The Dreaded Assessment Day

You’ve made the time to go searching the market, and by now you have a fair idea of what you would like to pursue.

You’ve also got a dynamite resume to get you started.

The only problem is, before you can make it through to the interviews, you have to make it through the dreaded Assessment Day!

Here are some hints and tips from experience to help you crush through it…

I used these tips personally to make it through my own assessment days, and 100% of those I mentored personally made it through theirs.


1. Pre Contact: Make sure you contact the host of the assessment day to obtain as much information, hints and tips they can provide you. There are often hints and tips only provided to those who take the time to ask


2. Relax: This is incredibly simple, but incredibly important. Woosaah…! When you get to the assessment day you are going to see lots of good looking, dressed up, intimidating people. The key is to take some time to relax before going in. Once in there, remember that the people next to you are just as nervous as you are. By relaxing, you are going to achieve two key things:

  • You will look more confident to the assessors
  • It will unlock your thinking to ensure you get off to a smooth start


3. Prepare: Before the assessment day, spend time thinking about real life examples where you have shown traits which relate to the role you are going for. Or, simply key achievements in life. The reason for this is:

  • Icebreakers are typically questions about your key achievements – you want them to be relevant
  • With real life experiences – you know them! You don’t need cue cards – you’ll be able to speak from memory, be less nervous and focus more on delivery than on the content
  • It will prepare you for your speech (if applicable)


4. Group work: is often a key make or break area. Think about what the assessor is trying to gain from you performing group work. They are generally trying to gauge your ability to:


  • Work effectively with a team
  • Think logically
  • Express your logical thoughts to influence team members – note – this comes more from logic than being the loudest!


The mistake many graduates make, is they assume if they can dominate the group and be the loudest member, they will be noticed. This is more often than not a negative thing.


5. Public Speaking: So you have made it through most of the assessment day, and now it is time for your speech (if applicable). The speech is one area where you can make your highest and most long lasting impact. The speech has the potential to win you a spot regardless of performance earlier in the day.


  • Relax before you start – again!
  • Devise a strong beginning to catch attention – a small amount of humour is always good. Summarise the key points you will talk about
  • For the body – remember the real life examples you collated before coming to the assessment day
  • Base your speech around just a few key points, illustrated using these examples
  • By doing this, you won’t need as many notes (try to do it with none at all). You know your real life examples, and therefore can talk more confidently and prompt yourself
  • Make sure the points relate specifically to the question, and to the career and focus
  • Summarise the points you spoke of, and reiterate why that means you are suitable/ answer the question!