Career Development Workshop



Download 2.39 Mb.
Date11.09.2018
Size2.39 Mb.
#64113
  • finding and getting the right job
  • workshop objectives
  • acquire tools to find out about yourself
    • personality
    • skills and aptitudes
    • values and motivations
  • be able to find out about jobs for mathematicians
  • understand and manage the application process
    • writing a CV
    • writing a cover letter
    • applying for jobs
    • interviews
  • finding and getting the right job: what the workshop will cover
  • what is my personality profile?
  • what are my strengths?
  • what are my values?
  • what kind of careers are open to me?
  • writing a CV
  • writing a cover letter
  • applying for jobs
  • interviews
  • resources
  • personality profile
  • based on Myers Briggs Type
  • on-line questionnaire:- choose between pairs of statements
  • e-mailed report
  • 16 personality “types” based on preferences
    • extraversion – introversion
    • sensing – intuition
    • thinking – feeling
    • judging - perception
  • personality types suggest
  • what you are most comfortable doing?
  • why do you work?
  • what kind of environment?
  • what type of activity?
  • what type of contribution?
  • how you manage your time
  • how you get results
  • how you manage change
  • interaction needs with others
  • relationship style
  • personality types also suggest
  • how people see you
    • as a leader
    • as a manager
    • as a decision maker
    • in resolving conflict
  • your best assets
  • your potential weaknesses
  • assessing your skills
  • identify your strengths
  • rate your skills and attributes
    • be realistic
    • consider evidence for high scores
    • where you consider you are above average
  • will suggest
    • the kind of jobs to look for
    • the kind of jobs to avoid
  • show where you need to plan your development
  • assessing your values and motivations
  • what is important to you?
  • what motivates you?
  • focus your research about companies
  • suggests questions to ask in interviews
  • quantitative skills you should have developed during your maths degree
  • analysis and interpretation of data
  • designing and conducting experimental studies and tests
  • high computer literacy
  • analytical approach to problem solving, formulating and testing theories
  • dealing with abstract concepts
  • presenting mathematical arguments with accuracy and clarity
  • advanced numeracy skills
  • clear logical thinking
  • “soft” skills you could have developed through your time at university
    • communications – written and verbal
    • personal time management, producing results against deadlines
    • organisational skills
    • teamwork skills
    • ability to work independently
    • potentially many others depending on your activities…
      • influencing, negotiating
      • presenting
  • “hard” skills you could have developed through your time at university
  • excel / access / powerpoint
  • project management, PERT planning
  • speaking another language
  • programming
  • some jobs specifically for
  • mathematicians and statisticians
  • actuary – insurance companies, banks, professional firms
  • statistician – pharmaceutical industry etc.
  • “quant” - banking
  • operations research – GORS, large companies
  • weather forecasting – Met Office
  • secondary school teaching
  • geophysicist
  • quality control engineering
  • postgraduate research – MSc/PhD or research and engineering companies
  • occupations requiring
  • general numeracy skills
  • accountancy
  • insurance
  • management consultancy
  • market research
  • banking and finance
  • programming
  • software engineering
  • taxation
  • social research
  • economist
  • etc….
  • general graduate jobs
  • where degree subject is unimportant
  • management training schemes
  • you won’t be competing using your mathematical skills
  • the choice is enormous – use the resources available
  • some jobs for last year’s Surrey maths graduates
  • 3M Accounts Assistant
  • Allianz Pricing Analyst
  • Bossmosix IT Administrator
  • DFDS Operations Co-ordinator
  • DSG Retail Customer Advisor
  • ES Pipeline Market Analyst
  • Geokinetics Processing Geophysicist
  • Jardine Lloyd Thompson Pensions Administrator
  • News Quest Trainee Financial Accountant
  • OOCL Operations Controller
  • Bank of England Management Account Analyst
  • Direct Line Group Pricing Analyst
  • Nomura Financial Controller
  • more jobs (not counting teaching and postgraduate research)
  • Barclays Global Operations Analyst
  • Lloyds Banking Group Risk Analyst
  • The Automobile Association Insight Analyst
  • Coller Capital Investment Accountant
  • Atos IT Consultant
  • Debenhams Project Administrator
  • EEA Fund Management Ltd Junior Analyst
  • First Actuarial Student Actuary
  • HSBC Bank Analyst
  • Microsoft Ltd Data/Web Analyst
  • PriceWaterhouseCoopers Associate
  • Save the Children Customer Service
  • Australian Commonwealth Bank Trainee Accountant
  • job finding resources
  • www.surrey.ac.uk/careers
  • www.prospects.ac.uk
  • www.targetjobs.co.uk
  • www.insidecareers.co.uk
  • www.mathscareers.org.uk
  • professional bodies
    • www.siam.org
    • www.theorsociety.com
    • www.ima.org.uk
    • www.actuaries.org.uk
  • other universities’ career service websites
  • use your imagination and the computer!
