Making Assessment Centres work for you

Assessment centres come in all shapes and sizes nowadays. Whether you’re an apprentice, graduate, young professional or work in a more hands on role, you can be asked to attend an assessment centre and boy can that be a frightening thought!

But first, well done

It’s always great to remember to congratulate yourself for getting to the assessment centre stage. In order to have gotten this far you must have impressed the hiring manager or recruitment team to begin with. But the main thing is to ensure you keep it going in the face to face environment.

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Despite perhaps feeling a little intimidated on arrival it is always a good idea to try and strike up conversation with those around you. Everyone is in the same boat and it means that if there are any group exercises then it may help put you at ease before these start. No one gets points for sitting in silence at an assessment centre!

Group time, what's your role?

In a group exercise it can be important to mark yourself out from the crowd. A good way of doing this can be by taking the lead if you can. It’s key that you only do this if you feel you have something to say or are happy to try and organise everyone to get the team moving. You need to be able to do this without coming across as too confident, bossy or aggressive even. Assessors really look for people who can get past their discomfort to make a valuable contribution to the team. This kind of scenario may even (to an extent) mirror the kind of position you may find yourself in should you be successful in gaining a job with the company. It’s also careful to show good listening skills towards the rest of the team and not to simply dismiss someone else’s idea.

By failuring to prepare you are preparing to fail

In most assessment centres you’ll find an interview/presentation aspect to the day where you will be required to come face to face with an assessor or two to go through this individual portion of the day. For this preparation is key! You cannot blag your way through an interview or presentation. You must do your research on the company or topic. Try to understand as much as you can around the role on offer and its responsibilities and even try and draw some rough comparisons with what you do now in order to show them evidence of how capable you are in the role. Another way to give yourself the edge is to prepare a few questions for the hiring managers about the business or the role to show them that you’re interested and engaged.

Be yourself!

Overall the biggest advice I’d give to you should you find yourself in this position, is to just stay calm. Relax a little, show them your personality and what you’re capable of. You are a great candidate; you just need to help them see that.

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Sam Wall

Sam Wall

Founder and Director