Assessment Centres and Interviews

Today’s blog is from All Saints Residential Advisor Jack Brown. As it’s MMU National Student Employment Week, and our recruitment cycle for next years RAs is well underway, Jack has written his experience of the Residential Advisor Assessment Centre and his Interview. Jack’s experience is relevant to not only the RA role, but several assessment centres, an increasingly frequent way of selecting candidates for graduate jobs.

Having just turned 23, it’s fair to say I have had a variety of jobs, from working at a local theme park to working in retail. Admittedly, these are all mainly in customer focused environments, which in one sense, is why I was drawn to the Residential Advisor Role. A lot has happened within a year. On my initial assessment at the Business School, we were split into several groups of about 40 prospective candidates and we had to do a variety of tasks working with teams and sharing stories with everyone. We were told more information about the role we would be undertaking which made us feel more comfortable.In the afternoon, we were put into teams of two and we were assessed based on certain scenarios, in my case an actor played out a student who was in distress about moving to the UK from Australia. So we had to come up between us, a way of making the student feel more comfortable such as, suggesting them to join clubs and societies to make friends and take their mind off being home sick.  After the initial assessment (if successful), we were welcomed back for an interview which will tale place before the end of the summer term, usually based in the MMU Union.

Fortunately I was successful with gaining a position as an RA!

I then took part in a weeklong course at the beginning of September based at the Crewe Campus; this is an essential part of the job. The week allows you to make some good friends amongst the team and helps you get to know the members of staff you will be working with. Within the week, you will undertake a variety of training sessions such as First Aid, Drug Awareness, Crime Prevention and getting further information on what your role entails (visiting flats, being on call, and sorting out certain problems). During the training week there are also sporting and social activities to keep you amused in downtime that helps you bond further with your fellow RA’s.

Like most people, I can get nervous about interviews and assessments, I think it would be quite un – normal no too! My best advice (despite it being difficult sometimes) is to remain calm, cool and collected. Take a bottle of water with you too, I find this always helps. The interviewer will be looking at your personality and how you would respond in certain scenarios, these can be a little daunting, but remember nothing is done to catch you out and it’s not an interview to run the country! You need to think practically and realistically… for instance, ‘if you came across someone who had potentially broke their leg, what would you do?’ I would like to hope you wouldn’t leave them! Instead you’d call for an Ambulance, make the comfortable and keep them warm!

I really enjoy the job that I do, so much so, that I will be returning again for 2016/17.

The job allows me to discover all sorts of backgrounds and meet students who have travelled far and wide to study here at MMU. It’s highly rewarding when, people say hi to you whilst you’re around campus.

I hope this puts some of your worries at ease. If you want to find out more about the RA role, the best thing to do is ask your own RA!

Best of Luck



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