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Top tips for RA assessment day

By RAMariyam 13 May 2019

So you've got through the first stage of the application and now you have the assessment day to look forward to. For someone who's been there and done that I've got some tips for you!

So HEAR HEAR, do not fear, your RA is here. 

I understand that the name itself may seem daunting compared to the usual interviews, where you're in and out with your anxiety scheduled on time for your interview slot. However, I'd much rather take on an assessment day rather than an interview. 

An assessment day usually consists of some briefing about the job role, getting to know the team behind Residential Life and working on some activities and team building skills. It's a great way of getting to know people, having an idea of your potential team for the year and learning what the RA role is all about.

I remember personally, I was very nervous and anxious about having to work with new people and didn't know what to expect, usually I can take on interviews when they are on a one to one basis. But having to work with others and still being able to portray your skills while doing group activities can be difficult, however, if I, an anxiety stress pot, can do it SO CAN YOU!

It's important to remember that every single person you'll be working with are also in the same boat as you. They too will be feeling nervous just like you, so don't worry...

So now for the moment you've all been waiting for - TOP TIPS

1. Prepare in advance 

Think about how you are going to introduce yourself to staff and other candidates in the introductory session and during social activities. Having a few things prepared to say will make you feel less stressed and make you feel less anxious.

2. Keep it simple

When asked to participate in a group exercise or present ideas, the assessors are evaluating your general approach , communication and organisation skills. They are more interested in the process than the subject matter. So don’t get drawn into too much detail, stick to delivering a few key points well and just go with the flow.

3. Participate enthusiastically

Try to enjoy the assessment day as an experience in itself which will enhance your self knowledge, regardless of the outcome. Your enthusiasm will shine through showing that you're motivated towards the role and that you're ready to face the challenges being thrown your way.

4. Be Yourself

We often try to put on a persona, to become a person you think the employer would want. However, more often or not what the employer wants is for your natural personality to show. Putting on an act is impossible to keep up over an extended period and your behavior will appear unconvincing. And you risk being placed in a job for which you are unsuited. So relax and be yourself.

5. Be polite and friendly

Remember that not only are they assessing your abilities, they are also looking for somebody that will fit in with the team, someone who is approachable and is able to connect with the students. Just Smile. Simple, yet incredibly effective!

Whatever the outcome of the assessment day, you're there for the experience and build new relations. Like I mentioned above, I went in feeling very anxious however, the team made me feel very relaxed and comfortable. Within no time I was feeling less anxious and stressed and I left the day feeling very confident.  

So good luck and remember to have fun!

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