Being asked to attend an assessment day can be a bit of a daunting prospect. But it’s important to remember that you have made it this far for a reason. You obviously have the right CV and you impressed with your skills and experience during the initial interview. So, all you have to do now is be yourself, right?
Know the basics
Assessment days are carefully planned events, often consisting of a welcome briefing, tests and a range of exercises. The most common exercises include presentations, interviews and group exercises that simulate the kind of activities the job itself would entail. The assessors will rate you on a list of criteria and key workplace skills such as communication, task management and leadership.
It never hurts to pull some extra focus on those qualities that can really help you stand out from the other candidates. Assessment days are there to test your abilities and your suitability for the job. How well do you work in a team? And how would you fit in with the existing office culture? If you pride yourself on being a problem solver, now is the time to show this off. But if you are usually a little shy, you should try your best to speak up and participate.
Assessors will be watching you, scribbling notes on clipboards like Nick Hewer on The Apprentice. Yes, this is intimidating, but you can definitely be prepared. Research is the key. Make sure you read up on the company you are interviewing with and are clear on all the information stated in the job description. Understanding what your assessors are looking for will help you feel more confident and will also make it easier for you to make the most of the tasks you are given. There’s only a limited time for you to show that you’re the right person for the job.
Try to stay calm
To an extent, even the exercises can be prepared for. You can make the day a lot less stressful by thinking ahead and this, in itself, is a good competency. You can practice how you are going to introduce yourself to your assessors and other candidates, for instance, so that you don’t end up stumbling. You can also read up on the experiences of other job hunters on the internet. Some recruitment websites even describe assessment days per employer.
Crack a joke
Despite all your nerves and preparation, you can still let your personality show. If you try to enjoy the assessment day as much as you can, you are more likely to show your enthusiasm and sincere interest in the job. Listening to and working well with your fellow candidates will make it clear that you enjoy working as part of a team and care about the thoughts and opinions of others.