How to Ace your Graduate Virtual Assessment Centre in 2021

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Assessment Centres can feel pretty daunting, especially now with the added element of completing the Assessment Centre virtually. Having completed my Virtual Assessment Centre in August 2020, I thought it was about time to shed some light on this hot topic.

What is a Virtual Assessment Centre?

Due to Government guidelines, Capgemini have swapped physical Assessment Centres for Virtual Assessment Centres (VAC’s) for the time being.

This means that you’ll ‘attend’ your Assessment Centre via a video conference as opposed to heading to our office and attending in-person. Ultimately, you’re able to partake in the VAC from the comfort of your own home and you don’t have to stress about travel times!

How do you prepare for a Virtual Assessment Centre?

Research is a great way to expand your knowledge about the company and figure out if you think you’re a good fit for the company, too. Understanding the company values is also key to finding out if you’ll be a good cultural fit. You can find Capgemini’s values here.

Refresh your mind on the role that you are aiming for by re-reading the job description. It sounds pretty obvious, but it can really help you to think about why you’d be a good fit for the role.

Write down a few situations either from university, previous work, or another circumstance where you have demonstrated skills relevant to the role or the company’s values. These anecdotes are great to have in your back pocket when in the 121 interview. Recent company projects that genuinely interest you can be helpful to reference in your interview as a way of demonstrating your personal interest.

If you’ve applied for the Invent Accelerate Graduate Programme, each VAC will usually be geared towards a certain Capability Unit, so make sure that you’re clued up about the business area that you’re interviewing for. You can find out more about each Capability Unit here.

Briefing call

A briefing call will take place a few days before the Virtual Assessment Centre. This is to run through what to expect from your VAC and a chance for you to ask any questions regarding the VAC.

The briefing call really put my mind at ease and made me feel much more comfortable ahead of the VAC. It was also helpful to get familiar with the video conferencing software which can be a bit tricky.

Checklist for the day of the Virtual Assessment Centre:

  • Make sure that you’re seated in a quiet room with good lighting.
  • You should be dressed in smart workwear. Luckily, you don’t have to worry about wearing work shoes!
  • Let your family or the people you’re living with know that you’re going to be busy for the next few hours, so they don’t disturb you during your VAC. You don’t want to be interrupted and lose your train of thought.
  • Have a glass of water at the ready – when I was in my VAC I kept getting a dry mouth due to nerves!

What to expect during the Virtual Assessment Centre

Initially, the leadership team will introduce themselves and give you an overview of what to expect from the VAC. You’ll also have a chance to introduce yourself to the team and the other candidates. The leadership team will then give a presentation about the CU that you are interviewing for, so you can further understand the business unit and the role at hand.

The remainder of your VAC will revolve around 2 short exercises: the group exercise and the 121 interview.

You will be split into small teams for the group exercise. I personally really enjoyed the group exercise, I felt at ease with my fellow candidates and the task was challenging but fun.

When you’re not in one of the two short exercises, you have the chance to chat to a graduate who is already on the graduate scheme. This part of the VAC was a great way to gain insight into what you could potentially be doing at Capgemini. It was also nice to take a breather from the formal exercises whilst getting to know the other candidates and the graduate.

The other main task is the one to one interview with someone from the leadership team. I’ll be honest, I was pretty nervous at the beginning of the interview but after a few minutes of chit chat I became more relaxed.

Essentially this is your time to demonstrate the qualities that make you special. Usually, the questions will be general with a few based on the Capability Unit you have applied or been put forward for. Where possible, use anecdotes about real situations that you have been in, it’s good practice so that you can back up any points you make with actual examples. When I applied, I didn’t have much previous work experience, so I used examples from university, my travels and my personal hobbies.

Ultimately the interviewer wants to get a good idea of who you are as a person, not just as an employee.

That sums up the key points of a VAC. My best advice is to be yourself and enjoy the experience!

Good luck!

I hope this has helped to put your mind at ease for your upcoming VAC.

If you’re interested in applying for the Invent Accelerate Graduate scheme, please register your interest here.

Author


Zoё Smurthwaite – Associate Consultant

Zoё joined Capgemini Invent on the Invent Accelerate Graduate scheme in September 2020 with Future of Technology. She is enjoying her current role as a UX designer in the public sector.

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