28 March 2024

A 2nd Year Student’s Top Tips on How to Prepare for an Assessment Centre

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Want the inside scoop on smashing your assessment centre? Rhea, our placement student for 2023 / 2024 is here to give you all her top tips.

I’m sure you’ve come across those annoyingly productive student micro-influencers who wake up at 6:00am and prepare every day for three weeks in advance of their assessment centre. It’s daunting. We know. 

The good news is you don’t have to drop the rest of your life and eat, think, breathe assessment centres for the weeks leading up to it. You’d become a zombie!

68% of UK employers use assessment centres as part of their recruitment process. So it’s definitely worth doing some planning before the big day.

Here’s some simple tactics you can use to put your best foot forward on Assessment Centre Day.

1) Research the company

What services or products do they provide? How do they make their money? Who are their customers? What is their company culture? These are just a few questions to get you started on thinking WHO your potential future employer is. 

You want to get a feel for them – know them inside and out. 

A good exercise could be to try and draw up a picture of the company’s personality as if the brand were human. This gives you a good indication of the kind of firm they are.

2) Pre-preparation material

Most assessment centres require you to come prepared with a presentation about a certain topic. That’s good! You can really take your time on this. Without feeling the pressure of being observed. 

So, take full advantage. Talk to your lecturers, university professors or ask advice from previous placement students and craft your perfect presentation.

3) Read through the job description

The job description is like a map leading you to the treasure chest (that’s the placement). Look inside it for clues on what you will be tested on. 

Make sure you have examples from your personal, academic and/or professional life to demonstrate your competencies and you’ll be one step closer to reaching the placement treasure it points towards.

4) Rehearse common interview questions

Some assessment centres embed an interview as part of their application. So it’s a good idea to have some answers prepared beforehand.

Have a look at our blog post Common Internship Interview Questions for some questions that are sure to come up. Think of how you’d answer them.

Keeping these tips in mind, we have one last, crucial tip for you: stay calm!

If you have made it this far in the recruitment process, you deserve a pat on the back. You’re here for a reason and the company clearly likes you. Now is your chance to decide whether to swipe right on them or not. 

It’s going to be a long-term relationship after all. View the assessment centre as a chance for you to get to know employers, ask questions and see if they take your fancy?