STEM Graduate tests. Graduates studying in library.

Grad potential

Welcome to our latest feature on assessing potential – Graduate Potential – following our assessing leadership potential and assessing digital potential articles.

Combining psychometrics with assessment exercises is a very reliable means of assessing graduate potential. Well-designed recruitment stages can focus specifically on a future-focused company’s key high potential leadership qualities.  

According to the Harvard Business Review, 40% of businesses incorrectly identify their graduate potential. High potential employees are notoriously difficult to identify without psychometric assessment.

Bespoke graduate assessment designs

Designing graduate psychometric tests is our speciality. With a bespoke psychometric test, organisations can design the content of their test(s) to match their own industry sector.

Verbal reasoning test practice for graduates

  • Customer service roles

Effective oral communication is the key to handling customer queries or sales calls. Talking to customers on the phone or face to face demands a flexible communication style. For example, telesales personnel would be expected to respond differently to a customer who was complaining than to one who was a prospective sale. Persuasive presentation skills also rely upon a solid foundation of verbal reasoning skills.

Graduate Verbal reasoning test practice

  • PA or administrative roles

A PA’s responsibilities typically include written correspondence. For example, letters and emails, which need to use an appropriate tone and level for the intended audience. Administrative roles also need to check written documents. Also, to file these accurately. Plus, to keep on top of plans and procedures that have been agreed orally or in writing.

Verbal reasoning practice tests for graduates

  • Sales roles

Effective oral communication is the key to converting sales call prospects. In particular, sales roles in call centres which require an even more fluent style of communication style.

Graduate assessment design

At a time when the graduate market is at its most competitive it pays for all graduates to perform their best on these psychometric tests. It makes sense to be prepared. Fortunately, there is a wide variety of practice material available, allowing graduates to familiarize themselves with the sort of tests they’ll encounter as part of the recruitment process.

Graduate recruiters who want to minimise recruitment costs see online ability tests as an efficient and effective means of sifting the initial applicant pool. Verbal and numerical reasoning tests offer a reliable and standardised way to ensure that an optimal number of good candidates are seen by the business at the much more expensive ‘face-to-face’ stage. Chances are that this next stage will involve a retest in order to verify that the candidate who took the online test was who they said they were!

Verbal reasoning test practice for Graduate trainees

Recent graduates who have just started working on a training scheme will apply their verbal reasoning skills whenever they interact or correspond with other members of staff. They need to match their verbal communication to different levels of seniority and adjust their communication style to suit the formality of the meeting or event. Graduates may also need to prepare business reports. These should not read like an essay!

Managerial Verbal reasoning test practice

Most managers will need to use higher levels of verbal reasoning when reading or preparing reports. They need to be able to adapt their spoken and written communication style to the situation, whether addressing their subordinates or customers/ clients. Other company reporting procedures, such as appraisals, also require clearly written documentation.

Senior managers and directors will need to use the highest levels of verbal reasoning skills when analysing company reports, dealing with compliance issues and statutory obligations. Here there is a need for concise and accurate communication.

Graduate tests

Bespoke graduate assessment designs

Infact it is bespoke aptitude designs which are our speciality. Otherwise known as company-specific tests. With a bespoke psychometric test, organisations can design the content of their test(s) to match their own industry sector.

AN EARLY START TO GRADUATE ASSESSMENT & DEVELOPMENT

The OPG recognises that developing high potential leadership is resource intensive. Applicants demonstrating the right skills, attitudes and leadership potential need to be singled out early. For their potential, and their current capability, to be developed. And this simply cannot be achieved through interview alone.

