Tips for the Assessment Centre
So you’ve been invited to a Capgemini assessment centre to join the Junior Talent graduate scheme. You’ve prepared your material, you’ve done your research and you’ve checked the route or train time table numerous times. Maybe you’ve been to a few of these before and you have a good idea of what to expect. Although many of the exercises you will be assessed on are used by other companies and business units for their own graduate assessment centres these same tools can be used to capture a variety of different qualities and skills. The tips below won’t guarantee you a place in the Business & Technology Solutions (BTS) Junior Talent scheme but are useful across the board for all of the Capgemini business units and they will help give you an idea of what we’re looking for in assessment centres.
The Capgemini assessment centres for graduates are usually held in Woking (1, Forge End, South Rd, Woking GU21 4JP), it’s a short walk from Woking train station and the trains are very regular. The assessment centres start at 9am but it is recommended that you aim to arrive 15-20 minutes early to find your way there and to get to know your fellow candidates with whom you will be participating in a group exercise. As consultants we are often aiming to fit in with our clients’ culture and our attire on client site will reflect that. However, for the assessment centre you should try to look your best and showcase your professionalism.
The ability to easily strike up a conversation and be comfortable around new people is a highly valued skill amongst consultants. To this end, you should never see your fellow candidates as competitors to be cut down but rather as potential friends with which to showcase your social skills (this is doubly true for your interviewer and the other members of staff at the assessment centre).
Although being friendly and sociable is crucial, you should also always remain professional in your interactions. Amongst the key questions that are asked about each potential new joiner is:
“Can we put this person in front of a client on day 1?”
Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you have to know everything before you even start. What it does mean is that you will need to show that you know how to handle yourself in a structured professional environment. The projects you will work on will be varied and the clients will present different challenges so it is important to know that you will be able to handle these challenges in a way that is representative of our values. A good exercise for this is to think about how you would respond to a question to which you don’t know the answer.
Know our Values
Of course, before any assessment centre you should do some research on the role and the company. Familiarity with what we do and knowledge of how we do it is always an advantage. To this end you might find this brief video dedicated to discovering Capgemini in 10 simple steps useful.
As a part of your research, you should also make sure you are familiar with our core values. The 7 core Capgemini values are at the heart of everything we do; all of our employees embody each of them to a different degree and embracing these values enables us to work together and deliver excellence to our clients. You should consider each of our values and think about what these mean to you as well as how they fit into what we bring to our clients and how we interact with the people around us. Consider picking a handful of these, the ones that mean the most to you, and showing how these values underscore everything you do at the assessment centre and in life in general. For reference, the 7 core values are:
– Team Spirit
Once you’ve taken these in and really thought about what they mean to you are equipped to look into my next tip in earnest.
Be True to Yourself
I know, this sounds like a cliché, but it really is true. The assessment centre isn’t just aimed at assessing your skills, qualities and capabilities; it is also an opportunity to gauge whether you would truly be happy in the role. A less skilled colleague who truly enjoys his/her role will contribute to a positive and successful environment a lot more than a highly skilled individual who is deeply unhappy or unmotivated. So by not being true to yourself, you may only end up hurting yourself in the long run.
Conversely, the assessment centre (and the interview at the assessment centre) is also an opportunity for you to gauge whether the role is a good fit for you and your career aspirations. A current member of the BTS Junior Talent community attends each assessment centre and is there for you to discuss life within BTS, and at Capgemini in general, informally. So make sure you ask questions that are important to you and always remember that you are also assessing us.
By Lorenzo Squillante – LinkedIn