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Pre-Assessment Centre tips: application and phone interview

If you are reading this blog there is a good chance that you are an engineering student looking to gain some industrial experience over your next summer break. At the beginning of this year I was in the same boat; the options of where to apply are overwhelming! It is also difficult to know what is expected of you during the application and assessment process, and then what to expect on your actual placement. I hope my blogs will give you a quick insight into my personal experience from initial application to completing my application.

The Application

The summer placement starts with an online application form. It is fairly lengthy but very similar to the forms you will find for other similar placements. I found that the questions asked allowed me to adequately show my experience and skills with a bit of planning and some well-structured answers. Remember the Centrica Leadership Behaviours! However if you are anything like me take your time and triple check it; spelling and grammar skills can often be a bit rusty after three years of dealing with too many equations!

The Online Tests

Most similar internships will have some form of Psychometric testing and Centrica is no different. The key to these is Practice!Do the sample questions to death and look around online, there are plenty of opportunities to hone your skills. Also use applications for similar roles that you are not as keen on as further practice; complete these first and then apply for your favoured placement when you have mastered the testing.

The Phone Interview

This year I had my first experience of phone interviews. Personally I found them far more difficult than those that are face-to-face as it is tougher to read your interviewer and find areas of common interest. However this varies from student to student. In the end my interviewer turned out to be absolutely great and a real laugh. We got on really well and the interview felt more like a chat than anything else.

My advice for these would be to make sure you do your research on Centrica as a company and have a half decent idea of what the various areas of the company do. And perhaps more importantly list your experiences and achievements and align one to each Centrica Leadership Behaviour. Try and get them all in during the 30 (ish) minute interview. See a theme developing here?

See my next blog for tips on assessment centres!

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