7 Tips for Online Graduate Assessment Centres from an Experienced Interviewer

Introduction: Graduate Assessment Centres represent a crucial step in the interview process for those aspiring to join graduate schemes. These centers can be intimidating for candidates, requiring a delicate balance between standing out from the competition and showcasing effective teamwork. Drawing on my experience as an interviewer at Deloitte, particularly in evaluating candidates for software engineering roles, I’ve identified key factors contributing to success. In this article, I’ll share seven valuable tips to help candidates prepare for online graduate assessment centres.

  1. Environment & Set-Up: Get the Basics Right

    • Ensure a distraction-free space with good internet speed.
    • Experiment with different locations to find where you’re most comfortable.
    • A well-prepared environment allows you to focus on tasks during the assessment.Software Development Environment Setup – How We Do It - Develtio
  2. Group Exercises: Contribute & Facilitate

    • Demonstrate confidence by sharing thoughts and leading discussions.
    • Foster collaboration by supporting fellow candidates in reaching a consensus.
    • An active role in group exercises leaves a lasting impression on interviewers.
  3. Individual Exercises: Think Outside the Box

    • Provide unique and valuable insights during individual tasks.
    • Differentiate yourself by offering perspectives not commonly expressed.
    • Authenticity is key; don’t force uniqueness but seize opportunities to stand out genuinely.
  4. Evidence Based Questions: Don’t Force It

    • Avoid relying on memorized examples that don’t align with the question.
    • Take a moment to think before delivering a genuine, relevant response.
    • Demonstrate quick thinking and the ability to answer questions effectively.Type of Question & Type of Study - Evidence Based Practice - Library Guides  at Des Moines University
  5. Passion Shines Through

    • Genuine passion goes beyond memorized facts; showcase your invested hours and experiences.
    • Align your passion with the job role to stand out from other candidates.
    • Demonstrating a deep interest in the field can set you apart during the assessment.
  6. The Perfect Answer

    • Focus on clear arguments and insights, as the journey to the answer often matters more than the answer itself.
    • In situations with multiple correct answers, emphasize how well you communicate your preferences.
    • Stress less about finding the perfect answer and more on presenting your chosen solution effectively.
  7. Pace Yourself

    • Graduate assessment centres can be full-day experiences; pace yourself accordingly.
    • Take breaks, eat well, and stay hydrated to maintain mental energy.
    • Consistent high performance across the entire assessment day is crucial for success.Pace Yourself" Images – Browse 11 Stock Photos, Vectors, and Video | Adobe  Stock
    • Navigating a full day of a graduate assessment centre demands not just intellectual prowess but also physical and mental stamina. As the hours unfold, candidates often find themselves immersed in a series of challenging tasks, group activities, and individual assessments. To truly excel, it’s imperative to adopt a strategic approach that extends beyond mere cognitive preparation.

      Taking Breaks: Recognizing the importance of periodic breaks is paramount. Whether it’s a short stroll, a moment of relaxation, or a quick snack, these intervals play a crucial role in preventing mental fatigue. By stepping away from the intensity of the assessments, candidates can recharge their minds, maintain focus, and approach subsequent tasks with renewed vigor.

      Nutrition Matters: In the rush to impress, candidates might overlook the impact of nutrition on cognitive function. Consuming a balanced and nutritious meal can provide sustained energy throughout the day. Opt for foods that release energy slowly, such as whole grains, fruits, and lean proteins. This mindful approach to nutrition can contribute to heightened concentration and sustained mental acuity.

      Stay Hydrated: The importance of staying hydrated cannot be overstated. Dehydration can lead to diminished cognitive abilities, affecting problem-solving skills and overall performance. Make it a point to have water readily available and take regular sips to ensure optimal hydration levels. A well-hydrated mind is better equipped to handle the complexities of assessment tasks.

      Consistency is Key: While it’s natural to want to make a striking impression early in the day, maintaining that level of performance is equally critical. Consistency across all tasks showcases your ability to handle pressure and deliver results consistently. Pace yourself deliberately, allotting time efficiently for each task, and avoid burnout by distributing your energy wisely.

      Strategic Time Management: Consider the assessment day as a marathon, not a sprint. Prioritize tasks, allocate time effectively, and avoid dwelling excessively on any single challenge. Strategic time management ensures that you approach each task with a fresh perspective, preventing mental fatigue from compromising your performance.

      In conclusion, the journey through a graduate assessment centre is a holistic experience that demands not only intellectual prowess but also a keen awareness of one’s physical and mental well-being. By incorporating breaks, maintaining a nutritious diet, staying hydrated, and adopting a consistent and strategic approach, candidates can optimize their performance throughout the entire day. Remember, a well-paced and resilient effort across all assessments is the key to leaving a lasting and positive impression on interviewers.


Preparing for a graduate assessment centre is a challenging yet rewarding endeavor. While success cannot be guaranteed, following these seven tips, derived from firsthand experiences, can significantly enhance your performance. Remember, thorough preparation aligned with the right mindset can make a substantial difference during the interview process, setting you on a path towards success in any industry or company.

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