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About this book

With more students graduating than ever, it's imperative to get ahead in the graduate job market. This book guides you through interviews and assessment centres and teaches you how to succeed. Featuring practical exercises and advice from both employers and graduates, it's an invaluable resource for opening the door to your career.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. The employer perspective

Abstract
Human beings have a habit of seeing things from a single, almost tunnel-like perspective. This is good when you need to concentrate on one thing alone. It has its drawbacks though. It can mean you take in just part of the information you need, without taking into account other perspectives. These other perspectives can be illuminating.
Kathleen Houston, Eileen Cunningham

Chapter 2. Getting selected

Abstract
Getting selected is the goal of the whole assessment centre and interview process. It can involve passing successfully through a series of recruitment stages and/or making it through to a final job offer.
Kathleen Houston, Eileen Cunningham

Chapter 3. Psychometrics and assessment day tests

Abstract
The whole process of recruitment is about assessment of applicants. Two-thirds of employers use an assessment centre process to recruit staff, particularly graduates and managers (Personnel Today 2011)1.
Kathleen Houston, Eileen Cunningham

Chapter 4. Numerical ability assessments

Abstract
Love them or loathe them, numerical ability assessments are an increasingly popular selection tool. There is a very good chance that you will encounter them as part of the assessment process.
Kathleen Houston, Eileen Cunningham

Chapter 5. Verbal reasoning assessments

Abstract
It’s hard to think of any job which doesn’t require the ability to communicate using language. That’s why you are very likely to encounter an assessment of your verbal reasoning in an assessment centre.
Kathleen Houston, Eileen Cunningham

Chapter 6. Observation by assessors

Abstract
You’re an alien on a strange planet. You’re being watched. It’s quite disturbing to be examined in this way. It’s not the same as being noticed. It’s the feeling of being scrutinised.
Kathleen Houston, Eileen Cunningham

Chapter 7. Assessment day — group exercises

Abstract
The most common aspect of an assessment day is a group exercise of some kind. Remember that 79% of major recruiters (2014)1 use a group assessment.
Kathleen Houston, Eileen Cunningham

Chapter 8. Assessment day — other activities

Abstract
An assessment day can be an up-and-down experience. Things can go well for a moment, and then something goes slightly less well. This variability can be unsettling. You might find you like one type of exercise and dread another.
Kathleen Houston, Eileen Cunningham

Chapter 9. Presentations — prepared or unprepared

Abstract
Take a poll of 10 friends. Find out who actually likes delivering a presentation. You’ll be lucky to find three who enjoy the experience. So why does the requirement to deliver a presentation have such a bad vibe?
Kathleen Houston, Eileen Cunningham

Chapter 10. The interview questions

Abstract
Questions are a daily ritual, the most powerful constant in communication. Without questions, verbal communication would grind to a halt. You use and respond to questions every day, without much angst.
Kathleen Houston, Eileen Cunningham

Chapter 11. Interview preparation

Abstract
Think back to your first day at university. For most students, it involves a bombardment of new experiences and quickly established friendships.
Kathleen Houston, Eileen Cunningham

Chapter 11. Peak performance

Abstract
The ‘performance’ word can be a problem. It seems that as a candidate you are constantly exhorted to be yourself. At the same time, you are assessed on your ‘performance’, which has a hint of something undignified and false.
Kathleen Houston, Eileen Cunningham
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