How not to nail an Assessment Day

  • Emma Finamore
  • Last updated 09 Jul 2015

Want to fail at every turn, and definitely not land that dream job? Well, you’ve come to the right place…


An idiot’s guide to assessment days. Why, you ask? Just because.

Don’t prepare. At all. All jobs are pretty much the same, right? Your assessors will be dead impressed to see you winging it – showing your own initiative and general quick-thinking skills.

Dress however you like. Comfort is the name of the game. You can’t be expected to perform at the top of your game without your favourite baggy jeans (with stylish holes at the knee), with those lucky pants poking out at the top for good measure.

Don’t ask any questions. You want to look cool? Adopt an air of disinterested aloofness at all times, gaze wistfully out of the window and make absolutely no eye contact. Treat ‘em mean, keep ‘em keen – it’s not an old saying for nothing. They’ll be eating out of the palm of your hand in no time at all.

Don’t big yourself up. All those other candidates talking about their “relevant experience” and “enthusiasm” for the job just come across badly. You don’t want the assessors to think you’ve got a massive ego, do you? Well in that case, keep shtum. Your natural ability will simply shine through.

Take a back seat. During group exercises, lay back and let your colleagues do the hard work, so you don’t have to. It’ll show leadership skills: you’re all about delegation, delegation, delegation. What could be more professional than that?

Don’t make any friends. Being nice to the other people on the assessment day will only show weakness: strong characters don’t need friends. We suggest standing outside on all allocated break times, smoking a cigarette and playing with your phone.

Take everything you can get. Lunchtime buffet? Fill ‘er up. Don’t be shy about seconds, or thirds and fourths for that matter. The brain needs all the fuel it can get. And don’t worry about making sure everyone else has eaten too: it’s survival of the fittest out there.

Don’t say goodbye. Or thank you. Only people with loads of time on their hands bother with those sorts of niceties. You are a busy person – places to be, people to see – you don’t have a spare minute. Leave them wondering where it is you’re rushing off to, they’ll worry it’s another job interview and soon be panicked into offering you a spot.

Disclaimer: Please ignore all of the above. The summer heat has gone to our heads.


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