We got some great feedback from a student who recently attended an assessment centre at the Met Office as part of their recruitment process. She came to us for some advice prior to her interview. Here is what she reported back:
“I was pretty nervous on my way down but I didn’t really need to be. Everyone down there was super nice and friendly. We got shown around the building and got to see where all of our forecasts come from, which was very interesting.
The assessment (1 hour) was nowhere near the level I’d been working at throughout university. The questions were on easy topics which made the assessment more an exercise in remembering how to do the easy things rather than pushing our limits. So I would advise an applicant should go over their schoolwork (Higher maths and physics) before heading down.
The interview (30 minutes) was less scary than I was expecting. There were only two interviewers, as they said that intimidating people isn’t the best way to let them get their information across.
You were right to say for me to check the weather. The first question that I was asked was “So how do you keep up-to-date with the weather on a day-to-day basis?”, which I responded with “Well, I probably look out of the window a little too often”. I doubt that many people are successful in an interview with that as their opening line, but instead of being told to leave, I was met by big smiles and being told that I will fit in really well (as that’s how the best forecasts start).
They then asked for a three day forecast for Exeter (or back in Edinburgh). After the weather questions most of the questions were about working in teams and customer service. I didn’t find these quite so easy, but they were kind and helped me to the right answers if I didn’t hit the nail on the head first time. I left the interview thinking that it went well, and so did all the other applicants.
I fully didn’t expect to be given an offer, thinking that it would be great assessment day experience and fun to go on a bit of an adventure, so it came as quite a shock when I got the call through to say that I had a job. Thank you very much for your time and help at our meeting. I hope that what I have said might be of some use to future applicants to the Met Office.