Even though Boris announced the end of lockdown in the coming months (yay), sadly virtual EVERYTHING is still among us whether we want it or not. This unfortunately also includes virtual assessment centres...
Yes we know, looking for a job may be the last thing on your mind right now, but hopefully if you’ve come to this post it means you’ve almost landed a job or internship, so congrats! But now comes the daunting task of trying to nail your virtual assessment centre and on top of it all, it’s on Zoom, so it's nothing like you may have experienced before.
But fear not, we’ve got you covered. Charlotte, our CEO, recently completed a virtual assessment centre for a grad scheme and has put together her top 5 tips to nail your virtual assessment centre!
Tip 1: Prep, Prep, Prep your equipment
We know prepping is a given and that the age old advice of researching the company and practicing for their questions goes without saying; but you’ve now got one more thing to worry about (or more like a million different things). These include but are not limited to:
- Poor WiFi connection
- Your laptop being sufficiently charged
- Having the correct software installed
- Your neighbours randomly deciding to drill into their walls
- A surprise power outage
- Your cat walking across your keyboard (Charlotte can testify that this happens more often than you'd think)
So make your life easier and double, even triple, check everything is working a few days before the virtual assessment centre. For example, check you can share your screen on Zoom or Teams (depending on what platform they use), or kindly ask to your flatmates (or parents) to hold off from using the Wifi if possible during that time (TikTok and YouTube cooking videos can wait). All these little things you can do before will mean you’ll have less to stress about on your big day.
Tip 2: Turn that camera on! (First)
Get there early! And by early, we mean enter the virtual room early. You don’t have to commute and get the sweaty tube so no excuse being late. If it starts at 11am make sure to log on at 10:55am latest. This will show you’re eager and help you stand out. Similarly, if you get a break during the virtual assessment centre and turn your camera off, be the first to turn it back on when you return from the break. Usually, as soon as you do this everyone else will rush to turn there’s on. Again, you’ll stand out and this will show you take initiative.
As Boris said a few months back “Stay Alert”!
Tip 3: Be OVER THE TOP (but not too much)
Sorry to break it to you but a 2D pixelated
version of your head and shoulders is not as engaging or memorable as the real you. This is why you need to look even more engaged than you traditionally would. So smile, nod and try not to let your eyes wonder. They can only see your face on the screen so they can easily tell if your mind is elsewhere.
Tip 4: Don’t forget someone is always watching
Similarly to the point above, during a virtual assessment centre, there is no one point where you’re not being watched. We know… creepy, but true. Even when working in breakout rooms it may seem like you’re sheltered from the recruiters, but usually they’re there, secretly watching you with their cameras off (1984 much....). But what if you’ve noticed that they’ve left and want to take a little break while everyone else does the work? Well, nothing stops them from watching the recording after. So as Boris said a few months back “Stay Alert”!
Smile, nod and try not to let your eyes wonder. They can only see your face on the screen so they can easily tell if your mind is elsewhere.
Tip 5: Say Thanks!
Turning off your camera after that 3-4h Zoom call will send a wave of relief through your body, but before you open that can of beer (or apple juice for the wise ones out there) send a quick email or LinkedIn message to the recruiters who hosted the virtual assessment centre. All you need to do is say thanks and wish them the best and trust us, this will make you stand out.
Tip 6: (an extra tip?! How kind of us): BE YOURSELF
We know, we know, very cliché but this can’t be more true. Even though there’s a lot to think about, try to be yourself and be as natural as possible. At the end of the day these people want to know whether you’re a good fit for the company. If you’ve gotten this far it should mean you’ve got all the required skills and fit the job specification on paper so now’s your time to shine and show them who you are and how you work. So be yourself and try to enjoy the day. If anything, think of it as an excuse not to do any uni work.
We hope this was helpful and if you want even more tips, check out Charlotte’s latest YouTube video where she goes in even more detail on how to do well during your virtual assessment centre. You can check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oie6T9t54dA&t=4s
While you're here, check out our previous post where we introduced Becca, the CTO of UniMate and our other post on the newest UniMate app features (exciting!!) so that you remain energised. Make sure to keep in touch with us on our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to find out more student life tips and other fun content!