  • creating your CV
  • the purpose of a CV
  • structure
  • content
  • cover letter
  • resources to help you
  • assess this CV
  • would you select this applicant for interview?
  • how many mistakes can you find?
  • purpose of a CV
  • from your point of view
    • to get the interview, not the job
    • to demonstrate in the CV that you have the skills, experience and motivation
  • from the employers’ point of view
    • to weed out unsuitable candidates quickly
    • to make a short list
  • imagine that you are the product and the CV is your advertisement
  • get your unique selling propositions (USPs) across
  • you only have a few seconds attention from the reader
    • your particular strengths
    • unique combinations of attributes
    • what do you have that the competition doesn’t?
  • things to think about
  • first impressions are critical in job hunting as in life.
  • the CV and the covering letter are your first contact with a potential employer.
  • your CV is competing with all the other CVs
  • the CV needs to show immediately that you have
    • the relevant aptitudes, skills and knowledge
    • the necessary experience
    • the motivation
  • these features can be demonstrated by your CV
  • how the CV is written is as important as what it contains
  • structure
  • Up to you – it’s your CV
  • must be logical and easy to follow
  • everything the reader needs must be clear and easy to find
  • typical example
    • education
    • employment (includes work experience, volunteering)
    • skills and aptitudes
    • interests
    • bio data
    • references
  • two pages of A4 – and be able to produce a one page version
  • explore internet for examples
  • style
  • sharp, positive and focussed
  • most space given to most important aspects
  • make every word count
  • reverse chronological order for education and employment
  • bullet points – short and punchy, not prose
  • active verbs – e.g. organised, managed, presented
  • don’t use the word “I”
  • don’t repeat yourself
  • education
  • give your overall marks for years 1, 2 and S1 year 3, don’t list modules studied
  • individual module marks if very good and relevant to the job
  • A levels and year, AS if different subjects
  • list GCSEs briefly but mention specifically English and foreign languages
  • awards, scholarships and prizes (most emphasis on university)
  • possible education template
  • Education
  • 2012 – present University of Surrey
  • BSc Mathematics year 1 mark 68%
  • year 2 mark 66%
  • 2010 – 2012 St John’s College, Wigan
  • A level Maths (A*) Biology (B) Physics (A)
  • 2005 – 2010 Templecourt School, Warrington
  • GCSE 7 A, 3 B, 1 C including English (A), French (B)
  • employment
  • company name, location (not address), job title, dates e.g. 6/11 – 9/11
  • describe company’s business
  • list what you did and the results you achieved and any achievements
  • describe any training given
  • include volunteering or internships in same detail
  • briefly mention short work experience
  • don’t cover skills used or developed
  • possible employment template
  • Employment
  • 4/10 -9/10 Courtauld’s Ltd, Coventry
  • Artificial and Synthetic Fibres Division
  • Laboratory technician
    • set up apparatus for preparation of novel compounds
    • carried out syntheses and tested resulting products using mass spectrometry
    • wrote up reports of work carried out
    • presented verbal report on work at weekly meetings
  • skills and aptitudes
  • developed from studies, employment, volunteering, interests …
    • either integrate into sections with the activity - but risk of repetition
    • or a specific section
  • give evidence for each claimed skill
  • no clichés
  • select your key strengths
    • where you think you are better than most
  • written communications
  • oral communications
  • problem solving
  • leadership
  • creative thinking
  • numeracy
  • team working
  • commercial awareness
  • language skills
  • judgment
  • IT
  • negotiating
  • persuading
  • decision making
  • time management
  • project management
  • self motivation
  • ability to meet targets and deadlines
  • customer relations
  • flexibility
  • practical skills
  • Skills and Aptitudes
  • aptitudes that employers want most
  • verbal communications
  • team working
  • integrity
  • intellectual ability
  • self-confidence
  • organisational skills
  • interpersonal skills
  • writing ability
  • numeracy
  • analytic skills/decision making
  • interests
  • demonstrate breadth of personality
  • if you don’t have any – get some!
