I had an assessment centre on the 24th October for the Southampton 2014 Audit intake so hopefully I can provide some assistance.
It started with the icebreaker, so just converse with the other applicants, are given some questions to ask applicant next to you (my case were two others because had odd number) then have to tell what you found to the group. This isn’t assesed but I would suggest as is the first chance to make an impression be confident and be yourself.
Next was the group exercise.This was a 1 hour exercise, the first 15 mins was for personal prep (no strict rules on this just was suggested to spend 15 working alone). Here had a large booklet of information about a firm (text, graphs and numerical info), I didn’t read it all in detail just tried to get key points down and understand what was going on. At the end are 10 potential projects to suggest. As a group, have to decide 4 projects to help meet objectives and also further ways in which BDO could assist, so make sure are aware of all BDO services and what can offer.
Then straight after this was the intray. This was an hour again, first 40 mins on points to address and last 20 on a letter to client. I was really worried about this part! You are taking over a job on behalf of your colleague and are provided lots of info (emails, invoices, letters etc) and have to identify actions points. I prioritised key areas and just made sure what I wrote was clear and concise. I don’t know how much info can provide but would advise just to stay calm get key points down and make sure can read your writing. (I found this very useful for intray exercise: http://www.wikijob.co.uk/forum/accounting-professional-services/bdo-assessment-centre?utm_source=wikijob-internal&utm_medium=forum-block&utm_campaign=forum)
After this was presentation, I had produced some slides with basic info that would build on, with a cover sheet and bound it. I also made sure that i wasn’t reading of a sheet but had cue cards. After 20 mins may be asked questions on your presentation, I had covered all areas so we just had a chat about BDO (not interview style) and his time (manager) at BDO.
The interview was last and this was meant to be 45 mins. However mine was only 30 and apparently it isn’t unusual to be shorter. Mine was 3 competency questions and then questions about work experiences etc from my application. This lasted about 15 minutes and then he asked if I had any questions, so I would advise that have a lot ready, even if are ones have asked already.
The whole day had a really good and friendly atmosphere and made you feel very comfortable.
I would make sure are just yourself and don’t act up for the assessors as they will notice this straight away.
I hope this helps!