Assessment centres

Assessment centres are common nowadays, especially within high volume recruitment, and usually represent the final stage of the recruitment process. These centres involve the simultaneous assessment of a pool of candidates so it’s important to know what to expect and how to prepare so you can stand out. 

What should I expect?
An assessment centre will consist of numerous exercises, with a mix of group and individual activities. You could be assessed by a mix of people including potential managers, HR representatives, current employees, and examiners from external agencies. Assessors will be looking at how you react and perform in different situations and scenarios. Specifically, you are likely to be assessed on your:

  • ability to do the role on offer
  • academic ability
  • level of competence (e.g. performing technical skills)
  • ‘fit’ within the company
  • organisation and communication skills

The day could involve a range of activities including:

  • one-on-one interview
  • role play exercise
  • group exercise
  • functional skills tests (psychometric/numerical/logical reasoning)
  • presentation or micro-teach session (you may be given a topic in advance to present on/teach)

Preparing for an assessment day
Like an interview, preparing for an assessment centre is essential. Be sure to research the job on offer and make a note of the people you’ll be meeting.

Plan your route and what to wear in advance so your morning can be stress free. Pack a pen, notepad, a copy of your CV, information about the company and anything specific you were asked to bring.

Assessment centre outcome
If you are not successful at an assessment centre, ask for as much feedback as possible so that you can improve for next time. Use it as a learning experience and try to take on board any criticism constructively.

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