  • socialising with friends doesn’t count
  • current/recent most important
  • sports, clubs, charities, cultural activities…
  • interesting travel, projects…
  • be specific – what, when, what level, where…
  • be aware of current affairs
    • listen to radio 4, Today programme
    • read a quality newspaper
  • bio data
  • logical structure
  • all key information clear and easily available
  • no jargon, no acronyms
  • professional looking presentation
    • text balanced over 2 pages
    • good use of white space
    • good quality paper
    • single conventional font e.g.
      • verdana
      • ariel
      • times new roman
  • 11 or 12 point size, but headings can be larger, use bold, italic and underline appropriately CAPITALS CAN BE UGLY
  • putting the CV together
  • sweet spot – middle of first page – should have your best aspects
  • get someone else to check it before you send it – especially if English is not your mother tongue
  • spelling and grammar must be perfect
  • never rely on spell check e.g. hobbit
  • never tell lies
    • everything on the CV must be true
    • not everything that is true must be on the CV
  • blow your own trumpet but no hyperbole
  • some signs of a bad CV
  • more than 2 pages long
  • poorly word processed or printed
  • section breaks over page
  • gaps in chronology
  • spelling or grammar mistakes
  • irrelevant, trivial details
  • gimmicky fonts
  • quirky presentation
  • employers’ pet hates in CVs
  • typos 61%
  • inappropriate e-mail addresses 35%
  • no section on key skills 30%
  • more than two pages 22%
  • decorative paper 20%
  • with a photo 13%
  • personal statements?
  • “I have a real passion for learning and I approach all tasks with great enthusiasm. I am a responsible and reliable student who is willing to work hard in order to develop my career.”
  • actual statement from a student on 72% overall
  • “I have a real passion for learning (obvious – you got a first) and I approach all tasks with great enthusiasm (where is the proof?). I am a responsible and reliable student (repeated what you just said in the first sentence)  who is willing to work hard in order to develop my career (can you imagine someone saying that they are not willing to work hard to develop their career?).”
  • use the “not” test
  • I am a hardworking and honest individual and an excellent timekeeper
  • I don’t work hard, I’m not particularly honest and I am a poor timekeeper
  • but when might these three attributes be worth putting down?
  • sending CVs to employers
  • use original print hard copies not photocopies
  • send to named individual with cover letter
  • electronically use a PDF
  • cover letters
  • grab the reader’s attention and interest
  • highlight the relevant skills and experience in your CV
  • show you have done your research on the job/activity and employer
  • demonstrate why you want to work for that employer
  • could be applying for a vacancy or speculative
  • writing the cover letter
  • no more than ¾ of a page of A4
  • addressed to a named individual
  • specific for particular application even with a template
  • written in formal business style
  • well laid out, clear and easy to follow
  • perfect spelling and grammar
  • good quality paper
  • cover letters are formal
  • written English is not spoken English written down
  • some words to avoid
    • don’t, can’t, I’d, Dad, shouldn’t, it’s (which only means it is!)
  • don’t start sentences with “and”, “but” …
  • typed, not handwritten but signed by hand if a paper copy
  • could use an electronic signature for letter sent by e-mail
  • short sentences each with a verb, subject and object
  • typical structure of cover letter
  • your address and the address of the company
  • subject e.g. professional placement/ job title
  • para 1 introduce yourself, what job you are applying for, where you saw it advertised
  • para 2 why do you want to work in this job/activity?
  • para 3 why do you want to work for this company?
