Shining at an assessment centre

Time to show us what you can do. Time to dazzle us with your skills, know-how and personality. Assessment or selection centres come in all shapes and sizes, but usually they’ll be a day with two to four different exercises relevant to the role you’re applying for. Some will be individual, some will be in groups. Again, it depends on the job.

Types of assessment exercise can include:

Presentation. We’ll ask you to make a presentation on a particular topic. There’s usually questions afterwards. You may be asked to prepare it in advance, or given time to prepare on the day. The key to success? Stick to the brief and don’t over-run on time.

Case study. You’ll be given information and data to analyse. You’ll then make decisions or recommendations. Sometimes, you’ll present your finding in writing, sometimes in person. Case study exercises can be done as an individual or as a group, and sometimes take the format of a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats).

Group discussion exercise. You’ll work with a group of fellow candidates to discuss a specific topic. You’ll then be observed by assessors as your group discusses the topic. Here, we’re looking at the quality of your contribution and how well you get on in a group. 

Individual interview. Lots of our assessment days still include a traditional competency-based interview.

Role play. While lots of people shudder when they hear the phrase, it’s nothing to be scared of. You’ll be given a simple scenario and asked to play a part, usually with an assessor playing the other part.

Testing. Some of our assessment centres include some testing of your abilities and personality.

Look over the details and take the time to prepare. Like everything to do with the recruitment process, you need to be prepared and ready - know where you’re going and what time you need to be there. You’ll know in advance what’s going to happen, but if there’s anything you’re not clear about, feel free to get in touch.

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