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Declining an assessment day because of the process watch

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    I am currently a full-time student, on top of which I am working part-time in an unskilled but very well paid position. I applied for a graduate job and was invited to their assessment day. I have now been given a schedule for the day - the morning involves an interview and group exercise and everyone will take part of this. The afternoon involves a second interview and delivering a 10 minute presentation which I am expected to prepare beforehand, however only the top 5 candidates will be invited to stay for the afternoon and they will be announced at lunchtime.

    I know that a lot of people would say that it is crazy to turn down this opportunity, however the fact that the company expects every candidate to prepare for the presentation and second interview which they might not be asked to do demonstrates that the company does not value its candidates' time and for this reason on principle, I am considering withdrawing my application (other than the loss of income due to taking the day off work).

    Has anyone else ever known a company to ask candidates to prepare a presentation which they may never be asked to deliver?
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    (Original post by maths42)
    .................
    Congratulations on sticking to your principles. Enjoy working in unskilled but very well paid positions for the rest of your life!
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    (Original post by maths42)
    I am currently a full-time student, on top of which I am working part-time in an unskilled but very well paid position. I applied for a graduate job and was invited to their assessment day. I have now been given a schedule for the day - the morning involves an interview and group exercise and everyone will take part of this. The afternoon involves a second interview and delivering a 10 minute presentation which I am expected to prepare beforehand, however only the top 5 candidates will be invited to stay for the afternoon and they will be announced at lunchtime.

    I know that a lot of people would say that it is crazy to turn down this opportunity, however the fact that the company expects every candidate to prepare for the presentation and second interview which they might not be asked to do demonstrates that the company does not value its candidates' time and for this reason on principle, I am considering withdrawing my application (other than the loss of income due to taking the day off work).

    Has anyone else ever known a company to ask candidates to prepare a presentation which they may never be asked to deliver?
    It just means they get to weed out people like you who can't be bothered to put in the effort for it even though there's the chance you may not do it. Seriously, what's the big deal. You get good skills out of prepping for it, you may well be picked and may get the job. If not, oh well, but at least you have experience. Personally based on what you've said if I were you I would withdraw to let someone else who is willing and enthusiastic have more of a chance of getting the job.
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    (Original post by maths42)
    Has anyone else ever known a company to ask candidates to prepare a presentation which they may never be asked to deliver?
    Yes. Very common for Assessment Centre based interviews.
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    (Original post by maths42)
    I am currently a full-time student, on top of which I am working part-time in an unskilled but very well paid position. I applied for a graduate job and was invited to their assessment day. I have now been given a schedule for the day - the morning involves an interview and group exercise and everyone will take part of this. The afternoon involves a second interview and delivering a 10 minute presentation which I am expected to prepare beforehand, however only the top 5 candidates will be invited to stay for the afternoon and they will be announced at lunchtime.

    I know that a lot of people would say that it is crazy to turn down this opportunity, however the fact that the company expects every candidate to prepare for the presentation and second interview which they might not be asked to do demonstrates that the company does not value its candidates' time and for this reason on principle, I am considering withdrawing my application (other than the loss of income due to taking the day off work).

    Has anyone else ever known a company to ask candidates to prepare a presentation which they may never be asked to deliver?
    What threeport said. If you arent prepared to jump through the hoops then you dont want the job and dont back yourself enough.

    Just wait till your next interview and see if their assessment methods meets with your approval. I agree partially that it seems wasteful, but it would depend how much I wanted the job.
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    If you perform poorly in the morning then surely sending you home shows that they DO appreciate your time (and theirs) instead of having you do a presentation and interview when you're already out the running.
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    I understand your argument but you should take this opportunity. Also, a lot of businesses will say that there is a cap on how many will progress to the next round, but they may very well allow more than 5 candidates to make their presentation if you impress them enough in the morning.
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    So you would be willing to prepare for the first interview but not for a second one? Sound logic.

    I have sympathy for your position (I've never met an unpaid trial shift that I didn't tell to f*** off) but your reasoning is faulty here - they're inviting you to interview, its no different than them cutting a 30 minute discussion down to 15 if they got the impression you weren't what they're looking for.
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    (Original post by Student-95)
    If you perform poorly in the morning then surely sending you home shows that they DO appreciate your time (and theirs) instead of having you do a presentation and interview when you're already out the running.
    This.