  • para 4 why you are a suitable candidate, what relevant skills and experience you bring
  • positive ending
  • your signature
  • your name
  • useful resources CVs and cover letters
  • www.surrey.ac.uk/careers/current/leaflets/index.htm
  • www.surrey.ac.uk/careers/current/work/cv/index.htm
  • www.prospects.ac.uk/cvs_and_cover_letters.htm
  • www.surrey.ac.uk/destinations/units/unit-cv005.shtml
  • http://targetjobs.co.uk/careers-advice/job-hunting-tools-downloads
  • Applying for jobs abroad:
  • www.surrey.ac.uk/careers/current/work/abroad/index.htm
  • doing your research
  • sector
    • e.g. retail distribution
  • activity/occupation
    • e.g. operations research
  • company or organisation
    • e.g. Tesco
  • specific job
    • e.g. transportation planner
  • researching the sector
  • e.g. retail, oil, manufacturing, financial services, transport etc.
  • find out
    • main organisations in the sector
    • history and market trends
    • types of products and services being sold
    • customer types
    • language and terminology
    • job roles and associated skills
  • major company websites – “about us” pages
  • books, newspapers, magazines – “bluffers’ guides”
  • blogs e.g. search “blog transport” and pod casts
  • on-line chat rooms
  • researching the activity/occupation
  • what are the jobs?, what are the requirements? what are the career prospects and the rewards?
  • professional bodies e.g.
    • society of actuaries
    • accountancy bodies: CIMA, ACAA, CIPFA
    • mathematics societies: SIAM, Operations Research Society
    • engineering societies
  • search careers websites for “occupations” e.g.
    • http://www.prospects.ac.uk/types_of_jobs.htm (UK)
    • http://careerplanning.about.com/od/careersatoz (US)
  • researching the company
  • company history, structure and strategy
  • its products, services and markets
  • its corporate values and culture
  • latest news and achievements
  • analysts’ reports
  • competitor information
  • resources
    • http://careers.theguardian.com/careers-blog/research-employers
    • http://www.careers.salford.ac.uk/page/research_company
    • http://www.corporatewatch.org/?lid=2142
  • Typical Selection Process
  • CV, letter, application, online application
  • Online tests (aptitude, psychometric)
  • First Interview / Telephone Interview
  • Final interview
  • application forms
  • usually on-line
  • employer decides questions
  • look for evidence of specific competencies
  • easy to compare candidates
  • transparent and fair approach
  • cost efficient with large number of applications
  • application forms - types of questions
  • fundamental data – do you meet the basic requirements?
  • open ended questions – also for interviews
    • motivation for the job
    • what attracts you to the organisation?
    • competency based questions
  • completing the form – top tips #1
  • allow plenty of time
  • take as much care on-line as on paper
  • take as much care as in a CV
  • read the whole form first before you start
  • read the instructions and do exactly as they say
  • answer all the questions unless instructed otherwise
  • print or copy and paste the questions into a new document to plan what goes where
  • top tips #2
  • understand the organisation’s business functions
  • if there is an option of ticking different kinds of job select those that are similar
  • save a copy as you go along, else copy and paste into a separate document
  • write formally, no abbreviations no txtspk
  • use active words
    • organised, improved, managed, planned…
  • companies may scan for key words
    • make sure they are there
  • if there is an additional information section use it for special details you think are important but not covered
  • top tips #3
  • check spelling, punctuation and grammar
  • spell-check must be English (UK)
  • keep a copy of the application, date submitted and any contact details given
  • but be aware
  • you may not be able to view the whole form before you start
  • you may be required to complete the form in one go
  • you may get timed out of a page
  • options in drop-down menus may not be the choice you want
  • may not be a spell-checker
  • keep within any set word counts
  • likely questions to expect on application forms
  • why do you want to work for us?
  • show me that you understand the business/industry/job
  • what are your interests?
  • give examples of when you have had leadership positions or shown leadership
  • why are you the best candidate for the job?
  • what are your strengths/achievements/additional qualifications?
  • computer literacy
  • language capability
  • examples of working in a team
  • examples of problem solving
  • what have you learnt from previous jobs/work experience, volunteering?
  • give examples where you have provided excellent customer service
  • competency questions
  • “the following questions are designed to encourage you to provide evidence of specific abilities
  • analyse the competencies required by the company and think of occasions when you have used them
  • choose the best examples from all aspects of your life –education, employment, volunteering, interests not just coursework
  • use different scenarios to answer each competency question
  • keep your examples to the last five years
  • draft answers in Word and spell-check then copy
  • application forms - style
  • short, punchy sentences, no waffle
  • action: verbs in active not passive (improved, not was improved)
  • answer questions with evidence of your skills not opinions
  • your motivation should be what they can get from you, not what you hope to get from them
  • explain why you want the job and what you will bring to it
  • don’t use the word “I”
  • be truthful and positive - without exaggeration
  • typical competency question #1
  • “describe a challenging project, activity or event which you have planned and taken through to a conclusion. Include your objectives, what you did, any changes you made to your plan and how you measured your success”
  • structure your answer using STAR
    • situation
    • task = objective
    • action = what I did
    • result = what happened
  • typical question #2
  • “describe a team in which you have worked with other people. How would you describe your contribution?”
