Assessment centres are being used increasingly by employers as a way of selecting candidates for jobs. They tend to last one or two days and can give a more rounded view of a candidate’s suitability for a particular job than would be the case in an interview lasting for around an hour.
Although being assessed over a long period can be demanding, there are many positive sides to being asked to attend an assessment centre. One of the main benefits is that you will have more chances to impress - if one aspect of the day does not go well, you will still have the opportunity to make up for it by excelling in another area.
On the day, you will be tested out in a variety of ways, such as:
- One-to-one interviews
- Group discussions/scenarios
- Work task simulations
- Psychometric tests/personality profiling
- Individual or group presentations
Preparation is crucial to performing well in an assessment centre. Here are our top tips for success:
- Take in copies of all your material i.e. your application form, the job description etc.
- Think about the job competencies and how you can show evidence for each of these - both from your current experience and also on the day
- Always be aware of the time - most exercises will be given tight time limits and working to these shows you can cope under pressure and manage deadlines
- Try not to worry about the other candidates - sometimes several people will be selected from each group and sometimes none
- Try to make sure you have impact. It is not enough to just contribute to a discussion, you need to show that you have considered all the factors and come to a conclusion. Don't just talk for the sake of talking
- Remember that you are always being assessed - even in informal situations. Be particularly aware of this if you are invited to a dinner.
Sign up for one of our SUCCEED @ Online Testing and Assessment Centres sessions that we run throughout term-time. Find out when the next session is by looking at our Events Calendar.