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Excited about our ACA Graduate Assessment Day tomorrow!

We are ready for the big day tomorrow!  There’s always lots to do in preparation for graduate assessment days; select candidates to attend, prepare the paperwork, organise who is doing what and most importantly… arrange breakfast and lunch.

The assessment starts as soon as our candidates walk in the door.  We involve our Receptionists in the process by asking their thoughts on how the candidates introduced themselves and how well they interacted with each other.

The day starts with a presentation about Shipleys and discussing the ACA qualification, so it’s a good opportunity for candidates to ask questions.  We then split the candidates into two groups to work on the case study.

When we observe the candidates we are looking for their ability to facilitate discussion, generate sensible ideas, their communication skills, problem-solving approach, ability to work well in a team, their commercial awareness, ability to cope under pressure and their presentation skills.

After the group task, the candidates have lunch with some of our audit team, ranging from new trainees through to audit seniors.  They can ask the team as many silly questions as they like without worrying that it will form part of our decision.

The audit team do a tour around our office, with the most popular room being our basement which holds a pool table, table tennis, table football, sofas, huge TV and tuck shop.  We are a sociable bunch!

Whilst the candidates are busy with the audit team, the team of observers discuss the candidates’ performance in order to select who will go through to the afternoon interviews.  Once our decision is made, we then have the difficult task of letting the candidates know whether or not they have been successful.

We then spend the afternoon interviewing and aim to make a final decision by the end of the day.  It’s a tiring day, but so incredibly worth it when you can give someone the opportunity to start their career with an excellent firm such as Shipleys (I know – I am biased!).

My biggest bit of advice when you have been rejected, is to always ask for feedback on your performance.  The only way you can improve is to ask and work out how you can make those improvements.

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Jane managed the internal HR function for Shipleys LLP.