Your guide to assessment days

For many jobs, the application process is now a fair bit more complicated than simply sending off your CV, having an interview and then receiving an offer of employment.

It is becoming increasingly common for businesses to invite candidates to assessment days, in which you'll undertake a series of tasks designed to test your suitability for the job on offer. While we've all got experience of job interviews, many of us have never faced an assessment day. With that in mind, we've put together some top tips to help you get the through the process successfully.

Prepare, prepare, prepare
As with a job interview, preparation is vital if you're to make a good impression at an assessment day. Learn as much as you can about the job on offer, as that way you'll be aware of skills and attributes the employer is looking for you to demonstrate.

Some businesses will fill you in on what the assessment day will entail in advance, while others will not provide too much information. If you do know what's going to be in-store, make sure you prepare suitably and have all of the information or resources you're likely to need. 

Some assessment days will require you to give a presentation. Preparation is particularly important here as there's nothing worse than having to stand up in a room full of people and not know what you're going to say.

Teamwork makes the dream work
Almost all assessment centres involve some form of teamwork. This can be a strange experience, as you are essentially having to work alongside the people who are your rivals for the job on offer. However, it's vital that you put this to one side and focus on being a good team player.

After all, being able to work collaboratively is a key requirement for most jobs and you're unlikely to impress the assessors if it's clear that you're only trying to look after number one. The worst thing you could do is start arguing with your fellow candidates or shooting someone else's ideas down. By all means, stand up for your own views, but make sure you do so in a diplomatic and respectful manner.

Ensure enthusiasm
The easiest way to fail an assessment day is to look as if you don't want to be there. Be enthusiastic at all times and embrace all of the activities you have to undertake with a smile. Just like in an interview, the people assessing you want to be sure that you actually want the job on offer. Being enthusiastic is the best way to demonstrate this.

Be yourself
Assessment days can be nerve racking experiences, especially if you've never done one before. Despite this, it's important to not let the nerves get the better of you and to be yourself as much as possible. Remember, employers want to see the real you and don't be afraid to let this show. 

It's often easy to spot someone who is trying to be something they are not and even is you succeed in putting on a front, there's a chance you'll end up in a job that's not suited to your real personality.

Remember why you're there
Throughout the assessment day process, it's vital that your end goal remains in sight. You want to show the business that you're the right person for the job on offer. In each of the tasks you have to undertake, think about how they relate to the position and what sort of skills the employer is looking for you to demonstrate. Everything you are asked to do will be relevant to the job and make sure you bear this in mind at all times. 

Want more tips and guidance on how to make sure you land that job you're after? The Unity website is full of useful advice. Why not start by taking a look at our interview videos?

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