I went for an interview/recruitment day at the Adfero Leeds branch last November. Since attending the recruitment day I have wanted to share my experience with the people going through the Adfero recruitment process. I thought it may be useful to read an honest impression of the company and what the recruitment day entails. For anyone not familiar with Adfero, they are a market leading UK digital news agency.
I did a lot of research on the company before I went to the recruitment day and found a large amount of information on the internet that was good and bad. Since Adfero regularly hire young graduates, I know that many people will be in the same position I was in: I couldn’t make my mind up about the company. There’s a lot of negative stuff on the internet. In fact, there’s even a Facebook group called “We escaped Adfero”. When you’re reading bad stuff about a company before you’ve even attended the interview, it doesn’t exactly fill you with excitement at the prospect of working with them.
For a lot of young graduates fighting over jobs and trying to get their career started, Adfero may be a good stepping stone leading to greater things. If you do get a job here just think: at least it’s probably remotely related to what you want to do, which is more than can be said for some graduates. And a £16,000 starting salary isn’t to be sniffed at. For me, the fact that the job was located in Leeds was a brilliant prospect. After spending months searching for writing-related jobs, I was beginning to think they really were all based in London.
I applied for the job of ‘Content Writer’ from the website journalism.co.uk. I then heard back a couple of weeks later from the HR department about setting up a writing test via email. When the email arrives in your inbox you get 70 minutes to complete it and email it back – make sure you do this on time!
The test itself consists of two pieces of text that you have to edit to fit a specification/what the client wants. This can include anything from a factual news-style article to an entertaining blog-style piece.
I heard back a couple of days later that I was successful, and I was then invited to an interview. What I didn’t realise at the time, until I looked around on the internet, was that an ‘interview’ is actually a recruitment day. You will be joined by a few others on your recruitment day.
The day starts with a presentation, outlining the positives and negatives of working at Adfero. I didn’t get the impression they were trying to gloss over or hide anything. In fact, I thought they gave an honest and frank overview of the job. Then you will be sat somewhere to do the tests. I was sat on a table among 6 other employees, which was very distracting but also a good indication of real life working at Adfero. You get approximately 2-hours to complete the whole assessment. In that time you are expected to complete an aptitude test, a general knowledge/current events test and a writing test exactly like the one in the online assessment.
I don’t know what I was expecting – perhaps someone beating the employees with sticks as they typed. Or a few of them with word farming devices hooked up to their brains. However, my overall impression was that it just seemed like a normal office environment.
Usually at the recruitment day you will also be invited back to an interview on the same day, but we were told that there wouldn’t be any interviews due to the interviewer being away from work that day. Then I found out there wasn’t an immediate job position going after-all. Adfero hold recruitment days in their offices in Leeds, London and Manchester every few months or so regardless of a job position being available at the time; I’m assuming because of the high turnover of staff.
I had forgotten about the Adfero interview until I got an email in December. It said I hadn’t been successful because of the test results. I remember thinking I had done poorly on the tests and that I wasn’t quick enough, but I was just glad my writing style wasn’t the reason I didn’t get the job.
For anyone going through the Adfero recruitment process I would suggest that you research heavily. Research politics, specifically who does what in the current UK Parliament. I would also suggest you research current events and brush up on your knowledge of maths. My mathematical ability was terrible at school but since leaving it has gotten far worse, and I think this let me down in my test score results.