Assessment Centres – what you need to know to perform well

The situation

Congratulations. Your application was ace, your tests terrific, your phone interview fabulous. You’ve proved you can talk the talk. The assessment centre will show if you can walk the walk.

The rationale

A 360◦ evaluation process (where they look at you from all angles i.e. written, team working and analysis skills etc by seeing how you perform at the various assessment centre activities) is inevitably more accurate than a mere interview when it comes to selecting the right man or woman for the job. This is the reason that recruiters rave about assessment centres. And you, dear reader, should learn to love them too, because your fate will not hang solely on a 45 minute discussion.

The timing

Possibly half a day, more usually a 9 – 5er, sometimes an overnighter in a high class hotel.

They’ll be watching you

Whatever the timescale, one or more assessors will be surgically attached to you, watching each move, noting every response, not to mention casting an eye over your social skills.  So mingle to the max. Socialising is part of the process.

Top tip: restrict any alcoholic intake to one small glass.  Eat and drink by all means, just don’t be too merry.

The content

Any or all of the following:

Case studies, e tray exercises, situational judgement tests, group discussion, group activity, business games, presentation, interview, psychometric tests, personality tests.

Daunted? Don’t be.

Firstly

Don’t be intimidated by the opposition; if you’ve been invited to play you’re on level pegging with the rest.

Secondly

www.careers.qmul.ac.uk/students/resources/index.html

www.prospects.ac.uk/assessment_centres.htm

will show you what’s involved and also give you the chance to try your hand before facing the real thing.  Practice may not make perfect, but it can take your score up a notch or two.

Go for it

Embrace the opportunity to strut your stuff.  Knock ’em dead with your polished performance and practical prowess.  You can do it.  Yes you can.

Gill Sharp
Senior Careers Consultant
QM Careers Centre

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