Wednesday, November 24, 2010
The Graduate Assessment Day
I traveled to Windsor for my very first assessment day for a graduate scheme on Tuesday. I was rather nervous about the event, mainly through watching 'The Apprentice' and having this image that everyone was going to be over competitive and aggressive. It was nothing of the sort.
I was welcomed by the company as soon as I got to the head office, and straight away the people attending the assessment were incredibly friendly and we all clicked instantly. I was expecting between 20 and 40 people at the assessment day, but there was a total of 7 of us. I was surprised to hear that 5000 people had applied to the scheme, and 7 of us were here for the first day of assessments.
The company broke the ice by getting us all to introduce ourselves, and this followed by a presentation of the company and the scheme itself. The day was led by last years graduates who had begun the scheme; it was refreshing to see how excited they were with the scheme and the company itself.
After the presentation, we were given a written test, where I was required to read a complaint from a customer and write a letter of response to the customer, write an action plan to implement so the problems don't occur again and to write a memo to my manager explaining why the plan would be effective.
I was called to my interview where I was readily prepared after researching all about the company; however there were no questions on the organisation, and was all competence based questions, and as it was a Human Resources role, a question on why I wanted to work in that department and why I would be effective within this role.
I returned to the assessment room where we were broken into groups, and were observed as we put together and presented a presentation. Thankfully no one was over-competitive within the group and we all got on perfectly, and everyone got their input and say.
After lunch, I had the final part of the assessment which was an individual presentation. I had one hour to research the strategic plans for the organisation and assess how the role I was going into would be affected by it. The fire alarm went off during my presentation (typical), and was put on hold for 15 minutes while we stood in the car park waiting to be told to go back inside.
The other graduates talked about other assessment days and said they had seen varied ones. They explained that some of the assessment days were quite competitive with more people, but pointed out that it is often dependent on the type of role your going for.
We finished the day by traveling to London together as we were all getting similar timed trains home. We had dinner together in London and a final drink, wished each other luck and returned home.
It was a refreshing day, and really got me excited about the organisation and the role. Of course I can't say how it went until I hear so I'll just have to wait and see. But whether I get the job or not, it was certainly an experience, one which I will be able to take to another assessment day and be able to be more prepared as to what type of assessments I'll be expecting.