  • structure of your answer
    • individual role
    • what skills did you demonstrate?
    • consequences of your actions
    • interactions with the team
  • typical question #3
  • “Describe your most significant non-academic achievement. Why did you regard it as significant?”
  • structure of your answer
    • importance of the situation for you
    • evidence of a goal
    • motivation
    • obstacles overcome
    • enthusiasm
    • what skills/aptitudes have you gained from the experience?
  • typical question #4
  • “why do you want to apply for this job? What do you have to offer this role?”
  • sell yourself – but don’t hype!
  • know the work involved and have researched the company
  • self assessment of your strengths
  • think what contribution you could make to the aims of the business
  • some more examples
  • tell us about an occasion when you dealt with conflict. How did you resolve it? (100 words)
  • what is your greatest achievement? (50 words)
  • give an example of a time when you successfully led a team (200 words)
  • answering open ended questions
  • follow the instructions to the letter
  • plan your answer logically
  • right amount of detail
  • emphasise skills
  • make sure the form explains
    • why you want a career in this area
    • how your skills, interests and experience make you suited to the job
  • examples all from the same part of your life
  • not enough detail
  • too much detail
  • vague or woolly answers – be specific
  • not answering the questions
  • not following instructions e.g. word limit
  • lack of attention to detail
  • poor spelling, punctuation and grammar
  • not convincing as to why you want the role
  • useful resources – on-line applications
  • http://www.selectsimulator.com/
  • http://www.surrey.ac.uk/careers/career_videos.htm (‘Online applications’)
  • http://www.prospects.ac.uk/job_applications_online_applications.htm
  • http://targetjobs.co.uk/careers-advice/applications-and-cvs
  • http://www.insidecareers.co.uk/career-advice/2611
  • purpose of an interview
  • conversation not interrogation
  • opportunity for the company to find out about you
  • opportunity for you to find out about the company
  • interview skills
  • understand what to expect at a selection interview
  • know how to prepare effectively
  • gain an insight into possible questions
  • answering competency questions
  • know where to get help
  • types of interview
  • telephone
  • first
  • second
  • format
    • one to one
    • panel
    • competency based
    • technical
    • case study
  • preparation for an interview
  • “if you fail to prepare, be prepared to fail”
  • research the employer and the job
  • know your application inside out
  • why do you want the job?
  • your future ambitions
  • at least two examples of each skill they are seeking
  • in front of your mind
    • achievements – academic, employment etc….
    • strengths and “areas for development”
  • key preparation
  • what kind of interview will it be?
  • who will be doing the interview?
  • how are you going to travel to the interview?
    • where is it?
    • how long will it take to get here?
    • give yourself plenty of time
  • what will you wear (smart)?
  • more preparation on the
  • company and the job
  • what are the company’s values?
  • why are you interested in this company?
  • what will the job entail?
  • what questions are they likely to ask?
  • what do you want to know in more detail?
  • ..from the interviewer’s perspective
  • can you do the job?
    • ability, qualifications, knowledge, experience
  • will you do the job
    • motivation, attitude, enthusiasm
  • will you fit in?
    • personality
    • fit with the team
    • fit with the culture
  • practicalities
  • on the day
    • copy of CV/application and list of your questions
    • plan your journey
    • arrive 15 minutes early
    • switch off your phone
  • travel arrangements
    • check location
    • plan your route
    • check timetables/book ahead
    • trial run?
  • be polite to everyone
  • mental preparation
  • believe in yourself – think positive!
  • visualize a successful outcome
  • practice answering questions – talk to yourself
  • focus on your USPs
  • what are the questions you’d least like to answer?
  • types of questions
  • why this job? why this organisation?
