Graduate assessment. Candidates at table, assessor shaking hands individually

Graduate

This page focuses on options for designing and for using graduate assessments.

Graduate Assessment Design and Use

Graduate Interview tips

A well conducted interview should form the basis of every selection process, but it does have limitations because no matter how skilled the interview process is, it can still only collect self-reported information from the candidate, for example:

The panel might ask a candidate to give examples of problems they have tackled and explore their knowledge of problem solving techniques, but an assessment exercise which allows the candidate to demonstrate this ability in practice is likely to be more informative.

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Safer and Fairer Graduate Tests

Additional methods of assessment can, therefore:

  1. improve the quality and quantity of information on which to base the selection decision
  2. allow candidates to demonstrate how they meet requirements, rather than relying on self-report and performance at interview.

No perfect method of assessment exists, but the most effective way of predicting job performance is to use a mix of assessment methods and look at the results in an integrated way to build up a picture of the candidate. At the simplest level, this may involve no more than looking at examples of candidate’s past work (e.g. for a post which requires experience in producing clear and concise Committee reports, or information leaflets, publicity materials or instruction manuals). At its most complex and sophisticated it might be a full Assessment Centre using a range of tests and exercises for Senior Management positions.

Graduate assessment panel interview. Man and woman interviewing a candidate.

Graduate Assessment Panel Interviews

Panels need to decide if it is appropriate to use additional assessment techniques beyond the interview. Think about the job level, the pool of candidates you need to attract and the criteria you need to assess against. For many jobs, the interview alone will be the most appropriate approach.

  • For many basic level operative and clerical jobs, particularly where there is a constant need to recruit, the best method is to use the Fast Track to Interview approach, where all interested job seekers are automatically invited to interview, helped if necessary to complete a simplified application form and interviewed against the person specification without delay as the only method of assessment.
  • Recruitment initiatives targeting jobs to unemployed residents should not use methods of assessment beyond the interview, unless this is strictly essential. The interview should be conducted in as informal and encouraging way as possible.
  • It is not appropriate to use a battery of assessment techniques for jobs requiring basic level skills. Rather than enhance the outcome, this is more likely to put potential applicants off.
  • Never use assessment tools for their own sake. Selection decisions will only be enhanced if the assessment tool is really needed to get at information that cannot be obtained otherwise.
Graduate assessment quality standards. Man looking at laptop.

Graduate Test Quality Standards

In all cases ensure that:

Never just reuse tests or exercises without reviewing their effectiveness in the past.

  • Firstly, the choice and construction of each assessment method flows from the requirements of the job;
  • Secondly, the Job description and Person Specification have been reviewed and are up-to-date
  • Thirdly, tasks in assessment exercises compare with tasks found in the job;
  • Fourthly, tests and exercises assess requirements for the job, at the right level to do the job
  • When using a newly devised test or exercise, wherever possible pilot it with a group of existing employees in the area of work.
  • Always offer feedback on test and exercise results.
  • Never just reuse tests or exercises without reviewing their effectiveness in the past.

Verbal Reasoning practice test book

Firstly, Passing Verbal Reasoning Tests book.

Secondly, Passing Numerical reasoning Tests book.

Numerical Reasoning practice test book

Passing Numerical Reasoning Tests gif
Secondly, Passing Numerical Reasoning Tests book by Rob Williams

Our Other Graduate Careers Blogs

Graduate STEM Careers / Video Interview Tips / Top Graduate Salaries in 2019

Graduate Assessment Guide