Updating Results

Assessment centres

Tactics for making it through the final stage of recruitment.

Assessment centres are often the final part of the selection process. They involve a series of activities designed to determine whether your skills, experience and personal qualities match the organisation’s culture and job requirements, while assessing how you perform in tasks and situations with other candidates. 

For candidates, assessment centres provide another opportunity to learn more about the employer and meet potential colleagues.

They vary in structure, but typically involve individual and group tasks where you are assessed against a number of key competencies related to the role. Although you are not being assessed against other candidates, your interactions and attitude are key.

Common selection activities

Group exercises

Candidates work together to tackle a work-related problem or case study. Assessors are looking for how effectively you work with others.

Presentations

You are asked to make a formal presentation, which could include preparing content before you arrive. Alternatively, you might be given a brief when you arrive to prepare in a short time. Remember, the delivery is as important as the content.

Case studies

Candidates are presented with scenarios and expected to provide a response. These involve reviewing and analysing data and then delivering the results. Having insight into the business will help you prepare an appropriate response.

Role playing

You are assigned a role to assume for a certain scenario. The key is to think carefully about the situation and what skills are being assessed.

In-trays

This involves organising and prioritising the contents of an inbox, which typically involves prioritising emails, letters, phone messages and internal memos.

Psychometric testing

Often timed, a combination of speed and accuracy is required.

Aptitude tests measure verbal, numerical or abstract information. Seek out online practice tests to prepare.

Personality questionnaires are used to get an idea of your fit for a role, team or organisation or may be used to flesh out questions for a final round interview. It’s difficult to prepare for these types of tests; the best approach is honesty and not over-thinking what the assessors may be looking for.

Top assessment tips

  • If you know in advance what kind of exercises you will be doing, study up on the process and practice.
  • During group activities, loudest does not equal best. However, if you are too quiet the assessors will have nothing to judge. Find a balance – and make sure you listen to others.
  • Remember that assessment takes place throughout the day, not just in the formal activities, so be friendly and professional at all times.