Tuesday 16th December 2015
Report by Rebecca Tatlow, CEPLER Correspondent
It is very difficult to stop yourself from being nervous before an Assessment Centre. Mostly because it matters so much but partly because they are very difficult to practise without help - group exercises are tricky to simulate on your own.
This is what made the Career's Network and CEPLER's Mock Assessment Centre, which took place in the week after the semester ended last year, so important to attend and so helpful. There was effort made by everyone involved to ensure that the experience was authentic. Therefore, it was a slightly apprehensive, though well-dressed, group of students who arrived, ready to be watched by a group of external assessors, solicitors and members of graduate recruitment who had kindly given up their time to make sure we had an accurate and beneficial experience.
All aspects of potential assessments, from the written and group exercises to networking lunches and breaks, were included. Moreover, after each session there was personal and nearly instantaneous feedback which you could use to chart your progress throughout the day. This was particularly useful since potential feedback from a law firm after a genuine assessment day is often delayed, making it harder to identify areas of improvement.
All the students who attended found this feedback extremely constructive and found that it made the day more about self-improvement than self-flagellation (surprisingly voluntarily undertaking assessments during the vacation is not always at the top of people's to do list).
I would definitely recommend the experience to anyone who is thinking of applying for a role where an assessment day forms part of the process or indeed anyone who is interested in how they are perceived by others. It was a fascinating and highly useful day. I still fully expect to be nervous before attending future assessment days but, having been through the experience once, I have confidence that I will present the best version of myself possible.