Hints and Tips

Preparing for your Assessment

1. BEHAVIOURAL INTERVIEWS

The behavioural interview is based on the Jaguar Land Rover Business Behaviours. Assessors will ask you to describe times when you have displayed these behaviours. For example, “Can you tell me about a time when you had to work hard to complete a difficult task to a high standard?”

Assessors won’t just be looking for evidence of what  you have done; they will want evidence of how you have done it. They need to understand how you may approach similar situations in the future.

A good way of dealing with competency based questions is by using our CAR approach – Context, Action, Result:

  • The CONTEXT forms an introduction; describe the situation you faced, when and where
  • The ACTION should be the longest part of the answer; describe what you did and how
  • The RESULT is the conclusion/outcome of the situation; show what was better after you finished

 

Example Question: “Describe how your personal planning and organisation resulted in the successful achievement of a task.

CONTEXT Describe the situation and the specific task you were faced with: when, where, with whom? Whilst employed at Acme Company last year, I was given the task of reviewing the stock control system.
ACTION How? What action did YOU take? Sometimes people focus on what the group did without mentioning their individual contribution. I looked at factors such as when the stock was last ordered, what it was used for and how often it was used. I worked out a method of streamlining the paperwork involved in this process and redesigned the relevant forms, which I then submitted to my manager.
RESULT What results did you achieve/conclusions did you reach/what did you learn from the experience? My ideas were accepted and implemented and a 20% reduction in stock levels was achieved.

2. TECHNICAL INTERVIEWS

You will be asked a series of questions focusing on your current technical knowledge and skills relevant to the role you have been put forward for. You should prepare by reviewing the requirements outlined in the role description. Where possible, it will be the recruiting line manager who will conduct the technical interview part of the assessment.

3. ROLE PLAY

A role play exercise is designed to assess how you read, digest and disseminate information. You  will be given a brief to read on the day. From this, you will need to prepare the approach for a ‘meeting’ to be held with a role player. The role player will question you, your approach and rationale. Through this, you will be observed by the assessor – they will be assessing how you made your decisions and how well you considered the objectives given in the brief.

4. GROUP EXERCISES

Group exercises are used to assess how you work with others to analyse and assimilate information and reach an effective conclusion. In this exercise, you will be given a set of information which other members of the group may or may not have received. You will be assessed on how you interact with the group, and use the information to reach a desired outcome.

5. PRESENTATIONS

You may be asked to give a presentation as part of your assessment. We might provide a topic in advance (usually five working days before) or you may be given one on the day, with time to prepare. It’s important that you use the time you have to gather relevant and reliable information to present to the assessors. If you have been asked to prepare something on the day, you should draw on your existing knowledge and experiences for the content. When preparing for a presentation you should consider each of the following:

  • What is the message behind this presentation – does it match the brief?
  • Have I included evidence to back up the message?
  • Do I have any personal experience of the topic?
  • Is the presentation engaging and appropriate given the time, context and audience?
  • Have I structured the presentation logically?
Hints and Tips

Preparing for Online Tests

Normally when you are invited to complete the tests, you will have a couple of days at least to complete them, and you may also be given some practice or guidance sheets to help familiarise yourself with the format.  Do not think that you have to complete then there and then.  Be mindful of the deadline, but take the opportunity to familiarise yourself with them.

The key thing is practice. Familiarity with the format and time frame of a cognitive ability test will help you, especially if you’ve not completed them before, or have not done them for a while. Get used to the style of question and start timing yourself as they will be completed against the clock in order to provide an additional challenge.

The most commonly used types of cognitive ability tests are verbal and numerical reasoning.  Below are some tips to help you to prepare for them.

Improving your Verbal Abilities

  • Look the meaning of words and think if alternative words with the same meaning.
  • Review grammar rules
  • Discuss associations between words or types of words with a friend.
  • Improve vocabulary by completing crosswords, word games, etc.
  • Read newspapers, articles in the Internet, books and journals to improve ability to understand and interpret written material.

 Improving your Numerical Abilities

  • Work with numerical data or materials.
  • Complete calculations with and without a calculator.
  • Look at tables, graphs and charts and interpret their meaning in words.
  • ‘Eyeball’ data by looking for patterns and predicting future trends.
  • Read financial reports in newspapers and journals.

 

The following general tips may also help you to prepare:

  • Get a good night’s sleep before the assessment.
  • Make sure you are wearing any glasses, contact lenses or hearing aids you may require.
  • The time you take to complete a question can affect your overall score significantly; so keep that in mind and, once you’ve started a question; try not to linger. Have a stopwatch or timer handy.  On some tests they are visible, on others they are not.  It helps you to keep track of how you are doing.
  • Be prepared with scrap paper if doing an online test – you are allowed to use it
  • Work swiftly but carefully- some answers are there to trick you.
  • Having said that, it’s worth reading a question twice – or even three times – if you feel confused. Try to avoid guessing your answers. Although it’s tempting to guess when you’re faced with a difficult multiple-choice question under pressure, it’s far better to take a bit longer to answer and know that you’ve followed a clear and logical thought process, rather than to answer too quickly and get it wrong.
  • If you can, calculate the maximum amount of time to be allocated to a question and stick to it using your timer.
  • Try to avoid using any general knowledge when answering questions. Everything you need to answer the question should be included in the information given.