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      June 02, 2014

      Assessment Center for a Direct Entry and Traineeship

      In my last blogpost I already told you about the application process. Now I would like to give you a deeper insight into my assessment center (AC) at Hanover-Stöcken.  

      Before the Assessment Center

      I was very nervous beforehand because I had never participated in an AC. Maybe this blogpost helps some of you being less nervous. The AC is not any longer only done for the trainee pool but also for direct entry positions in the tire development (at least for graduates). Thereby Conti wants to get to know the applicants better and find out whether they fit into the team. The language during the AC is English as English is spoken a lot in the tire development and the different applicants don’t necessarily speak German. The day before the actual assessment center we had an introductory event (during which no observers were present!). Its name is “Conti at a glance”. During this event I met the other four applicants who all applied for the Explore Tires Trainee Program. Two of them were from India and studied in Sweden, one was from Portugal and one from Germany. I have been the only one applying for a direct entry. Current employees talked with us about their work and personal development at Conti. A lot of them have in common that they changed their department every now and then for further development of their skills. But in total they all have been with Conti for a long time. After that the organization gave us an overview of the next day. At the end of the day we had dinner with two current trainees and one employee who had just finished his trainee program. That was a good opportunity to ask all our “silly” questions – regarding the AC and their experiences at Conti. Will there be food? Yes. Will there be mean questions or tasks? No. Do you have any last advise for us? Be yourself and go to bed early. But also: How do you like Hanover? Good. How do you come along with the other trainees? It’s like a family. Do trainees earn the same as direct entries? Yes.

      During the Assessment Center

      Ok, now I will tell you about the actual AC. The AC started for us at 8 am the next morning. We were taken to a couple of rooms which were blocked for the day. Food and drinks were already there and we were told to help ourselves at any time. On top of that there was an agenda for the day which listed the tasks that awaited us. Those were mostly typical AC tasks. First of all we were asked to present ourselves, there was a group discussion about a given topic and more single and group exercises. Four observers watched and rated us the whole time. On top of that there was a moderator who explained all the tasks to us and someone who led us through the day. All the tasks had to do with Conti and there was none that was unable to solve, but I always knew that I was being watched and evaluated. The observers are told to show no reaction to have no influence on you. That can be irritating sometimes. Between the tasks there are breaks to relax and eat. Unfortunately I was almost too nervous to do so – though the food was really good. During our breaks the observers evaluated our performances in the single tasks. After lunch we listened to a talk about tire tests during which the observers made their first decision. We were told about their decision individually. In a positive case there was an interview immediately afterwards. In a negative case the participant received detailed feedback about every single exercise. The interview wasn’t scary at all. One of the things they asked me was to evaluate my own performance during the exercises. Except for that it was a typical interview with questions regarding my strengths and weaknesses and how I would behave in certain situations.

      After the Assessment Center

       

      That was already the last part of the AC. It was an exhausting but also exciting day. The next day I received a call. “We would like to welcome you as an employee.” Jippeah! On top of that I got feedback on my performance of the last day. That was very interesting and helpful, because how oneself is percieved by other people and what they notice about yourself is something you don’t get to know very often. What I liked about the AC is that it was always clear what they were looking at. The tasks were defined explicitly and we were told what is important for Conti: internationality, being able to work in a team, initiative, motivation, professionalism… However it doesn’t help to play a role. The observers sense that quickly. Another thing I liked was the fact that the other applicants and I didn’t fight against each other. We were told at the beginning that it could happen that they take everyone of us or none. This information made us work together as a team. Now I am happy to work in a motivated, professional, international team, since all employees are picked by these criteria.:-)

       

      Interested? More information about trainee programs here.
      All open positions here.

       

      This article was written by our employee.

      Viktoria Werner

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