I look back at the Assessment Centre; what it is, how it works and what I think a few months on.
I got the offer over the phone, after a long conversation with the People & Talent Team. Unknowns were not necessary. On top of the email detailing the day, I was given the contact details for a recent joiner at my grade to discuss what to expect and how to prepare. She explained it as “a way for Moorhouse to learn about you and, more importantly, you to learn about the firm.”
Dressed in business attire, the morning kicked off with a welcome breakfast. I put faces to names I had talked to on the phone and got to know my new assessment centre buddies over a coffee and some pastries (very good pastries might I add!).
The first event was an introduction from Richard Jones, one of the Partners. Richard talked about the company, its development and direction. We asked questions and gained insights. I remember thinking how valuable this session was, delivering context to the day.
The next step was the Excel case study and role play presentation. We sat down to laptops, each with Excel data, accompanied by the fake client’s requirements. I had a short period to review the data and create a presentation (think pivot tables!). We then dispersed into different rooms where we each conducted the role play with a Moorhouse consultant. This was more fun than I imagined, shortly followed by a transition into the first of two traditional interviews.
Lunch break was great. Fridays at Moorhouse see many consultants return from their client offices. Everyone eats at the kitchen table, meaning I met plenty of Moorhousers, each at different levels. It was a great way to get their views on the company and a feel for the culture.
After lunch we had the creative writing exercise. This was my favourite. Back on our laptops, we had to develop a creative marketing piece. With plenty of freedom, it was a great opportunity to put character to page.
I then moved into my next interview, conducted by a member of the People & Talent team and a Senior Consultant. It was formal yet relaxed, serving as a great chance to not only answer questions but also ask questions myself about Moorhouse.
Our final test was the group exercise. We were given a problem which had many complex, unclear and compromising solutions. With the board of assessors viewing from the end of the room (like Strictly Come Dancing) we had to propose a solution to the problem. It was fun, made us think, and brought out how everyone dealt with working as a team within a pressured situation. An interesting exercise.
So what do I think a few months on…. and what tips can I give to those thinking of applying to Moorhouse or those about to visit the offices to take part.
First, the advice given to me before the Assessment Centre was spot on. The Assessment Centre is “a way for Moorhouse to learn about you and, more importantly, you to learn about the firm.”
The half-day is designed to maximise mutual understanding on both sides; a clear programme of activities designed to demonstrate what skills and characteristics you bring, together with opportunities and time with people from all levels within the firm to ask questions – no matter how big or small. The differentiator here is the feel of the day – in typical Moorhouse fashion, it is welcoming, organised and packed full of interesting people to talk to. Collaboration and a sense of humour are natural outcomes of the day.
And my tips…(because we all love a good step up)…
- Get in early so you get the good pastries at breakfast
- Learn how to use Excel and write presentations
- Consider your creative writing style
- Think of some good questions to ask
- Relax and enjoy the day….it really is quite fun!
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