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January 11, 2022, by Leah Sharpe

Ace the Recruitment Process With Graduates First

By Charlene Binding, Employability Education Projects Officer

Have you recently applied for a graduate role, graduate programme or internship? If so, this is the blog post for you! Introducing Graduates First: an online resource which could transform your job application strategy.

It’s free to access, both for current University of Nottingham students (use your current username and password) and graduates (just email us to gain access).

What is Graduates First?

Graduates First is an online practice portal where you can access a wide range of resources to help you ace the selection process. The portal includes:

1. Ability and aptitude tests – e.g. numerical, verbal, logical, abstract, diagrammatic and spatial reasoning tests

2. Case study, in-tray, group exercises and presentations – common selection methods you may encounter at an assessment centre

3. Games based assessments – increasingly used by employers to get to the next stage of their recruitment process

4. Video interviews – these use AI to monitor your facial expressions to a set of pre-recorded questions. They are often used as a screening tool by employers to get to future stages of a recruitment process.

5. Checking tests – testing your ability to accurately deal with large amounts of written information

6. Situational Judgement Tests (SJT) – often used to test your judgement to challenging workplace situations

7. Sector specific tests – these include the IBM IPAT tests and Watson Glaser Test (Watson Glaser is used primarily in the law industry)

For each test or assessment, you’ll also be able to view a ‘progress monitor’ (how you are performing compared to other candidates who have previously taken these types of tests), as well as view detailed feedback reports.

More than just tests!

If you’re not in the mood for putting yourself through the rigours of some practice tests, there are many more ’light touch’ resources which might appeal to you. For example, there are several employer profiles and YouTube videos which link to further information about how each organisation approaches its recruitment process.

What’s in it for me?

1. How does the saying go? Investing your time practicing some tests or checking out the resources could be time well spent.

2. Discover more about what makes you tick. Committing to some practice can help to figure out what kinds of tasks you prefer in a workplace setting and where your skills and strengths lie. This can be an incredibly helpful way of informing future career decisions.

3. Raise awareness of your weaknesses. Some of the tests may help to highlight areas you’d like to work on so you can focus your efforts on becoming stronger in certain areas.

Maximising the use of Graduates First

1. Have a browse! If it’s your first time on the Graduates First portal, start by looking around. Then build in focused time to concentrate on a particular test or assessment area. Block out an hour or two when you know you’re not going to be distracted.

2. Buddy up. Try Graduates First with friends as a way of gaining mutual support. For example, you could do some tests at the same time since many tests will put you under timed conditions (though take care not to make this into a competitive race). After all, just knowing that someone is there to debrief and talk through how it went can offer support (and perhaps you could reward yourselves afterwards with a treat of some kind)

3. Talk to us to get further one to one advice and support or come along to one of our workshops or employer events to explore more.

Find out more about typical assessment centre activities, psychometric tests, and Situational Judgement Tests. Plus, read up on how employers are using games based technology as part of their recruitment processes.

Posted in Applying For JobsCareers AdviceInterviews