Interested in our selection days?

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Outline of the Day

First up a quick welcome, introductions and a bit of housekeeping; we'll zip through the running order of the day and then it's time to get started.


This does exactly what it says on the tin.  We do this at the beginning of the day and is simply a bit of fun which is designed to relax people.

Most interviews are very formal  - but not here - and in order to create a relaxed atmosphere it helps if you get people doing something which is totally unrelated to the job and for a couple of minutes to just have some fun.

Getting to know you

This is the section of the day where we ask people to do a short introduction. However, it’s the only part of the day where candidates are asked to do something on their own.  It’s the first time we get an insight into who the candidates are as people.

It’s timed (much like all the exercises we run) and is usually to a format which relates to the job – you may be asked to talk about “someone you admire” or “what does excellent customer service mean to you” – candidates also find it much easier to talk about something from memory and the introductions are always much more natural rather than being put on the spot and talking about career highlights or their work history.

Company Presentation

This is the time where we hand over to the customer for them to do a presentation about the business and the role.  It’s all part of our two way process and the candidates tell us this is the most valuable part of the day as they get a real insight into what their potential employer is really like.  We also run a Q&A afterwards which again gives them a much fuller picture of whether this role and this business is for them.

Group Work

Throughout the day candidates will be split into smaller groups (constantly working with different people on different exercises throughout the day). Some group work will be for short exercises lasting around 10 mins, other exercises may be longer, around 45 mins to an hour.  Each exercise we run is designed to test for the specific behaviours detailed in the advert the candidates applied for.  All of the exercises are looking at working styles, i.e. communication styles, negotiating skills whatever specific skillset is required to be successful in the role.  We are not looking for who is the loudest or the most vocal we are looking for quality of contribution and our ultimate aim is to try and test for competency and cultural fit in equal measures.

Generic Exercise

At least one exercise throughout the day will have been devised by the client.  This gives the client the opportunity to work with the candidates on a real issue / challenge which the company faces either on a daily basis or has come up in the past.  The aim of this exercise is for the client to get much closer to the candidates and work as a team member rather than standing back and observing. It also gives the candidate the chance to work with the client (usually the person they will report to or work with) giving the candidate a real insight into the working style of the business.

Specific Skills Exercise

This exercise is tailored to the role. For example if we are recruiting a sales role, we will run an exercise which is targeted around sales.  If negotiating is a big part of the role, then we will run a negotiating exercise and so on.  With traditional interviewing, it’s impossible to test a specific skill set by asking questions.  Lots of candidates have become extremely practiced at interview and if we need to know how well a candidate can close a sale, handle a product launch or negotiate with a supplier, then we simply have to give candidates the opportunity to show us that skill rather than talking about it.

5 Mins Interview

The day concludes with short 5 minute 1-2-1 interviews with all of the candidates.  Everything we have done up to this point has been in either small or larger groups and we feel it only right that we spend some time with each person on their own just to talk about how the day has gone for them and to check their interest in the role at the conclusion of the day.  It’s informal and gives the candidate the opportunity to tell us a little more about themselves if they feel they haven’t already done so throughout the day.

Written Exercise

This is something we ask each candidate to do at the end of the day whilst they are waiting for their 5 minute interview and the topic of the exercise will always be related to the role.

The exercise is provided to the client at the conclusion of the day together with the candidate’s CV.

Coffee Break

Phew, that’s a lot to take in, so it will be time to go and get yourself a brew and maybe some fresh air.


Still have questions?

How many candidates will be there on the day?

We usually average between 8 and 12 candidates.

Who else will be there?

Other short-listed candidates and at least two people from the company (usually the MD and one other) and two from the Untapped Potential team.

What will happen on the day?

The day will start with a company presentation that will tell you all about the company, the position available and the opportunity.  This is followed by a very frank questions and answer session.  No-one should leave the day with questions unanswered.  The rest of the day will consist of various group exercises that are tailored for the company and position.  The series of activities will involve input from you, your potential employer and also the assessors.  The exercises are designed to bring out the skills and qualities detailed in the advert.  We are there to support you, not to trip you up or unsettle you!

What is the day all about?

Finding the right fit between the candidate and the company.  It’s about you, the candidate finding out enough information about the company to enable you to decide if this is the company for you.  Also, the uniquely relaxed, informal and tailored set–up of the day enables the company to find the person that cannot only do the job but will also best ‘fit in’ with the culture of the company.

Next steps – what will happen after the day?

3-4 candidates will be invited back for second and final interview that usually takes place the week after the selection event.  This is a more conventional type interview although not too conventional!

Full feedback is available for everyone who attended the selection event.  This can be an exceptionally useful tool for self development if you are actively seeking employment elsewhere.

What is different about Untapped Potential?

We are not recruiters by trade.  We are coaching specialists who aim to “match” great people with great employers.  We do this in a unique and very comfortable environment.  An Untapped Potential selection event is very different to an assessment day that you may have attended/heard about.  There are no psychometric or verbal and numerical reasoning tests.  The day is about finding the best person for this particular company.  We help companies see the real you! You can only get so much from a CV, these days focus on you as a person as well as your ability.

Is this job right for me?

You will certainly find this out on the day but if you would like to get a little bit more information prior to the day please call Peter Hills on 07808 172 985 or Claire Farley on 07974 379 264.

What is the Salary/Package for a position?

As detailed in the advert. We encourage all our clients not to have a set salary level for the job as advertising a fixed number often puts people off at opposite ends of the scale.  Our clients will almost certainly negotiate the ‘right’ package for the best person.

What is the dress code for the day?

Usual interview attire.

What will I need to take to the day?

Yourself and an open mind!