We had an incredible response to the next Financial Services Graduate Programme 2021- 2023 recruitment drive with over 400 high calibre applicants!
With the next phase of the recruitment process approaching, we wanted to share some top tips for shortlisted candidates as things will be done a little differently this year.
Due to the pandemic and subsequent restrictions, we are holding virtual assessment centres throughout May and June instead of the usual face to face group sessions.
With this in mind, we have put together some useful tips to put you at ease and give you the best chance of success.
What is an Assessment Centre?
An assessment centre is a combination of tasks and activities designed to test your suitability for a role and to measure how you respond in a group scenario. It allows you to demonstrate a range of skills in practice rather than simply talking about them during an interview.
As mentioned, this year’s assessment centres will be held virtually, meaning everything has been adapted for an online session, delivered via Zoom.
There will be 3 main parts to the assessment centre: an introduction to the employers including a Q&A, a group task and finally, an individual interview.
It’s important to remember that you will start being assessed from the moment you join the session therefore we recommend that you plan as much as possible in advance.
Here are some tips:
Before the Day
- You will be sent a brief in advance of the assessment centre so maximise this opportunity to carry out as much research as you see fit.
- To avoid facing any technical challenges on the day, test the access link and ensure that your camera and microphone are both working properly.
- Consider your surroundings, you don’t want any noise or distractions when you’re being assessed, this includes pets!
- Research the employers who are part of the consortium and the financial services industry as a whole. You’ll have an opportunity to ask questions during the networking session so planning some intelligent questions and/or discussion points is key.
- Think about how to showcase yourself during the group exercise whilst being mindful of how you interact with others.
- Prepare for the interview by practising answers to competency-based questions. Saying them aloud to a family member or friend can also be really helpful.
On the day
Getting the basics right such as arriving on time and dressing smartly are just as important in a virtual assessment centre as they are face to face. Remember, first impressions count.
The activities are designed to assess you on a range of skills so try and think about ways to demonstrate these during each of the three sections of the day.
Some of the competencies you’ll be assessed on include:
- Effective Communication – Delivery/interactions with other people/articulate
- Problem solving
- Assertiveness – do you speak with conviction?
- Interpersonal effectiveness
- Critical thinking
- Intellectual curiosity
Our top tip for the group exercise is to think of the other candidates as colleagues rather than your competition. This approach should put you at ease and help you showcase the best of your personality and skills.
Have some key questions prepared for your interviewer, this will show you’re engaged and are eager to learn.
The Financial Services Graduate Programme is a fantastic springboard to help fast track your career so leverage this opportunity to show our team why you should get a place on the programme!
Most importantly, be yourself and try and enjoy the activities we have planned for you.
Congratulations on getting this far and good luck!