April 25, 2016, by Words on Words
Assessment Days…wait, they still have those?
This blog post was written by final year English and Philosophy student, Rishi Davda.
As a final year, I try to balance my time between reading lists, sleeping, and job applications. Occasionally one of those job applications, which you submit six minutes before the deadline, actually goes beyond the dreaded mass email response beginning with ‘Unfortunately’, or as I call it ‘the computerised slap in the face’. Recently, one of my many applications resulted in an invitation to an assessment day. Having never been to an assessment day, I didn’t quite know what to expect. Now mine took place at a media company, however I thought I would share some helpful tips with you, which I am sure will be applicable to any assessment day/interview you may encounter in the near future.
Tip 1: Dress smart
Unless told otherwise, dressing smart is a must. An assessment day/interview is basically like an audition in which your assessor will definitely judge a book by its cover. Be sure to tidy yourself up. Nothing is a bigger turn off for a potential employer than someone who has sleep in their eyes, one shoe lace missing or miss-matching socks (this may be hipster on campus but not in the real world). Get suited and booted before the big day – it will increase your confidence hugely and present the best possible version of yourself. Don’t worry about being overdressed – you can always remove a tie or take off a jacket, however it is difficult to make a Game of Thrones T-shirt look more formal.
Tip 2: Without sounding like your mum…just be yourself!
An assessor I spoke to prior to my assessment said that there is nothing worse than a candidate coming in and being totally overbearing and antisocial in an attempt to impress those at the top. She said they can spot falsity a mile away and if you are in a situation where you are asked to work in a team, they expect you to do just that and not try to commandeer the whole exercise. There is no ‘I’ in assessment day. I know it sounds simple, but in such a high pressure situation nerves can often take over. Just be cool, calm, collected, and collaborative rather than selfish, shouty, and single-minded.
Tip 3: Do preparation
Wow, was I thrown in at the deep end when they asked me to do a quiz about the media industry at about 10:15 in the morning. Assessment Days and interviews are meant to be a chance to showcase and test your passion and knowledge for a specific sector. Make sure you have the knowledge, both sector-specific and general. As university students, we very often find ourselves in a utopic bubble without paying attention to the goings-on in the post-education world. Be sure to keep up-to-date with relevant current affairs so that you don’t go in for a job you really want and end up feeling like you didn’t do your best because you didn’t do your homework.
[Featured image: http://www.yourinterviewcoach.co.uk/assessmentcentre.html]
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