HOW TO: Assessment Centres Guide by Tesco

How do I prepare?

-          Check the brief; Triple check the brief from the company inviting you to the assessment centre. Ensure you know exactly what is expected of you, you may need to prepare a document in advance. The brief may also give you hints on what they’re looking for, such as ‘creative’ or ‘analytical’ presentation.

-          Research Core Values and Skills; At Tesco we have 5 key leadership skills that align with our core values which can be found here. It’s likely that interview questions and group exercises will require examples of how you displayed these core values to show you’re the right person for the company.

-          Make the most of LinkedIn; LinkedIn can be used to research the company and find out the latest about their performance but also to find out about those running the assessment centres. Some of them may work within the function you’re applying for, and you could find common ground in your experiences.

What can I expect?

Every assessment centre is different but the day is likely to involve at least one if not all of the following parts:

-          Interview; Prepare answers for why you want to work for the company and the specific function. Here at Tesco, we have a wide range of graduate schemes and summer internships and we’re not expecting the same answer from all of our candidates! Another top tip is to prepare a question for the interviewer that is open ended and invites conversation. This can help to show your authenticity and a great opportunity to hear more about the company from an insider.

-          Presentation; You are likely to be asked to display your presentation skills throughout the day whether its prepared or improvised. Speaking louder than you might usually can help you to feel confident. Try to be open-minded when your points are challenged and incorporate their feedback in a positive manner.

-          Group exercise; Group exercises are all about being balanced.  The loudest person in the room rarely gets selected.  Equally, if you say nothing – we can’t score you!  There are subtle tips you can use to play an active role in a group discussion, without overpowering the conversation: regular time checks, encouraging less vocal members for their opinion and summarising the main points of the discussion.

Any extra tips for the day?

-          Set your mood; The important thing is to be yourself. A positive outlook on all tasks will help throughout the day. You want to show the best version of yourself, and give the assessors something impressive to remember about you!

-          Ask questions; The whole day is a two way process – it’s as much about you learning about the company, as it is for them to learn about you. Ask questions about topics you want to know more about and what really matters to you. For example, what is the culture of the business? Are there opportunities to get involved in societies? Assessment Centres are a chance for you to get a real feel for the company through their representative colleagues.

You can find out more about Tesco and our Early Careers opportunities here. If you are looking for further tips and insights feel free to contact the Enactus Team at Tesco by emailing Enactus@uk.tesco.com.