  • open ended questions
    • “tell me about yourself”
    • “tell me about your course”
  • scenarios
    • “what would you do if..?”
    • “How would you..”
  • technical skills
    • specific to your area of expertise
    • specific to the job
    • your approach to technical problems
  • competency based
  • examples of
  • competency based questions
  • teamwork
    • “can you think of a recent example where you have worked effectively as part of a team? What was your role. What challenges did you face?”
  • communication
    • “describe a situation where you had to negotiate to achieve a desired outcome”
  • initiative
    • “give us an example of an occasion when you have come up with a new idea or process”
  • persuasion
    • “tell me about an occasion when you have persuaded others to adopt your course of action”
  • flexibility
    • “describe a time when you have had to deal with a changed direction or deadline mid way through”
  • follow the STAR
  • situation
    • what was the situation in the example?
  • task
    • what was the problem, goal or challenge?
  • action
    • what action did you take
    • be specific about your role
  • result
    • what was the outcome?
    • what would you do differently next time?
  • example of a
  • role specific competency question
  • for a role in customer services
  • “describe a situation where you had to deliver excellent customer service.”
  • hard questions (actually asked!)
  • if you were to win £1m what would you do with the money?
  • what do you think is the most useful function in Excel?
  • what is it about this job that you would least look forward to?
  • tell me about a time when you failed at something
  • how would you explain Facebook to your Grandma?
  • what have you done in the past to get out of a tricky situation?
  • what do you mean by “leadership”?
  • who is your biggest hero?
  • do you think the quality of our menswear products is as high as our home department products?
  • by what criteria do you judge your own performance?
  • what are your weaknesses?
  • how would your friends describe you?
  • where do you want to be in five year’s time?
  • what makes you get up in the morning?
  • obscure questions (actually asked!)
  • how do you fit a giraffe in a frig?
  • would you rather fight a horse sized duck or 100 duck-sized horses?
  • why is 99% not good enough?
  • how many ways can you get a needle out of a haystack?
  • in a fight between a lion and a tiger, who would win?
  • non-verbal communication
  • at least as important as verbal
  • firm handshake and genuine smile
  • appearance – neat, clean, polished
  • make and hold eye contact with the interviewer
  • confident tone of voice
  • speak clearly, measured pace and project your voice
  • sit with an alert but relaxed posture
  • demonstrate interest
  • first impressions count – the first five minutes are crucial
  • your questions for the interviewer
  • always have some interesting questions ready
  • do your research on the company – especially recent news
  • who, which departments would I be working with?
  • how do you see the company developing in the future?
  • what is the best thing about working here?
  • don’t ask about questions already answered in material sent to you e.g. pay, holidays
  • performing in the interview
  • keep calm, slow down
  • don’t fill the silences
  • never be derogatory – be positive
  • have answers to the obvious questions ready
  • give evidence for any assertions you make about yourself
  • positive body language
    • sit up straight, smile
    • try not to fold your arms or cross your legs
    • look at the interviewer
  • common causes of rejection at the interview stage
  • examples all from the same part of your life
  • not enough detail
  • too much detail
  • verbose, vague or woolly answers
  • irrelevant answers
  • not answering the questions asked
  • not convincing as to why you want the role
  • mumbling and muttering
  • poor body language
  • Have you ever had a bad experience with an employer?
  • “Yes. I had a temp job over the summer and my boss was away a lot, which meant I was basically expected to do her job as well as mine, and I was completely overloaded with really boring, mundane tasks. I posted something about the situation on my Facebook page and got the sack.”
  • what is wrong with this answer?
  • how could the question have been answered?

a better answer

  • “I had a summer office job and my boss was away a lot. That meant that I had to take responsibility for her work as well as mine, which gave me a lot of interesting experience. However I also had to do my own job and there was no extra support, so I was working late most evenings (without extra pay) and occasionally at weekends. I eventually found it too stressful and decided to leave. But I learnt a lot from that experience about managing time and the need to prioritise.”
  • end of the interview
  • thank them for seeing you
  • remain confident throughout
  • afterwards
    • reflect on and learn from the experience – what went well/less well, what will I do next time?