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    (Original post by Student-95)
    If you perform poorly in the morning then surely sending you home shows that they DO appreciate your time (and theirs) instead of having you do a presentation and interview when you're already out the running.
    (Original post by Princepieman)
    This.

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    Arguably they could have the next round on a different day so that you only have to prepare for a presentation if they want to see it. That would be wasting less of someone's time.
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    (Original post by AspiringUnderdog)
    Arguably they could have the next round on a different day so that you only have to prepare for a presentation if they want to see it. That would be wasting less of someone's time.
    Then they'd have to organise two assessment centres instead of one and the successful candidates (and maybe the assessors) would have to travel to it an extra time. It would most likely result in more wasted time as well as wasted money.
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    I happens often in higher-skilled jobs that when you do something, or are asked to, it gets discarded later. It's especially true for creative jobs.

    It can damage peoples' egos, and fracture team dynamics in such environments. I imagine that is why employers might adopt assessment procedures that replicate this... though I could think of better ways to do it than this. It makes sense that they'd want to 'weed out' those who throw their toys out of the pram every time time something doesn't go their way.

    Either way, my main point is that this is not uncommon. Get used to it.
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    (Original post by Student-95)
    If you perform poorly in the morning then surely sending you home shows that they DO appreciate your time (and theirs) instead of having you do a presentation and interview when you're already out the running.
    One could argue (and expect) that the amount of time you spend preparing for the presentation outweighs the time spent actually doing the presentation itself. You might spend 10 hours preparing for a 30 minute presentation for example. If appreciating time were the name of the game, then there really are better ways to handle it. This is more a case of cutting your losses, you'd have already wasted time preparing so send you home before we waste the afternoon as well. And honestly speaking, it'd could show poor recruitment process on the companies side. If you got to this stage but the morning task is instantly enough to discount you then there's probably a problem with the process there. A company might say only 5 go ahead but if they had 6 decent candidates, they'd quite possibly make time for all of them. It's usually not a clear cut "you suck, go home now".

    But I agree with all the other responses. You don't get to pick and choose how the assessment process works. If you don't agree with it, that's tough. You either put the effort in to prepare (which you must have done to some extent to get this far) or you don't bother.

    (Original post by AspiringUnderdog)
    Arguably they could have the next round on a different day so that you only have to prepare for a presentation if they want to see it. That would be wasting less of someone's time.
    Logistically that's probably worse. You're asking candidates to come back for another day (even if it's only half a day), for which they might need to stay overnight, for which you might reimburse their travel expenses and so on. You trade wasting presentation prep time for unsuccessful candidates on wasting travel time and money on successful candidates. As a business, I'd much rather waste the time for unsuccessful candidates than time and money of successful candidates. It makes little sense; just do everything while the candidates are there.
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    (Original post by Acsel)
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    Sure but OP is complaining about the unsuccessful people being sent home early. If they had everyone give the presentation even if they're already out of the running, OP would be fine with it despite that wasting more time for the unsuccessful people.
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    (Original post by Student-95)
    Sure but OP is complaining about the unsuccessful people being sent home early. If they had everyone give the presentation even if they're already out of the running, OP would be fine with it despite that wasting more time for the unsuccessful people.
    I think that depends on your interpretation of the OP. Rather than sending candidates home early, I understood the problem as candidates being asked to prepare for a presentation that they may not need to give as a poor valuation of candidates time. By that logic, if OP complains about wasting time by preparing for a presentation they may not need to give, then they would also complain if they had to give a presentation, despite knowing they were going to be unsuccessful. If you spend X time preparing and Y time actually giving the presentation then by sending you home early you've only wasted X (cutting losses) as opposed to wasting X+Y when they know you won't be successful. I don't see how OP would be fine with having their time wasted further by giving a presentation for a job they'll never get when they're already irate at having to prepare for a presentation they may not have to give. They're annoyed at an uncertainty, it's fair to assume they'd be even more annoyed when they're guaranteed not to get the job and still give the presentation/second interview.