The OPG designs robust, engaging and consistent graduate selection assessments. Serving as a single point of contact for your online psychometric testing requirements. As well as providing consulting expertise and support in recruitment outsourcing.CONTACT US

BESPOKE GRADUATE ASSESSMENT DESIGN FOR GRADUATE RECRUITMENT

As well as having access to market-leading psychometric tests, The OPG also design specialist assessments. These include Situational Judgement Tests (SJTs) and assessment centre design. Our consultants work with our clients directly. To craft bespoke competency based interviews, case study exercises, presentations and other specialist materials. All with the aim of helping graduate recruiters to gain a better understanding of a candidate’s behaviour, values and competencies.CONTACT US

SCALABLE

Our graduate assessment tools are completely scalable to address online psychometric solutions of any magnitude. From low volume and niche assessment centres. To bespoke online recruitment processes aimed at larger scale graduate recruitment campaigns.CONTACT US

Graduate assessment design

  • Consistency, fairness and objectiveness are the key to effective graduate assessment.
  • Graduate recruiters who want to minimise recruitment costs see online ability tests as an efficient and effective means of sifting the initial applicant pool.
  • Verbal and numerical reasoning tests are the most commonly used online sifts.
  • Passing usually leads to an assessment centre. Here, at that this next stage graduates are often retested. This is to verify that the candidate who took the online test was who they said they were!

Graduate jobs search

Online testing is particularly attractive for the ease with which multinational organisations can offer the same test(s) in a wide range of different languages to graduates around the world. The use of standardised tests in the recruitment process helps to ensure that applicants from different countries and from different ethnic groups are treated fairly.

We believe in the benefits of practice and ensuring fairness in testing. We therefore offer some practice aptitude tests and some practice psychometric tests. The intention is to promote as ‘level a playing-field’ as possible.

Aptitude test solutions

Our consultancy work focuses on aptitude test practice and bespoke psychometric test design. We believe in the benefits of practice and ensuring fairness in testing. We therefore offer some practice aptitude tests and some practice psychometric tests. The intention is to promote as ‘level a playing-field’ as possible.

Graduate tests

Aptitude test design – Employability

All of our psychometric test practice resources are free. So, we hope you enjoy using them!   In our opinion, there is plenty of the right type of aptitude test practice, aptitude test tips and test-taking strategies.

We certainly hope you get maximum value from our free psychometric test practice resources!  Psychometric test practice works best when it’s specific to the test type and the level of difficulty of the psychometric test you will be taking.

Graduate Assessment designs for aptitude

Our first point is that a well-designed selection procedure focuses on predicting a graduate’s competency within a particular work context.

Secondly, that psychometric assessments only form one part of the selection procedure.

Our third point is that personality assessments can give an indication of how well an individual applicant will fit into the existing workplace or team.

Finally, psychometric assessments can assess which applicants are most suited to the demands of the vacant job in terms of both ability and personality factors.

Graduate tests

Graduate Internships Tips

Many graduate jobs require work experience. But how do you get experience if you’re straight out of University? One way is to get an internship. In other words a temporary job ‘learning the ropes’ within a chosen profession.

While sometimes these internships are paid – especially in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) sectors – often they’re not. For example, it is not uncommon for those who want to work in the media to undertake several unpaid internships before getting a paid job.

First internship written on a notepad.

Our graduate internships guide

The Sutton Trust’s survey of graduates revealed more than a quarter (27 per cent) have undertaken unpaid internships. Of those, over two fifths (43 per cent) relied on living with friends or family. A further quarter (26 per cent) get financial support from their parents. And another 27 per cent have a second job to fund their internship.

Lack of social mobility

According to the Sutton Trust, the minimum monthly cost of doing an unpaid internship is £1,019 in London. This is when you take into account rent, bills, travel and other living costs. In Manchester, it is a little cheaper (£827), but not much. As a result, it is often graduates from wealthier backgrounds with families who can support them who take unpaid internships.

Says Sir Peter Lampl, founder of the Sutton Trust and chairman of the Education Endowment Foundation:

“Unpaid internships prevent young people from low and moderate-income backgrounds from accessing careers in some of the most desirable sectors such as journalism, fashion, the arts and law. It prevents these young people from getting a foot on the ladder.”

It’s a view which Chris Rea, higher education services manager at student job site Prospects, shares. He recently told People Management that unpaid internships inhibit social mobility and trap graduates in “a cycle of hopelessness that damages their self-esteem”.

“Unpaid internships are the scourge of the graduate labour market,” he added. “They absolutely must, in all circumstances, be paid.”

