Practice makes perfect: Unipart’s mock assessment centres for graduates and assessors

April 12 2016

For many graduates the assessment process operated by most organisations is daunting, unfamiliar and represents a stressful obstacle in their job searching.

Conscious of this, the Graduate Recruitment team at Unipart decided to begin hosting a series of a ‘mock’ assessment centres.  These mock assessments are designed to provide undergraduates with the opportunity to experience an assessment centre in a safe environment where honest, but constructive feedback, can be given to them by experienced assessors.

“I just wanted to send a quick email to thank you (and all the assessors). It was such a fantastic learning experience and has really helped me gain a lot of confidence for any interviews and assessment centres I do in the future.” Participant.

The mock assessments include all the  key elements that a graduate might face when applying for a role such as; completion of a thorough application form, construction of a CV, online testing and profiling, an observed Group Exercise, structured interview, preparation and delivery of a presentation and sitting down to lunch with Assessors.  Feedback was given ‘in the moment’ throughout the day, as well as after the event so the participants could really start to understand the process and what assessors are looking for.  For them, the opportunity to experience and practice the assessment exercises first hand and receive honest feedback from experienced assessors is invaluable.

“I've been to a couple of assessment centres and had so many interviews and applications in the last 6 months that have been rejected with no feedback that I had actually given up… So having this opportunity and such positive feedback and constructive criticism from the team has been a real confidence booster.  Thank you.” Participant

As well as supporting future talent, this process presented the Graduate recruitment team with an opportunity to expand and develop assessment skills across Unipart. At the mock assessment inexperienced assessors were paired up with more experienced ones to give them the chance to practice. This led to more employees being engaged in recruitment from across the company, increasing the pool of potential assessors for the Unipart Graduate Scheme by more than double.

“The results exceeded all expectation. For the Unipart team these mock assessments proved to be a truly rewarding opportunity to genuinely help someone; and the Graduate team have easily doubled their cohort of assessors.” Deborah Astles, HR Director, Corporate Responsibility & Policy, Unipart Group

Based on this success Unipart are now looking to expand the programme further and encourage local HR teams to also offer mock ‘Apprentice’ assessments.