    The only way it works out is if it's assumed the OP will get through, at which point none of their time is wasted. And someone that complains on a student forum about preparing a 10 minute presentation they might not have to give doesn't sound like a successful candidate. Of course, if your interpretation is correct then the OPs standpoint simply makes no sense and they're actually only thinking of themselves, rather than interpreting how the company values time.
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    (Original post by Acsel)
    I think that depends on your interpretation of the OP. Rather than sending candidates home early, I understood the problem as candidates being asked to prepare for a presentation that they may not need to give as a poor valuation of candidates time. By that logic, if OP complains about wasting time by preparing for a presentation they may not need to give, then they would also complain if they had to give a presentation, despite knowing they were going to be unsuccessful. If you spend X time preparing and Y time actually giving the presentation then by sending you home early you've only wasted X (cutting losses) as opposed to wasting X+Y when they know you won't be successful. I don't see how OP would be fine with having their time wasted further by giving a presentation for a job they'll never get when they're already irate at having to prepare for a presentation they may not have to give. They're annoyed at an uncertainty, it's fair to assume they'd be even more annoyed when they're guaranteed not to get the job and still give the presentation/second interview.

    The only way it works out is if it's assumed the OP will get through, at which point none of their time is wasted. And someone that complains on a student forum about preparing a 10 minute presentation they might not have to give doesn't sound like a successful candidate. Of course, if your interpretation is correct then the OPs standpoint simply makes no sense and they're actually only thinking of themselves, rather than interpreting how the company values time.
    But they wouldn't know the presentation is pointless unless the assessors told them which is very unlikely.
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    (Original post by Student-95)
    But they wouldn't know the presentation is pointless unless the assessors told them which is very unlikely.
    What you're effectively saying there then is that it's fine for the time to be wasted, as long as you don't actually know it's being wasted. Almost like it's better to be given false hope than outright told.
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    (Original post by Acsel)
    What you're effectively saying there then is that it's fine for the time to be wasted, as long as you don't actually know it's being wasted. Almost like it's better to be given false hope than outright told.
    Not so much that it's fine but you wouldn't be upset about wasted time if you don't know it's being wasted. I think the most realistic alternative is to have the weaker applicants waste even more of their time (albeit unknowingly).
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    (Original post by Student-95)
    Not so much that it's fine but you wouldn't be upset about wasted time if you don't know it's being wasted. I think the most realistic alternative is to have the weaker applicants waste even more of their time (albeit unknowingly).
    From a candidates perspective that works. But from a business perspective, it's pointless. There's absolutely no good reason to interview someone if you can be 100% sure they aren't fit for the job. You really can't justify even the monetary cost of paying to interview someone that will never get the job. Of course that then brings into question your hiring practices. If you can be 100% sure they aren't fit for the job after a group task and the first interview, how did they get that far to begin with and how has it changed from "they may be suitable" to "they absolutely are not suitable"? This is why the situation is a bit borked regardless, because odds are there will be some justification to offer everyone the afternoon tasks.
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    (Original post by maths42)
    I am currently a full-time student, on top of which I am working part-time in an unskilled but very well paid position. I applied for a graduate job and was invited to their assessment day. I have now been given a schedule for the day - the morning involves an interview and group exercise and everyone will take part of this. The afternoon involves a second interview and delivering a 10 minute presentation which I am expected to prepare beforehand, however only the top 5 candidates will be invited to stay for the afternoon and they will be announced at lunchtime.

    I know that a lot of people would say that it is crazy to turn down this opportunity, however the fact that the company expects every candidate to prepare for the presentation and second interview which they might not be asked to do demonstrates that the company does not value its candidates' time and for this reason on principle, I am considering withdrawing my application (other than the loss of income due to taking the day off work).

    Has anyone else ever known a company to ask candidates to prepare a presentation which they may never be asked to deliver?
    Well the reality is - most non-graduate and all graduate jobs involve this process and there is a reason for this.
    It is a test to see how interested and serious you are about the job.
    If you don't want to put that much effort and enthusiasm into something, imagine what you will be like in the job; that is where they will start to notice things; hence why they have another process called a probationary period which can take up to 6 months, to see how long you can stick it out.

    I work in HR and it really annoys me when no one (bothers) to turns up at the interview because I have made all of the effort to give candidates like yourself believing that they want a job, when in actual fact they don't. Also I have a lot of important things to do other than interviewing, therefore it is actually the other way around - you'll be wasting their time because have taken the effort to look for candidates unlike yourself so they can train you up to do the job well and progress with the company.
 
 
 
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