Competition for jobs is high in the current market. Applicants need to find ways to stand out – even with the right qualifications – and employers need to find ways of identifying the best people for the role. Companies often recruit by running assessment centres where they measure the suitability of applicants by running a series of group exercises and tests. To help students prepare for this process, the GSM London Careers and Development department have devised the Assessment Centre Boot Camp.
John Liberty, Careers Advisor explains: ‘Assessment centres have become a common fixture in the recruitment process, but they can be a nerve racking experience and difficult to get right. This is an opportunity for students to experience a real assessment centre in a ‘safe’ environment. Only a limited number of students can take part, so the academic and careers staff nominate attendees for the Boot Camp. Often this is often students who have shown aptitude in their subject field and dedication to their career development.’
Andrew Falconer, Director of Careers and Employability introduced the day. It was comprised of sessions that covered the tests students could expect to encounter at an assessment centre – psychometric, logic and reasoning, group discussions and a briefing on how assessment centres work. The students were split into four groups that rotated between these sessions. Members of the Careers and Employability department and outsider assessors gave feedback on their performance.
According to Andrew: ‘The Assessment Centre Boot Camp allows students to test themselves, receive feedback and then using the results, build an action plan for how they can move forward afterwards.’
He adds: ‘As we have former recruiters in our department we’re able to recreate a near authentic assessment centre experience. It’s a unique opportunity.’
Both students and staff agreed that the day was educational and inspirational, and of course a great success.
John said: One of the most exciting things about today is seeing our students in action, working under pressure and then coming through and succeeding.’
Davina Jack, student said: ‘Each session has helped me to learn by observing myself and receiving feedback. I now know what my strengths and weaknesses are and where I need to improve.’
Jarem Andrewnwabuisi, student said: ‘It has been really useful and I now have a clearer idea about what is happening in the job market and how to prepare for it.’