Hays Assessment Centre and Graduate Scheme Preparation

Are you applying for a career with Hays? Facing interviews and assessment centre activities can be nerve wracking.  Learn all about what to expect from the recruitment process and how to prepare  with JobTestPrep.
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Hays is one of the largest specialised recruitment agencies in the world. They offer various entry routes for those just starting a career and experienced professionals as well. The focus of the Hays recruitment process is on interviews but you can expect various other exercises as well. In this article we outline the major steps in the process and offer preparation resources from JobTestPrep.

The Hays Recruitment Process

Hays Application Form

The Hays application asks you to complete your contact details and CV. It is crucial that you tailor make your CV to Hays, highlighting your passion for the role and point out how well you fit into the Hays team. Demonstrate that you have ambition and are results oriented as mentioned in the Hays Values below.

Following your submission, your application is reviewed and if the recruitment teams sees potential, you will be shortlisted and enter the next stage of the process.

Hays has four values that they use to guide the company’s skills, behaviours and ways of doing business. They are:

  • Ambitious - Hays is results oriented and has ambitious hopes for their employees, clients and candidates, wanting to make a positive impact on the work world.
  • Passionate about people - Creating valuable relationships with people you work with. Be enthusiastic about finding the right people and improving life and work for clients and candidates.
  • Expert - Hays has lots professional know-how which is shares with clients across the industry sectors.
  • Inquisitive - the company wants to understand people and the work world in order to do their job better.

Throughout the recruitment process, make sure you include these values wherever you can, be it in your interviews or in your CV.

Hays Telephone Interview

If Hays are interested in your application, they will ask you to take part in the Hays Telephone interview. This interview focuses on your motivations for applying to the role and lasts for about 20 minutes. Some common interview questions include:

  • Why are you interested in this role?
  • Why have you chosen to apply to Hays?
  • Give an example of a time when you showed good leaderships skills.

It is important that you make sure you are in a place where you will not be disturbed so you can focus on the questions and forming your answers. To assist your preparation, review our free Guide to Interviews PDF to sharpen your interview skills.

Hays Competency Interview

Following a successful performance in your telephone interview, the next step is a face-to-face competency interview. You will receive an invitation to one of their offices where this interview takes place. This is your first live encounter with Hays so make a good impression and dress the part.

Some interview questions used in the past include:

  • Why have you chosen this position?
  • Give an example of a change you initiated in your last position.
  • How do you deal with stressful situations?

A good method for answering competency questions like these is with STAR (situation, task,action, result) and drawing from real life examples. Before your interview, think about some achievements you are proud of and how to fit those into your interview. Review further competency questions on our dedicated page.

Hays Assessment Centre

The next stage of the process is the assessment centre. This day includes role play exercises, presentations and a written exercise. We detail each of these exercises and how to prepare below.

Role Play

There are two different role play situations at the assessment centre and you will most likely encounter both. The first puts a focus on your sales skills where you must present and sell a candidate to a Hays client based on their CV, which you have a copy of. The second is a role play business development call where you are given a specific situation to play out. In both of these situations, Hays is looking for specific skills you need for your potential job. Do your research about the position and to perfect your role play strategy, try a mock exercise with one of our Skype assessors.


This presentation takes the form of a debate where you are given a statement or quote to argue for or against during your presentation to both the candidates and interviewers. The aim of your presentation is to convince your audience the argument you are making is viable and worth considering. This is a test of how well you can debate a subject but it is first and foremost an interview where you need to make the information clear and understandable. Learn more about creating winning presentations on our dedicated page.

Written Exercise

If there is enough time, the last assessment is a written exercise where you need to write out a job advertisement for a job seeking audience based on the Hays Values. Think about good and bad job ads you have seen in the past and look at some examples on the Hays website. For more preparation, review our written exercise tips.

In Summary

If you make it through the above mentioned steps successfully, you have a good chance of getting an offer from Hays. A company with the global status of Hays is a great place to begin or continue your career so make sure you are fully prepared to impress at each stage of the recruitment process. Good luck!

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