What is an assessment centre?
The term 'assessment centre' refers to a series of recruitment activities, usually undertaken by job applicants.
Candidates to participate in a series of exercises, some of which will simulate those encountered in the real workplace. Any organisation can use and assessment centre. They are especially popular with medium and large organisations conducting customer service, leadership and graduate programs. Assessment centre designs are taking advantage of more recent technological changes and advancements and many of the traditional exercises are moving to Web-based format.
One or more Raters (often called Invigilators) assess a candidate’s behaviour and performance against a set of pre-established criteria or competencies. Based on the candidate’s individual performance, an organisation makes certain judgments about how well the candidate matches the corporate culture and is likely to perform in the workplace.
What does an assessment centre involve?
Many of the tasks are timed, with typical tasks including:
- Group exercises like problem-solving, strategising, or debating tasks. Read or listen to the instructions carefully and agree on team goals. Sometimes the subject area is controversial to encourage the expression of different opinions, and you will be assessed on your ability to communicate, work in a team, listen to different opinions and come to a consensus.
- Verbal presentations to test your ability to structure a presentation and clearly communicate information to others. You may or may not be given your presentation topic prior to attending the assessment centre. You’ll be assessed on the content of your presentation, your ability to keep to the point and be convincing, and your verbal and non-verbal communication skills. Smile, try to maintain eye contact with the audience, and avoid reading from notes or audio-visual aids.
- Role plays where you need to act out a work-related situation. You’ll be assessed on your problem-solving skills and your ability to analyse and communicate effectively.
- In-tray exercises where you are given a full ‘in-tray’ of memos, emails, and phone messages typical of the role or level you’re seeking and are asked to prioritise each task and act on items within a time limit. You’ll be required to read and understand the information quickly, reach a consensus on the priority of each item, and draft replies to correspondence and reports within the timeframe.
- Psychometric testing including timed problem-solving, work values, skills and personality testing, generally in an individual setting.
- Panel interviews, although less common, usually undertaken by only one candidate at a time.
How candidates are assessed?
The assessors will be observing to see if a candidate demonstrates evidence of behavioural traits required for the job. These can include:
- teamwork and leadership
- communication skills, both written and verbal
- customer service skills
- decision-making ability
- social skills and emotional intelligence
- organisational and time-management skills
- problem-solving abilities and strategic thinking
- ability to deal with conflict and ambiguity
- motivation and stress management
- goal setting and achievement
- lateral thinking and flexibility
- technical skills
*Contact us to learn more about tailoring an assessment centre to fit your needs.