Q & A with Mick Hood, HR Director Liberty Steel: Part 4 Preparing for an assessment centre
In the fourth in this series of blog posts I ask Mick Hood, HR Director with Liberty Steel (formerly Tata Steel Europe), for more advice on assessment centres.
Mick has been involved in the running of graduate schemes for Times Top 100 employers for over ten years.
“Assessment centres can be daunting, and often it is the first time a graduate has had a proper job interview. What steps would you advise they take to prepare for the process?”
Verbal and numerical reasoning profiles are often daunting for people. I would always advocate practising online or using the Your Horizon suite of materials to practise with.
Leadership is a key attribute put to the test at an assessment centre. Graduates need to achieve a balance of leading when you can contribute and listening to seek understanding when you cannot.
Communication is as much about listening and understanding, so that you can be impactful when you do speak.
Consider what you have to talk about at interview, what sets you apart
Before an assessment centre consider your wider sphere of interests. I look for people who have wider interests such as travel, youth clubs, part time jobs and charity work. Consider what you have to talk about at interview, what sets you apart and what makes you interesting. The world is small now and there are no excuses for not getting involved in something broader than education.
Finally, graduates must start learning from failure. Learn from mistakes and show these learnings at an assessment centre. If you have had some failure in previous jobs, describe what you would do differently next time and what you have learnt.
For someone to progress they must learn from their mistakes and this is a great way to demonstrate this.
Questions asked by Jonathan Gallie, owner of Your Horizon.
All views and opinions contained within the article are those of Mick Hood, and are not associated with those of Liberty Steel.