Assessment Centre Nerves

Posted by: Jess Anderson - Posted on:

As it’s nearly that time of year again when the Assessment Centre looms, I thought I’d share my experiences and my top tips…

I woke up on the day of my assessment centre with a mixture of nerves and excitement. I had slept surprisingly well considering how nervous I was, but over breakfast the nerves started to build. Even writing this about it is making me a little nervous!

The NHS GMTS assessment centre is the first and only assessment centre I’ve attended, so I didn’t really know what to expect. I had done as much research as I could about what to expect at an assessment centre (top tip – follow the NHS GMTS on Twitter and Facebook because they share useful articles and tips about all stages of the application process), but nothing really prepares you for the real thing. And I have to be honest my nerves meant most of what I’d read and learnt went out the window.

When I arrived at the assessment centre and started talking to the other candidates it was clear we were all feeling the same way. The tasks at the assessment centre change every year, but basically they’re all things you’re likely to experience as a NHS manager. The staff and trainees at the assessment centre went out of their way to make us all feel more comfortable and it wasn’t nearly as bad as I was anticipating.

So, my top tips for surviving the assessment centre are:

  1. Try not to be too nervous. I know it’s easier said than done, but I wasted a lot of time on the first task because of nerves.
  2. Try really hard not to compare yourself to other candidates (again I know it’s easier said than done). I was convinced that the other candidates were more knowledgeable, more articulate and better at communicating than me, but this wasn’t the case. Also, the scheme is looking for different people so the candidates selected are likely to have different strengths and weaknesses.
  3. BE YOURSELF!! I cannot stress enough how important this is. Don’t put on an act you think the assessors want to see, as they’ll probably see straight through this!
  4. You’ll spend the day surrounded by current trainees and people who work for the NHS, so use this as an opportunity to ask questions and find out more about the scheme and the NHS.
  5. If you’re on the waiting list for the assessment centre still prepare, as you could be invited to attend at very short notice. I was in that position and if I hadn’t prepared I would’ve felt far more nervous.
  6. Above all try and enjoy the day! Remember no one is trying to catch you out, they’re simply trying to give you the opportunity to show your best self and why you’d be good for the scheme.

I hope you’ve found this useful. If you have any questions feel free to Tweet me @JessyDouble

Jess Anderson

Hi I'm Jess, I'd class myself as an honorary 'Yorkshire Girl', having lived here for the last 10 years I couldn't imagine living anywhere else. In my spare time I like walking especially in the Dales and the Lakes, although there does always need to be a tea shop involved so I can have a piece of cake! I joined the scheme because I wanted a challenge, but wanted to feel like I was also making a difference to people's lives

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Applications for the September 2021 intake will open in October 2020