We asked four successful grads how to smash assessment centres – here’s what they said.
Brendan - Paralegal at Freehills, Former congressional intern at the US Senate
Maddy - Former Trainee at PwC, Westpac Graduate
Lulu - Analyst at Quantium
Simon - Analyst at Deloitte
BRENDAN: It sounds cliche, but I reckon just be yourself.
SIMON: I think it’s important, in a way, to be yourself. Don’t change who you are, because there’s no point getting the job but then they realise that you’re actually a dick, and they don’t like you!
LULU: If you, kind of, present a different persona in the test, that you think the employers are more interested in, then later on down the track, if you get the job, you’re going to have to keep pursuing that persona and then if it’s not yourself, you’re just not going to enjoy the job as much.
SIMON: Even though every company has a different culture, generally they’re all looking for the same kind of thing.
BRENDAN: If you can show that you’re genuine as a team player and that you can show what your true characters are like, they’ll be more likely to see you for who you are and mark you based on that.
SIMON: Really, if you get to an assessment centre - yes, they want to see that you can work hard, but they also want to see that they can have a beer with you after work.
LULU: Don’t lie to them or make anything up. You want to be truthful about your strengths, and really focus upon what would make you a good candidate.
SIMON: They want to see who works well in groups. They want to see who speaks above everyone else. They want to see who shies behind everyone else.
LULU: If you’ve really read through the application form or the description of the role, you’ll understand what they’re looking for in that specific role. And then you want to make sure that you’re explaining your strengths towards that; so, how your personal traits would enable you to work in that position and to succeed in it.
BRENDAN: Assessment centres aren’t meant to be for the extroverts, or the people with the big voices in the room. In fact, it’s much more important, sometimes, to just be the one that can listen and contribute things here and there that are meaningful.
SIMON: By encouraging other people’s input, even if you’re not saying anything yourself, you’re just encouraging that team environment, and it really makes you look better.
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