    • note any difficult questions
  • ask for feedback if you get rejected
  • telephone interviews
  • be flexible in arranging a time
  • take the call in a quiet room, no interruptions, table in front of you with paper and pen
  • have your CV/application form in front of you
  • have your examples for competency questions ready
  • listen carefully
  • speak clearly, don’t rush
  • don’t be afraid of silences
  • help with interviews
    • www.surrey.ac.uk/careers (including online videos)
    • www.prospects.ac.uk/interview_tips.htm
    • http://targetjobs.co.uk/careers-advice/interview-techniques
    • www.wikijob.co.uk/wiki/common-interview-questions
  • mock interviews – book through Careers Service
  • what are Assessment Centres?
  • a selection method consisting of a variety of exercises aimed at measuring your suitability for the job
  • usually last for a half or full day, occasionally two days
  • the exercises are aimed at measuring specific competencies
  • assessment centres are about:
  • Meeting people:
  • selectors, current graduates, senior staff, other candidates
  • Gathering information:
  • about the organisation, the job, and the working culture
  • Demonstrating your potential:
  • tests and exercises about your competencies
  • examples of exercises
  • which might be used
  • group discussions
  • personality and aptitude tests
  • in-tray exercise
  • presentations
  • role plays
  • case studies
  • interviews
  • written tests (drafting a letter or report)
  • social events
  • preparation
  • research the organisation’s website
  • draw up a list of your main strengths, focusing on those most relevant to what you have applied for
  • think of questions you may want to ask
  • plan to arrive in good time for the start
  • converse with other candidates - this will help break the ice when it comes to group exercises later 
  • your performance
  • you are not being assessed on what you know but on how you think. Be yourself
  • listen carefully to the instructions given to you at the start of the day and always read the information thoroughly
  • the assessment centre will give you a number of chances to show your strengths and meet their criteria
  • stay focused and motivated throughout the day
  • you are being measured, not against other candidates, but against certain criteria
  • structure of a typical one day assessment centre
  • 09.00 - 09.45          Arrival, administration,
  • ‘ice breaker’ introductions
  • 09.45 - 11.15          Psychometric Tests
  • 11.15 - 11.30          Coffee
  • 11.30 - 13.00          Group Exercise
  • 13.00 - 14.00          Lunch
  • 14.00 - 15.00          Presentations followed by
  • Interview 1
  • 15.00 - 15.15          Tea
  • 15.15 - 16.00          Interview 2
  • 16.00 - 17.00          Feedback on tests etc. and
  • final briefing
  • example structure of a two day Assessment Centre
  • Day One:
  • 14.00 – 15.00 Arrival, administration,
  • icebreaker, introductions
  • 15.00 – 15.30 Tea
  • 15.30 – 17.30 Tests (verbal, numeric, etc.)
  • 19.30 – 22.00 Informal dinner at hotel or
  • company premises
  • example structure of a two day Assessment Centre – day 2
  • 08.30 - 09.30 Test feedback
  • 09.30 – 10.30 Group Exercise # 1
  • 10.30 – 11.00 Coffee
  • 11.00 – 12.30 Group Exercise #2
  • 12.30 – 13.15 Lunch
  • 13.15 – 14.00 Group Exercise feedback
  • 14.00 – 15.45 Interviews (2 x 45 mins)
  • 15.45 – 16.15 Final Briefing
  • 16.15 Depart
  • typical competencies being assessed
  • interpersonal skills
  • team working skills
  • communication
  • problem solving
  • analytical thinking
  • time management
  • planning and organising
  • initiative
  • flexibility
  • business awareness
  • creativity
  • aptitude and psychometric tests
  • aptitude/ability
    • timed, multiple choice, often online.
    • test capability in numeracy, verbal reasoning, diagrammatic reasoning.
    • need to work quickly and accurately
    • you can practise!
  • personality questionnaires
    • establish your preferred style of working e.g. in a team or independently
    • you cannot really practise for these
  • aptitude tests – how can you practise?
  • take practise tests online - numerical, verbal, abstract reasoning.
    • www.surrey.ac.uk/careers
    • Click on link to ‘Practice Aptitude Tests’ for login details
  • practise online www.shldirect.com
  • BPS Testing Centre www.psychtesting.org.uk
  • group activities
  • leaderless discussion group
  • assigned group roles - each member of the team may be given a role to play
  • case study - undertaken individually or as a group
  • practical team exercises
    • both indoors and out
    • build something using restricted materials
    • teams may be in competition with each other
  • What are employers looking for in group exercises?
