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Top tips for your assessment day

18 Apr

For graduates, this time of the year can be stressful, daunting and potentially exciting. That’s because it’s graduate recruitment time, when many organisations open up assessment centres in a bid to secure bright and brilliant young people for their companies.

At IFDS, we look for graduates who not only do well academically but also have an engaging and interesting presentation technique. We hire people who have both style and substance in their approach to work, and we think we recruit some of the best young people in the country. So could you be next?

If you’re approaching your first assessment day, it’s natural to be a little apprehensive. However, with some careful preparation and a dash of confidence, you can expect a smooth and hopefully successful journey. Here are our top tips to get you started.

Know what to expect

Our IFDS assessment days usually run from 10am to 4pm and involve presentations in groups of around 10-20 people along with 1:1 or 2:1 interviews with a senior department member. There will also be team exercises to test your ability to work within a group.

You’ll need to demonstrate both teamwork and individual excellence during the assessment day, and we’re really interested in people who not only present compelling information but do so in a way that is engaging and interesting. We’ll send out your presentation question ahead of the big day, and this will be tailored to the area you’re applying for and its relevance to your degree subject.

In order to be invited to our assessment day you’ll need to complete ability tests that we provide to you. There will be more tests on the day – but don’t forget to have fun, too!

Keep us interested

As already mentioned, it’s important to have good content and be knowledgeable in your chosen subjects. IFDS candidates not only need to do this, but also demonstrate the ability to present information in a way that holds the audience’s attention and engages them. We recommend practicing in front of other people before you get to the assessment day, asking for feedback on your presentation style and the content itself. If your presentation feels stiff, stale, too wordy or you’re not confident in its delivery, hone and craft it until you’ve got something you’re really proud of.

Mix and mingle

It’s no secret that assessment centres often involve a social element, which can be structured in an informal lunch or break session. Be yourself during your interaction with others and show us your ability to communicate and be a team player. Treat fellow candidates as potential team members rather than threats and try to demonstrate your relationship building skills where appropriate. We’ll be looking to see how you’d fit in with the IFDS team and that you’re confident interacting with a variety of different people.

You’ll also have the chance to speak with current graduate staff over lunch, giving you valuable insight into their experiences with IFDS.

Do your research

One of the best things you can do when you’re preparing for an assessment centre is research the company as much as you can. Find out why you want to work there, what it offers graduates and think about specific knowledge and skills you can bring to the organisation. Try to show us that you know our company and you’ve thought about how you’d fit in to the IFDS team. If you can come up with questions you’d like to ask assessors on the day, we’d love to hear them.

Why join IFDS as a graduate?

IFDS is the world’s leading provider of investor record keeping services and technology solutions. We’re one of the UK’s fastest growing financial service organisations and we’re always on the lookout for talented people.

Our Graduate programme spans two years with the view to move into a managerial position afterwards. You’ll receive full regulatory and industry training, financial services training, product suite training and soft skills training, giving you all the necessary skills to excel in the workforce.

Want to know more?

Find out more about interviewing for and working at IFDS here and here. We look forward to meeting you!

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