Graduate Assessment Centre Tips for Students

Graduate Assessment Centre tips for Students

You’ve spent the past 3 or 4 years working hard at Uni, being skint (spending your student loan on nights out rather than books possibly?! I’m not judging, I’ve been there!!) and now your time there is coming to an end. What next?! It’s usually a toss-up between going travelling or entering the scary world of full-time employment!!

When I left Uni, I just wanted to get a job and start earning money! I wanted to be independent, feel like a ‘grown up’ and work for a great company. What I didn’t realise, was
a) how competitive the graduate industry is, and
b) how often I’d have to go through an assessment centre as part of the recruitment process.

Lots of the larger companies (and smaller ones these days) run assessment centres, and for a graduate these can be pretty daunting as you don’t know what to expect. Companies use these assessment centres in order to evaluate candidates, their skills and how well they would fit into the business culture.

I’ve written down a few pointers to get you started and hopefully help you to get through the process with a smile on your face!

Here are a few generic tips that you can bear in mind if you’re invited to attend an assessment centre:

Get there on time

This means, don’t leave it up to your sat nav to get you there with a couple of minutes to spare. Look online for the location, look at traffic/public transport routes, is there free parking? Leave yourself plenty of time as there’s nothing worse than being late and interrupting the introductions!

Suit up

First impressions at an assessment centre are SO important, so don’t be afraid to wear your best suit, dress, outfit as you want to look as professional as possible. Not only this, you’ll actually feel more confident when you’re looking sharp ?

Research the company

This actually sounds very obvious, but you’d be surprised by how many assessment centres I’ve run where people don’t really know who they are meeting! Do your research beforehand, and make sure you can confidently talk through WHY you want to join the business, and WHY you want the job.

Remember, they are always assessing you throughout! What I mean by this is, even if you’re having a break between assessment tasks, they’ll be looking at how you interact with others. Always smile, be engaging, get involved in conversations and feel free to chat to the assessors to build rapport – it’ll go a long way!

Listen and take notes

Assessment centre days can often be long days, and you’ll be bombarded with information and instructions. There’s no harm in taking a pen and paper to jot down a few key points, but always make sure you listen carefully to what the assessors are saying.

Thank them at the end

This small gesture really can go a long way. Assessors are looking for people they can work with, and manners leave a positive reminder of who you are.

As daunting as assessment centres can sound, they really are there to allow you to showcase your best skills whether that be your technical ability, communication skills, team working ability etc. The company will want to bring the best out in you, so just try to relax and enjoy the experience of meeting new people! Even if you don’t get offered the role, it’s a great learning curve for you, and you can use your experience to help you next time round.


Thanks for reading! We’re Roberts Webb Recruitment and we’re happy to help. Get in touch with our team via our website for more information on our roles or services

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