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My experience of assessment centres

I wish we all had given our best in exams. After this stressful period of exams, here comes the new season, new semester and new learnings.

In this blog, I would like to share my experience at the assessment centre that I recently attended. I was very overwhelmed to receive the invitation to the assessment centre which is usually the last stage of a job application. It was the first time I attended the assessment centre. I decided to give my best even though I had very little idea about the assessment centres.

Due to covid-19 and technology advancements, we were told that the assessment centre would happen online. I started to prepare for the D- Day. I was already given a brief by the organisation about the activities that would take place on the day.

The first planned activity was the group discussion. I was confident about this stage as I have been an active member of many groups and have led them in my previous roles. On the day of the assessment centre, we were given the data about the new products that the organisation is planning to introduce. The data includes all the qualitative and quantitative information about each product. We had to discuss the same and come forward with the most feasible option. My group was very indulging; everybody had different perspectives and ideas for each situation. Altogether, it was an enriching exercise to interact with people from different backgrounds.

The second activity was a one-to-one interview. The interviewer asked me questions based on my academic knowledge and experience. Then, she asked me competency-based questions. To answer these competency-based questions, I adopted the STAR technique, which means explaining your experiences in the format of Situation, Task, Action and Result. Therefore, I answered all my questions using this technique in the interview.

The last activity for the day was the case presentation. I was provided with a case study sheet where the reference was made to the different stores of the organisation and the product lines. It was followed by the various questions to which we have to provide feedback. It was an individual activity and we were given one hour to understand and make a presentation on the case study. Then, I have to present my understandings to one of the assessors. I made many fair points and delivered the outcome for each store and product line. The assessor also asked me some questions regarding the same and my working styles for these projects.

Therefore, it was an insightful day for me. My advice to prepare about the same is to attend the practice sessions made available by the University of Manchester Careers Support Team. I attended one of them and it was very helpful. Another piece of advice is to attend a few of the assessment centres as it will be the best way to learn from your mistakes in real-time. I hope my experience helps to make your experience better. 

2 pictures from inside the alliance manchester business school building. One shows the Eddie Davies Library and the other other shows a picture form the top of the grand staircase