Our guides for employers and candidates on how to navigate the entry-level job market.

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Our guides for employers and candidates on how to navigate the entry-level job market.
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How To Survive An Assessment Day

Sophie Hudson

Although being invited to an assessment day generally means that you are down to the final hurdle of the application process – rather than bringing about a sense of excitement or relief, the prospect of attending an assessment day usually causes a sense of panic…

Although it’s most common to attend an assessment day if you’re applying for a job at a corporate, some smaller companies to hold them too. If you’re feeling a sense of dread at the prospect of attending one, then it may reassure you to learn that you are not alone. To help you ace the day, here is our list of top advice to help you relax (at least a little) before the big day:

Show them how you’re doing it:

It’s important to remember that the assessors are not expecting you to know everything already – if you did then you are too qualified for the job and should not be applying in the first place! You are being evaluated on your general approach, organisational skills and communication. What’s absolutely key is to show that you have potential and that you are willing to learn.

Participate enthusiastically:

Generally speaking, successful candidates are the ones who are keen to have a go at every exercise and show genuine interest in the task at hand, as well as in the other candidates and their contributions. Be active in all discussions – don’t just speak at the beginning and then sit back because you think you’ve done your bit!

Listen to your competition:

Don’t try to dominate the conversations and debates too much though, but do ensure that you are heard more often than not. Try to get in there first when group questions are posed and if you can direct the conversations here and there then by all means do!

But keep them at a friendly distance:

Be friendly to the other candidates, but be careful not to get too close to them as this can be very distracting. Of course, you don’t want to appear hostile – it’s all about finding a balance. Try to enjoy the day and by all means socialise with others – employers look for people who can work well in a team – but do take some breaks by yourself (go get a coffee, go to the toilet) to help you get in the zone before the next task.

Be yourself:

You’ve got to demonstrate your own true skills, your strengths and your values – these are what make you special and will make you stand out. Don’t try and second guess what type of person the employer is looking for as it will be unconvincing and you risk being placed in a job for which you are unsuited. As we always say – if you’re not right for them, they’re not right for you!

So, keep these points in mind and try not to stress, but enjoy it (at least a little). And always ask for feedback afterwards – it’s the best way of working out how you can improve for next time.