September 7, 2018, by Jackie Thompson

My Experience at a Think Ahead Assessment Centre

By Bethany Webb-Strong, Law with South East Asian Law (2018)

In January 2018, I attended an assessment centre for Think Ahead as part of the recruitment process for their social work scheme. The role involves working in a local trust for two years while studying for a diploma and masters in mental health social work. 

On the day

The day itself was intense but enjoyable. It involved a number of tasks including a role play as a social worker. It certainly challenged me, but I felt well prepared, confident and ready to show my passion for the role. I was nervous too, but that’s all part of the process and the nerves keep you on your toes.

The most challenging part of the day for me was the role play. We had a short amount of time to read through the case study and then we had to role play a social worker on their first visit to meet a service user. It was exciting to have the opportunity to step straight into the shoes of a social worker and then be able to reflect on how the experience went. Although daunting, I enjoyed this part of the day most as it really challenged me and gave me an idea of what it would be like on the scheme.

My top tips on the day

  1. Be yourself. They are not trying to trip you up or ask you trick questions. They want to know more about you, how you think and how you will cope in the role, so try and relax.
  2. Enjoy the experience and observe. A lot of the activities allow time for reflection and are intended to push you outside of your comfort zone, so don’t worry if you make a mistake. 
  3. Be flexible and ready to reflect on your actions. They are looking to see that you can adapt to different situations so just show them how self-aware and flexible you can be. 

Make sure you get a good night’s sleep and feel refreshed and full of energy for the day ahead. The most important thing is to be yourself. Remember, they have invited you to the assessment day so you can show them how right you are for the role. They are already impressed by your application or you wouldn’t have got this far!  

Top tips for preparing for the day

  1. Research the role and the organisation. It’s important to show your passion and commitment and it will help to have a few things up your sleeve to talk about that show your particular interest. 
  2. Book a careers appointment or attend a mock assessment centre workshop with the Careers team. This really helped me to pull my ideas together and get a sense of how the day would play out.
  3. Think of some questions for them. The day is also for you to learn more about the organisation and get a feel for how they work

Best of luck! Remember that whatever the outcome, the experience is invaluable for your development on your career-seeking journey. 

If you like to find out more about what happens at an assessment centre, visit our website. Also book your place on one our mock assessment centre workshops and take part in the activities that make up a typical day.

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