Graduate Assessment Centre - How to get through the final stage!

Jade Yorke

Sales Account Executive (Enterprise and Partner Group)
2014/15 Graduate Hire

Congratulations! If you are reading this you have probablyreached the assessment centrestage of the applicationprocess. For me, this was the part I was most excitedabout(and certainly most nervous), because it gives you the opportunity to show the hiring managers and assessors why you are the best candidate for the role in a face to face setting. My generic (yet still very important!) assessment centre advice points would be: dress the part, good handshake, come prepared, be yourself, know your CV, arrive on time, SMILE! But let’s get down to the specifics that I wish someone could have told me…

Think before you speak

It’s going to be a long day of meeting new people and completing various assessed tasks and activities. Think carefully about how you articulate yourself in all aspects from interview to group work. Speak confidently, clearly and concisely – and feel free to ask an interviewer for a moment to reflect upon a question before you start to answer.

Show your passion

This is one of our corporate values and something which I believe is really important to demonstrate. This should come naturally if you are discussing a topic, product, idea, or belief which you truly stand behind. Think about what is on your CV and what you have achieved either academically or personally – and convey your passion through your body language and the enthusiasm with which you articulate your answer.

Big yourself up!

The assessment centre is your chance to showcase the best of you. Many of us have a tendency to be more modest when it concerns our achievements, but in an assessment centre I would encourage you to be able to talk about yourself and a variety of accomplishments with great enthusiasm, showcase your in-depth knowledge and be proud of your successes.

Jade YorkeKnow Microsoft

It sounds obvious but I cannot stress how essential it is to be able to discuss our business, our initiatives, new products and relevant industry insight. Know the basics, such as our new developments like Cortana, Microsoft Band, and Cities Unlocked – but more importantly think outside the box. If something has piqued your interest for example on the Microsoft Instagram account, be able to discuss it. It’s a breath of fresh air and shows a deeper understanding of our company.

Stay Focused

During the day there will be several rounds of activities to complete. My advice would be complete your prep work thoroughly and think differently- Can you bring a new idea, opinion, or piece of information which other candidates have bypassed? This is a great chance to show your creativity regarding presenting your ideas, and think ahead to what questions you may be asked and how you would respond.

Our corporate culture and values revolve around every member of Microsoft working together as one to achieve our goals. Positive attitude and teamwork is therefore key in group tasks. I promise our hiring managers are not here to catch you out! Everyone is genuine, friendly, open and honest –so bring these qualities on the day.

I wish you the very best of luck! :-)

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