Our graduate internships guide

Are unpaid internships illegal?

While under current legislation it is still technically legal for some employers to offer unpaid internships, there are very strict guidelines. (See Rights to the National Minimum Wage below). Furthermore, Conservative Peer Lord Holmes has a private members’ bill going through Parliament which will improve the rights of graduates looking for work experience.

The Unpaid Work Experience Bill will prevent companies from offering unpaid internships greater than four weeks when it eventually becomes law. It follows research from the Social Mobility Commission in October 2017 which showed that three-quarters of nearly 5,000 adults surveyed in a YouGov poll supported banning lengthy unpaid internships.

As Lord Holmes writes in an article in Parliament’s Magazine, Politics Home: “One of the most pernicious ways in which the advantages of the fortunate few are entrenched is through the illegal yet widespread practise of unpaid internships.”

However, the bill hasn’t yet become law. Which means that in the meantime some unscrupulous employers will continue to take advantage of young and often desperate graduates who want to get a foot on the career ladder.

Our graduate internships guide

Tips for first Internship – Your Rights to the National Minimum Wage

So what are your rights as an intern? Under national minimum wage (NMW) legislation, interns must be paid if they count as a worker. This is defined as someone who has a contract (or a promise of a future contract) and has to turn up to work, even if they don’t want to.

However, there are exceptions. By law, employers do not have to pay interns the national minimum wage if they are doing it as part of a UK-based higher education course. Nor do they have to pay them if they are working for a charity or voluntary organisation and are receiving limited expenses for food and travel. (If interns are paid over and above this then they must receive the national minimum wage).

Also if the intern is only work-shadowing – ie. observing an employee and not carrying out any work themselves – companies don’t have to pay them either.

Internship guide. Young people with laptops sitting around a table.

Our graduate internships guide

Should I do an unpaid internship?

There is no doubt that company bosses are now waking up to the fact that lengthy unpaid internships are exploitative. Often this is because they realise that interns are their ambassadors.

Treat them badly and they will tell people that it’s a terrible place to work. Treat them well and they will sing the company’s praises to their friends and family.

Nevertheless, a quick search on Google reveals that unpaid internships aren’t going away any time soon. This is especially true in certain areas such as marketing, HR, fashion and journalism. However, should you consider an unpaid internship if needs must?

Yes, if you think it will help your career or if it’s flexible enough to give you the time you need to study or work elsewhere to make some money. No, if you are handed a contract and expected to work certain set hours doing a job that you should get money for!

Our graduate internships guide

Getting a good first internship

Obviously, the best internships are those that pay you a wage. However, this shouldn’t be the only criteria. The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has produced some best practice guidelines for employers. These are available in its Internships that Work guide.

It advises companies to recruit interns through an open advert, in the same way as other employees. This is to prevent work experience jobs going to friends and family of the company’s bosses as so often happens. Interns should also have as much responsibility and diversity in their work as possible and have time off to attend job interviews elsewhere.

Finally, interns should receive a proper induction and an evaluation of their performance during their time within an organisation. Interns should also receive a reference letter when they leave.

Getting your foot on the career ladder is never easy. But at least with new legislation and more enlightened employers, it is becoming a more level playing field for all graduates, regardless of their background.

Graduate Jobs

Graduate startup opportunities

There are many graduate startup opportunities currently – especially in and around London. No longer do graduate managerial training schemes need to be the first step on a specific career path.

Here are some of the typical graduate job decisions around graduate startup opportunities:

Do I work for a startup or a corporate?

Startup and corporate compant cultures are very different.

The corporate world brings advantages from stability. But disadvantages fro their being less autonomony and more centralised decision-making.

Whereas start-ups are more innovative and Most start-ups apply agile working practices Graduates with a more adaptable mindset and who have strong creative thinking skills are more likely to feel comfortable here.

  • What is the typical graduate looking for in the first job?
  • How do graduate job choices reflect their degree subjects?
  • Graduate Job Outcomes

Graduate Jobs

Our Graduate Jobs Resources

Other Graduate Resources

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