Tips for the best assessment centre dinner

Before going to an assessment centre, you might be invited to a dinner with the other candidates and the assessors. Here are some tips to make sure you make a good impression.assessment-centre-dinner--007

However obvious it might seem, be on time and dress to impress. Remember that first impressions count: it is important to portray a mature, friendly and open manner, so introduce yourself confidently with a firm handshake. Tell the audience something interesting about you. Be memorable but modest.

Don’t keep a low profile: remember that this is an opportunity to get noticed, and it will be noted if you are mingling with the group when you get the chance. Prepare some questions that you feel comfortable to ask other people in the group. Questions that start with what, why, how, where and when should get you off to a good start.

Megan Nee, consultant at Futureboard, says: “It doesn’t need to be all work focused – talk about more general topics of conversation to build rapport and allow the assessors a chance to see your personality.”

However, it is important to answer each question as if it could be used to evaluate you. While positive comments may not always be noted, negative ones will and could swing the assessors’ opinions when it comes to making the final cut.

Being polite and taking an interest in others – like the assessors and the other candidates – is essential. Furthermore, remember to treat everyone in a friendly, positive way – reception staff, waiters, bar staff, taxi drivers… It will be seen.

Be responsible: there are no bonus points awarded to the last person standing, so make sure you retire for the evening early enough to give yourself time to wind down, have a good night’s sleep and prepare the next morning.

Megan says the best plan of attack for the evening is being yourself at all times: “It’s much easier to be yourself, rather than putting on an act.  It’s very easy to fall into the trap of making assumptions about what the employer is looking for.”

She adds: “If you behave normally, you will come across as being a lot more relaxed and confident, and will therefore present a better picture of yourself.”

Throughout the evening and the assessment centre remember: you’ve been tested and interviewed and you’ve proven you’re good enough to be there. Good luck!

 Picture by: Guardian Careers


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