At the assessment centre

Team “Kitty” didn’t assign a time keeper for their group exercise.

Their brainstorming session went on a little longer than planned and they completely missed the tea break.

What you need to know about assessment centres!

This may be the first time the employer has seen you in person, and they will be testing how you behave in work type situations. The exercises may not be directly related to the business, but they will be testing skills and behaviours that are needed for that job.

Commonly they contain:

  • An interview or interviews.
  • A session where you work in a team.
  • You may have to give a presentation.
  • There could be a role play or some kind of situational scenario.
  • You may do psychometric or other written tests like an in-tray or e-tray exercise.
  • There may be time to socialise over coffee, meals etc.

It depends how long it lasts and where it falls in the recruitment process.

You are under scrutiny the WHOLE time.

  • Be polite and professional to EVERYONE you meet, yes that includes the receptionist or the cleaner.
  • Be professionally attired, a suit is a must have.  For “informal occasions” do not dress down.  Keep it smart and professional.
  • Do not overdo the food and drink, keep alcoholic drinks to a minimum.  You need to keep alert and focussed at all times.
  • Think about some conversation openers for use when talking to other candidates and the recruiters or other staff.
  • Keep your mobile turned off at all times, if it’s too tempting, leave it in your room.

How to prepare?

Obviously you will prepare in advance for any tasks like interviews, presentations and tests.

Group work or role plays it’s a little less obvious what if anything you can do.

  • Take a watch – you will need to ensure you keep to time. (You probably won’t be allowed to use your phone!)
  • Follow instructions carefully.
  • You are not in a competition here you need to behave as if you were working in a team situation at work.
  • Collaborate with others.  A good team player or leader will ensure that everyone has a chance to participate.
  • Listen to people don’t just talk over them.
  • Ensure that you come to a conclusion in your group, what that is may not be important, but you must complete the exercise in the time allowed.
  • Expect the unexpected! It is not uncommon for the recruiter to change the rules of the task or give you extra information half way through.  It’s to see how you cope, real jobs are like that!

Try to enjoy it

Why not watch the videos on our website to help you prepare.

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