed us in they assigned us to group A or B. The group splits and you stay with your respected group for the entire session, there were 8 of us in our group.

    You are asked to prepare 2 tasks:

    1) An icebreaker activity - this should be no longer than 2 mins, most of my group spent that long explaining a game that we had like 15 seconds to play it, so take that into consideration. An ice breaker should involve everyone, and make sure you are confident in explaining it. I got everyone to line up in order of months of birthday, but the twist was, they had to do it in silence. A really quick task, which works better with more people, but I finished by explaining how it could work in different ways (eg. height order gets even the shyest of people to lift their head up and engage with everyone in the group).

    2) A mini presentation/speech on why you want to work for NCS - you all sit in a circle for this section and listen to the other candidates speeches whilst the assessor takes notes. They are very tight on time, our assessor set 2 mins on his phone and as soon as it buzzes you have to wrap up what you are saying, so be aware of that when preparing your answer. Some people had it written down which was fine (wish I'd written it down!). Note: I had prepped mine on why I'd be a good mentor (skills, experience, etc, it was very me me me... however, others focused more on WHY NCS. Like, all about the good work they do and opportunities they provide, like glorifying the charity rather than themselves...)

    Once this was done, the afternoon compromised of various tasks such as:

    - Role plays (you are in pairs and given a slip of paper with a scenario on it, eg. a young person not wanting to go to bed during a residential section of The Challenge and your partner is the mentor). You have to act as if you're dealing with the situation, then everyone discusses what you did well/what you could have done better.
    - Social Action planning. We were given example campaigns that young people had planned, and asked to identify possible problems with them and how we'd raise concerns (as mentors) with the young people. We were given 20 mins for this task and then had to present a 3 min presentation.
    - Game adaptation. We were given 2 games and an additional need (eg. anxiety) and asked to explain how we'd adapt the games to suit the AN, considering speed, space, people, etc.
    - Reflection exercise. We were asked to write down on 3 post-it notes, what we'd done well during the afternoon, what we thought we could have improved on, and what we wish we could have shown.

    Everyone was really friendly and like-minded but also really strong candidates, I don't know how many people they employ but everyone in my group had great qualities for the role.
    Good luck, prepare your stuff and try and relax and be yourself on the day (easier said than done, I know!)

    I haven't received an offer yet, they said we will be contacted within 2 weeks.
    I think I've covered everything there, any questions, just ask away :-)
    • Community Assistant

    Community Assistant
    Moved to volunteering

    NCS is run by a lot of different local providers, so the interview days will vary quite a bit depending on where you are. Generally though they'll be looking to assess your leadership and teamworking skills. They'll want to see that you can lead an activity without dominating, and that you'll have the skills to support a group of young people through the programme. The programmes are amazing to work and rewarding but can be tiring so you need to be quite a positive person and able to build connections with other people really quickly.

    I worked for NCS and in their sessions they gave small teams a discussion task to complete (eg. you have to save these people from a cave, which do you save first) and we watched to see who contributed to the discussion, whether anyone was too shy to take part, or dominated the other team members too much, as well as making sure no-one displayed any biases that would go against our diversity policies. Then we did a short interview with each candidate individually to ask about their experiences and why they wanted to work for NCS.
    • Thread Starter

    Thanks for the advice I’ve been put forward to a phone interview any advice on how to prepare? 😊
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