I entered the Capgemini Arts & Law category of the Top100 Future Graduates competition after receiving an email saying that it would only take 10 minutes to enter (and it looked like an awesome opportunity)! While this underestimated the length of time of the initial written application process, I was really glad that the first round didn't merely focus on academics or an aptitude test - but rather it gave me the ability to demonstrate my skills by writing about my extra-curricula activities, work and internship experiences and involvement in clubs and societies. After being selected as a top 10 finalist, I prepared for the video interview as I would a face-to-face interview, considering practical experiences that I could use as evidence to support my responses. While I felt a little like a news anchor being filmed and trying to remain poised while looking at my laptop camera, the questions were relatively straightforward and one would expect them in a typical interview - and preparing for this helped me to be prepared for the panel interview in the final round. I feel the video interview stage really helped me to prepare for a face-to-face interview, and I think that reflected in my panel interview at the assessment centre.
The assessment centre itself was a great opportunity to learn about what employers are looking for in graduates, tips on what to ask future employers, a chance to practice being in a real assessment centre and a chance to boost your confidence in dealing with stressful situations! As I prepared for each stage I really had to consider how to market myself and what my 'personal brand' was - and as I learnt more from each round of applications (plus the online webinar to prepare us for the assessment centre) I was able to develop this throughout the competition in a way that was persuasive to the panel. Ultimately I gained a lot of confidence in my skills and abilities, and will feel much more confident next time I apply for a job (and confidence is key to selling yourself!) I also think it's a great honour to have won my category and that will really set my resume apart from the crowds in the future. Finally, the sponsor of my category (Capgemini) invited me to their assessment centre day which I will attent in the near future.