  • influence and persuasiveness
  • participation within the group
  • verbal fluency
  • quality of thought
  • determination
  • originality of ideas
  • open mindedness
  • facilitation of discussion
  • group discussions - tips
  • make an early contribution
  • listen, include others, summarise, compliment, build on what others have said
  • try not to interrupt
  • make interventions crisp and frequent
  • watch the time
  • be yourself
  • in-tray exercises
  • business simulation exercises
    • in-tray or electronic inbox full of emails, company memos, telephone messages, reports and correspondence
  • provided with information about the structure of the organisation and your place within it
  • you are expected to
    • take decisions
    • prioritise your workload
    • draft replies
    • delegate tasks
    • recommend actions
  • each exercise is designed to test how you handle complex information within a limited time.
  • may be asked to give a verbal or written report of your decisions/recommendations
  • in-tray exercises – tips and practice
  • fast-paced and evolving interactive e-tray exercise aiming to portray working life in the civil service:
    • http://faststream.civilservice.gov.uk/application-process/application-advice
  • Deloitte discuss the use of E-tray exercises in their recruitment process:
    • http://mycareer.deloitte.com/uk/en/university/apply-now/selection-process/etray-exercise-and-examples
  • www.assessmentday.co.uk/in-tray-exercise.htm
  • www.careers.manchester.ac.uk/students/applicationsinterviews/assessmentcentres (Click on ‘In-tray exercise guide’)
  • presentations
  • may receive topic in advance or on the day
  • find out if you can use visual aids and if so what equipment is available
  • practise out loud and keep to time
  • structure it with a clear introduction, middle and conclusion
  • try to keep to six main points
  • use cards as prompts
  • start with a good opening line
  • make eye contact
  • project your voice
  • smile and use humour if appropriate
  • make sure you know your material and be prepared for questions
  • written exercise or case study
  • you may have to write a summary of a report, if so keep it concise
  • use your judgement to analyse the text and only include what is relevant
  • demonstrate your clear thinking
  • use your imagination if asked for a solution
  • be diplomatic
  • watch the time – skim read long documents
  • essays/written exercises
  • write an essay or letter on a topic of your choice or one given by them
  • give you a document to review and improve
  • the selectors are testing
    • how you express yourself
    • your spelling
    • your grammar
    • whether you can communicate professionally and effectively
  • tips on tackling case studies #1
  • practise with sample case studies in advance
  • research the organisation, its markets and be up to speed on relevant current affairs
  • read the instructions carefully and thoroughly
  • read any background information you are given about the organisation, the staff and your role.
  • focus on key points and make brief notes to get a feel for what is important
  • tips on tackling case studies #2
  • scan through all items to get an overall view of everything that will need to be considered
  • stay calm
  • keep a note of the time and pace yourself correctly
  • work as quickly and as accurately as you can
  • when presenting your conclusions or discussing your rationale
    • be as clear as possible
    • don’t be afraid to disagree with the selector
  • role plays
  • for certain types of role e.g. customer facing posts, sales positions or human resource management roles
  • one to one situational role plays.
    • an assessor or fellow candidate may take the part of a customer or member of staff with you being required to deal with a particular problem
  • social events
  • remember that your social skills will be observed
  • be careful at dinner!
  • be equally nice to everyone you meet
  • ask employees about their own career paths and try to find out more about the organisation
  • final tips
  • you may not perform your best in one exercise but this does not mean that you will be rejected - it is your overall score that counts
  • it is not a competition - you will be successful if you meet the requirements
  • be yourself
  • useful resources - assessment centres
  • Careers Service: www.surrey.ac.uk/careers
    • Aptitude tests & online videos (including assessment centre video), information leaflets, events including assessment centre workshops
  • targetjobs: http://targetjobs.co.uk/careers-advice/assessment-centres
  • prospects: www.prospects.ac.uk
  • www.assessmentday.co.uk/assessmentcentre
  • www.ratemyapprenticeship.co.uk/articles/application-advice/assessment-centre
  • University of Kent Careers & Employability Service: www.kent.ac.uk/careers/selection.htm


Download 2.39 Mb.

Share with your friends:




The database is protected by copyright ©www.sckool.org 2023
send message

    Main page