Assessment CentresSeptember 20, 2012
If you’re asked to visit an assessment centre, chances are you’re at the latter stages of the recruitment process for a company that has you shortlisted as an ideal candidate. Many graduate schemes use assessment centres as part of their recruitment process.
What happens at the assessment centre?
When you get to the assessment centre you’ll probably find yourself taking part in group interviews, personality tests, ability tests and problem solving tasks. You may also have to give a presentation to those interviewing, and sometimes (if you’re lucky) there may be a social event at the end of the day too!
The assessment centre typically lasts one day, but it is not unusual for recruiters to require participants for longer than this, perhaps over two or three days. In these circumstances, usually accommodation and travel are paid for. You’ll be told how long you’re expected to stay beforehand.
Why do graduate employers use assessment centres?
You may be wondering “why graduate employers use assessment centres”? It is because they are a proven method for finding great candidates to fill open vacancies.
If you have been invited to an assessment centre, it is likely that the potential employer wants to observe how you perform on a number of tasks away from the formal interview setting. As such, assessments centres are perfect for showcasing your skills and key competencies in “the real world.” These assessment day events give the employees a great overview of your character, allowing them an insight into your attitude and your personality. For this reason they’re very popular.
Tips for surviving the assessment centre:
Go to the assessment centre with the right attitude by thinking of yourself as an employee while you’re in the building, this will make you feel like you belong in the company. Use this newfound confidence to help you during the tasks.
Remember to wear smart business dress throughout the conference. For men, suits, ties and clean shoes are essential. Women can wear either dresses or suits, but if in doubt, dress conservatively. If you’re not sure what to wear to the assessment day, get a bit of inspiration from the TV! Put on old episodes of The Apprentice to see what the young professionals wore to impress Lord Sugar?
Remember : Be polite, look people in the eye and shake hands. Always make an effort to say hello and be reasonably friendly with the other candidates too.
It is likely that there will be several different positions available at the end of this interview, so don’t see your fellow candidates as direct competition. Treat others with respect, allow them to put their opinion across and don’t feel like you have to disagree with everything they say, just to be heard.
If you get chance, talk to current trainees in the company. They will not be assessing you, but they will be able to give you advice about the role you’re interviewing for and tell you what it is like working for the company.