At Morgan McKinley, we have recently introduced Assessment Days as a way of recruiting professionals into our business.
We have built these Assessment Days in such a way that their structure ensures that we can best assess candidates against our company values; their abilities to persuade and influence and, to gauge how these individuals would perform in a recruitment role and environment.
The most recent Assessment Day took place in January of this year. As facilitator of the day it was interesting to see the variety of people who attended; people with different backgrounds, different levels of experience, as well as different motivation and drive for wanting to work as a Recruitment Consultant. Following on from my experience with running this Assessment Day, I thought I would share some top tips for candidates attending an Assessment Day for a role in Recruitment:
- Be prepared. Do your research!
There is no point in turning up for an Assessment Day for a company which you know nothing about – this will become evident to the assessors immediately and give on an impression that you care very little about the role. It is also important to do your research on the role which you are being assessed for. If you know the names of who you are being assessed by then a little research into them wouldn’t hurt and will make you stand out – all it would take is a quick LinkedIn stalk!
- Practice. Part of an Assessment Day involves practical exercises to allow the assessors to ascertain your ability levels at a particular skill, in this case, sales. There will without a doubt be role plays which you will have to take part in. In these exercises you will be expected to show your influencing and your people skills which can be extremely daunting, especially for those who aren’t used to taking part in Assessment Days. A good idea would be to practice mock role play scenarios with a friend or family member before attending the Assessment Day will help – even speaking scenarios out loud will help you gauge what it will be like. You will be more relaxed and prepared on the day, which is already putting you one step ahead.
- Relax and be yourself. When you know you are being observed and assessed, one of the hardest things to do is to relax, however it is important that you do, as this will show the assessors your true self. It is of course important to be aware of the impression you are making, however it is also important to let your personality shine through.
- Listen. One of the most common mistakes I have witnessed is individuals using too much mouth and not enough ear during an Assessment Day. Although it is important to show your energy, your buzz and your enthusiasm on the day, it is also important to LISTEN. In the role of Recruitment Consultant, one of the most important things you will need to do is listen. You will be listening to your candidates, and you will be listening to your clients so that you can service both parties in the best way that you can. It is important to show your assessors that you are listening through your body language and through your reactions on the day.
- First impressions. First impressions count. You need to look smart and professional if you are interviewing with a corporate company. You also need to make an effort to make a good impression throughout the whole day, whoever you meet with. For example, at Morgan McKinley we look for candidates who share our values, and if this doesn’t come across in your personality, then you’re out.