NAO Assessment Centre, Group Exercise, Case Study and Competency Based Interview Preparation

If you pass the first assessment stage, you will be invited to attend the second or group assessment centre. This assessment centre is a whole day event at the NAO offices. The assessment centre consists of a number of assessments testing you on different skills.
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Throughout the assessment centre you are assessed on the competencies above, so make sure you review what is wanted ahead of the day. As well as the four exercises below, you will also have a group lunch, and an opportunity to meet current employees at the NAO. Don’t forget to use the opportunity to find out more about the scheme and the NAO as an employer.

There are four components to the NAO assessment centre:

Group Exercise

In this exercise you are part of a team working together on a project. You are being assessed on your abilities to work in a team setting, and to communicate with both team members and customers, all of which are important skills for an auditor. You are being watched on your behaviour in the group dynamic throughout. For more tips on how to work in a group exercise, see the JobTestPrep website, here.

Client Presentation

You are sent the presentation topic ahead of the assessment day to prepare a 10 minute presentation. In this activity, you are given a topic to prepare and present to your assessors and other candidates for them to ask questions. The purpose of the presentation is to discover how you analyse information and present both sides of an argument to come up with a recommendation. A previous presentation topic was: How effective are our flood defenses? Does the risk justify the cost? For more information about how to give a presentation, see the JobTestPrep blog, here.

Written Case Study

The written case study is a taster of the sort of work you will carry out as an auditor. In this exercise you are given a set of information and four questions to answer on that information. You only have an hour for this exercise, so make sure you time yourself to answer all the questions rather than getting caught up in one particular question. Prepare for this test with our case study practice pack.

Competency Based Interview

The last part of the assessment centre is the competency based interview, with a Director at the NAO. The questions will focus on all the NAO graduate competencies, so review the information you had at the last interview. It may have been some time since your last NAO interview, so don’t forget to brush up on your interviewing skills. JobTestPrep’s online interview preparation can help you do just that.

In Summary

The NAO recruitment process for both the School Leavers Programme and the Graduate Scheme is competitive and challenging, designed to test you on a whole range of skills. Competition for places is high, but the rewards of a place are worth it. Practice is key to ensuring you are one of the lucky people at the end of the day. In this article we have provided information about each stage and the resources available to help you prepare. We hope you have found this article useful, and good luck!

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