We recently published an article on our blog about different sorts of activities that typically take place at wine, beer and drink industry job assessment centres. During these assessment centres, you’ll typically face things such as role-play; group exercises; 1-2-1 interviews; presentations; psychometric or aptitude testing and problem solving exercises as well as a possible site visit. If you haven’t already read this earlier article, you can find it here.
In today’s article, we want to share a range of Top Tips with you that will help you stand out or ‘ace’ in each of these activities, so that you are in with an even better chance of bagging the job of your dreams.
Even though you may think you can’t, one of the most important things to ace at role-play is to prepare in advance. Search on the Internet for appropriate role-play scenarios for your genre of work and establish in your head how you’d deal with them. On the day, the most important things to bear in mind are to read the brief carefully and ask questions if you’re not clear; to stay on track and to be polite and professional at all times.
With group exercises, it’s essential to listen carefully to the instructions. Once you’re into the exercise, make a point of using body language to reinforce your spoken words. Show empathy by touching someone on the arm, express agreement by nodding your head and use eye contact to demonstrate engagement. In the event that one or more people are dominating the exercise, be assertive but never aggressive in making sure you get your points across and don’t miss out. Ask questions and be seen to contribute positively to the achievement and successful conclusion of the task.
In any one-to-one interview setting, one of the key things is to be confident, even if you’re not feeling it. Find a way of calming your nerves and make sure your body language is assertive. Show that you know the company; refer to the job description; stay on track with what you said in your application and relax. When you’re asked questions, answer with evidence that strengthens your case and if at all possible, seek to make a great close.
Preparation is key when it comes to making a hit with an assessment centre presentation. While you mightn’t be able to prepare the actual presentation in advance, practicing impromptu presentations and overcoming presentation nerves will stand you in great stead on the day. Like all the other exercises, make sure you understand the purpose of the presentation and prepare as well as you can in the time given. If possible, run through the presentation in your head before you start. Use notes if needs be but keep them discreet. Throughout your presentation, smile and be confident as well as concentrating on your body language and using eye contact and hand motions where you can. Once again, close with confidence.
Psychometric or aptitude testing
There’s not an awful lot you can do to prepare for this part of an assessment centre testing process, but getting some background knowledge on this type of testing will help you understand the purpose of the test. If the employer tells you in advance what types of test they use and if you discover it’s an area of weakness of yours, take the chance to build your skills beforehand. Otherwise, just stay alert and work as efficiently as possible in the time given.
Problem solving exercises
Believe it or not, you can practice problem solving. Trawl the net for problem solving exercises that are related to the type of assessment centre you’re going to attend and practice, practice, practice. On the day, it’s important to be calm and to take time to understand the problem. Once you come to actually solving the problem, make sure that it is clear for all to see that you are taking a systematic and logical approach. Work confidently and within the time constraints.
With site visits, you really just need to be yourself, but again be aware of your body language. Make a point of shaking hands firmly, making eye contact and announcing your name clearly and with a smile. Where you can, repeat people’s names in conversation and ask questions that are in context, but give you a good chance of being noticed.