I have just gone through an assessment centre in Lloyds TSB for an internship position on general management programme, so I thought I’d share. They have accepted me on the programme, so I think some info maybe valuable for those who are about to go through the process. I don’t know if any procedures differ from programme to programme, so you will need to check that.
There are 4 stages - Numerical Test, Group Exercise, Interview and Fact Finding Exercise.
It is similar to what you would have done online, so don’t be too worried (if you didn’t cheat before :P). I found it more difficult and it does get more difficult as you go through the test, so try to be as efficient as you can especially at the beginning, while questions are not that lengthy. As I understand, they don’t expect you to finish it, so you will be only judged on the questions that you have answered. I am not 100% on this one, so it may not be exactly like that. Anyway, do some practice questions if you can and it all comes down to whether you can do it or not. They are not looking for very high result and all of us (8 people) have passed it.
Here you need to demonstrate how you work in groups. You are given some info to read (for 10 minutes) and then you need to discuss the case with your group (our group was 4 people). Be sure to read all of the info provided, it is doable, but I didn’t see one paper originally so I had to rush through it at the end.
You definitely need to show leadership - your influence on others, how you engage other people and how they listen to you. Show original thinking - play with the information, don’t take it for granted - propose renegotiating of deals, different solutions to the ones that you have read and so on. Think outside the box. Put a lot of energy into that exercise, show your presence, influence on others and your creative thinking. But don’t be an ass and don’t be too aggressive.
You will also need to watch your time as nobody will tell you how much you have got left.
At the interview, they will mostly ask you about experiences that you have had. It is similar to the one you would have had over the phone so nothing to be afraid of. My interviewer was very nice and the whole process was quite relaxed. You will experience more interaction compare to the telephone interview, which helps the process a lot.
What helped me here is interesting experiences that I have had. They listen to many people with the same examples, so try to stand out - think what you have done which is different (e.g. I talked about the business I have started). Try to come across as energetic, passionate and commercially aware. Do some reading on the banking industry, be clear about your reasons for applying to Lloyds and this particular programme. Establish relationship with the interviewer, prepare some questions (good questions can be about him/her - her experience in the company, his/her view on the future of the company etc).
Fact Finding Exercise.
This is an exercise where you need to read quite a bit of information and then present your conclusions to two people (50 minutes to read, 15 to present and 15 to answer questions).
You will get a lot of information to read, but 50 minutes that you get should be enough. When reading, it is very important to be organised and efficient. Organise all the information, read it, make clear notes and filter through the information (not all of it is necessarily relevant). Watch your time - note when you have started and divide your time accordingly. I have finished all the reading in about 40 minutes and have left 10 minutes for preparing the presentation - writing posted, reading through my notes, thinking what I need to include in my presentation.
During the presentation - the most important thing is to present your case confidently. They will challenge your views quite strongly, but you need to stand on what you propose and be sure in it. Remember that you are the advisor and you are recommending them on what to do, if you are not sure which is the best option for them - they are not going to be convinced. So stay on your choice and be sure to provide good reasons for it. Prepare well structured, clear presentation. Make it clear in your head how you are going to present. It is not too difficult as all facts are relatively simple. Be energetic, passionate, demonstrate commercial awareness (i.e. connect your case study to the real world), propose some new ideas which were not in your information.
I hope this helps. If you need any more information or want to share your experience, you are welcome to post here.