Assessment centres interviews – especially for ultra-competitive graduate roles – are becoming increasingly common.
These group interviews pit numerous candidates against each other in a full day of extensive testing, group tasks, and roleplaying exercises, usually culminating in a presentation.
It may seem like a daunting proposition, but assessment centre interviews offer a real opportunity to show off what you can do, and to display some of the key skills that aren’t easy to put across in a traditional interview.
The below infographic offers some helpful tips and advice on how to turn your next assessment day interview into a success.
What to Expect
Role Playing and Group Exercises
Candidates will often be placed into hypothetical situations to test their ability to problem solve, listen to the issue being discussed, and work together to come to a sensible conclusion. These group exercises will give you a chance to show how you can work with others in a team to reach an objective.
Be careful not to dominate, but be confident and assertive about your point-of-view. Try to draw out interactions from the quieter members of the team, as this will demonstrate your ability to get the best from all types of people.
The ability to comprise and talk about subjects in a rational and calm way is also important, so even if someone else in the team is being domineering, don’t be tempted to speak over them or raise your voice.
Problem Solving and Psychometric Testing
Numeracy and literacy tests are also common, with candidates facing questions they must answer correctly within a time limit. This is a measure of quick wits, as well as the ability to perform well under pressure.
Psychometric tests are also included in many assessment day interviews. There’s no right or wrong answer to these tests, as they are intended to give some insight into your personality. This can help assessors understand anything from how you approach a problem, to your level of emotional intelligence.
Presentations are typically the last part of the day, with all candidates presenting an idea or business plan to the group. Preparation is the key to a good presentation. Even if it feels a little strange, try speaking your presentation aloud to yourself before the big day, as this will help you iron out any issues in flow, while giving you a good indication as to your presentation’s length. To aid with the flow, always try to keep your presentation visual, and avoid having too many words on each slide.
You may assume that any downtime will be yours to unwind, but an assessor may monitor this also. The ability to form relationships and put across a good first impression are some of the main qualities an assessor will be looking for. It may seem like a strange concept at first, but your ability to make friends will show assessors that you’ll fit into the social side of the company, as well as the professional side.