The three key competencies to demonstrate during Capgemini interviews and assessment centre

Don’t be a wallflower but don’t be too bossy either

Whether you’re applying for the IT or the consulting Capgemini graduate scheme, make sure your ability to communicate, innovate and collaborate is at the forefront at the interviews and assessment centre stage. These three competencies are highly valued by Capgemini recruiters.

Telephone interview – show off your communication skills

Capgemini conducts an initial telephone interview with applicants, which will aim to confirm your suitability and enthusiasm for the role. Around 60% of candidates are screened out at this stage. Expect questions based around your knowledge of the firm, such as:

  • Do you know what Capgemini’s seven core values are?
  • Who has the firm got alliances with?
  • What opportunities and threats is it currently facing?

You’ll also need to be aware of challenges facing the consulting/technology industry as a whole. Candidate competencies will also be a focus, so expect scenario-based questions (eg ‘How would you deal with a tricky situation, such as a disagreement with a colleague in a senior position…’). This is your chance to show the firm what a good communicator you are. Smile – yes, it sounds odd as recruiters can’t see you, but smiling changes your voice and makes you sound friendlier. Repeat a few of the interviewer’s phrases to show you’re listening, and practise in advance the ‘stories’ you’ll tell to demonstrate you’re suitable for the role. You could, for example, make sure you include an example of when you worked with other people to reach a successful goal – that’s collaboration demonstrated! Or when you found a creative solution to a problem – innovation!

Check out the advice in our article on handling telephone interviews for more tips.

Case study interview – demonstrate your innovation

Case study interviews will take place at the Capgemini assessment centre for applicants to both schemes. If you’re applying to technology, you’ll be given a case study prior to the day to prepare. For consulting, you’ll be given a short case study review on the day. Again, both of these are perfect opportunities to show off your communication skills. You’ll have to answer questions from the interviewer and be prepared to defend your position. Make sure you look at your audience and speak clearly and persuasively. Structure your answer so that it makes logical sense. Case studies will also allow you to show off your innovation skills (how you can think analytically and creatively to reach a solution) – the consulting case in particular allows you to show how you can innovate on your feet. TARGETjobs can help if you’d like some more tips on dealing with consulting case studies.

Group exercise – demonstrate your collaborative ability

The assessment centre stage at Capgemini will include a group exercise, which is a perfect opportunity to show off your collaboration skills. Recruiters need to see that you can get along with other people, and contribute towards a positive spirit in a team – this is after all a firm that prides itself on its relationship with its clients, and has even given a registered trademark to this approach: Collaborative Business Experience (CBE).

At past assessment centres, candidates have been split into small groups of around six people. Each group is given a large amount of material to digest and 30 minutes to complete a series of tasks as a team. The team’s collaborative effort is monitored by a couple of assessors and each candidate’s performance within the team is assessed in relation to the area they have applied for. The team will typically consist of candidates applying for a variety of roles so the case study is likely to be fairly broad in scope, ie not too focused on technical details. Don’t be a wallflower but don’t be too bossy either. Try to find a middle ground, and aim to encourage your peers to work together. A recent assessment centre attendee advises, ‘It doesn't need to be your bright idea that the team chooses – if people gravitate towards another person's idea then work with it and add some suggestions of how to improve that base idea further.’

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