Assessment Centres have become a significant part of recruitment procedures for a lot of organisations. In the past, assessment centre was majorly used by accounting and professional services firms as a component of their recruitment process. However, in recent times, a lot of organisations have embraced assessment centres including manufacturing entities in the FMCG space.
What exactly is an Assessment Centre? The first time I heard about it, I thought it means a place where assessments are carried out for potential employees. So if you are like me that does not know the meaning, do not feel bad, just keep reading.
An Assessment Centre is a recruitment stage where potential employees are put into groups with people they have never met and given group assignments. Usually, the group will be given a specific random topic on anything with a limited time to discuss the topic and make a presentation to the assessment team. The topic for the group may be picked from areas such as politics, economy, security, infrastructure, education, health etc.
Group members are expected to work together during the group assignments, allocate roles to each other and show that they possess soft skills such as team spirit, positive attitude and respect for others. The assessment team will serve as observers to assess each member of the group on how they have contributed to the discussion in the group, their respect for other people’s opinion and how they have been able to communicate effectively towards the success of the group.
Let’s talk about the “do’s and “don’ts” of an assessment centre.
- Respect the opinion of others even if you do not agree
- Contribute to the discussion and participate actively in all group activities
- Even as an introvert, make sure you contribute to the group’s task and discussion
- You can take up roles such as group leader, timekeeper, chief whip, scribe etc.
- It is not enough to take up a role, participate actively in the group discussion and activities
- If you are presenting for the group, attribute the work to everyone in the group and appreciate them for their efforts
- Never shout or raise your voice at others (you will not be hired, if you do)
- Do not shut down other people’s opinion even if you do not agree with such
- Do not be overbearing, even if you have done it before, you are all on the same level
- Do not speak down at other people
- Do not use vulgar, insulting or abusive words at other group members throughout the group’s tasks
- Do not attribute the success of the group to yourself, appreciate everyone’s contribution and recognise their efforts
- While conflict may arise during the group activities, never allow it to degenerate, do not ever get physical, or abusive
Finally, the aim of the assessment centre is to assess your abilities to think on your feet on topics you are not familiar with, , work as part of a team even when you are meeting the team members for the first time, show positive attitude during the group tasks, respect for others and their opinion even when you do not agree and how responsible you are as a potential employee.
CAREERS[Dissecting Your Resume And CV] – Part IV – Training / Skills / Education
The final part of the series is finally here.
There are those who believe the “Education” section should come first, while others opined it should be the last based on how many years of experience you have.
It all depends on preference. But please don’t spoil a good thing. My preference will be – if you attended a good school – irrespective of your experience – you can put it first. But if you feel the university you attended will be of disadvantage to you, please put it at the bottom. There is usually preference for the top schools irrespective of what you are bringing to the table. Do not knock yourself out of the race when you still have a chance.
Your experience coming before your university will surely sway some sentiments towards you. If you are proficient with financial packages such as SAP or Oracle financials and HR can see all this before they get to the “Education” section, then you have a chance against others who went to the best schools. Use your resume to your advantage NOT to your own detriment.
Below is an example :
2008 Bachelor of Science in Accounting – Boston University [CGPA 4.42 out of 5.00]
2007 Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Investment Policy Statements – CFA Institute
QuickBooks Pro Advisor
Corporate Finance Essentials
Open Universities Australia – Certificate of Achievement – Financial Planning
BLOOMBERG FINANCE L.P – Bloomberg Aptitude Test – Score:520
Oracle Financials Training – Accounts Receivables, Accounts Payable and General Ledger
COMPETENCES & SKILLS
Technology: Technically savvy with the use of Oracle Financials ERP, Microsoft Word, Outlook, Microsoft Excel [Pivot Tables, V Lookup], International Money Management System, Wall Street Office, Clear Par Documents System, Global Cash Management, Work Flow Tool, Microsoft SharePoint, OnBase, Practice Engine.
Team oriented and strong interpersonal skills, Basic familiarity with GAAP/FASB, Sarbanes Oxley Act and GAAS standards, Effective written and oral communication skills, sufficient technical skills to perform the essential duties and responsibilities.
This concludes the series – Dissecting Your CV.
Tackle Your Next Career Fair With These 5 Tips
“Understand that you have the qualifications that they are searching for, and effectively communicate this to company representatives. Be confident that you have what it takes to get the job, because YOU DO.”
So you’ve found yourself back on the market searching for your next fulfilling position at your dream company. Between professional networking events, informational interviews, and countless job application submissions online, you’ve come to the point where you must attend your local career fair.
Either way, sooner or later, you will have tackle your career fair woes.
Check out these tips that will help you to completely TACKLE your next career fair, and land your resume right in the end zone of recruiters.
(1) It ALL begins with confidence.
The aura that you exude to anyone is the energy that they will bounce back to you. Understand that you have the qualifications that they are searching for, and effectively communicate this to company representatives. Be confident that you have what it takes to get the job, because YOU DO.
(2) Research is imperative.
Go into the career fair with a outlined plan of the companies you would like to target – DO NOT simply walk up to any and every company table with small talk such as, “So what do you guys do?”
Do your research on your target companies to understand things such as the organizational culture, open positions, recent initiatives they’ve been working on, news articles, etc.
(3) Have questions.
These questions are what you want to go up to the recruiters to speak about, along with your background and experience, paying careful attention to actually link your experience to what they are looking for in a candidate.
It’s also common to ask representatives about them about their experience at the company, or just about them in general. But again, DO NOT ask them about what the company does, or what jobs they have. From your research you should already know this information. Asking them will show them that you may be lazy or simply did not do your research.
(4) Ask for a business card.
This shows your ambition and also tells them that you will follow up.
So with that, ensure that you follow up (within 24 hours) on what you and the company representative spoke about. You want to reiterate the skills you have that are related to the position you are seeking in the follow up email. In order to remember your conversation, jot down the high-level topics you both spoke about on the back of the business card between table visits. If you’re spreading your net wide with seeking positions (which you should be), then it can sometimes become difficult to recall what topics came up with each person.
(5) DRESS TO IMPRESS.
Answers to tricky Interview Questions
Smile as much as you can. Relax. A whole lot of interviews are just as simple as it is – getting to know you and a bit about your competencies
Interviews are usually an opportunity to sell yourself. Go with the flow of your interview and never derail from it. The interviewer wants you to be settled and will ensure the environment is conducive enough for an interview. You may be asked if you want water or coffee. Smile as much as you can. Relax. A whole lot of interviews are just as simple as it is – getting to know you and a bit about your competencies. Never speak with fear in ANY interview. See some questions below:
- How do you prioritize your workload? Answer : I list out the tasks in order of priority in my daily to do list and ensure they are completed accordingly. this has worked for me significantly
- How do you manage stress? Answer: Whenever I feel stressed, I take a 3 minutes’ walk and also drink water to relax and calm down. From my experience, i feel refreshed anytime i do such.
- Why should we hire you? Answer: I am hardworking and always ready to improve on given tasks. Not only in accomplishing set goals but also getting a new way to do it better. My experience and technical background has prepared me for this role and i believe I have the mental and physical strength to succeed in this role.
- What value can you add to this job and the company? Answer: I have a great work ethic in achieving set tasks and duties. If hired, I hope to contribute to set organization goals and also streamline processes by introducing new time effective systems.
Finally at the end of the interview, do not forget to send a thank you mail to the recruiter or the interviewer as the case may be.