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Assessment Centre Advice

Our Assessment Centres are tailored to the programme that you are applying to. So whilst each will be different, the aim of the Assessment Centres is the same. It is a two-way process and is as much about you deciding if your chosen programme is right for you, as it is us deciding if you’re right for our business.

Although the exercises at our Assessment Centres can differ between business areas, for most of our programmes, they will comprise of a face-to-face interview, and some group and individual exercises based around a case study (we will give you this on the day). Through the exercises we aim for you to get a feel for the types of tasks that you may do in that business area (on a smaller scale, of course!).

All of our Assessment Centres have a job shadow or tour of the department that is not assessed. This is with one of our Analysts on the programme and is a chance for you to ask questions, learn more about the role, the programme, etc. You can even ask what it’s like to live in the local area.

In most cases we’ll aim to get back to you within one week of your attendance at an Assessment Centre. We will provide full verbal feedback on your performance, whether you are successful or not. Please note that any job offers that we make at this stage will be subject to you being legally entitled to work in the UK at all times during your employment.

Logistics for the day

  • Make sure you have the correct date and time for your attendance at the Assessment Centre and you know where you are travelling to
  • If you are unable to attend the day please ensure you contact us in advance so we can book you onto another day.
  • Make a note of our contact details or ensure you can access your email so that if something does cause a delay you can get in touch with us.
  • Before you leave home, read the instructions again to make sure you understand everything – we will ask you to bring along some documents to the Assessment Centre, and it’s vital you do this.

Helpful Tips for Preparing

  • Most University Career Services will run practice interview sessions. This is a great way to rehearse in a supportive environment. The feedback you’ll get from this sort of “live practice” will add to your confidence.
  • Remind yourself of the research you’ve already done on TJX Europe and on the programme. The assessors will want to know why you would like to start your career with us.
  • In the interview we will want to know about your skills and interests. Be ready to talk about yourself in a wider context. Try to think of a range of different examples rather than referring to the same example for each question.
  • Think about what you still want to know about us and the programme and have some questions prepared. This also helps demonstrate your enthusiasm for the programme.
  • Get a good night’s sleep the night before. You want to feel fresh and ready for the day.

Helpful Tips for on the Day

  • When you meet or are introduced to anyone, keep the following three things in mind: give a firm handshake, make eye contact, and smile.
  • A lot of communication is non-verbal, so think about your body language – especially in group exercises. Slouching, folding your arms or fidgeting suggests you’re not interested in the conversation. It’s much better to appear enthusiastic and that you’re listening.
  • Try to keep your answers succinct and articulate. Avoid waffling, but also avoid single “yes” or “no” answers.
  • Breathe. Don’t feel you have to give an immediate answer to a question. It is perfectly all right to pause and gather your thoughts before answering the question
  • Don’t look for hidden agendas. We’ll give you a clear brief at the beginning of each exercise. We want you to have the best chance to show us what you can do.
  • Be yourself. Many different types of people do well with us, so relax and let your personality come through. Scripted answers sound false and our interviewers can usually spot them.
  • At most of our Assessment Centres we don’t have a pre-determined number of job offers so don’t assume you’re in competition with other candidates.
  • Don’t worry if an exercise hasn’t gone well – you’ll have at least one more opportunity to demonstrate your capability and will meet a range of people from the business area. A decision is not made by one person or on the basis of one exercise.
  • Get involved in all the exercises. We can only assess your contribution and record what you say, not what you may have been thinking.
  • Keep to time limits
  • You may find the Assessment Centre tiring. But remember that we are looking for consistency of performance during the entire event. Try to keep your energy levels and enthusiasm high throughout.