Capgemini Test Analyst and previous graduate, Hayley Creighton, advises on key ways for graduates to succeed with assessment centres and job applications


Capgemini Test Analyst gives assessment advice for graduates

Capgemini Test Analyst gives assessment advice for graduates

 September 29, 2020

Hayley Creighton, Capgemini Test Analyst and previous graduate, discusses the key ways she succeeded at a Capgemini assessment centre and offers advice for future graduates considering applying.

"Quite often in both my personal and professional life I’m asked the golden question; how can I succeed at an Assessment Centre? This is usually followed up with 'What are they looking for?'" Hayley writes.

"Assessment Centres are often one of the most intimidating and anxiety inducing steps in the process of applying for Entry Level Jobs. In most cases, you’ll experience more than one, each one different from the other with its own unique approach to assessing the candidates. I wanted to share my own experience of my journey and what I think, is fundamental to passing Assessment Centres and landing a job you’re happy with."


Wanting to be her authentic self

Four years ago, Hayley was applying for Graduate Level jobs and was on her way back from her third Assessment Centre in two months - which she describes as "a particularly brutal one".  

The day started off with over 30 candidates, but every couple of hours there were up to 10 participants eliminated, based on how they had performed in the previous task.

"This came with no feedback, a polite explanation that you weren’t suitable for the role and a “Thanks for coming”. I was on the train back home, having made it to the final 5 but with a feeling of unease about the whole experience," Hayley describes.

"I had quickly worked out what qualities they were looking for in a person, and changed my behaviour to avoid being eliminated. I had gotten through the Assessment Centre not being myself."

"When the offer came through for that job – I turned it down. If I was feeling uneasy about not being my authentic self for half a day, how could I possibly make a career out of it?"

Invited to a Capgemini Assessment Centre

It was after that realisation that Hayley promised herself in future Assessment Centres to not try to dissect what the company is looking for but instead show them why they should hire and invest in her.

A few months later, she was invited to the Capgemini Assessment Centre after getting past the initial stages in a Test Analyst role. She was told a few weeks beforehand that she'd have 15 minutes to present why she was ideal for the role and a little bit about herself.

"I had researched Capgemini beforehand, especially the seven values and decided that I immediately didn’t want to do a PowerPoint but instead showcase the skills that reflected their values that I believed that I already had. Creativity being the driving force," she explains.

An unusual assessment approach

Because she was going for a testing role, she had bought two boxes. One was a clear white box, so you could see the contents inside. This was to represent her testing knowledge, and white-box testing; which is a principle in testing where you can see the contents of the system under test. In the white box, she had little props to pull out and talk about. Everything in the white box was things that were known as part of her application – she had a scroll (to represent her degree), a rank slide (work history in the Army) and a mini certificate (additional qualifications).

The other box was black, so you couldn’t see the content inside. This was black-box testing, where you can’t see the contents of the system under test. In this box, she put props in to represent everything about her that wasn’t known to the company. For example – a globe (willing to work internationally), paperclips (strong member of a team) and a badge of Rosie the Riveter (belief in gender equality).

"With each prop, I talked through what they represented and how they related to the company values and the testing role I was going for. I made sure I had an idea of what I wanted to say, but didn’t over-rehearse, so that I could answer questions and have a conversation naturally," Hayley says. 

When Hayley turned up to the Capgemini Assessment Centre, she was the only person without a laptop bag in tow and immediately felt uncomfortable; like she'd made a huge mistake. But the presentation went smoothly and she could strike up a conversation around the props.

"I think it’s fair to say they weren’t expecting it," she adds.

Demonstrate what makes you unique

For Hayley, there is no magic formula when it comes to Assessment Centres.

"Every company will be looking for something different – and that’s not for you to figure out as part of the recruitment process. Don’t dull what makes you individual and makes you unique because you think that’s what should happen. Be yourself, not what you think they want to see," she explains.

"Ask yourself, if you can’t be you true and authentic self at an Assessment Centre, would you really enjoy working there?"


Feeling ready to apply for a Capgemini role?

Capgemini has shared further brilliant advice on how to ace your assessment centre experience. 

Use this, along with Hayley's insights, to give you the confidence when applying for your job at Capgemini.

 

Find out more

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